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This time of year is great to reivew you health and fitness goals. See what you have accomplished and see where you may need to focus a bit more of your time. Have you ever wondered if you’ll ever get back into shape again? Maybe you are a new mother still trying to loose the last 10 lbs of baby weight, maybe you have just been busy and have been unable to keep a regular schedule at the gym. Or maybe you just seem to eat out too often. Well, Setbacks happen! We have all had them, whether it’s an injury, crunch time at work, or a hectic time with your family. Just be sure to not let the setbacks detour you for too long.

Whatever it was, you’ve fallen off the exercise wagon.

This happens to just about everyone, but not is a good time as any to rebuild your stamina and come out of this healthier, stronger, and even a little wiser. First try to develop these three things:

1. A fitness goalSit down and figure out a goal you want to achieve. Do you want to run 1 mile, or 5? Swim two laps or 20? Is mastering that armbalance in Yoga class on your list, or maybe it is sticking that headstand? Do you want to climb every mountain, or maybe just that hilly sidewalk in your neighborhood? Write down your goal, and keep it in front of you. The refrigerator is a good place. So is your desk.

2. Estabilsh a fitness plan. Now figure out the baby steps you’re going to take to get to that goal. Look at how, where, and with whom you spend time, and start to make changes that allow you the time you need to get back in shape. What are realistic goals? Be sure your plan is something you can accomplish… maybe 5 days a week just won’t work with your schedule right now, but 2 days seems to work perfectly. Stick with a plan that will set you up for success!

3. Fitness opportunities. If you’ve been injured and are on the road to recovery, find ways to exercise that begin to rebuild your strength and stamina. You might try elliptical or rowing machines, bicycling, dancing, swimming, or easy hiking. Maybe now is the time to start Yoga or Pilates. Try something that has less impact and Hot Yoga is a great way to get back into it with many benefits for injuries.

Focus on the Three M’s

Mind. Accept that you have hit an obstacle and you need to find a different path. See this as a chance to explore new approaches to self-care and fitness. Don’t focus on where you missed your mark, focus on each day being a new day and each day being a day to accompish something.

Muscles. Start slow. Sure, you were able to run 5 miles 2 months ago, but right now you can only run one. So run one, and know that you’ll build up again. This is also a good time to think about strength training, since strong muscles, ligaments, and tendons help prevent injury. Aim to use weights twice a week, or shoot for 25 pushups, 100 sit-ups, or similar exercise to start.

Mouth. Remember, fitness isn’t just about exercise. It’s about your total health. Concentrate on other ways of nourishing your body. For example, make it a goal to eat more vegetables, cook more often at home, and bring healthy homemade lunches to work. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water. This will also help keep you healthy and hydrated. Find it hard to drink 8 glasses or regualr water a day, add lemon or lime even try sparkling water.

Mainly don’t give and and don’t let the setbacks determine the outcome. We all have setbacsk, but just make sure you get back at it. Maybe even post notes on stickies around your house with word of inspiration on them… sometimes just seeing a common message, quote or mantra will help us to stay on track!

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