By Amber Howland
You made it. We made it. Pat yourself on the back because 2021 is here! However, a lot of what came with 2020 is still around us. I know many of you, myself included, woke up on Jan. 1 hoping that 2020 was a bad dream, and birds would sing in your window and pick out your clothes, just like Cinderella (but maybe that was just me). Either way it is a new year, and this time we are prepared for whatever this year throws at us.
One of the more powerful quotes I have come across lately is: ‘Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.’ That is how I want to kick off 2021 both mentally and physically. We can’t rewrite history and change what we did or how we coped with quarantine and the pandemic. However, we can write a more healthy and happy way of living in 2021.
The most common New Year’s resolutions all revolve around losing weight, exercise, and eating healthier. We also know that these common resolutions often fall by the wayside after a few weeks or months. We are then left feeling defeated and say, ‘Next year will be my year!’
Let’s collectively not go down that road in 2021. What if we set small, attainable goals that don’t put all of the pressure on that one resolution? What if we keep commitments to ourselves instead of launching into a spiral of tasks that we think make us happy but just fill us with anxiety and madness? This year we are going to find healthy habits that make us smile and fill our minds and bodies with positive vibes!
I want to share with you a few ‘life hacks,’ if you will, that might spark some motivation and joy in your world in 2021. Since losing weight and exercise are the most common, we will concentrate on those.
It’s January, and it is cold. Honestly, there is no better place than the couch, watching Netflix under a heated blanket, but that can wait. We have work to do, and this year we are going to overcome obstacles and not just let life happen to us. Now, there are hundreds, if not thousands of excuses that we can use for why we are not getting any physical activity this winter. Trust me, I have heard them all and have used a few myself. There are just so many cool and fun ways to move your body for 30 minutes a day that won’t make you feel overwhelmed and will help you hit your fitness goals for 2021.
Yes, some gyms are open but since everyone has varying comfort levels of public spaces, here are some options that you can put to work in your own home. Let’s start with steps. It really is that simple. According to our friends over at Fitbit.com, completing an extra 10,000 steps each day typically burns about 2,000 to 3,500 extra calories each week. One pound of body fat equals 3,500 calories. You do the math! It seems like a no brainer to me. Start being more mindful throughout the day of the number of steps you are taking. Most smart phones and watches track your steps. You can also find an inexpensive pedometer on Amazon. This makes it simple to track, so get to steppin’! Challenge a friend, co-worker, or just yourself to get the most steps in a week or month. Who doesn’t love a friendly competition?
Next up, thanks to the beauty of the internet and various video sharing platforms out there, you can bring the joys of movement and the gym to your own living room. I’m not saying you need to invest in equipment like treadmills and weight machines. All you really need is the internet! There are thousands of fitness classes of various levels that are offered free to anyone at any time. You can find yoga, meditation, stretching, Zumba, high impact, or low impact workouts and even ones that use soup cans and wine bottles as weights. You might even want to squat with your newborn on your back or puppy in your arms! There are so many opportunities to move your body this winter and make yourself proud in 2021.
Just remember that we are not going backward this year. 2020 is a wrap, and the future is forward. Sticking to small attainable goals will lead you to a healthier and happier you. This is your year so be proud, be strong and be well in 2021.
See you on the road,