Fitness Goals for 2017
It’s a new year, and with that comes the usual resolutions. The Mirror reports that fitness tops the list for UK residents looking for a personal upgrade around this time of year, but many fail to follow through. Why? The reasons vary, but lacking a solid and realistic fitness plan is one likely obstacle. Fitness doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone. If your idea of being healthy includes six-pack abs, you might find yourself disappointed enough to quit trying.
With 2017 on the horizon, it's time to get a head start. Go ahead and make that resolution to get fit, but do it by setting some practical goals that change your lifestyle as well as your body.
Water, Water, Water
Fresh, clean water is nature’s natural elixir. Make a vow to increase your intake in 2017. NHS Choices recommends that you aim for at least six glasses of water a day, but eight is even better. If water isn’t your drink of choice, you can still meet that requirement by drinking sugar-free drinks, plain tea, black coffee, or low-fat milk.
Stay away from sweet options like soda, juice, powdered drinks, and hot chocolate. They are high in sugar, increasing your calorie count.
Most people realise by now that exercise is a must-have if you want to get fit and avoid chronic illnesses like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The key to meeting your goal to exercise regularly is just to do it. Procrastination is your enemy when it comes to exercise. The longer you wait, the harder it is to start. Sit down and figure out an exercise plan that is doable.
- Where is the closest gym to your home or work?
- What about a nearby walking or jogging path?
- What time of day is best for you to exercise?
The more consistent you are with your routine, the more likely it is you’ll stay true to it. When creating your strategy, start slow and build on it. If you plan a 5K run your first day out, you will probably fail or overdo it enough that you are too sore to work out for a few days—losing your momentum in the process. Give yourself time to build your stamina and get stronger before increasing the intensity of your exercise.
Think About That Diet
Let this be the year you give up the fad diets and focus on changing how you think about food instead. Breaking bad food habits will be a struggle—but well worth it. Learn to sit down and plan your meals based on the Eatwell Guide, which includes:
- Five portions of fruits and vegetables a day
- One third of your diet should be starchy carbohydrates like potatoes and rice
- Choose whole grain when possible to increase fibre
- Pick low-fat dairy products
- Add two portions of fish to your diet each week
- Stick with unsaturated oils
Cut Back on Sugar
The right diet is the core ingredient to a healthy lifestyle. With it, you have the energy and motivation you need to be more active. Consider adding a healthy cooking class to your list of resolutions, too, if you need a little extra incentive.
Create a Dietary Supplement Strategy
Dietary supplements can enhance your nutrition and help you manage certain challenges. They can boost your immune system and help you avoid the common cold. Make a list of things about your body and your life that you want to change, and see what supplements are available to help. For example, if you tend to be stiff and your joints ache after a workout, start taking a glucosamine hydrochloride supplement for some joint support. A little extra vitamin D3 in your diet will help enhance your exercise effort, too.
It’s a new year and you have some choices to make. Are you going to start 2017 strong or on a road to another failed resolution? Make a promise that 2017 will be your most fit year yet.
Mirror, Top 50 New Year's Resolutions: See what made the list of the UK's favourite 2014 promises, Ben Burrows, Dec 2013
NHS Choices, 10 Tips to make your New Year’s resolution a success,
NHS Choices, Water, drinks and your health
NHS Choices, The Eatwell Guide
Writer Bio: Darla F is a full-time freelance writer and healthcare professional who specializes in helping agencies meet their goals by developing creative and engaging content.
- Darla Ferrara