7 Fitness Goals for a Healthy 2021Article posted in: Fitness
It seems safe to say that most people were looking forward to the start of the new year. 2020 threw plenty of curveballs, inspiring people to think ahead and plan for a new year and, hopefully, a new start. 2021 has arrived and it’s time to begin thinking of ways you can improve your health. The key to setting healthy fitness goals is ensuring they are attainable and trackable. In other words, make sure they are realistic and hold you accountable. Here are seven fitness goals to help you reach your 2021 New Year’s resolutions.
1. Start off simple: Drink more water!
On the South Beach Diet, we recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of fluid each day. It’s daunting at first and will definitely take some getting used to, but this is such a simple way to improve your overall health. According to Harvard Health, water is the key to keeping every system in the body functioning correctly. Water carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, helps digestion, removes bacteria from the bladder, normalizes blood pressure, cushions joints, regulates temperature, among many other vital functions. It is also a powerful agent in keeping your skin clear as well as preventing headaches. Begin the new year by marking a clear, reusable water bottle with little notches, indicating a certain time or time interval. This will remind you to drink your water throughout the day as you increase to that ideal amount!
2. Start your morning off right: Stretch!
Making sure you wake up with enough time in the morning to incorporate a mini stretch session has so many benefits. Stretching in the morning is a form of meditation. It requires you to focus and silence your brain as you focus on the moves at hand. Morning stretches can help energize you for the day, waking up different muscle groups and joints. According to Healthline, a short ten-minute or so stretch sequence can positively influence both your body and mindset. Simple moves like Child’s Pose, Cat-Cow and Downward-Facing Dog focus on calming the brain, relieving stress, energizing the body and resetting the nervous system.
3. Take it step by step: Increase them each day!
Whether you have a fitness tracker that counts the amount of steps you take in a day or you walk a certain route, try walking more each day and gradually increasing your steps. Rather than walking the same three laps every day, try walking just a little further each time. According to Harvard Health, walking can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, protect against dementia and prevent obesity, diabetes and depression. It’s a simple, effective way to kickstart your new year and journey to a healthier you!
4. Run: Further, Faster or Longer!
Even if you are not a vetted runner, Healthline says that running just five to 10 minutes every day at a moderate pace might actually decrease risk of death from heart attack, stroke and other common diseases. Therefore, whether you are a regular runner or new to this form of exercise, you can hold yourself accountable by working to improve your endurance or speed each day, yielding positive health benefits.
5. Get stronger: Do more reps! Lift more weight!
Whether your fitness goals include increasing your arm strength, building those booty muscles, doing more chin-ups, chiseling those abs or anything else, increasing your reps or weights consistently is a trackable goal you can set for yourself. Doing the same exercise routine every day will make your body comfortable, not stronger. Remember, nothing changes if nothing changes. Increase those reps. Add on a pound or two. Hold that plank just a little longer. Change your routine, increasing each day, pushing yourself just a little further. If you are comfortable, your body will remain stagnant and results will plateau. According to Healthline, weight loss can come to a halt because, as weight declines, your metabolic rate declines as well. Stop this before it starts by switching things up for the best results!
6. Switch it up: Try something new each week!
If you are a runner, try doing a few morning laps. If you are a spinner, try getting off that bike and going for a walk. Swap out walking with jump roping. Challenge yourself to try a new activity each week. This will not only benefit your body but your mind as well. Trying new fitness activities keeps both your body and mind agile, requiring you to adjust and reassess the new task at hand. This can also yield a new hobby or interest! You never know what you’ll like until you have tried it.
7. Above all else: Make a routine!
Whether it’s your physical, mental or emotional health, it all benefits from having a daily routine to follow. According to Northwestern Medicine, having a routine can improve stress levels, sleep quality, eating habits and physical health. Routines are, obviously, customizable to each person, which makes them really beneficial to your own fitness goals and personal journey toward health and wellness!