The new year is here, and that means it’s resolution season! While a resolution can be about virtually anything, the majority of us create them around our health. Discover Happy Habits reported that “the most popular resolutions for 2021 [were] exercising more and improving fitness (50%), losing weight (48%), and improving diet (39%).”
Once the hype of the new year dies down, though, the reality is that many of us do not stick to our resolutions. Surveys show that approximately 80% of people who make these resolutions for the first of the year will have abandoned them by the second week of February.
Making new year’s resolutions and creating other habits does not have to be this way. Silver Comet Village offers senior living services in Powder Springs, Georgia, and we help our residents incorporate healthy aging strategies into their daily lives. That is why we are sharing tips to make staying active a habit this year!
1. Define What Being Active Means to You
Being active can mean something different to everyone. To be successful at staying active, you have to define what it means to you.
- Does staying active mean slimming down or losing weight?
- Is staying active for you about managing chronic pain?
- Is leading an active lifestyle about maintaining your independence and healthy aging?
These different interpretations around what being “active” means will impact the types of activities and programs you do. For example, an individual looking to lose weight may want to focus on higher intensity exercises, as opposed to someone who wants to manage chronic pain. Once you have defined this for yourself, you will be better able to find activities, set goals, and stick to them.
2. Start Small and Set Realistic Goals
Setting a big goal for yourself is good in the long run, but only having big goals is not a good strategy for making a habit stick. Instead, set one big goal and several small goals that help you achieve something bigger.
For example, setting a goal to run a marathon this year is great, but you won’t get there overnight. A better approach would be to set a goal to run half a mile, then a full mile, then a mile and a half, and so on until you reach your goal of running a marathon.
By setting smaller and more realistic goals, you are less likely to feel overwhelmed about your progress and more likely to continue your efforts.
3. Enlist a Friend or Workout Partner
Not only does exercising with a friend make staying active more fun, but it is also an easy way to provide you with some accountability. If you have someone planning on going on a walk in the park or to a group exercise class with you, you are less likely to cancel.
4. Consistency is Key
The more consistent you are, the easier it will be to stay active. The European Journal of Social Psychology found that it only takes 18 to 254 days to form a new habit.
Once a habit is formed, it becomes automatic. For example, when you wake up in the morning, you automatically make your bed. You do not have to think about how or why you are doing it; it is simply a habit and part of your morning routine.
If you are trying to make staying active a habit, try to exercise at the same time every day. Plan your activities ahead of time so you when you can fit activity into your day.
Staying active does not have to be time-consuming or a complete change to your lifestyle. Start small, listen to your body, and gradually build on active habits. However, it is recommended to consult your doctor before making any significant changes to your current lifestyle and activity level. Your doctor will guide you in choosing activities and exercises that would be beneficial to your health and wellness.
At Silver Comet Village, we offer a variety of activities that help our residents stay active, including private access to the Silver Comet Trail. Contact a member of our team to learn more about what our senior living community in Powder Springs, Georgia, has to offer!
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