Editor’s note: This is part two of the Resolution Solutions series on 2019 goals. The topics encompass the seven dimensions of wellness and this week’s subject is physical wellness.
The new year is a good time to hit the restart button on fitness goals, according to Andrea Navarro, Fort Bragg Army Wellness Center (AWC) health educator.
“When they’re already in that ‘change’ mindset, it’s a good time to think about changing their physical health as well,” Navarro said.
Joshua Fridley, AWC health educator, echoed Navarro’s statement and added by reflecting on what one accomplished or didn’t get to achieve in the past year, he or she can use that as a launch pad to set their fitness goals for 2019 because there are plenty of health benefits for doing so.
“(On) the clinical side, we see improved blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, and long-term health factors of longevity and just a better quality of life,” Fridley said.
Here are several doable and sustainable steps anyone can take to help achieve their fitness goals for 2019.
Identify short- and long-term fitness goals
To start, Navarro suggests knowing what needs to change and then creating small, but realistic, goals in order to set oneself up for success.
“It can be as simple as walking daily for some time as short as 15 minutes, setting aside time to be alone and work on stress management and declutter your mind, and taking time to decide what it is you want to eat for the week so that you can make a grocery list,” she said. “And always keep a stocked fridge and pantry.”
Plan a routine during a low-energy time of day
Fridley advised against cramming, exercise sessions in during peak hours of the day. Setting a window aside for physical activity in the morning or after work would be the best.
An area most people go wrong while planning their routine is being overly ambitious in their exercise habits, Navarro said.
“You might not be exercising currently and then give yourself a goal to do it four or five times a week,” she said. “When you have such an ambitious goal, it’s difficult to achieve it on a regular basis and that’s when people end up falling off the wagon. Just by starting small and doing something you know you’re capable of, you can end up building on that throughout the year.”
Setting up a support system
After setting time aside, communicate that routine and goals to those around you so they know not to disrupt you during that time, said Navarro.
Additionally, Fridley encouraged everyone to visit the AWC so the experienced staff can help facilitate those goals by creating functional and sustainable workouts tailored to each person’s unique fitness needs and levels.
“A lot of the times we see people have that idea of (wanting) to exercise and they have got time to, but (when) they walk into the gym they’re like ‘I don’t know; do I do this or do I do that?’” he said.
Consistency is key
“On exercise, nutrition, stress management, sleep — whatever it is — try to stay consistent on those habits and routines,” Fridley said.
Erratic routines that yo-yo back and forth the path to success can bring results, but will not yield a desired change as soon as one desires, he added.
However, missing a day is alright.
“Just don’t throw the whole plan out the window just because you missed one day,” Navarro said.
The AWC provides a plethora of resources and options for those seeking to reach their goals for 2019. Some of these services include a physical fitness assessment, VO2 max testing and training, muscular strength and flexibility, metabolic testing to measure resting metabolic rate and total energy expenditure, tracking body composition with the BOD POD, stress management programs and many other educational classes on a walk-in basis.
These services are available to all active-duty service members and their dependents over the age of 18, retirees and their dependents over the age of 18, DOD civilians and anyone in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
Editor’s note: Next week’s Resolution Solution covers how to volunteer more and give back to the community.