We welcomed the New Year only a few days ago which means we're now in resolution mode. Like many of us, it's easy to be overly ambitious when setting goals, which is the number one reason for losing motivation. It's also possible to settle on too many easy goals that essentially makes goal-setting an endeavor that is nearly pointless.
According to surveys, a majority of new resolutions are focused on improving physical fitness. This is not surprising because the body's condition can affect all other aspects of life. If you're wearing a prosthesis, physical fitness becomes critical since moving, walking or simply living with a prosthesis requires additional energy.
Based on these factors, we went ahead and put together 12 prosthetic exercise resolutions for you that are also easy to attain and sustain throughout 2019. You can pick and choose those that apply to you, or you can take the entire list.
1. Build a healthy lifestyle on the foundation of regular exercise.
When you want to start or strengthen your resolve to lead a healthy lifestyle, understanding your “why” is essential. It’s not enough to recognize the numerous academic studies and articles that promote the benefits of exercise; it’s also important to understand that you need these health benefits in your life.
2. Creating a habit is key for 2019
Recognize where you are physically today. Was your last workout 10 months ago? Initially go for an easy win by routinely showing up at the gym for the first month. They stay it takes 21 days to build a habit, so aim to go to the gym for the next 21 days, and don't stress about whether you had a fantastic workout. Once exercise becomes a part of your routine, you are less likely to quit.
3. Write down your goals.
There is magic in writing down your 2019 goals compared to just thinking about it. Writing it down makes it more real to you, and thus, you are much more likely to achieve those goals.
(Related Reading: 6 Journaling Exercises that Improve Your Well-Being)
4. Try different types of exercises.
When it comes to physical fitness, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, you have to understand the pros and cons of each exercise method and test out which ones work for you, your current situation and fitness goals. Perhaps you would benefit more from a high-intensity interval training workout than a yoga class. Or maybe you need to incorporate movement into your day-to-day first, like climbing the stairs, raking leaves, and walking around the block. Or perhaps it’s a combination of various types of exercise? Assess your current situation and your goal, then decide what works best for you.
5. Choose an activity that you are likely to enjoy.
One of the reasons most people fall off the fitness wagon is because they don’t enjoy what they’re doing. Walking on a treadmill for cardio might be boring you to tears. Perhaps a high-intensity spin class is better for you? When you find what you like, the better the chances of you sticking to that activity.
But if you absolutely have to clock in some time on the treadmill or the elliptical, you can enjoy the activity more by listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks. Some people even read books while working out!
6. Measure your progress.
We're sure there is an app for that, so do a regular check-in. Are you a few pounds closer to your desired weight? Is your resting heart rate dropping over time? Can you walk around the block without enormous effort? It’s these little wins that count. And the best thing about seeing the benefits from your efforts is that you are more likely to look forward to seeing more.
7. Understand that small successes also provide significant benefits.
Significant benefits can be packaged in small wins. A great example of this is the Diabetes Prevention Program's findings: modest weight loss—as little as 7 percent of body weight—could help people prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, a major cause of numerous health risks.
8. Decide if you will do better alone or with a partner.
The key to success when it comes to sticking to your fitness goals is in knowing whether you work better alone or with someone else who can keep you accountable. If possible, find someone that already regularly goes to the gym, attends fitness classes, or walks around the neighborhood. Surrounding yourself with motivated and disciplined people is ideal.
9. Reward yourself when you reach goals.
Possible rewards for reaching your goals include getting a massage or enjoying an extra cheat day. Just make sure your chosen reward doesn't disrupt any progress you’ve made.
10. If you avoid exercise, ask yourself why.
It all goes back to your “why.” Do you dread the activity? Is it boring for you? Is the time inconvenient for you? When you find the answers to these questions, consider changing up your routine.
11. Drink lots of water.
The benefits of drinking a lot of water are seemingly endless, but one that is almost immediately noticeable is you're less tired.
12. Don’t let a temporary setback become permanent.
Let’s say you miss a workout session or fail to reach your weight goal. Looking at temporary setbacks as a failure is easy. However, it’s important not to give up. Get back on schedule immediately and continue working toward your goals.
Which of these tips do you find most valuable? What other tips can you share for sticking with an exercise regimen? Share it in the comments section below. Happy New Year!