Category: Exercise

Five Easy Tips for Achieving Your Fitness Goals in 2021

Before I begin, allow me to make some guesses about your fitness goals. Guess number one: You have fitness goals for this year. Guess number two: Last year you may have achieved some or none of your fitness goals. Guess number three: You want to make this year different and achieve your fitness goals. If any of the guesses I have made regarding your fitness goals is true, you are reading the right article. In 2020, I achieved most of my fitness goals. However, in the previous year I did not accomplish any of my goals. In the sections below, I will walk you through the tips I deployed to achieve my fitness goals.

 

Set Smart Goals

I am sure you know what the acronym SMART stands for. In case you don’t, SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. I realized that non-specific goals like ‘get a six-pack’ will not help me achieve anything. Such a goal is vague, has no plan, has no deadline, and has no accountability. I realized that I had to set specific goals. So, I looked at my goal and reframed it as follows, “I want to get a six-pack by the end of the year. To achieve this, I will need to enroll in the closest gym and make sure I go to the gym at least three times a week. I will also watch my diet and avoid fast foods.”

 

After reframing the goal, I put in the effort and the time. By mid-year, I had cut a lot of abdominal fat but had not yet achieved a six-pack. By the end of the year, I had attained a four-pack and not the desired six-pack. I fell short of my goal, but I made significant progress compared to the year before.

 

Make Short Term Goals and Daily Plans

I know how intimidating long-term goals can be. They at times look impossible, especially after some false starts. Sometimes I feel like quitting because the goal seems unattainable. I realized that I fail in reaching my long-term goals because I do not have daily actions and short-term goals that add up to the bigger goal.

 

For instance, if I want to run a ten-mile run by the end of this year, I will break down my goal into small weekly and monthly goals. I can begin by running one mile three times a week for a month. Then I can add one mile each month such that by October, I will be running ten miles three times a week. At the end of the year, I will be able to run 12 miles. These small goals give me momentum, and I can see progress.

 

Make Time

At this point, I have identified my goal, and I have a system in place to help me achieve the goal. The next step is to create time to execute the plan. If my days are like yours, then you must feel like you never have enough hours in a day to spend between work, family, and other commitments. We are all busy, but I realized that I always make time for whatever is important for me. Therefore, I became intentional about scheduling time for my fitness goals. I reduced my television time and slotted my gym time after work to avoid postponing the session once I arrived home.

 

Track Your Progress

Fitness goals are hard to achieve because the results are not immediate. So how did I stick with the goal for a whole year? I got a desk calendar and tracked every time I hit the gym. I felt good seeing my progress every week. I also knew when I was slacking off and took an appropriate action.

 

Get Some Accountability

Peer pressure is not always a bad thing. Some positive peer pressure can help you achieve your goals. I discovered that it was easier to ignore a resolution I kept to myself instead of one that I had told someone. So, when the year began, I shared my fitness goals with my friend, and we kept each other accountable on a monthly basis. There are days I went to the gym just because I could not bear the thought of telling my friend I had missed all gym sessions in an entire week.

 

How to Keep Kids Active in the Virtual Learning Era

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools opted to switch to virtual learning to get the curriculum moving. Unfortunately, the schools were in charge of taking care of our kids during the day, and schedules were totally up to them. Now with my kids at home, it has not been easy to keep them active while the center of their lives seems to have drifted to their devices.

 

Thankfully, changes such as these demand that we adjust accordingly, which made me learn a few techniques to keep kids active. Here is a simple guide that has become my saving grace, and maybe it will be yours too.

 

1.  Create a Schedule

Now that I cannot rely on my kids’ teachers to create and monitor their schedules, I have to do it myself. I found that the best way is to try to mimic the daily school schedule as much as possible.

 

Such a program involves:

 

  • When to take virtual lessons
  • When to have interim breaks
  • What to do after an extended learning day
  • Being mindful about the lunch hour
  • Including after school activities
  • Keeping bedtime and waking time consistent

Apart from the after-school activities, the rest will find a productive balance between schoolwork and play. Your schedule might include more things than mine, depending on your kid’s school curriculum. Still, foundationally, it will consist of most of the above activities.

 

2. Be Intentional with the Breaks

I’ve realized that it is easy to bypass a break, especially in between related subjects. When this happens, my kids often lose interest in the middle of the next class, and then I have to convince them to pay attention longer before lunchtime.

 

Since kids are generally playful, they need adequate rest time and activities to keep them excited, so they can find their schoolwork more interesting. When I started getting more intentional with their short breaks, I realized it was easier for them to successfully concentrate through each lesson. This is how a school system works anyway, so why not try my best to keep it up at home?

 

3. Stretches in the Middle of a Class

It’s one thing to allow the kids to take breaks between different classes and a whole different scenario when stretching in the middle of a session. The latter works to boost their concentration and make them feel free now that they are at home anyway.

 

4. Going Out for Breaks

Although it is still not as safe to go out or allow our kids to play together, I find it helpful when they have their breaks outside. Basking in the sun is ideal for kids and helps them come alive while taking a break from the house.

 

5. Learn a Few Kids’ Games

After a few rounds of the same routine, both you and the kids will start getting tired. This happened to me too. I decided to learn a few games to play with my kids to spice things up. The interaction boosted both the kids’ performance and my relationship with them.

 

6. The More Involving the Activities, the Better

Kids have energy that keeps them active almost all day long. If you try to restrain them from tapping into this energy, you start to notice how restless they get. To avoid this, I prefer going for more physically involving games during breaks to balance out the time they have been on the screen. Activities such as playing ball or scavenger hunts have come in handy.

 

7. Incorporate School Work with Home Chores

Now that kids are at home and still have to get their school work done, it does not mean we exempt them from home responsibilities. In fact, such chores could help foster productive procrastination. This allows kids to grow up all rounded.

At first, staying with kids at home was hectic, and we all wanted things to get back to normal. However, as time went by and most institutions started to look for alternatives, it was clear that we had to adapt as well. I’ve held it together and will continue to do so because of the help around me. Therefore it would be useful if you become intentional about asking for some help.

Simple Tips On Staying Active While Working from Home

The workplace has significantly changed over the years and especially in 2020. This has led to some significant trends such as flextime, working from home and telecommuting. However, working from home comes with some major challenges, such as staying inactive while working from home.

 

In most cases, when I initially used to work from home, I found myself spending the whole day hunched over my desk and only taking brief bathroom breaks. Having worked at home for several years now, I have adopted several ways of staying active while working from home. These habits ensure that I do not compromise my health in the process of meeting my work goals. If you want to know what these tips are, then continue reading.

 

Keep Exercise Equipment Close By

Besides setting specific times to walk and climb stairs, I have also managed to stay active when working from home by keeping my exercise tools and equipment nearby. Some of the most crucial equipment to consider keeping around the home office include hand weights, exercise mats, push up bars and resistance bands. The sight of this equipment motivates me to always indulge in some simple exercises every time I take a short break. These short exercise routines boost my energy and keep me active throughout the day.

 

Develop A Daily Workout Program

Keeping fit and active is heavily determined by one’s habits and rituals. Rituals and habits are so powerful because they can either keep me on track or derail me. With that understanding, I took some time to create and develop a specific workout program that I follow daily. Being consistent with my wake-up time, workout schedule, and exercise equipment has also helped keep me fit and active at home.

 

Getting Up to Cook or Eat

Working from home creates a lazy tendency whereby most people cannot even cook or get up from their workstation to get their food from the kitchen. Like everyone else, I was a victim too, and I kept ordering in instead of taking some time off to prepare my food. Today, I enjoy walking around to cook and get my food from the kitchen. This keeps me more active and fit in the long run. Other tricks to beat your slackness while working at home include eating out, which forces me to walk out of the house.

 

Blocking My Calendar for Breaks

Unlike at the workplace where I used to get quick coffee breaks, and clients would easily come by later if I was not at my desk, virtual working made me feel guilty anytime I needed to take a short break. I was always worried about what the entire team would think about any little break I took. This decision increased my inactivity, and I gained some extra pounds in the process. With time, I have learnt that small breaks matter because they give me a chance to stretch around and keep active. Anytime I take a break, I always block my calendar to show my clients that I am away for lunch or coffee.

 

Taking Walking Conference Calls

Another simple but effective strategy that I use to keep active and fit while working from home is taking conference calls while walking. Moving around does not just feel good but also enhances my blood flow. Thus, it helps my body and mind relax, enhancing my productivity when I get back to my desk. Additionally, these video conference calls also help me see my colleagues on the other side, which brings along more fulfillment and satisfaction.

 

Conducting Business Outside

As someone that works from home, I often schedule face to face meetings outside my home office. This entails talking to clients and colleagues while walking around, which in the end keeps me fit and active.

 

I must admit, at first, it was hard getting used to working from home and also remaining active. If you are facing that same struggle, you are in good company. You can implement these steps gradually then add more as you go along. You will notice that after a while, these habits become almost second nature. All the best as you keep active while working from home.