Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Tracking Your Fitness Progress - Is it Important?

NIFS | Writing | Tracking GoalsAs someone who exercises daily, I have fought myself on this topic. Why should I track my progress if I am feeling good about what I am doing? If I am working out every day, I will gradually see results and continue to climb that never-ending improvement ladder! Well, as it turns out, achieving goals more complicated than that.

Everyone hits a point in their exercise journey where they feel like they aren’t seeing results. In the beginning, your workouts are new and fresh! Heck, they might even be exciting! You are thinking about the endless possibilities and goals you're going to crush. Then the novelty starts to wear off around week three (at least, that is where I notice a downward trend). By the third week, you're starting to play a head game: “You’re tired. Why don’t you just take a rest today and just relax.? Its good to rest sometimes, right?” Then, it begins to snowball and eventually you notice you haven’t exercised in weeks. We have all been there.

And that's right where tracking your progress comes in. I will admit, at first I was skeptical. I thought, “I don’t need to do this. This is just an added ‘thing’ I have to do and I am already busy.”  Benefits of regularly tracking your fitness journey can include keeping your goals in sight and your accomplishments in perspective. It also helps you to become more mindful of why you are taking on regular exercise.

[Read more: Do you have a healthy relationship with exercise?]

When you have had a hard day at work, your kid(s) are screaming for attention or crying because you didn’t put their shoes in the right place, this is a great opportunity to go back and look at all the tracked progress you have made in your fitness goals – especially if you are planning on skipping out of your nightly or morning sweat session. Added stressors in our lives creep up on us and try to take over. If you haven’t laid out your goals or are not keeping a close eye on what you are trying to accomplish, then they could consume you and you may fall off the wagon.

I am not saying that tracking your goals will completely silence the “I need to quit” voice in your head. Other factors can (and sometimes will) lead to you needing to postpone your exercise routine temporarily. Fitness related injuries or family matters can require a pause. Those are outside influences we can’t control. If it happens to be you feeling like your exercise routine is just not for you anymore because you are tired and “over it,” make sure you look back and see all of the amazing progress you have made (which you can only do if you've been tracking your workouts), re-evaluate the situation, and continue to focus on your goals. Staying mindful and motivated by assessing your progress will help you realize that some of your goals have been met, and others are attainable. And of course, there's an app for that.

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Topics: fitness tips fitness goals tracking your fitness progress

Put Some "Spring" In Your Step

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Were you one of the many people who made it a goal in 2018 that you were going to work out more and start focusing on your health? Then, perhaps as the days began to pass and you found yourself two months into the New Year, with nothing to show for your ambitious goal.

The shorter winter days and cold weather make it difficult to convince ourselves to get up and workout, when instead we could be on the couch watching a favorite TV show. But then the weather begins to get warmer, the sun shines longer, and everyone seems to feel a little bit more motivated and energized – because spring is right around the corner. If you're feeling a little more motivated, you might be wondering how you go from binge watching that TV show to committing to the fitness goal you made on January 1st. Follow these simple fitness tip to put some "spring" in your step!

Be Realistic. If you haven’t been working out then the likelihood of you getting to the gym 5x per week is unrealistic. Start small with your goals and gradually work up from there. The goals you choose should be attainable. Once you have found yourself sustaining and keeping with your workout and fitness goals is when you should begin to increase your workload.

[Read More: Tips for An Effective Exercise Program]

Be Held Accountable. Ask a family member or friend to start this journey with you. Make gym dates and don’t cancel at the last minute. Your workout partner will help keep you on track and you can do the same thing for them. A partner is also a great person to vent and share things with. Did you splurge and eat that bowl of ice cream or miss the gym on Sunday morning? Share it with your partner. They will be there for you through your lows and highs but also push you to achieve your milestones!

Make A Plan. You’re geared up and ready to go get your workout on. Then, you step into the gym and you have no idea what you are going to do. We have all been there. Make it a point to not only plan out when you are going to work out but what you are going to do when you get there. Remember, plans are not set in stone. However, they help keep you on track and pointing toward that end goal.

It is time to take full advantage of what spring has to offer in helping to achieve your goals. I encourage you to use our recommended tips toward becoming a healthier you, and what better time to do it then now? Make a realistic exercise plan and join that Cardio Pump class you and your co-worker have been interested in. Get ready to say, “so long” to old man winter and “hello” to spring by jumping back into fitness!

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Topics: new Years resolution fitness resolutions fitness tips fitness goals

Fitness Tips to Jump Start Your New Year's Resolutions

If you've been considering a New Year’s resolution, "starting a regular exercise program" may have been on your list.  And why not? Starting an exercise program is a healthy choice that can help you feel better physically, mentally and even emotionally. In this blog we'll discuss four simple fitness tips that can help you stay on track with becoming more active.

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First, start with an exercise plan and write it down on your calendar. This simple step of asking yourself to make a commitment can provide a regular reminder to keep you on track with your schedule and goals.  Ask yourself a few questions before solidifying your plan to ensure your fitness routine is maintained.

When and how will I exercise? Reserving the same time to exercise on a weekly basis will ensure you make your new fitness program a priority. Make sure the times to exercise are suitable for you and can be repeated without interruption. Choose activities you will enjoy to increase the likelihood that you'll keep coming back to your routine.  If you think exercising alone might make it hard to stick to your plan, then consider group fitness classes. Also, be realistic about your capabilities. If you can only exercise for 10-15 minutes then work within that time frame.  Some movement is better than none.

[Read More: 4 Fast Exercises For When You're In A Hurry]

Let's talk about some tips for ensuring success, staying on track and most of all making sure you continue to enjoy your healthy choices. Exercise doesn't have to be a pain or a nuisance. If you can find enjoyable activities, set reasonable goals you're much more likely to succeed and make this a lifestyle change, not just a New Year's resolution. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you go. 

Slow and steady wins the race. See your resolution as a lifestyle changer. You will be less likely to continue in the long-term if you are too hard on yourself and increase the intensity without proper preparation. Starting off with a low intensity program for only 10 minutes a session, 3 times a week is a good way to prevent injuries, avoid burnout and make your new routine a healthy habit. Keep your eyes on the prize and only worry about your capabilities. Comparing yourself to others physical abilities may discourage you and we all had to start somewhere!

Set the bar low (at least initially). When creating a healthy resolution focused on adopting regular exercise, set a goal that isn't focused on body weight. Becoming regularly active isn't an end game; it's a lifestyle choice and your goals should reflect that.  Life is busy and things happen that may modify our exercise program throughout the year. Setting a goal such as walking a 10k by June is more achievable than simply focusing on weight. As you feel good striving towards your goal, other achievements will be gained along the way. Remember you can also modify your resolution as long as it’s initially a reasonable expectation.

Bring a friend. Working out with a friend or partner can be the push you need to stay consistent. Consistency is key to achieving your goals and having a friend or partner is added support. Friends keep us accountable, motivated and in some cases a dose of healthy competition!

No matter the goal, remember that a fitness resolution is taking a step in the right direction to improve your quality of life. Keeping your eyes on the prize will reap benefits such as increased energy, healthier bones, and a positive attitude! Cheers to a healthy and active year!

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Topics: new year healthy habits resolutions fitness resolutions fitness tips fitness goals