By Erica Moe
When you took stock of 2017 and set out a plan for this new year, did you make a vow to just say no? No to additional commitments, no to volunteering, no to one more extra responsibility?
If you did, I want to encourage you to say yes instead. This time, when you say yes, do it with the conviction that you can be in control of how those things are done. Then you can make the most of every new thing you take on.
Say yes to a challenge
Are you competitive? If so, taking on a friendly challenge may be the motivation you need to get moving. At the YMCA, try Team Challenge with a group or Grid Iron challenge on your own. Also, create a challenge for your friends or coworkers using an app such as RunKeeper.
Say yes to standing
Do you spend hours a day sitting in meetings? Organize a stand-up meeting. By standing three hours a day, you can burn up to 174 more calories. In addition, research shows it can also lower your blood sugar.
Say yes to celebrations
If you are in charge of organizing the birthdays in your family, try taking the guests to the trampoline park, roller-skating rink or the rock climbing gym. The children – and adults – will learn a new skill, work up a sweat and have a lot of fun.
Say yes to vacation
Planning time away can be relaxing. Make the most of your time by selecting an active vacation. Whether you cycle through Napa or kayak the Grand Canyon, each adventure allows you to make memories and burn calories.
Say yes to social time
Instead of communicating with friends on social media, meet face-to-face at a local park for a walk. Breathe in the fresh air while you catch up with your connections.
Say yes to play
Kick family board game night up a notch with a bike ride or visit to the park. Rather than sit on the sidelines while the kids are on the playground, join them. Watch those steps on the pedometer rack up.
Say yes to walking
Add a walking meeting to your calendar. Get your blood – and ideas – flowing while crossing items off your to-do list. Other opportunities include walking the dog or getting off the bus one stop early to walk the rest of the way. Note that 2,000 steps are equivalent to a mile. Aim for 10,000 steps per day.
Say yes to volunteering
Find a way to be active and make a difference. The YMCA is always looking for volunteer coaches. Help children develop a skill and learn life lessons while keeping active yourself. Get out your soccer cleats – the field is calling you.
Saying yes to these activities can mean burning up to an extra 300 calories a day, which translates into almost three pounds in January alone or 36 pounds in 2018! People who move throughout the day are more likely to reach or maintain their weight-loss goals versus those that are sedentary during the day and only active for one vigorous exercise session.
— Erica Moe, M.S., is an ACSM-certified exercise physiologist who writes on behalf of the Mission Valley YMCA where she is fitness director.