Mini-quiz: Which New Year’s resolution makes the Top 10 list every year?
Answer: D—all of the above. Each of these goals can be quite an undertaking, and most Americans abandon their New Year’s resolutions by mid-February.
If your 2020 goals include feeling and looking healthier, here’s a way to tackle weight loss, nutrition, and stress with one addition to your daily routine: Exercise more (spoiler alert: it’s a top resolution too).
By incorporating physical movement into your daily life, you’re more likely to accomplish multiple wellness goals instead of focusing on just one. For example, dieting can be emotionally and physically stressful, leading to discouragement, and the next thing you know, that resolution has flown south for the year.
What can exercise really do for you?
As your energy level increases and you start to see the effects of exercise, you’re more likely to make food choices that support rather than sabotage your efforts.
The key to developing an exercise routine that you can stick with is customization. If a move is too strenuous, don’t be afraid to modify it to help prevent injury. And remember, muscle fatigue is part of the process; soreness after working out is expected. But feeling pain while exercising could mean you’re hurting yourself. The phrase “no pain, no gain” is outdated and possibly even dangerous.
If you’re new to exercise or are returning to an active lifestyle, start s-l-o-w-l-y with low-impact moves. When you wake up in the morning, practice this yoga-style series of simple moves to warm up your muscles, increase blood flow, and improve flexibility. The whole routine takes less than 10 minutes, but you can extend it for as long as you like:
Add this next pose when you feel warmed up and balanced:
Tip: Exercising in sunlight—especially while outdoors—is a great natural energizer and motivator. Sunlight helps us produce vitamin D, another mood-booster.2
Here are a few strength moves that require no more than 10 minutes and your body weight. Bonus: You can do them anytime, at home or in your office. Just take off shoes with heels:
Planks are a fantastic overall body exercise. But if you have shoulder or back challenges, they’re almost impossible to do without pain. But you can get nearly the same results by modifying the wall push-up into a tilted plank.
When you’re ready to push yourself, try high-intensity interval training3 (HIIT—pronounced “hit”). HIIT gives the entire body—including the heart and lungs—a solid workout in about 20 minutes or less. Check out HIIT videos and apps,4 some of which break up the routine into segments you can do two or three times in one day.
Recovery gives your body time to adjust to the load, lets your muscles heal and strengthen, and helps maintain your energy levels day to day. If you’re doing HIIT, you’ll want to alternate workout and rest days.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to aid your recovery. A good rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces (i.e., if you weigh 160 pounds, aim for 80 ounces—10 glasses—a day). Get plenty of rest and treat sore muscles with massages, steam room or sauna time, or a hot bath with Epsom salts.
Sometimes no matter how careful you are, overexertion can happen, resulting in back pain or a minor strain or sprain. Also, if you enjoy working out at a fitness center, you can be exposed to bacteria and viruses like the flu.
The next time you’re wrestling with a non-emergency condition, you can rely on Teladoc to help provide relief quickly and conveniently 24/7, anywhere you are. Our U.S. board-certified physicians can make diagnoses, recommend treatments, and prescribe medications when medically necessary. Skip the expense of an ER and the time-consuming wait in a doctor’s office.
Use the app to request a visit and get appointment reminders, see and talk with the doctor in the privacy of your home or office, and even select a nearby pharmacy.
Good luck, pace yourself, and enjoy your workouts!
This portion of the Teladoc website occasionally offers health, fitness, and nutritional information and is provided for educational purposes only. You cannot rely on any information provided here as a substitute for or replacement of professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Teladoc cannot assure that the information contained on this site always includes the most recent findings or developments with respect to the particular subject matter covered.
If you ever have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. Do not disregard, avoid, or delay obtaining medical or health-related advice from your healthcare professional because of something you may have read on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.
If you are in the United States and think you are having a medical or health emergency, call your healthcare professional, or 911, immediately.