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Implementing Reasonable Health and Fitness Changes

January 9, 2012 by Marc Faktor, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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It has begun, a new year filled with endless opportunities is here! It's now up to us to embrace change and new opportunities with our arms wide open or closed. I challenge you to choose the first option.

Here are some strategies to help you when making changes this year:

1. Change your thought processes to highlight small changes:

The key thing to realize is that every step you take and every move you make COUNTS! Activity can be accumulated via many small bouts.

Here are some examples of small changes to your behaviours that over time will make a significant impact to your health!
If watching TV or at the computer, take breaks to do push ups (my fav), squats, lunges, walk around and or stretch
Park in the furthest spot possible
Get off the bus a couple stops early
When shopping, walk a couple extra laps of the mall or grocery store just for fun!
At your desk, tap your toes, tighten your tummy or bum alternatively for 20-30 seconds every few minutes. This activates your muscles!

Fun Fact:
People who drive manual cars burn 5 extra pounds of fat a year compared to automatic drivers.

2. Set SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, & Time Oriented) and bring them to life!

These goals provide a framework for success and are easily evaluated. Please view the PAL Fact Sheet in the resources provided to learn how to set goals.

To bring a goal to life, I follow 3 simple steps:
1. Think Critically
2. Write goals down
3. Share goals with a partner and ask them for support

3. Find Support

Peer and social support is an essential and well proven mechanism to assist individuals with behaviour change. If you don't have a friend or family member to share your goals with you, you can call the Physical Activity Line (1-877-725-1149) or the Patient Voices Network Peer coaching program (1-888-742-1772) for FREE support! In addition, online communities/networks, like the Healthy Families BC community, are great ways to keep informed and share thoughts.

4. Reward Yourself!

It's important for us to celebrate our accomplishments. We should also reflect on the changes we've been able to make and purposely celebrate them with friends and family. This helps to increase commitment, self confidence and self efficacy!

This is just the tip of the iceberg and I will surely be sharing more strategies in the time to come!

Here are some resources to keep you going:

PAL Fact Sheet: Goal Setting

PAL Fact Sheet: Health Promotion Strategies

PAL Fact Sheet: How to Stay Active

Keep Positive, Keep Smiling, and Keep Moving!

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Comments (3)

Rockstar

Posted on Tuesday January 10, 2012 a 4:13pm

Yeah...I drive a standard...good to know that I'm burning calories because of it! I've started walking to my grocery store. I used to hop in the car all of the time. It's about a ten minute walk. So, twenty minutes both ways. it adds up over the week.

edav2ca

Posted on Friday January 13, 2012 a 3:11pm

All good doable tips for beginning and maintaining a healthy and managable weight loss. It is really important to acknowledge progress no matter how small and to include rewards that are non food. Portion control, daily excercise and cutting out junk food are working for me!

cpetelski's picture

HealthyFamilies BC

Posted on Friday January 13, 2012 a 4:11pm

Dear edav2ca: Thank you for seeing the value in the tips provided. I totally agree with you that it's super important to acknowledge and REWARD progress no matter how large or small! Keep up the amazing work and have fun in the process!

Sincerely,

Marc

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