10 resolutions everyone should consider making in 2017

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, 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. A great way to hit that target is by doing short 10 minute bouts of activity throughout the day.   

That might not sound like a lot, but the reality is that 80% of Canadians adults currently don’t meet the guidelines. Only 1 in 5 do.

So we’ve put together a list of specific resolutions that can help Canadians get their 150 minutes. We aren’t suggesting you do every single one of these ideas. Instead pick one or two that make sense for you and create a plan to stick to them.

RESOLUTIONS WORTH MAKING IN 2017

1. Do 10 minutes of physical activity when you wake up every workday morning. Walk and jog. Do jumping jacks and burpees or push-ups and squats. It’s a great way to wake up.

2. Go for an hour walk every Sunday after brunch. Taking long walks is great for your health and an easy way to ease into more vigorous activities.

3. Never watch more than one show on Netflix in a row. Long bouts of uninterrupted sitting are terrible for your health. At a minimum, get up and walk around a little between episodes. Do some stretches or, if you’re really feeling good, some lunges or squats.

4. Take a break at 10 AM and 2 PM every day at work to stretch for 5 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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 2017 is a worthwhile goal.

8. Aim to work hard enough that you break a sweat hard and run out of breath. Breaking a sweat is a good way to tell if you’re starting to work at a “moderate intensity”. If you are out of breath and unable to speak, chances are you’ve done some "vigorous activity" and we know that the benefits of exercise increase when you are working harder.

9. 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 you calendar and giving yourself something to work toward. And if running isn’t for you, it could be a bike race, obstacle course, or otherwise.

10. 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.

That’s a resolution everyone should consider making in 2017.