03 Mar Physical Activity goals
The final week of our accountability conversation is here. It’s our honor to be able to walk with you on your wellness journey and do our best to inspire and encourage you as you navigate daily health habits like nutrition and exercise. So, this week, let’s talk about physical activity.
Physical activity is tricky because unlike nutrition, exercise is not required for us to live our day to day lives. Food is, but physical activity isn’t. It’s beneficial, but not mandatory. So today, here are a few of the exercise habits we commonly hear people are striving towards honing and a reminder of the accountability tips we mentioned last week as you work towards your exercise goals.
- A consistent workout cadence. When considering a person’s lifestyle, profession, schedule, home life, physical activity, health concerns, and more, it’s easy to figure out that there is no one workout cadence for all. What does that mean? A workout cadence is more or less the rhythm of your weekly movement habits. One of the most popular questions related to exercise is, “What is the best time of day to workout? Morning? Midday? Evening?” The answer is, “whenever you will actually do it.” You might find that certain days of the week the mornings work better, while the evenings work well on other days. That’s cool. If you’re honest with yourself and know that when you get home from work it’s too hard to change your wardrobe, then leave the house again, then pack a go-bag and go straight to your workout after work (or move during your lunch hour) and remove the “cozy home factor.” There isn’t a one-size-fits-all for workout timing, so I like the goal of trial and error to find your best workout cadence.
- Rack up the exercise minutes. Whether it’s the number of workouts or minutes per week, set yourself a goal and grab your planner to figure out when they fit in. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. But how you get in those minutes can vary from person to person. This is a very measurable goal and it has a lot of wiggle room to celebrate yourself for a variety of types of movement.
- Set a start date. That’s right. Whether you’re on a roll or getting back into the swing of working out, just get started! Finding the time and energy to start working out can be daunting and overwhelming. Personal life and work life can be demanding and you might never feel like exercising or you might be unsure about when you can squeeze it in, but throw it on your calendar and just do it. At some point, you’ll be glad you did!
Change it up. Keep things fresh and challenge your body by intentionally incorporating a variety of workouts. Remember that exercise includes: strength, cardio, and flexibility (stretching). So dedicate time to each type of exercise for a well-rounded program and not to mention some fun. Zumba, spin, pilates, hiking, biking, basketball, and you name it are wonderful complements and opportunities to put in action the mental and physical strength you’re building in boot camp.
- Tell a friend or family member what you’re working on. They don’t have to join you (although it would be great if they did), but having someone in your corner to check in with, cheer you on, and keep it real can help with all three of these goals.
- Start a log. When you jot down the process you are engaging in as you work towards a goal, a nutrition and activity log can highlight your strengths and point out opportunities to make changes. If you’re stuck, it can also shed light on your individual situation as you talk through the details with someone who can partner with you to help.
- Define the win. Start a notes page or journal page with defining your why and what the win would be of establishing a new nutrition habit. How will your life look differently when you reach this goal?
By Victoria Emmitt RD