Advertising
Advertising

9 Easy Ways to Become Fitter This Year

9 Easy Ways to Become Fitter This Year

With the New Year upon us, it seems resolutions are on everyone’s minds with hashtags, tweets, and facebook statuses proclaiming new fitness and healthy-living goals for 2014.

Unfortunately, however, many people make the mistake of attempting to make too many drastic changes with their New Year’s goals. The key to changing habits is making small changes and focusing on one thing at a time.

Here are 9 easy ways you can move toward your 2014 fitness goals.

1. Make your goal so small (at first) that you can’t mess up.

The mistake many people make after the new year is dreaming too big. Now don’t get me wrong – vision is super important – but if you shoot too high you will only get discouraged. The key is to start small, build consistency and confidence, and then increase your goal.

Want to form a running habit? Try running just 10 minutes a day. Yoga? Do 10-minute yoga routines. Once you master those, move on to something more challenging.

Advertising

2. Focus on exercise that you ENJOY.

Too many people make exercise a chore, something that they have to do to say they did it or to lose extra weight.

Wrong wrong wrong.

You should exercise because you love it. Intrinsic motivation should drive you. Begin by doing the exercise that you love. Once you begin letting joy guide you, you will be exercising more often in no time.

3. Hold yourself accountable.

Many people make the mistake of keeping their goals to themselves, but all  keeping your goal a secret does is decrease the likelihood that you will meet it.

Instead, try joining a support group. Tell your friends or family. Once you tell someone, either virtually or in real life, you will be more motivated to get it done, whatever it is.

Advertising

4. Choose consistency over length of workouts.

It’s a mistake to workout for 5 hours once a week, when you could exercise 30 minutes a day. Consistency helps build a habit, and helps your body grow accustomed to exercise regularly.

Choose small, consistent workouts over long, irregular ones.

5. Reward yourself with [healthy] positive reinforcements.

Psychology teaches us that positive reinforcements are more motivating than negative ones. If you want to build a habit, encourage the habit you want to build.

Love smoothies? Reward yourself with a low-sugar fruit smoothie, not a 700-calorie sugar bomb. Love chocolate? Reward yourself with some healthy dark chocolate, not an entire package of Oreos. Love socializing? Reward yourself with just one or two low-calorie cocktails with coworkers after work.

6. Focus on ONE fitness goal at a time.

One of the cons to big dreaming is the desire to take on too much. The trouble with this is that the more goals you add, the easier it becomes to get distracted from your goals.

Advertising

There is only so much energy that can be invested in goal-setting; the more goals there are, the more limited the energy. Instead, pick one goal to focus on, and add more when you accomplish that one.

7. Write it down.

Studies upon studies have supported the power writing down goals has. They key is to write down what you want to accomplish.

Want to form a running habit? Write: I will run for 20 minutes every day. Yoga? I will attend yoga class 3 times a week. Then, DO IT.

8. Be specific.

A mistake many people make is producing over-generalized goals. They might say “I want to be fitter” or “I want to get better at yoga.”

Instead, make your goal as specific as possible, breaking it down into small steps.  Include how many times per week, what exercise, how long, and any other relevant details.

Advertising

9. Cultivate a positive mindset.

Positivity is the key to any ambitious vision. Without positivity, you can’t achieve nearly as much. A positive attitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: when you believe you can accomplish something, you make the attempt, and put in the work necessary to get it done.

Try soaking up positive quotes, videos, and mantras to motivate yourself to accomplish your goals.

What do you do to stick to your fitness goals?

More by this author

Alli Page

Allie is a pessimist-turned-optimist healthy food junkie who blogs about happiness, healthy living and travel.

10 Warning Signs of Low Self-Esteem and a Lack of Confidence 8 Natural Acne Treatments You Didn’t Know About 10 Simple Ways to Add Spontaneity into Your Daily Routine 11 Things You Need to Forgive Yourself For 7 Reasons Why You Won’t Be Happy No Matter How Hard You Try

Trending in Fitness

1 10 Best Healthy and Natural Weight Loss Supplements 2 30-Minute Morning Workout Routine for Maximum Fitness 3 7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Workout 4 What to Eat After a Workout (Revealed by Professional Trainer) 5 7 Best Lower Back Stretches for Relieving Pain

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

Advertising

This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

Advertising

How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

Advertising

Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

Advertising

5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

More to Help You Feel Relaxed

Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

Read Next