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Adlen Robinson: 10 ways to work exercise into your routine
COL Adlen Robinson 020619
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Did you have a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight and get fit this year? If so, how is your journey going? Did you know that the majority of people who made that health goal have fallen off the band wagon by now? If you happen to be in that category, do not despair! It is not too late to get back on the program, and I am here to offer you some tips to help you stay on a healthy program — not only to meet your weight goals, but also to just feel awesome every day!

Get a pedometer.

This is my No. 1 tip for a reason. When you see how many steps you get on a daily basis, you just tend to move more. If you are not super-active, set a goal for yourself of 3,000 steps. Once you are comfortable with that, up your goal to 5,000 steps. Strive to get up to 10,000 steps for maximum health benefits. There are plenty of fancy and high-tech pedometers but mine was less than $30 and syncs with my cell phone and is super accurate.

Strive to do something physical every day.

Of course, there will be some days when your schedule is just too crazy to fit in a long workout but strive to do a mini-workout every day. Maybe that is just 15 minutes of stretching, sit-ups and jumping jacks. If you are watching a show on television, exercise during the commercials. Whatever you do, try to do something every day.

Don’t be a slave to the scale.

Especially if you are incorporating weights with your exercise routine, don’t let a number frustrate you. Instead, notice how your clothes fit. If you must weigh yourself, do it at the beginning of your health journey, and they don’t weigh again for a month. Our weight fluctuates greatly from day to day due to many things, so it is better to not weigh every day.

Drink plenty of water.

Most health experts say to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Of course, if you are super-active or if you are exercising in extreme heat, you need to drink more. In order to achieve that goal, make sure you carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go. I love my stainless-steel water bottle with a stainless steel straw. It keeps my water ice cold no matter what the temperature is.

Choose a realistic diet.

If you love bread or pasta, don’t tell yourself you can never have those foods again. Instead, plan on when you will eat them and just don’t overdo it. On that note, when trying to eat a healthier diet, menu planning is crucial. Set aside 15 minutes every week to jot down a menu plan for the upcoming week. I love to do this on Sunday when it seems I have a bit more downtime than during the week. Check your freezer and refrigerator to see what you already have and plan your menu accordingly. Don’t forget to incorporate your slow cooker for those days when you know the dinner hour is going to be hectic.

Limit eating out.

When you eat out, it is much more difficult to make healthy choices — those fries look too tempting! Commit to bringing your lunch to work, or if you do eat out, order the salad with grilled chicken. Stick to oil and vinegar instead of creamy salad dressings.

Find an exercise buddy.

Nothing helps you stick to an exercise routine more than a friend or spouse. You can encourage each other and hold each other accountable. If you have a friend at work, try taking a 30-minute walk together either before work, during your lunch hour or after work before heading home.

Track your progress.

Make a note every day in a small notebook of what activities you did that day, how many steps you took and any other successes you have had. You will be surprised and encouraged to see the progress you make.

Try new activities.

Instead of walking around the neighborhood, go for a hike. We are lucky to live in an area where there are lots of parks, trails and other places to walk. Consider getting a mountain bike or learning how to kayak when the weather warms up. Join the aquatic center or a gym with a swimming pool. Take a yoga or Pilates class.

Forgive yourself if you make a bad choice.

If you eat a quart of ice cream, forgive yourself and start again on your program the next day. Nobody is perfect and we all have those moments or even days when we make less than great food choices. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get moving again.

How is your health plan going during this second month of 2019? Email me and tell me how your plan is working out!