Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi

Make Fitness a Priority

Jake Pierce, MS, CHES, Licensed Wellness Coach

If I were to ask you to write down the top priorities in your life right now, how do you think you would respond? Chances are, family and career would be at the top of the list quickly followed by friends and perhaps a hobby or two. But what about exercise? Is it anywhere on that list? Sure, you probably have thought about it a time or two, but we tend to put it off until later. Why? Because there are always other “things” that stand in our way, and we use those “things” to justify why we can’t get in shape right now. From, “I don’t have any time to exercise” to “I am too tired at the end of the day," the list is endless and it is always something we plan to get to later….you know when we have more “time." But maybe you should start paying attention to your health now instead of waiting for that, magical non-existent perfect timing, and make fitness a priority in your life.

The new year is approaching, and physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. And if you’re like many others, you may be planning to make exercise a priority. Regular physical activity can help decrease your risk for chronic diseases like heart disease and Type II diabetes while increasing your energy levels, self-esteem and overall quality of life. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Well you can start enjoying those benefits and many more by putting those “things” to rest and making fitness a top 5 on your priority list.

Here are 5 ways to help make fitness a priority in your life:

Set Realistic Goals
It’s important to set small realistic goals that you know you can accomplish. Once you accomplish one goal, move on to the next. Before you know it, the snowball effect will have you rolling quickly toward your overall goal.

Stay Accountable
We all have times where we don’t feel like working out. After all, we are human...right? Having a plan when these feelings occur can help you keep your exercise routine on track. Grab a friend or family member who can help to motivate you past those negative feelings.

Change it Up
Doing the same thing over and over is, well…boring. So don’t be afraid to change it up and try something new. You will not only keep the boredom at bay, but also see greater progress as well.

Reward Yourself
You’ve worked hard to reach your fitness goals, now you deserve to be rewarded. Take time to celebrate your accomplishments. If you reached a goal of running a 5K race, treat yourself to a new pair of running shoes. Rewarding yourself will not only drive you to fulfill your current exercise goal, but will also inspire you to overcome your next fitness conquest.

Have FUN!
Everyone likes to have fun, right? Well, the same should go for your fitness routine. Think outside of the box, and do something that you enjoy. Chances are you will stick with it a lot longer than if you were to start dragging yourself over to that dreaded treadmill.

Hopefully I don't have to be the one to tell you, but you should probably pay your overdue water bill before you set out on your next hour-long jogging quest. But obviously there are ways to ensure that fitness rises to the top of your “to do” list; confirming that you can persevere and make fitness a priority in your life.

We wish you a healthy and happy New Year!

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