Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”– Charles Duhigg

The end of the year is coming up, which means people start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. In 2018, during the months of November and December, NPR and The Marist Poll asked 1,075 adults whether or not they made New Year’s resolutions. Forty-four percent stated that they did make resolutions, and one-third of the 44 percent responded that their resolutions were related to eating better, exercising more, and losing weight. However, studies find that many have fallen off the bandwagon only weeks later. So why is it so hard to change our habits when it comes to eating right and exercising?

There are a variety of barriers to exercise, but some of the most common barriers are time constraints, lack of self-confidence, and financial limitations. The first step to addressing these barriers is to identify them early in your planning to develop strategies to successfully overcome them.  For example, if it isn’t realistic to make it to the gym on certain days then try to incorporate more walking into your day, take the stairs, park further away, or use your breaks to take a short walk around the office. Bringing a friend with you to the gym or even to join you in exercising is a great system not only for addressing insecurity but also building accountability. If a gym environment isn’t comfortable for you, check out one of the many resources that help you work out at home (e.g., apps, videos, streaming), and keep in mind that everyone has to start somewhere. Lastly, if financial limitations are holding you back, check to see if your insurance or employer offers any sort of reimbursement program; there are also apps available where you can earn gift cards for logging workouts, sleep, water intake, and food intake. While beginning to make changes can seem overwhelming, just remember that small healthy changes are STILL changes.

The goal of our Healthy Living Challenge is to help you overcome some of your barriers to form healthier habits designed to increase your overall wellness. Making changes towards living a healthier lifestyle should NOT focus on restrictions and battling with the scale – remember that muscle weighs more than fat! Start with simple swaps and other tips with help from our registered dietitians. Take the time to work on relaxation and improving your overall mental health by trying some yoga classes, and let our Wellness Center staff help you become comfortable finding the environment that works best for your success. Exercise is not “one-size fits all”!

This year’s Healthy Living Challenge costs $60 and runs from January 6 – March 27. It grants you access to our Wellness Center open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday, select group exercise classes, and support from our Wellness staff and registered dietitians. Registration begins December 1 and ends on December 31. Call 831-0672 or stop by the Wellness Center at Windom Area Health if you have any questions.

Blog Written By: Lindsey Englar, Wellness Center Coordinator

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