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Five easy ways to make your fitness dreams a reality in 2018

By Medisys on June 30 2017 | News, Physical Health

A new year, a new you! Follow these five easy tips to get the most out of your workouts and to make your fitness dreams a reality in 2018.

#1) Take more steps, every day: If you don’t enjoy the gym, get more exercise from activities you enjoy – swimming, hiking, playing sports, skiing, snowshoeing, biking. Focus on adding physical activity into your daily routine and try to move once every 20-60 minutes. Take the stairs, walk all or part of the way to work, park a few blocks farther away when you are driving somewhere, get on and off at a farther subway stop than you otherwise would, or take your dog on longer walks. If you like gadgets use a tracking device and aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.

#2) Reduce stress and focus on getting more sleep: For many of us, sleep disturbances and stress run parallel to one another. Chronic stress leads to elevated levels of cortisol, which promotes hunger and weight gain, and negatively affects sleep health, overall mood, motivation, and energy levels. Chronic stress has also been shown to inhibit muscle development. Similarly, chronic sleep deprivation (defined as less than six hours of sleep per night regularly) also negatively impacts mood, energy, and motivation, and significantly decreases both glucose and fat metabolism while also inappropriately increasing appetite, leading to weight gain. Fitness, sleep health, and stress reduction go hand-in-hand. Aerobic exercise helps decrease stress hormone levels (adrenaline and cortisol) and it also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. This year, put your health first and add “reduce stress” and “get more sleep” to your New Year’s resolution list.

#3) Build your muscles: Strength training and weight lifting aren’t just for bodybuilders. Weight bearing exercise significantly boosts your metabolic rate; helps build stronger, denser bones and wards off osteoporosis; improves flexibility, balance and posture; helps protect joints from injury; and burns calories. Consult a professional to ensure that you are following proper form when strength training to avoid injury.

#4) Focus on health not weight: Healthy people come in all shapes and sizes. It doesn't matter what size or age you are, everyone benefits from exercise. It’s never too late or too early to start making your health a priority. Regular physical activity plays a major role in the primary and secondary prevention of numerous chronic conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease and diabetes to cancer, depression, and osteoporosis – it’s not just about looking your best, it’s about living your best life!

 

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#5) Minimize injury risk proactively: When it comes to fitness, an injury can set you back months, or even years. A Medisys functional movement screen or kinesiologist assessment can help you identify which movement patterns may predispose you to injury based on your body, health, flexibility, and overall fitness level. A Medisys kinisiologist will provide specific and customized exercise advice to help you improve mobility, joint stability, and core stability/strength to help you meet your fitness goals while minimizing the risk of injury or long-term pain.

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