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Seven fitness resolutions that are easy to keep

Resolutions to get in shape, exercise more and eat healthier foods are popular each January. Optimism reigns when making resolutions, but for many, the difficulty lies in keeping them. Individuals looking to get healthier in the year ahead can try these strategies to stay the course.

1. Wake up earlier. Waking up a half hour earlier each day can have a substantial impact. That small amount of extra time can be devoted to meditation, deep breathing exercises or even some yoga stretches.

2. Move around more frequently. Many people with office jobs spend hours sitting in front of computers. A sedentary lifestyle can have an adverse effect on overall health. Set a timer or use a reminder on a fitness tracker to remind you to get up and move around for a little bit every hour.

3. Eat more vegetables. Vague goals like "eating better" are difficult to maintain because there is no specific goal to achieve. Rather, a resolution like eating a fruit or vegetable each day at every meal is something measurable. Vegetables can be hidden in favorite foods, such as desserts. Swap pasta noodles for spiralized zucchini as another easy fix.

4. Stand straighter. Posture tends to decline with age, advises AARP. This can cause the spine to lose flexibility. Stretches to maintain posture can help anyone stand straighter and improve long-term health.

5. Add "bursts" to your walk. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic tout the benefits of interval training. While high-impact workouts may not be appropriate for everyone, adding little speed bursts to a daily walk can provide significant health benefits. Aim for 30 to 60 seconds of rapid walking at regular intervals to shake up the workout.

6. Drink more water. Increasing water intake can help you feel fuller, thus reducing the likelihood that you will overeat. Gradually increase your water intake by adding a few ounces each day until drinking water becomes rote.

7. Take a workout outside. Switch up your normal routine by making use of the great outdoors to exercise. Instead of three miles on the treadmill or elliptical machine at the gym, opt for three miles on a local hiking trail.

Healthy resolutions are easier to keep when you have firm ideas and choose reasonable goals.

 

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