How to Start the New Year Healthy

It takes strength, discipline, and motivation to have a healthy lifestyle. But, once you see the positive changes in your body from mental to physical health you may be more motivated to continue with this lifestyle.

If you’ve stopped working out regularly don’t be too hard on yourself. Between illness, changes in family routines, the pandemic, and so much more we are busy people and making yourself a priority can be difficult.

It’s true that a break from exercise can quickly undo the health gains you made when you were regularly working out. An article published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine discovered that taking a break from physical activity for as little as two weeks can result in a substantial reduction of muscle strength and mass. Research also shows it takes even longer to gain it back.

Here are 8 Steps to Help you Get Back into the Habit of Exercise

  1. Set a Goal – This can help motivate you into making exercise a lifelong habit. Make a goal that is specific and achievable for you in the long-haul.
  2. Find a Meaningful “Why” – This should be something deeper than just your physical appearance. For example, do you want to exercise so you can keep up with your kids or grandkids? Are you wanting exercise to help you feel more energized and productive? This why will be extremely important on the hard days when you don’t feel motivated.
  3. Make Yourself a Priority – Plug time into your calendar and treat it like a meeting you cant cancel. It’s an important self-care strategy to reenergize and have better health overall.
  4. Take it Slow and Steady – It’s crucial to start small when getting back into a workout routine. It takes several weeks to get back into your grove. You can start with a few minutes of cardio and work your way up to the recommended 30 minutes of cardio daily. Don’t forget to add in strength training or other forms on working out within the cardio.
  5. Find a Partner – When it comes to working out, encouragement and support can go a long way. You are less likely to miss if you have an accountability partner and they will most likely make working out more fun. You can even view it as your social hour with a friend.
  6. Shorter Workouts Count – Dedicating long hours to a gym every day may not be realistic. Once in awhile, a 15 minute at home workout is far more realistic. If you have a busy schedule, find something you enjoy in shorter bursts. For example, these HIIT workouts are a great option for a shorter workout if you don’t have enough time to get to the gym everyday.
  7. Warm Up and Cool Down – It’s very important to focus on flexibility and mobility during your warm up and cool down. Make sure you are warming up your body with dynamic stretches and cooling down with static stretches. This will help so you don’t pull or strain a muscle during workout.
  8. Listen to Your Body – When exercising it’s important to pay attention to your body and how you’re feeling. Stay alert to serious symptoms and get help if needed. Remember that your rest day is just as important as working out. It allows your body to recover and be prepared for another full week of workouts.

The most important thing is to make a plan and stick to it. Consistency is key for long term success and a healthy 2022.

Contact Our Wellness Professionals

At IBC Insurance, we have a team of wellness professionals that will work with you and your company to provide several opportunities to implement positive strategies within your business. We work with your employees one-on-one to help support them with their wellness goals and make sure they are on track for a successful year. Learn more about our wellness services here or call 712-277-2424 to talk to our Preventive Services Manager, Sarah.