18 resolutions everyone should consider making in 2018
Move more. Sit less. It’s what ParticipACTION is all about.
But when it comes to setting goals for yourself, you need to get a little more specific. How much more? How much less?
For a better idea of how active you should be, you can check out the physical activity guidelines here. The amounts depend on your age. Adults ages 18-64, for instance, need 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity activity every week.
That might not sound like a lot, but the reality is that 82% of Canadians adults currently don’t meet the guidelines. Less than 1 in 5.
Even worse, most Canadians spend too much of their time sitting. The average Canadian spends close to 10 hours each day being sedentary, which has been proven to have all sorts of harmful effects.
So, we’ve put together a list of specific resolutions that can help Canadians get their 150 minutes and reduce those hours of uninterrupted sitting. We aren’t suggesting you do every single one of these suggestions. Instead pick one or two that make sense for you and create a plan to stick to them.
18 RESOLUTIONS WORTH MAKING IN 2018
- Do 10 minutes of physical activity when you wake up every workday morning. Walk or jog. Do jumping jacks and burpees or push-ups and squats. It’s a great way to wake up.
- Go for an hour walk every Sunday. Taking long walks is great for your health and an easy way to ease into more vigorous activities.
- If you’re binge-watching Netflix, stand up and stretch at the end of every episode (or halfway through if they’re long episodes like Game of Thrones).
- Take a break at 10 AM and 2 PM every day at work to stretch for a couple minutes. Ideally, you should aim to stretch for a minute or two every 30 minutes, but setting a couple times throughout the day to make it happen is a good start.
- Find an activity you really enjoy and do it once a week. This is one of the best strategies for making physical activity a habit. Join a recreational volleyball league. Try yoga or Pilates or Zumba. Go to a dance class. Maybe it’s picking up an old childhood pastime. Maybe it’s something new entirely. Whatever it is, go do it.
- Stop looking at screens 20 minutes before bed. In an ideal world, we would all stop watching TV, staring at our phones, and playing on our computers at least one hour before we intend to go to sleep, but these days, that’s pretty tough to do. So, start smaller with just 10 or 20 minutes and go from there.
- Sneak in 10 minutes of activity when you get home from work. When you’re feeling tired and just want to sit down, it may be the last thing you want to do, but a quick burst of activity can actually invigorate your mind and body, and help you get through the rest of your day.
- While watching television take mini-fitness breaks during commercials, between episodes, whenever you cry when watching This is Us, or whenever someone dies on Game of Thrones.Lunges, squats, pushups, or yoga poses. Whatever you like and can do in your living room.
- Enjoy nature for a half hour every week. Just being outside can boost your mood and relieve stress, but we often forget about it entirely. Making it a priority in 2018 is a worthwhile goal.
- Aim to work hard enough to break a sweat and run out of breath at least twice a week. Breaking a sweat is a good way to tell if you’re starting to work at a moderate intensity. And if you’re out of breath and unable to sing, chances are you’ve done some vigorous activity. If twice a week is too easy, up it to 5.
- Compete in a race. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 5k, 10k, or more. It doesn’t matter if you run or walk. The important part is putting it in your calendar and giving yourself something to work toward. If running isn’t for you, it could be a bike race, obstacle course, or otherwise.
- Do at least 10 minutes of activity every single day. Set a timer and go for a walk, dance, cycle, jump rope, whatever. It’s okay if you immediately stop after 10 minutes. It’s okay if you don’t quite break a sweat. What matters is that you will be making daily physical activity a habit.
- Aim for 10,000 steps (or 6,000 or 12,000, depending on where you’re starting from) every day. The more steps you take in a day, the better. So, set a goal that’s realistic but that pushes you to sneak in more activity throughout your day to reach it.
- Set a strength goal. Whether that’s to do one pullup, 10 pushups, or a specific weight amount for your favourite exercise. Gaining strength can help build increase your confidence, self-esteem, and ability to handle stress.
- Find a way to make your commute more active. That could mean getting off the bus or subway a stop or two early. It could mean parking farther away from your office. It could be walking or cycling the entire way one or two days a week. Adding physical activity to your commute just makes sense. It’s efficient and good for your health!
- Eliminate screens from your bedroom. Get an alarm clock instead of using your phone. Set a book or journal on your nightstand instead of scrolling social media. You’ll fall asleep faster and get better quality sleep, which will lead to a more active day.
- Help a friend, family member, or co-worker lead a more active life. It’s easier to exercise consistently when you have someone to hold you accountable and to make it more fun. Resolve to be that person for someone this year.
- Resolve to do what you can to set yourself up for success. That starts with getting a good night’s sleep, limiting screen time when you can, sitting less, and moving more. That might sound like a daunting challenge, but when you break it down into smaller goals, it becomes more achievable. And as long as you’re heading in the right direction, making progress, celebrating wins, and building momentum, you’ll be doing your part to lead a happy and healthy life.
Now, those are some resolutions worth making in 2018.