Make 2018 your year
Ten tips for an active new year.
Welcome to 2018! I hope this year is all you want it to be when it comes to your health. Here are my top 10 fitness tips to inspire you to keep active.
1. Figure out your ‘why?’
In my experience, being motivated by the scales isn’t such a healthy strategy. But wanting to get fitter and lose weight to be able to keep up with your kids, for example, will keep you going stronger and for longer.
2. Up the ante with your exercise
Long and slow exercise is not always the best. Short and sharp efforts are effective in increasing your metabolic rate and muscle tone, and weight loss.
3. Plan an active adventure
Get a group of friends together and commit to an event, a hike or some sort of outdoor adventure. Lock a date in early and encourage everyone to stay on track.
4. Add strength training to your fitness schedule
Strength training has tremendous benefits for you physically and mentally, so don’t shy away from lifting weights or doing body weight resistance exercises.
5. Try a new form of exercise
There are loads of different options to try and, even if it’s just once, you will expand your comfort zone. Maybe it’s a martial art, a game of hockey or even golf. You never know what you’ll like until you try, so be open to new fitness ideas.
6. Take your work meetings outside
Can you substitute a sit-down meeting for a walk and talk? Being outside in fresh surroundings can trigger new ideas. You’ll need to be prepared ahead of time, but this is a great option if you’re desk bound daily.
7. Take advantage of that 10-minute break
Even on the busiest of days, you can find 10 minutes to draw breath and go for a walk outside. Ten minutes of activity can boost your energy levels and restore balance to hectic schedules.
8. Mix up your workouts
Include both aerobic and anaerobic exercise choices throughout the week. For example, combine a longer bike ride with some shorter high-intensity intervals, such as hill sprints.
9. Be ready to be active
Have a spare pair of shoes in your car or at work for when you get a window to get physical.
10. Make it fun!
You’re far more likely to do something regularly if you’re happy doing it.
Standing toe touches
1. Stand tall with your core engaged by slightly drawing your belly button into your spine.
2. Extending your right leg straight out in front of you, lift it upwards while maintaining your core position. At the same time, reach forward with your right arm towards your foot.
3. Continue lifting your leg up. The goal is to reach your toes with your hand, but this requires good neuro-muscular flexibility and strength. Go within your own range and ability, and always try to extend yourself. Return your leg and arm in a controlled manner back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.