Keeping Fit in 2020
How I’ve Managed to Stay on Track
Every New Year, most people set goals or make resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more, get back in shape, and lose weight. This generally stems from the feeling of guilt after all the holiday indulgences many of us treat ourselves to at the end of every year.
Most people give up on their resolutions well before the end of January. For myself, most years I don’t even bother setting goals for myself, because I know I’ll probably not follow through on them, anyway. This year was different. In 2019, several things changed for me, so I was confident I could succeed this year.
I mentioned in a previous article, that I was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 2019. This led me to finding a treatment option that worked and I am now able to exercise more frequently and for longer periods. For me, this was a huge breakthrough after years of struggling to get enough exercise.
Since overcoming that hurdle, I decided to make a goal to exercise more in 2020. I’m currently alternating between taking 2-mile-long walks with my dog through our neighborhood or spending 45–60 minutes on my elliptical at home. Which activity I do during this time of year is highly dependent on the weather. Either way, since I have the elliptical at home, weather is never an excuse for me not to exercise.
My other goal has been to exceed over 6,000 steps per day. At my current level of fitness, that’s an achievable goal. I’ve been meeting or exceeding that goal almost every day in January. There were only a couple of days when I opted not to exercise, only because I was sick and running a fever. Thankfully I was able to shake off my cold quickly and get back into my routine.
Even as my weight is slowly going down, I have learned not to focus too much on weight. It can fluctuate for many reasons, but I still weigh myself every day so that I get a more accurate picture. However, I also regularly take body measurements as well. Those measurements show how much of an impact the exercise is having on my body.
Even if my weight does have an upward spike, I try not to let that discourage me. I know that exercise is still good for me in many other ways, even if it doesn’t look like it’s doing anything sometimes. I’m hoping to improve some of my blood work numbers by June, so whether I lose the weight I want to or not, if I can lower my cholesterol and blood sugar a little, that will make all the hard work worth it.
My blood sugar isn’t too high, it just tends to hover between 95–101. My cholesterol however has always been over 250 no matter how much I tried to exercise, keeping in mind that I was limited with how much I could exercise in the past. Now that I’m able to exercise more, I’m hopeful that maybe my cholesterol will finally go down a bit too.
Some Practical Tips to Get Motivated Again
So, how does all this help you, especially if you made fitness goals for 2020 and haven’t stuck to them? First, don’t get discouraged. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again. Were your goals too ambitious? Did your every day life keep interfering with you achieving your goals? Look at why you didn’t maintain your momentum and use that to readjust your goals to something more achievable. Consider all the obstacles your life will throw at you.
For some people, maintaining a regular exercise routine doesn’t work for their schedule. How can you incorporate more exercise into your daily routine? Parking farther away from work or getting off a stop or two earlier, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or going for a quick walk around the block at lunchtime are all ways to add some extra exercise into your day. Look for additional opportunities to find ways to get up and move.
If you aren’t sure you’re getting enough exercise, there are fitness trackers and even simple smartphone apps that can help track your activity. This can help you know if you’re moving enough or not. However you do it, the key is to just get out there and move. Every little bit counts. Just go out there and make it happen!
Weekly Progress Update
Weight on January 1, 2020: 182.6lbs
Current weight: 175.8lbs
Goal weight: 140lbs
Total steps last week: 45,311