THE beauty of a New Year is the opportunity to start fresh on the things that matter to you. While the opportunity for new beginnings is exciting, often, people experience resolution pressure, which can inhibit success—particularly when it comes to fitness and health goals. At SilverSneakers® Fitness, the leading fitness program in the US, designed for older adults, we know firsthand the power of goal setting and achievement. The tips below will help guide and inspire you to reach your goals in 2015.
Health and fitness goals must be grounded in motivation. Finding motivation is the most powerful aspect of any fitness plan, and motivation is clearly unique for each person. For some, it is playing with their grandchildren or walking a mile without joint pain; for others, it is maintaining independence at home or traveling abroad without limitations. Identifying this motivation and translating it into an active lifestyle is the first step.
Start slowly, be realistic
If you want to ensure lasting positive change in your fitness and health routines, you have to structure the change in a manageable and reasonable way. At SilverSneakers, one of the easiest ways to get started is by taking a FLEX™ class that provides flexible exercise options in your neighborhood that are outside of a traditional gym setting—from classes at your local community center or senior center to your neighborhood park. Once you get started, set a series of small goals that you can celebrate on your path to achieving a long-term goal. Those small celebrations of success will keep the fire fueled for achievement.
Plan for success, plan for failure
One of the biggest predictors of success is planning. If you can plan the steps to your fitness goals, the better the results you will realize. Make preparation part of the routine and reassess weekly the days to be active and which days you need to be lenient. This weekly scheduling also allows you to adjust to unexpected obstacles, allowing time to reflect and readjust for long-term success.
Do what you love
Fitness should be inspiring through activities that reinvigorate, such as tennis, basketball, Latin dance and yoga. In addition to revisiting your past favorites, consider getting out of your comfort zone to find new favorites, so that your new routine is filled with a variety of passion areas. In fact, thanks to the SilverSneakers FLEX classes, you have an array of options that are both in and outside of the gym.
Low cost, high impact
Achieving your fitness and health goals does not have to be expensive. Programs like SilverSneakers Fitness are offered, usually at no cost, as a benefit through many Medicare Advantage health plans, Medicare Supplement carriers and group retiree plans. In fact, more than 11 million people are eligible for SilverSneakers Fitness.
Activate the support system
Seek new friendships in your fitness routine—peers who will celebrate your successes and share the journey. Camaraderie is one of the reasons SilverSneakers Fitness has been so successful for members—it offers a “fitness family.” Additionally, finding support from a spouse, friend or family member ensures you have the encouragement you need to maintain your dedication at home.
Sims Corbett is a Senior Learning Designer (ACE and NSCA) at Healthways SilverSneakers® Fitness, the nation’s leading fitness program designed specifically for older adults. For more information, to see if you are eligible for SilverSneakers Fitness and to find a class in your area, visit www.SilverSneakers.com.
North American Precis Syndicate