As I sit back and think about how crazy 2020 was, one specific thought popped into my head: everyone was having to adapt to the same changes happening.

Isn’t it wild that our country as well as other places in the world all shared a common similarity at the same time?

We were all challenged to change how we do things and adapt fairly quickly. While most of us, myself included, looked at the negative aspect of it immediately — I switched my thinking from negative to thinking more positively with the given circumstances.

We were asked to stay home, limit large gatherings, only get out for what’s essential, and asked to take care of ourselves. During the first of the pandemic in the spring, I had never seen so many people out walking and being active outside in the community.

From bicycles to fishing equipment — everything was sold out online and in the stores that were open. It was frustrating but pretty cool because it sent a message that we were outdoors taking advantage of the time we were given to focus more on outdoor activities including exercise, instead of just sitting in our house cooped up.

Even better, we were getting to do it as a family! We were getting that much needed bonding time while staying healthy. At the beginning of the pandemic, the accountability factor that comes with exercise was already built in — it was something that we looked forward to doing because we enjoyed the activity, we had the extra time to do this and we were doing it with ones we love.

Usually this time of the year is when the transition to beginning a healthier lifestyle for the New Year begins. Health and fitness experts are trying to get individuals motivated and moving and helping individuals get more into a routine.

After what the pandemic showed in the spring, it has shown us that we all can actually do it even when we aren’t making New Year’s resolutions!

When people ask me about starting a fitness program, the first question I always ask is “what do you like to do?” I start off by asking this because I want to have them do activities that they could make a routine and keep them motivated with coming back rather than giving them activities they don’t like to do, and steer them away from coming back to work out.

Going to the gym and exerting yourself isn’t everyone’s most favorite thing to do. So I look for opportunities where they can have some fun with what they enjoy and look forward to their exercises.

With that being said, my fitness advice for 2021 is to find activities that you like doing and use that to guide you in selecting exercise activities that would benefit your health!

We’ve already proved to ourselves that we can do this. We just need to keep it going.

Colder months? No problem — layer up!

The best part about wearing too many clothes is that the layers can come off if you get too warm. For the months when it gets dark too early, try to use daylight hours if you are able to. If not, other options include exercising at home, going to the gym, or if you still would like to be outside use reflective materials so you can stay safe and be seen in the dark.

However you choose to exercise and workout, always be sure to stay hydrated. During colder months, we may not feel thirsty, but it is still just as equally important to hydrate.

Drink water before, during and after an activity! A tip that helps me is to keep a bottle of water with me at all times. If I have it with me, I’m more tempted to drink it.

We’ve already done a great job adapting to change and accepting new challenges in 2020. Let’s keep this trend going and conquer 2021!

When we do things we enjoy, it makes life that much better. Spreading positivity along with continuing to become the healthiest versions of ourselves is what we should continue to focus on this year for our health and wellbeing.

An easy way for each of us to begin is by choosing a fitness activity that you enjoy and that keeps you motivated and focused to continue working on your mind and body in 2021.

Nick Jones is the fitness supervisor at the Owensboro Health Healthpark.

Nick Jones is the fitness supervisor at the Owensboro Health Healthpark.

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