Amey Vance, Live Well Published 12:01 p.m. MT Jan. 10, 2019 Kinesiologist Hannah Rothlin supports Janet Reber as she performs a core strength exercise at Intermountain Healthcare’s LiVe Well Center in St. George. (Photo: Intermountain Healthcare/For The Spectrum & Daily News) A new year is a time to reflect and set goals. Successful people set goals
Amey Vance, Live Well
Published 12:01 p.m. MT Jan. 10, 2019
A new year is a time to reflect and set goals. Successful people set goals to help organize their time and resources. Setting goals enables long-term vision and short-term motivation to get the most out of life. Exercise and fitness goals are one of the most common goals set this time each year. Make 2019 your year to get fit and healthy.
“From my own experience, I have found five steps or key areas that really help me keep perspective and keep me motivated as I set goals and focus on fitness,” said Allen Christensen, Health Promotion & Wellness Operations Manager at the Intermountain LiVe Well Center in St. George,
1. Be Evaluated
“It really helps to know a baseline of where you are physically,” Christensen said. “Depending on what area of wellness you are focusing on, seek an expert evaluation from a primary care physician, personal trainer, or dietician. If you know where you are physically, you can more easily know where you want and need to be.”
A full team of experts at the LiVe Well Center offer baseline assessments in areas such as body composition (Bod Pod testing), metabolic rate, balance, muscle strength, nutrition, brain fitness, and cardio health. LiVe Well experts can also assist with health-coaching, goal-setting, and strategizing a fitness game plan to get well, stay well, and live well.
2. Start Slowly
“It is easier to stay motivated when you start small,” Christensen said. “Start with 10 minutes of low-impact exercise such as walking, and then amp up your progress one small step at a time. If you start full-swing with trying to do an end goal like running, it becomes easy to build excuses not to exercise or even try.”
The LiVe Well Center in St. George offers customized classes for individuals of all conditions and ability levels wanting to start an exercise regimen. Balance and mobility classes are designed for those at risk for falls or those experiencing balance problems. Strength and cardiovascular fitness classes for active adults are available as well as classes that feature seated strength-building activities for those with mobility limitations. It is easy to start slowly at the LiVe Well Center.
3. Keep It Simple
“Getting exercise doesn’t need to be time-consuming or require expensive equipment,” Christensen said. “Keeping it simple makes it easier to keep on track. Everyday tasks such as raking leaves, mowing the lawn, or vacuuming are great forms of exercise.”
Simple forms of exercise include walking, yoga, and household chores. Setting goals that include simple activities that are part of everyday life will help keep the focus on fitness. Walking the many trails in southern Utah, caring for a garden, or following an on-line yoga class are simple ways to meet fitness goals.
4. Create a Routine
“It takes just 21 days to build a habit,” Christensen said. “Try and set aside the same time each day or evening to exercise. Consistency is key. Block off a time each day to exercise and stick with it until it becomes a routine habit.”
Fitness classes are a great way to block off time and create a weekly exercise routine. There are many classes available at the LiVe Well Center and throughout the community.
5. Build in Accountability
“When you are accountable to someone for your goals, you are more likely to achieve them,” Christensen said. “Being accountable keeps people motivated. I know of several occasions where LiVe Well clients said they didn’t feel like coming to class, but they knew that another class member would probably call and ask where they were, so they came to class anyway and were glad they did.”
In summary, be evaluated, start slowly, keep it simple, create a routine, and build accountability, to achieve fitness-focused goals in 2019.
When asked why fitness is important, Christensen gave an analogy.
“Routine, ongoing maintenance and regular tune-ups with a mechanic will extend the life of a car; enabling the owner to drive more miles without major repairs,” he said. “It is the same way with our bodies. Routine, ongoing exercise along with regular healthcare check-ups will extend life and lessen the risks for major illnesses.”
Make 2019 your year to get well, stay well, and live well for the rest of your life.
This LiVe Well column represents a collaboration between healthcare professionals from the medical staffs of our not-for-profit Intermountain Healthcare hospitals and The Spectrum & Daily News.
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