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FITNESS OVER 50

You’ve survived 2020. Now make 2021 count

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What do you think is possible for 2021 regarding your health and fitness?

Have you set some goals deep in the back of your mind that you would like to accomplish but don’t really believe you will ever do?

Did you know if you don’t think you will accomplish these goals then most likely you are right?

Self-doubt is a destroyer of goals. It happens often, especially to women. The hurdles they create in their own heads often prevent them from reaching their goals or heading in the direction they know they need to go in.

But here we are ending 2020 and heading into a brand-new year. And it is not only a brand-new year, but I think it will feel like a brand-new lease on life after the year we have had.

Just knowing that things are about to go in the right direction with this soul-destroying pandemic makes me want to set and keep even higher goals.

We take so much for granted that after this year we should all be crystal clear how important our health really is. We have faced a very adverse situation and many thousands of people did not make it out.

So here we are. It is time to stand up, get focused and CRUSH your goals or resolutions. 

For 2021, we shouldn’t even call them resolutions. That denotes a sort of temporary thing to me, and most of the time that really doesn’t seem to work.

Let’s just try to have a clear health focus for 2021. We should have health focus all the time, but certainly after this devastating year.

It is kind of sad we think a new year is going to be the ticket, when really we need to adapt a health-focused lifestyle 365 days a year.

So, let’s say your focus is cutting out sugar — and then you spend two weeks straight eating ice cream every day. Don’t beat yourself up. Just get over it and move on.

It is not good to set such high goals such as zero sugar for a month or a year. That’s not even attainable for most, and it turns out to be a huge disappointment.

Set the bar just high enough that your focus is reachable. Baby steps really work.

If time or motivation or even self-control get the best of you, then dust yourself off and re-focus.

2021 is a wonderful reason to re-focus our entire lives. If you are reading this, then you have almost made it through the toughest year in modern history. The never-ending pandemic WILL come to an end.

Gather up a support system (very important), make a plan, give your plan some direction, then take off. At the YMCA, we plan on launching a monthly focus on health and fitness for 2021 that will carry our members through the entire year with ideas and tips.

In my opinion, the peer pressure from a group really is effective. According to Strava (a fitness app for tracking distance, with a social component), when we work out in groups, our workouts last 10% longer and we cover 21% more distance! A little healthy competition is very motivating.

2020 was a huge learning year for all of us. We were all affected. That just means 2021 will be an amazing year to crush our goals. We owe it to ourselves and our families. Happy New YOU!

Ann Angell is a certified instructor and personal trainer. She is fitness director for the YMCA of Calhoun County. Her “Fitness Over 50” column appears the third weekend of each month.