As a personal trainer and mobility coach, I often hear New Year’s resolutions about weight loss, eating right, and exercising more. If that’s where your mind goes when it’s time to make a New Year’s Resolution, you’re not alone. Gyms become crowded with New Year’s “resolutionists,” and membership sign-ups reach their yearly peak in late December and early January. Many people see the start of the year as an opportunity for a fresh start. However, this year, I challenge you to shift your perspective and make your resolution about movement. Let’s prioritize incorporating more movement into our daily lives, understanding that it goes beyond burning calories and building muscle—it’s about enhancing our overall well-being and improving the quality of our lives.
Instead of confining exercise to a designated time slot at the gym, let’s embrace active living. Small changes can make a significant impact on our health. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park a little farther away from the store, or set aside regular breaks to stretch and move throughout the day. By incorporating movement into our daily routines, we create habits that contribute to our overall well-being.
Nature offers us a magnificent backdrop to include movement as well. Let’s make it a goal to spend more time outdoors and engage in activities such as hiking, cycling, or simply walking in the park or neighborhood. Being in nature not only provides physical benefits but also reduces stress, improves mood, and boosts creativity. Embrace the wonders of the natural world while getting your body moving.
Don’t be afraid to explore new forms of movement. Step out of your comfort zone and try fitness classes, yoga, martial arts, or join a recreational sports league. Engaging in different activities challenges your body in unique ways, improving overall fitness and preventing workout monotony. Variety keeps things exciting and helps us discover new passions.
Incorporating mobility and flexibility exercises into our routines is crucial for maintaining joint health, preventing injuries, and improving movement quality. Dedicate time to stretch, perform mobility drills, and practice exercises that enhance range of motion. Your body will thank you with improved posture, reduced muscle tension, and enhanced performance in other activities.
Movement can also be a social activity. Invite friends, family, or coworkers to join you. Arrange group hikes, organize active outings, or form a fitness accountability group. Combining movement with social interaction not only makes it more enjoyable but also provides support and motivation to stay consistent.
As we embark on this movement-focused journey, let’s set realistic and sustainable goals. Avoid the trap of overly ambitious targets that may lead to frustration or burnout. Break down your goals into smaller, achievable milestones, and celebrate each success along the way. Remember to listen to your body, respect its limits, and honor the need for rest and recovery. Push yourself appropriately, but also recognize when to dial it back to prevent overtraining or injuries.
This New Year, let’s shift our focus from rigid fitness goals to embracing movement as a way of life. Incorporate more active living, outdoor activities, and new forms of movement into your routine. Prioritize mobility and flexibility, make movement a social activity, and set realistic and sustainable goals. The key is to enjoy the process and find joy in moving your body. Together, let’s make 2024 the year of embracing movement and reaping the countless benefits it brings. Get ready, set, and move toward a healthier and happier you!