Winter means COLD in much of the world, and weather can make a runner’s life hard. Icy sidewalks, snow-covered trails, darkness, freezing fog, and wet roads (not to mention COLD!) can turn an easy-paced five-miler into a harrowing expedition. It’s a good time of year to move your training indoors, but there are also merits to braving the weather outside. Here is a look at the benefits of both, as well as tips on how to dress for winter weather.
Running in the Winter: Treadmill, elliptical, or outdoors?
- Treadmill benefits
- Elliptical machine benefits
- Outdoor running benefits
- Training considerations
Benefits of running on a treadmill
When faced with winter weather hazards, runners with access to a treadmill have an ideal alternative. Besides being relatively safe and more comfortable, indoor running has other benefits as well. Research has found that treadmills don’t change an individual runner’s biomechanics, which means they can be an effective training tool for outdoor goals. Treadmills also allow runners to control everything about their run, from pace to incline to recovery. This friendly environment can motivate you to push your workout to the next level.
If cold and darkness diminish your motivation to run, a treadmill will leave you with fewer excuses. They’re also a good choice for recovery from injury, as the moving belt absorbs impact and reduces pressure on your joints. While treadmills have a reputation for being monotonous, runners have many options to stay engaged while they run: Watching a movie, listening to books or music, or even working. A footpod can be linked to software that will connect you to a virtual world where you can run or race with others from around the globe.
Benefits of running on an elliptical machine
Elliptical machines are another option for runners interested in exercising indoors. These machines minimize impact while engaging similar muscles as running, making them ideal for injury avoidance or recovery. Elliptical machines are incredibly versatile, with settings for resistance and pace to mimic climbing or sprinting.
Benefits of running outside
Why would anyone in their right mind brave ice and cold to go for a run? There are still physical and mental benefits to running outdoors year-round. To start, outdoor running doesn’t require a gym membership or exercise equipment — it’s terrific if you have access to these things, but also okay to embrace the low-cost freedom of running outdoors. Running in nature engages more muscles and strengthens tendons as you navigate uneven surfaces. Hard surfaces such as pavement also prompt your body to adapt to impact, building stronger bones and joints.
There are emotional and mental benefits to being outside in nature as well: Vitamin D from the sun, beautiful scenery to boost your mood, interacting with other people, or engaging in a mini-adventure by exploring a new place. Running outside in the winter is also a great way to build mental toughness. It can be challenging but rewarding to brave the elements. You can do hard things!
Runners training for an upcoming race may also benefit from staying outside. If you have any reason to expect inclement weather during your race, outdoor runs will help you adapt to challenging conditions as well as test your gear against the elements. While many treadmills have incline and decline settings, it’s still difficult to replicate the undulating nature of trails and roads.
Running outdoors usually features wind resistance and other factors that increase difficulties. If you do most of your training on a treadmill, you may find you can’t as easily hold the same pace outdoors. On the flip side, if you’ve done most of your training in the cold and snow, a sunny spring race may feel like a breeze in comparison.
How to dress for winter:
The key to staying comfortable and happy through the winter is appropriate gear. As a popular saying goes, “There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.” While this isn’t 100% true (think of lightning or tornadoes!), good gear goes a long way. Here are some tips for dressing for the cold and ice:
Having multiple layers that you can add or remove as you go is key. Start with a light base layer of long-sleeved shirt and tights, then add gloves, a light jacket, and a mid-weight hat. In deep cold, runners will often need to add an insulating layer such as a down or synthetic puffy coat, shell mittens, and a down skirt. Be sure you have space to stuff all of these items away, such as a Fitletic running belt or small pack. Usually, runners need to shed layers as they go. During long runs, layers will often need to come back on as energy becomes depleted.
Merino wool is a popular base layer material known for its superb breathability, comfort, and moisture-wicking performance. Synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester are also good choices. When woven well, synthetics retain almost no moisture and dry quickly. They also tend to be lighter than wool, although they can wear out more quickly. Be sure to avoid cotton altogether. Cotton retains moisture that will chill your body once you start to sweat.
Gloves and a hat will go a long way.
Even when temperatures are near freezing, once your internal furnace starts cranking, you often won’t need much more than a base layer to stay warm. But if a chill sets in, adding small items such as gloves and a hat will add a lot of warmth. Carry these items, along with a light wind jacket, in your Fitletic running belt.
A blustery winter day may make you feel like you need to bundle up heavily against the cold, but lighter layers that shield the wind are often all you need. In addition to a wind jacket, consider a lightweight pair of rain pants.
If there is snow or ice along your route, be sure to bring a pair of traction devices for your shoes. Yaktrax work for icy pavement and black ice. Consider a burlier pair of running crampons for mixed snow and ice conditions, such as Kahtoola microspikes. Traction devices are heavy and a little awkward, but they are far less expensive and more comfortable than one of the alternatives — ending up in traction in the hospital.
Daylight hours are short in the winter, and many runners find they need to be out early or late in the dark. Wear high-visibility gear such as a reflective safety vest, and invest in a quality headlamp.
As always, have fun!
We all know running is fantastic, and if you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you are at least curious about the sport, even if you’re not an avid runner. But most of us can’t run all of the time. Maybe you are nursing an overuse injury, you prefer indoor workouts when the weather is bad, or your routine is becoming a bit stale. The point is, there are many reasons — all valid — why running might not be for you right now. Luckily, there are great cardio alternatives to running that can provide many health benefits and more!
Even dedicated runners can benefit from variety. Cross-training offers a chance to explore new places, meet new friends and expand your skills. Many people become bored when they spend too much time stuck in the same routine. Adding new activities to your arsenal will keep things fresh, boosting motivation. Cross-training also reduces the risk of overuse injury by working different muscles at lower intensities while increasing strength and endurance.
Here are seven great cardiovascular alternatives to running:
- Brisk walking
- Elliptical machine
- Stair machine
Walking offers most of the same health benefits as running, burning nearly as many calories per mile while working similar muscle groups. Beginners working their way up to running will find that brisk walking is a great segue. Aim for 15- to 18-minute miles for a heart-pumping workout. You’ll still sweat, so make sure to bring hydration; a half-liter per half hour is often a good rule of thumb. Check out Fitletic hydration belts for a convenient and comfortable way to carry your supplies.
Hiking on trails is fun to workout while enjoying nature, wildlife, and fresh air. It’s also a fun activity to invite friends and family along, combine exercise with social time. Hiking can be less risky than trail running (think tripping and falling) but still a heart-pumping exercise that will torch calories and improve fitness. Fitletic offers hiking packs and belts to ensure you’re prepared to fully enjoy your time on the trails.
If you have access to a pool, swimming is a great full-body workout that can burn calories while building strength. This low-impact exercise is also ideal for runners recovering from an injury. And swimming is fun! The feeling of gliding through water is tough to beat.
Cycling is another low-impact workout that improves endurance and strengthens muscles in your lower body. It can be as easy or as hard as you choose; there are cardiovascular benefits whether you pedal as hard as you can or spin at a more casual pace. Cycling is another fun activity to share with family and friends or meet new friends in local cycling groups, which can usually be found online. The bicycle allows you to go farther and faster to explore new places. There are many affordable bicycles for beginners and occasional riders. It’s important to find a bike that is well-built and fitted to your body. Consult with your local bike shop.
If you have access to a gym, an elliptical machine is a great way to mimic the motion and aerobic intensity of running without the impact. This challenging exercise works both the upper and lower body.
Also present in most gyms, stair machines will fast-track aerobic endurance, which can be great for those pressed for time. Stair climbing engages a lot of different muscles. They are especially good for the posterior chain. If you don’t have access to a gym, simply climbing and descending flights of stairs works just as well. The movement takes some getting used to, so be patient. But once you’ve found your rhythm, you may declare stair-climbing to be the best workout ever.
Dancing may be the best all-around exercise. Dancing increases endurance because the movements elevate your heart rate and breathing while building strength, balance, and coordination. Unlike more repetitive cardiovascular activities such as bicycling and running, dancing includes a broad range of movements to engage different muscle groups. The most beautiful thing about dancing is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. You do not need to be a skilled dancer to reap the health benefits. Just put on your favorite music and start moving! But if you prefer to improve your skills, many gyms and community colleges offer dance classes.
Be sure to check out Fitletic’s array of products for anything you might need — staying visible on the road, holding your phone at the gym, or packing everything you need for a day on the trails.
Did you know exercising (even in small amounts) presents many essential benefits to our minds and bodies? The best way to experience the majority of these benefits is to make your exercise routine a consistent one and not be too hard on yourself! Maintaining consistency during the holidays can be tricky, but there are so many simple ways to stay fit this holiday.
Between buying gifts, entertaining family, preparing for vacations, or spending more time with friends, it’s natural that you’ll have less time for exercise. Though taking a break from your routine is perfectly fine once in a while, stepping away from your routine for too long can make it challenging to get back into the swing of things later on. It happens. We’ve all been there! Here’s our guide to some fun and simple ways to stay fit during the holidays.
Simple Ways to Stay Fit This Holiday
- Invite your family and friends to join you
- Don’t forget the fruits and veggies
- Stay hydrated
- Go digital
- Plan ahead
- Get a workout pal
- Put workout gear on your Christmas list
Make Fitness a Family Event
Spending extra time with friends and family over the holidays might mean having less time for yourself. This is totally normal, but don’t forget about self-care!
Start by carving out time for yourself each day, even if it’s not as long as you’d usually take. For example, take a 20-minute walk and listen to a podcast, or just set aside 10-minutes to stretch before you start your day. Big or small, it will feel good to look out for your body during this busy time.
Alternatively, you can treat your exercise time as an opportunity to bond. Invite your family and friends to go on a run or hike. Find out if your gym offers guest passes. If there’s snow, organize a sledding trip, or build a snowman in the yard. It doesn’t have to be super hard or challenging. It can be fun!
Remember to Sneak in Some Healthy Foods
Holiday meals can be some of the heaviest meals you eat all year long. After filling up, you can lose motivation to put on those sneakers.
If you’re entertaining guests for dinner, try to add some healthier options to your holiday menu. If you’re traveling to someone else’s home for the holidays, offer to do the grocery shopping so you can find foods that help boost your energy. Or, bring along your own healthy snacks that you can eat while you’re on the go. You can stash them away with other essential running items for extra convenience.
And remember – Everything is 100% okay in moderation, and it’s all about balance. Take the time to appreciate having your loved ones around, and if that means having a second piece of grandma’s famous pie, then enjoy it!
Watch Your Alcohol Intake
Celebrating with friends and family during the holidays often means increased alcohol consumption. And while that holiday buzz is undoubtedly fun, working out while dehydrated is not a pleasant experience! Remember to drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink, avoid strong drinks, and stay away from sugary liquors. Worst case scenario, chug a big bottle of water with some electrolytes before going to bed.
Go Digital With Your Workout Plan
Many gyms are closed during the holidays, limiting your options at the gym. However, who said you couldn’t work out in the living room? Thanks to technology, many online options are available for those who want to exercise at home or while traveling. Find out if your gym offers virtual classes or research apps and sites that offer free workout plans.
Plan Your Workouts Ahead
If you’re traveling for the holidays, research the area you’ll be visiting. Most fitness studios offer a free class or discounted week for guests. Apps like ClassPass provide a network for fitness classes in cities all over the country. Most running apps have a feature where you can find runs that other users have done in your area, and AllTrails can help you find the closest trails to you.
Find an Elf to Keep you Motivated
If you are lucky enough to have a workout partner throughout the year, the holidays can be a great time to contact them! Working out with a buddy can increase the amount of exercise you do, thanks to your partner’s motivation and accountability. And if your workout partner is your life partner? That’s even better! It’s always a little easier to get a sweat sesh in with some extra motivation.
Ask Santa for Fun New Workout Gear
Going out shopping during the holiday rush can be exciting, but it can be stressful, and the effects of stress on your mind and body are more than enough to sap your exercise momentum. Instead of getting down on yourself for skipping a workout, use this opportunity to get extra steps in! To get more steps, try parking a little further away from the mall, do some extra laps, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. You’ll be surprised how many steps you stack up!
If you are not a fan of in-person shopping, plenty of digital retailers offer holiday deals and discounts, and they can ship your products to you in time for a special occasion. And if your holiday wish list includes running gear that is optimized for functionality and comfort, look no further than Fitletic.
Fitletic wants to remind you that balance is key, and movement is medicine. The holidays are a special time, and it’s perfectly okay to enjoy all of your favorite meals, drinks, and desserts with the ones you love most. Interested in more running and fitness content from Fitletic? Check out our blog page.
Autumn has arrived, bringing those cool, colorful days that make you want to get outside and breathe in the crisp, new air. Maybe you’re even inspired by the new season to start a new fitness routine! You want to keep it simple, but you’re not sure where to start. Well…walking and running are two of the most versatile and accessible activities out there, but which is better? And does it matter? Let’s consider the benefits of each.
Walking vs Running: Which Is Better?
- Running typically burns more calories than walking
- Walking is lower impact than running
- Most people can walk for longer periods of time than they can run
- Both walking and running can be done almost anywhere
Benefits of cardiovascular exercise
Both walking and running are complete forms of cardiovascular activity, which can have enormous physical and mental benefits. Cardiovascular activity increases stamina, boosts your immune system, strengthens your heart and muscles, and can even improve your mood. One study found that just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise three times a week can reduce anxiety and depression. There are few simpler ways to give both your body and your mind the boost they need!
Walking or running? How to choose?
Weight loss certainly isn’t the only reason to adopt healthy habits and doesn’t need to be your goal. But, for many people, it can be a motivating factor to start a fitness program and can be seen as a benefit.
Whether you have weight loss on your mind, or simply want to be happier and healthier, here are some facts to consider:
- Calories: Running burns nearly double the number of calories as walking based on time spent exercising. Running also burns about 30 percent more calories per mile. Power walking — an activity where you walk at a brisk pace with an elevated heart rate — is similar to running in terms of calorie burn per mile.
- Impact: As a lower-impact exercise, walking causes less fatigue. If you’re worried a run will leave you useless for the rest of the day, walking is a great alternative. Walking is still a weight-bearing exercise that ultimately provides long-term health benefits, such as the prevention of bone loss.
- Duration: Walking is sustainable for longer durations than running. You may tire out and stop after just a few minutes of running, but find you can walk comfortably for 30 to 45 minutes. The best workout is the one you can sustain.
- Competition: Some people have races on their minds when they start a new fitness program. Whether it’s a 5K fun run or a marathon PR, your activity level will depend heavily on your goals. Plenty of people can and do walk entire races. This is fine, but many beginners have aspirations toward a faster time. Either way, you should start with walking to get into shape. As you become more conditioned, gradually increase your speed. To build up to running, try pace training. Run or walk at an increased speed for two minutes, and then slow down for two minutes. Increase your speed for another two minutes, and repeat this cycle for as long as you feel comfortable!
Benefits versus risks of running
“Running will ruin your knees.” We hear this so often when talking to friends about our aspirations to run a 5K. This is not necessarily true, but it is important to start slowly and take precautions with any new fitness routine. Running is a great way to fast-track fitness, but it’s also a high-impact exercise. High-impact workouts can be hard on your body, leading to overuse injuries.
According to some studies, walkers have a 1 to 5 percent injury risk, while runners may have a 20 to 70 percent chance of overuse injury at some point in their lives. Overuse injuries from running can be avoided by following science-proven fitness plans — many of which can be found online. Those who don’t want to follow a set routine may feel safer walking.
Running, however, can be greatly beneficial for overall health. A 15-year study with over 50,000 participants found that running at least five to ten minutes per day, even at lower speeds, reduces heart disease risk up to 45 percent. The study by the American Heart Association found that walking was just as beneficial as running for lowering the risk of hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
So, to make things clear: although walkers have a lower injury risk, running is not bad for your knees as long as you listen to your body! Studies have actually found strong evidence linking higher impact activities with stronger knee tissue and healthier knees. The truth is, as long as you don’t overdo it, prioritize recovery, and don’t run when something is hurting, you’ll come out stronger with fewer aches and pains than people who don’t regularly walk and run.
How to get started running or walking
Starting new routines can be daunting, but it doesn’t take much to prepare for walking or running: A good pair of shoes, comfortable workout clothing, and hydration! Look for high-quality synthetic materials in your clothing, and find a running belt or backpack that allows you to bring everything you need for your desired activity.
So what will it be — walking or running? In the end, it’s entirely up to you! Experts agree that the most beneficial workout for you is the one you’re most likely to do, so choose the activity you’re most excited about. Aim for three to four days of exercise per week at 30 minutes per day. Make a dedicated plan to keep you motivated and excited. Keep your workouts interesting by changing up your routes. And maybe find a friend to join. Running or walking with a buddy keeps you accountable and increases safety. A friend can also help challenge you.
Finally, when you are ready, signing up for races or other competitions provides extra motivation. Walking or running, few things match the satisfaction of striding into the finish of a goal race and receiving a well-deserved medal!
Whether you’re hitting the path for a brisk walk or an adventurous run, Fitletic’s fitness gear and accessories adapt well to any workout routine. A wide range of sizes and styles help eliminate distractions so new and experienced athletes can focus on their goals. Check out Fitletic’s assortment of hydration belts and accessories!
Just over a year ago, runners’ lives (and the lives of everybody else) were thrown into disarray when the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world. Businesses closed, gyms shuttered, and social distancing mandates forced most runners to adjust their routines. One year later, life is slowly returning to normal. But most of us still live with the repercussions of the pandemic.
How COVID Has Changed the Way We Run
While some of these changes will disappear as states ease restrictions and gyms reopen, others may stick around for a long time. Here’s a look at how the pandemic has changed the way we run:
- Running has become a solo activity
- Cross-training is more complex
- Running with masks is commonplace
- We stopped officially racing during COVID
- Gyms closed, and everyone started running
Running became a solo activity.
Before the pandemic, many of us joined group runs or teamed up with friends to boost motivation. Then social distancing mandates complicated gatherings. Even those who felt comfortable running with other people still had to cope with six-foot distance requirements, limits on group size, and making space for others on narrow trails. While many runners enjoy solitude, these mandates were more challenging for those who thrive on support and encouragement. Fortunately, online fitness communities offer camaraderie and help boost motivation.
Cross-training became more complicated.
For avid runners, cross-training is a crucial part of staying in top shape. Weight-lifting, swimming, and yoga are some of the best forms of cross-training, but many require a gym membership or access to classes and expensive equipment. When gyms closed, runners needed to find new options. Fortunately, anyone can search online and find a plethora of yoga, barre, and pilates classes. Some runners turned to at-home training with smart equipment. Many lifestyle activities also engage the right muscles: walking the dog, playing with kids, gardening, and home improvement. Some have found they prefer these activities and may choose not to renew their gym memberships.
We started wearing masks.
Most states added mandates that required people to wear a mask outdoors whenever they couldn’t maintain 6 feet of distance from others. For runners on crowded city streets and trails, this meant wearing a mask much of the time, which brought new challenges:
- A feeling of restricted breathing and reduced airflow.
- Managing condensation.
- Skin irritation and acne.
- Feeling overheated and sweating more profusely.
It’s safe to say nobody enjoys wearing a mask, but some people feel safer knowing others are wearing them. As mandates remain in place, it’s courteous to keep a mask or buff on hand, even on mountain trails and other areas with fewer people. But as transmission rates drop and state restrictions end, most runners will likely be grateful to leave their masks at home.
Races were canceled.
For many runners, the loss of races had a devastating emotional impact. Throughout 2020, spring, summer, and fall events were slashed from the calendar. Many runners felt lost without a goal to focus their training and reward their hard work. The pandemic was even harder on race organizers, who faced financial hardships and drawn-out uncertainties. Both runners and organizers were able to fill some of the gaps with “go at your own pace” virtual races. Still, many people found it difficult to perform at their highest level without the camaraderie and support of an in-person event. Now, as restrictions ease, in-person races are slowly returning. Runners must still navigate their own comfort levels with groups and traveling. It may be years before racing returns to pre-pandemic levels. But there is hope on the horizon as fall races open for registration. And the boom of virtual racing provides another avenue for novice runners who may feel that traditional races are intimidating, unwelcoming, or uncomfortable.
Running became more popular.
Studies have shown that more people started working out during the pandemic as non-exercisers committed to healthier lifestyles. When office employees started working remotely, reduced commute times and more flexible schedules gave occasional runners more time to train. And as gyms closed, some fitness buffs took up running for the first time. Fewer social commitments gave avid runners more time and energy to focus on training. Running remains one of the most accessible physical activities because it doesn’t require special equipment or skills. All you need are a good pair of shoes. There are even free apps for virtual group runs and training plans to guide runners on their chosen path.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone, but runners persevered. We had to find new ways to cross-train. Coped with running while wearing a mask. Trained alone and competed in virtual races. Fortunately, this difficult period also brought more people to the sport. The community as a whole will see ongoing benefits from this influx of new runners.
Whether you are an experienced runner who took your running to a new level, or someone who started running during the pandemic, the right running gear can help you maximize your performance.
Running is so much more than investing in a good pair of shoes. For most, it’s also about good running gear, good music, and — of course, a good hydration belt. But if you don’t think the latter is for you, we’re here to change your mind with our top reasons for investing in a hydration running belt.
10 Reasons You Need a Hydration Running Belt
- Staying hydrated
- Keeps you on track
- Doesn’t get in the way
- Rain resistant
- Carry more things than water
- Safe for the nighttime
You can stay hydrated while you run
Okay, so this one is a bit obvious, but it’s worth overstating. If you don’t get enough (or any) hydration while you run, you’re more susceptible to dehydration and heat injuries. Runner’s World recommends drinking 5 to 12 oz. of fluids every 15 to 20 minutes during a run. If you’re running for less than an hour, you’ll be fine drinking just water. But if you’re running for more than an hour, we suggest filling up one of your flasks with a sports drink to replenish your body with electrolytes lost through sweat.
It won’t slow you down
When you invest in a running hydration belt, you’ll no longer have to stop at water stands and waste precious seconds during a race. But that’s just the beginning. With a running hydration belt, your run won’t be disrupted by fumbling around for your water bottle. Our quick-draw holsters are designed for single-handed access. Not to mention, all of our BPA-free water bottles are easy to grip and come with a quick-flow cap to let you sip and run without worrying about water splashing all over you.
It doesn’t get in the way
The last thing any runner needs is their hydration belts and water bottles bouncing around. Not only is that incredibly distracting while you run, but it can also cause uncomfortable chafing. That’s why Fitletic puts extra time and detail into the design of our hydration belts for runners. Each has silicone grippers to eliminate bounce while you run, and they’re also designed with Dura-Comfort Technology to make sure they don’t ride up or chafe while you run.
Sweating is bound to happen during a run — there’s no doubt about that. But if you happen to also carry things like your phone, cash, or cards with you, that’s when sweating becomes a problem. At Fitletic, our running hydration belts are made with neoprene, a water-resistant fabric that helps protect your things from sweat and moisture (including light rain showers, because we know runners aren’t immune to the elements!).
You can carry more than just water
If you want to run with your phone, the size of the pouch is crucial. An enlarged pouch is needed to hold any smartphone, especially larger phones like any iPhone or Samsung Galaxy Plus. If you carry other items like energy bars, gels, and inhalers, make sure the pouch is large enough to hold all of them. Pro tip: If you need a running hydrating belt that holds all of the above, check out our Fully Loaded Water and Gel Belt.
It’s safe for nighttime running
We understand that not everyone likes to run at night. That’s why our hydration belts are also made with reflective accents to keep you safe during nighttime running.
For optimal comfort (and style, of course), all Fitletic hydration running belts come in different sizes so you can order the best fit for you. They also have adjustable straps to ensure it’s nice and snug during each run. As for additional flair? Lots of our belts come in several different color options, so you can find one that’s unique to you!
Stay hydrated with Fitletic hydration running belts
At Fitletic, we design all of our hydration belts with runners in mind. That’s because we know that choosing the right one is crucial for a successful run (or any outdoor activity for that matter). So, if you’re looking for a hydration belt that’s actually hydrating, hands-free, and worry-free, look no further than Fitletic running belts. Explore our entire line now!
Congrats on making it through another year! After a tough 2020, a lot of us are setting goals for “back to normal.” However, after a rocky start to 2021 – it might feel tempting to push those goals back for when things really feel back on track. Not surprisingly, one of the number one resolutions is exercising and/or losing weight. If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to set and keep your fitness goals, use these tips to hit the ground running in 2021!
How to Keep Fitness Goals in the New Year
- Set specific goals
- Keep goals positive
- Break up goals into milestones
- Set time limits
- Find reasons for your goals
- Have someone hold you accountable
- Invest in your goals
- Get rid of distractions
- Do something!
Set specific, measurable goals
When your goals are measurable, it’s much easier to track progress. If you want to get in shape – define what that means. If your goal is to lose weight, determine how much weight you want to lose. Once you’ve got the specifics down, it will be much easier to determine where you are in proximity to your goal.
Below are some examples of a measurable goal compared to a vague goal.
- Vague goal: Get more exercise in 2021
- Measurable goal: Complete a 5K by April 2021
Keep goals positive
A positive mindset is crucial to accomplishing your goals. According to Psychology Today, it’s much easier to “focus on how good it feels to accomplish something rather than how difficult it is to get there.” Phrasing your goals in terms of things you’ll start doing, as opposed to what you’ll stop doing puts you in a better position to succeed.
- Positive goal: Run 15 miles a week
- Negative goal: Stop being lazy
Break large goals up into milestones
Setting one challenging goal might simply feel overwhelming. Breaking down larger goals into smaller, actionable milestones makes the bigger picture feel achievable. Remember to celebrate your milestones as you hit them!
- Overwhelming goal: Run a half marathon in 2021
- Achievable milestones:
- Run a 5K by January 31
- Run a 10K by February 28
- Run 10 miles by March 31
- Run 13 miles by April 30
Set time limits for goal achievement
Notice how the tip above included dates? Setting time limits is essential for goal achievement. When you have a schedule, it’s much easier to assess where you are in relation to your fitness goals.
Determine a reason for your goal
Ask yourself why you’re setting this particular goal for yourself. If your goal is weight loss – why? Have you recently gained weight? Did your doctor advise you to lose weight? How will your life be better once the weight is gone? Remind yourself of the reason behind your goals when you face setbacks.
Find someone or something to hold you accountable
Accountability is absolutely essential when it comes to keeping your fitness goals. In pre-COVID days, accountability was as simple as signing up for a class or finding a workout buddy. These days accountability might be a bit trickier. If you have kids, ask them to help hold you accountable (and they will!). If you have to document your progress on social media, do that. Just make sure to share your goals with someone other than yourself.
If you’re the type of person who struggles to achieve goals, even after you shouted them from the rooftops, try and “trick” yourself by spending some money. Hire a personal trainer, buy some fitness equipment, or even invest in an online training program. No matter what you do, be sure to spend an amount of money that stings just a bit, so you feel it if you realize you’re not capitalizing on your investment.
If you’re prone to distraction, get rid of it. If your kids like to “visit” during your online yoga practice, schedule your session when you know they’re busy. If you can’t resist checking your phone, turn it on airplane mode. If carrying your phone while jogging is a distraction, invest in a running belt to keep you hands-free!
Just do SOMETHING
Promise yourself right now that you will not beat yourself up over setbacks. But do try and do something on those setback days – even if it’s just a walk around the block. This way, you can look back and think, “I may not have accomplished today’s goal, but at least I did something,” and then move on to tomorrow.
Let Fitletic Help
Need some more fitness motivation in your life? Make sure to follow Fitletic on Facebook and Instagram!
Mac and cheese, cookies and warm milk, cheesy chili and so many more delicious comfort meals to keep us warm in the winter! Don’t get me wrong, if we want to indulge, winter is the perfect excuse to do it. We do have to keep in mind that when we do indulge, we don’t get all the nutrients we need to stay energized and healthy. We need fruits and vegetables to help fuel our body! Let’s take a look on what exactly juicing is.
Juicing is a process that involves extracting the nutritious juices from fresh fruits and vegetables. The resulting liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants naturally present in the whole fruit or veggie.
Why and How to Start Juicing
- You obtain nutrients quickly
- It’s not used to ‘detox’ your body
- Make sure to wash your fruit correctly
In general, many of us don’t obtain enough nutrients from our diets alone. This is one of the main reasons people juice; it is a great method to obtain a lot of nutrients quickly. So, what do these nutrients do exactly in our body? These nutrients can help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and various inflammatory diseases. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, valuable compounds called flavonoids and anthocyanins are abundant in many fruits and vegetables that help protect against oxidative cellular damage. This cellular damage can cause diabetes, inflammatory conditions, high blood pressure and more!
It is important to remember that too much of a good thing can also be an issue and juicing is no exception. Using it as a way to “detox” your body or doing a “juicing cleanse” can have harmful effects. Drinking only juice can lead to digestive problems due to a lack of fiber. Fruit and vegetable juice don’t carry enough fiber to help us properly digest. By including pulp in your juice, that can help you get more of that needed fiber.
Washing your fruits and vegetables is also key to preventing any adverse reactions. The CDC and FDA recommends rinsing your produce in cold water and even adding a little vinegar for additional protection. A study published in the “Journal of Food Protection” found that washing apples with vinegar and water reduced bacteria significantly than washing it just with water. Spray white vinegar on your produce and rinse!
For whatever reason you decide to start juicing, make sure that your overall goal is just to add good nutrients to your body to keep it healthy!
We are sharing here one of our favorite juice recipes and we hope you enjoy it. This juice is great to fight inflammation and help the digestive system.
The Early Riser Juice
1 beet, peeled
2 carrots, roughly peeled
1 cup pineapple including the skin (YES… the skin)
An inch of turmeric root