It's that time of the year once again when we all take stock of our health and aspire to be a better version of ourselves for the next 12 months as part of our New Year's resolution.
But the tradition to be healthy, however, has been so overdone that some people sneer mainly because majority of those who embark on the journey often fall off the wagon somewhere along the way.
To help make your health goals this year more realistic and attainable, we asked the help of certified strength and conditioning coach Chappy Callanta, who is also an online coach and wellness consultant.
How could New Year’s fitness resolutions be more effective?
I suggest that you think of SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable/achievable, Relevant, Time-bound. Let’s take the example of losing weight. Setting a goal of weight loss can be abstract. Of course you want to lose the right kind of weight which is fat. How much weight exactly do you want to lose? When do you want to achieve this goal? Is that time frame realistic? And most importantly, does this goal inspire you to move and get it done?
Instead of saying losing weight, say "I want to lose 1 pound per week." That’s something that is realistic and time bound. Doing it this way also increases the likelihood for success.
This same strategy can be applied to different goals like increasing exercise frequency, eating healthier, and building muscle.
Once you have this goal, then you can strategize around it. Share it with an accountability partner, design your environment for success, and spot the opportunities around you for movement.
What physical activities could you recommend for those who want to become more healthy this year?
I suggest that you start with increasing your daily physical activity first.
Build awareness on your day by taking note of your activities. Doing this will help you categorize active physical work like chores, errands when you are on the move and leisure activities like sports, playing with your kids, or walking. It will also help you identify if you are lacking in this department. Once you have this awareness then you can strategize around it by adding 10-20% more time for physical activity. For example, if you identified that you are only physically active for three hours on a day, aim for adding 30 mins to an hour. This can be in the form of purposeful exercise, which for beginners can be brisk walking, swimming, cycling, or even rhythm and dance for their cardiovascular fitness needs.
Resistance training or strength training is crucial for everybody, regardless of fitness state so I suggest adding 2-3 bouts of this per week.
Resistance training or strength training is crucial for everybody, regardless of fitness state so I suggest adding 2-3 bouts of this per week. This can be in the form of calisthenics like push ups, body weight squats, and other body weight exercises, but aim to progress gradually to using external resistance like weights.
Are there also fitness goals or aspirations you have laid out for yourself for 2021?
Every year, I take stock of what I have done the previous year and see where I can do better in the physical health department. That usually involves learning a new sport and being more consistent in my purposeful resistance training. This year, my goal is to take up a new sport: golf. Aside from that, I have a weight loss goal of losing my quarantine weight. That goal is to bring my body fat percentage down to less than 10% in the span of 3 months.
From a fitness and health perspective, how do you look back at 2020?
What kept me healthy was my family and the desire to be healthy for them so that I can continue to be the husband and father that I aim to be. That’s always been my motivation and it got me through the year.
It was tremendously challenging especially since gyms were closed for the majority of the year. Being somebody who primarily uses the gym for my training, I had to adapt. What kept me healthy was my family and the desire to be healthy for them so that I can continue to be the husband and father that I aim to be. That’s always been my motivation and it got me through the year.
I’ve learned how to really maximize the things and opportunities around you to stay active. There are many ways to stay active even in a confined space. you just have have to be creative.