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MayaMohan2 Posted by:
Maya Mohan, Department of Public Health

Maya is the Physical Activity Coordinator for DPH and is resolving up a storm! 

It’s a new year, and with it come the (same old) resolutions of eating better, being more active, losing weight and saving money.  Admittedly, I love to eat far too much, could stand to lose a few pounds and don’t know much about saving money, so let’s tackle the “moving more” resolution today. 

Last year’s resolution post and Kara’s post last week gave tips on how to keep your resolutions in general:  be clear about what you want to achieve, drill your goal down into specific and achievable steps, surround yourself with positive support, plan for changes and journal or track your progress. 

So, now that you know how to set realistic goals and phrase your resolution for success, let’s talk about how you can stay active… no matter what the circumstances. 

1.  Move more. Every extra step you take in a day counts.  So, just keep moving.  Get off the T one stop earlier than usual.  Park at the back of the parking lot at the grocery store.  Take the stairs if you are going up (or down) 1-2 flights.  Resolve to never take an escalator (if there are stairs in sight).  Use the restroom one floor above.  Walk your dog 10 more minutes every day.  I know you've heard of these suggestions before, but trust me – all these little steps add up.    

2.  Diversify!  Try different activities.  Wintertime no longer needs to be an excuse to hibernate.  We are not bears.  There are plenty of indoor activities (like some Nintendo Wii games, Dance Dance Revolution, Twister).  You can also make up indoor games – like take a deck of cards and assign different activities to each suit (for example: hearts = crunches, spades = push ups, clubs = jumping jacks, diamonds = squats) and during the commercials of your favorite TV show, draw a card from the top of the deck and do that number of whatever activity the suit of the card is.  So, if you draw a 7 of diamonds, you’d do 7 squats.  Keep drawing cards until the commercial is over.  Repeat at next commercial.  When you're ready to brave the outdoors, check out this previous post of mine to read up on some fun outdoor activities in your area.

3.  Turn the tube off.  Ok, so this may make my "commercial – card game" suggestion moot, but no matter.  This recent NYT article discusses a study that showed that turning off the TV resulted in “subtle, but meaningful changes in overall activity levels.”  Try it.  At least this way you’ll have an excuse to not do 10 push ups and 10 crunches thanks to the 10 of spades and 10 of hearts cards you drew during that last commercial break!   

4.  Commit.  Commit to making one new activity change a week.  Make this week the week that you swear off escalators at the T stop.  Next week, continue your escalator ban, but commit to another small, yet important, activity change. (And if anyone tries my “commercial – card game” let me know what you think of it!) 

It is that easy to stay active.  You can do this!    

How do you keep moving more?  We’d love to hear your ideas and tips for staying active and keeping your fitness related resolutions. 

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