Nfld. & Labrador

Keep it up! 5 ways to meet your get-healthier goal

Plenty of us bite off more than we could chew during the holiday season — and not just with actual food.
When setting goals Weeks said to think attainable. The more drastic the more difficult to stick with. (CBC)

Plenty of us bite off more than we can chew during the holiday season — and not just with actual food. 

We also can go overboard on New Year's fitness resolutions that prove too difficult to meet.

While there's no going back on all the cakes and cookies you've consumed, if your goal for 2017 is to be healthier, Happy Valley-Goose Bay physiotherapist and fitness class instructor Richelle Weeks is offering up tips.

Richelle Weeks is a physiotherapist and fitness instructor in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

So whether you're still going strong, wavering on or just considering a New Year's resolution that involves diet and exercise, here are her top five recommendations to stay on track.

1. Make small changes

"Some people try to make big drastic changes — like, they never go to the gym and all of a sudden they're going to go every day of the week," Weeks told CBC's Labrador Morningadding those types of lifestyle alterations can be difficult to maintain.

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

"If you set kind of small goals that are attainable and you achieve them, then you set more goals and more goals and you keep building and building," she said.

"It's very satisfying that way."

2. Picking activities you enjoy

Another thing Weeks encourages is to find an activity "you actually don't mind," and avoid activities you openly resent. 

"People say, 'I hate walking, but I'm going to start walking every day,'" she said.

"That's a terrible goal because if you hate it, chances are you're not going to do it."

If you hate running, don't make your goal to run, said Weeks. You're more likely to stick with an activity if you actually like it. (Josiah Mackenzie/Flickr cc)

3. Realistic goals

Is your goal to lose 50 pounds?

Great, Weeks said. Just don't expect that change to happen overnight … or even in a month.

During her fitness classes at this time of year, she sometimes jokes that attendees won't lose all the weight they put on over the holidays in a single session.

However, she said, they can get a start on one turkey dinner!

4. Don't be too hard on yourself

And hey, slip-ups happen.

Weeks it's important not just to get exercise in, but to balance that effort by eating well. (iStock)

"The ones who do well," she said, "are the ones that make exercise a priority."

But if you miss a day or two here and there, don't be too hard on yourself.

"Focus on the good days you did have," she said. 

5. Moderation is key

The good news is that you don't have to deprive yourself, according to Weeks.

A chocolate bar on a Friday after a good week or a dinner out with friends if you haven't been in a month is considered OK in her books.

What she doesn't recommend is eating whatever you like simply because you're getting more exercise.

"I think eating is more important that the exercise," she said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katie Breen

Video producer

Katie Breen makes video content for CBC in St. John's. She's been working in news for 10 years. You can reach her at katie.breen@cbc.ca.

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