Resolve to regain physical fitness in 2019
Have you looked at yourself in a full-length mirror since Christmas Day?
If not, you may be in for a shock. If you’ve been lounging by the fire, tucking into feasts and delicacies, you’ll need to get your body back in shape now. That can be hard if you’re a sedentary person or have a desk job, but these New Year’s fitness resolutions will sprinkle exercise lightly through your day, so you’ll hardly notice it.
1. Get moving before breakfast
Each day, take at least a hundred steps before breaking your fast with either drink or food. This will ensure that you’ve at least made a start on your daily exercise before being drawn into other commitments. Starting early will also give you a sense of achievement which will sustain your drive through the day.
2. Walk around the block
Take a brisk walk outside each day. Even if you only go down the street and back, the exertion involved will get your heart pumping strongly and your circulation flowing healthily. This, coupled with the fresh air, will make you feel good and motivate you to take more exercise.
You will also be strengthening muscles, loosening joints and releasing tension as you stride along, so a walk is never a waste of time.
3. Look up and get up
If you have a sitting-down job, get up and walk around the room, or further, every half hour, or if this can’t be done due to working conditions, walk twice around at break times. Have a good stretch while you’re on your feet, swinging your arms around like wheels and crouching and rising a few times.
If you find it hard to remember to break off from your work, set your alarm clock, and reset it every time you sit back down. The procedure will soon become second nature.
4. Stretch and bend in queues and pauses
Never stand still while awaiting an event, such as the boiling of a kettle, the arrival of a bus or the photocopying of papers. Take the opportunity to bend and stretch, swing your legs or wiggle your hips.
If you’re in a public place, where such movements would be inappropriate, rise discreetly up onto the balls of your toes, then slowly down again, and repeat; you’ll feel the muscles working up and down your legs. All these movements will enhance blood flow around the body, including the brain, so you’ll be improving your mental powers, too.
5. Pursue an active pastime
Take up a sport or active pastime and practice it at least once a week. If you already have one, increase your participation for extra relaxation and exercise. If you’re not a sporty person, pick any activity that involves moving about, even if it’s just a matter of walking to a venue, standing up at a painting easel or bustling about with practical tasks. They will all help sustain basic fitness.
6. Swing and stretch your way to bed
At the end of the day, fit an exercise routine into your bedtime preparations. Designate a slot in your schedule for it, say between locking the doors and brushing your teeth, so that it becomes automatic. You’ll sleep better for the exercise, and for knowing you’re keeping to your target.