Are you looking for some new fitness motivation? Try exercising your brain first — and practice ways to “trick” yourself into being more active. With the New Year and corresponding resolutions upon us, Dr. Mayrene Hernandez, chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare Florida, chimes in with some fun and engaging tips to help you get started and keep going.
Ready to move more — and enjoy it more too? Here are some simple schemes Dr. Hernandez recommends:
1. Commit to 10 minutes. Do you have trouble getting started exercising? Tell yourself you’ll give each workout 10 minutes. Then don’t be surprised if once you’re on the move you decide to stay with it longer.
2. Stick to a schedule. Add specific workouts to your appointment calendar — and consider them unbreakable dates like any other client or doctor appointment.
3. Rely on the buddy system. Find a workout pal who’s a good match for you. Someone counting on you may be all the motivation you need.
4. Create your own incentive plan. Assign points for certain workouts. For example, you might give yourself one point (or one dollar) for each 10 minutes of walking or cycling — and award another point for each 15 minutes of strength-training. Some fitness apps and wearable devices can do this type of tracking for you.
Set a weekly target — then reward yourself with something good and healthy for hitting your goal. Also set long-term goals, such as getting a massage or a day trip somewhere fun when you reach 100 points or cash in your exercise piggy-bank.
5. Go for the win. If you get fired up by a little healthy competition, consider these ideas:
• Join a sports team or league or compete with your workout pals.
• Sign up for a charity 5K. You might call it a win if you beat a certain time or simply finish.
• Challenge yourself to beat your personal best — maybe that’s the number of steps you logged yesterday.
6. Be your biggest fan. Positive self-talk can be powerful. So retrain your brain to switch from lack of confidence — “I am a slacker” or “I am never going to be good at this” to “I’ve got this!”
7. Picture yourself getting it done. Visualize yourself doing each part of your workout.
While you’re at it, imagine how great it will feel to reach your fitness goals. Now that’s one nice trick! For more free tips on healthy eating and living, visit www.uhc.com/health-and-wellness.