Tips from a
Tips, tricks, and strategies to make
healthy living easier.
We’ve all done it. We have this moment where we feel like, “I’m going to do this,” and we reach for the stars. Often times, we aren’t sure where that reach is going to take us. Either way, when we take this shot in the dark we’re setting ourselves up for an impossible climb. It’s human nature to dream big and eventually, give up when things get hard. You may wish you could start over with a clean slate. What if we told you, you can?
The beautiful thing about goals is that when you fail at a big, bad one, you can slow yourself down, revisit what you’re trying to achieve, and create a do-able alternative in its place. You CAN start again, but this time, give it a little thought.
Start Again, but Start Small
Think about how you’re going to get to where you want to go, step by step.
- Start with something you can do today, try it, and see how it goes.
- If it’s doable, commit to doing it every day this week.
- Next week, challenge yourself to do a little more.
We thrive on achievement and understanding – success pushes us forward and allows us to do more. But if we’re aiming to walk five miles and we’re finding it difficult to walk around the block, we might need to reevaluate our goals. That’s not to say we’re not still going to walk five miles, eventually. But this week let’s focus on doing one lap around the block each day. Next week, let’s try and go around twice.
Talk About Your Goals
Work with your Health Advisor, talk to your family, and talk to your friends.
Sometimes making sure something is do-able goes beyond making sure it’s within your physical ability. You’ve got to find the time and motivation. You might need someone to come with you. For example, you might change your weekly coffee date to a weekly walk in the park. Or, if you find yourself struggling with motivation, you might need someone to keep you accountable. Your Health Advisor might shoot you a text to ask how many veggies you’ve had today, or whether you remembered to refill your prescription.
You’ve Got This
Make today the day you set a new goal. Success is just around the corner!
Stretch Band Basics
Resistance bands are a useful tool for stretching and strengthening routines you can do in the comfort of your own home. They come in a variety of sizes, lengths, and strengths. They’re easily stored, and easy to bring with you when you’re traveling or tight on space at the gym.
Just like free weights, exercise bands come in a range of resistance levels. We send a basic band in our complimentary Welcome Kit, but your Health Advisor can recommend higher or lower resistance bands and bands with different grips to accommodate your specific needs.
If you’re just starting out, try this simple stretch routine:
1. Seated Row
Wrap the band around both feet and keep your back straight, pull your hands all the way back to your chest. You should feel this in your arms.
2. Upper Back Stretch
Spread your feet shoulder-width apart, and this time pull back with your whole upper body. Extend your back and engage your core to avoid hunching over.
3. Side Stretch
Stand, grasp band tightly, and extend your arms over your head. Bend at your waist from side to side.
4. Shoulder Stretch
Extend your arms above your head and pull the band out in opposite directions. For this one, your legs should be shoulder-width apart.
5. Tricep Stretch
Use your lower arm as an anchor to pull upward with your higher hand. Switch sides and repeat. If you have a lot of tension in your shoulder, this stretch might not be for you
Now let’s try it all together with Katie here!
Stay tuned for more stretch band circuits. Spoiler alert: We’ve got exercise routines that target your core, your lower body, and your arms!
Make Movement a Habit
If you’re living in a walkable city, it’s pretty easy to get 10,000 steps a day, but for those of us driving our cars around, staying active can require some creativity! We can feel too busy, too tired, too out of shape, or even just too sore, at the end of the day to add in that extra bit of exercise. So what Tiny Steps can we take to stay active?
Let’s start with these 7 simple strategies that will help you to get moving a little more each day:
01. Take the stairs!
If you’re headed to the second floor or higher, you can always choose the stairs over the elevator and walk at least part of the way up. At Pack Health, we work on the first floor of our building, so one of our co-workers made a rule with herself: unless she really and truly needs to rush to get to a meeting, she only uses the bathroom on the second floor, and always takes the stairs! This is a simple way to guarantee she’ll make the climb at least a few times a day.
02. Lean into your daily chores!
Another Pack Health employee incorporates squats into the task of loading and unloading her dishwasher, and even admits to shaking her groove thing while brushing her teeth! One of our members works in extra steps by parking as far away from the entrance as possible on his daily trips to the grocery store. Take the time to chop your own vegetables instead of buying a pre-cut mix. Do a few lifts with the laundry basket as you’re walking to and from the washing machine. These little activities to get your blood flowing, and keep you moving a little extra throughout the day.
03. Call a friend.
Walking is a great time for talking. Invite a friend to join you on a nature trail, or bring your cell phone along when you’re walking around the block. Invest in some earbuds with a microphone so you can walk freely without having to hold your phone to your ear! Who knew an afternoon walk could also be the perfect time to reconnect with those you love!?
04. Earn your TV time with exercise.
The average American watches 5 hours of television a day. That’s a lot of time spent sitting on the couch! Now, what if you got up and danced around, or practiced your yoga moves, or did a few jumping jacks, every time there was a commercial break?
05. Join a gym.
Do you hate wasting money? If so, this may be the strategy for you. If you’re paying for a gym membership, you’ve gotta get in there. Many gyms also make it easier to get in the groove, with group exercise classes and TV’s that you can watch while you work out. Start with a beginner class or walking on a treadmill, and work your way up. Taking a beginner class is also a great way to make friends, who can hold you accountable for showing up!
06. Set up something to trigger a reminder.
Whether it’s needing to use the restroom, unloading a dishwasher, or a commercial break, activities you’re inevitably going to experience during your day can be great reminders that trigger you to move on a more regular basis. What do you do on a daily basis? What exercise could you incorporate into that activity?
07. Figure out what activities you enjoy.
The point of these tiny steps is to make exercise easier, and (surprise!) the easiest exercises are usually the ones you enjoy. Explore all your options and know that it is okay if you try something and decide you don’t like it. There are so many different ways to get your body into motion, so give yourself the space to discover what works for you.
There you have it! 7 ways you can start taking tiny steps to add more exercise to your day. We challenge you, right now, to jot down 3 things that might have sparked your interest when reading through this post!