Okay, so I’m in a bit of a grumpy mood tonight. I don’t know what brought it on exactly, but I think it has something to do with this nagging cold (which has now developed into a rather painful cough), my sore and chapped nose and upper lip, and the fact that the cold has kept me from doing any kind of physical activity for about a week now. It’s a total bummer! To top it all off, I’m just tired of being bombarded with all the New Year’s resolution crap that inevitably surfaces at this time of year. Not the stuff about people’s goals, and how to succeed at your resolutions–that stuff I support and even participate in. I’m talking about the inane headlines that equate being thin with being happy and healthy, celebrate shedding inches or dress sizes, or claim you can get a beach body in 10 days. You know, all these so-called healthy get-thin-quick scheme type stories and features that just perpetuate everyone’s obsession with losing weight to be more beautiful and desirable rather than exercising and eating right to treat their body well and feel good. (See? I told you I was grumpy.)
I thought that in order to combat the things that I find annoying about the way weight loss*, health, and fitness are treated during the holiday season, I’d use my little corner of the internet to spotlight some tools that might help you achieve your health and fitness goals in a way that puts emphasis on your strength and helps you appreciate your body even if your ultimate goal is to fit it into a smaller pair of jeans. After all, there is nothing wrong with weight loss, but the reasons for it and the feelings about it should come from the right place. So without further ado…
- Social Workout I’ve already said quite a bit about what you can do with Social Workout, so I won’t go into further detail here. Your options are varied, you can socialize or not, and it’s fun to see your progress bars fill up.
- Daily Mile A great site to use if you want to log your exercise (running, cycling, swimming, walking, lifting, yoga-ing, etc). You can also be pretty social here, and it’s fun to connect with people, motivate them, be motivated in turn, and learn how many donuts you’ve burned while also having all your mileage tallies in one place.
- Health Month A cute site that I found via the Daily Post blog. With this site you can turn your goals into a game wherein you set the parameters and the rewards.
- 43things Also via the Daily Post blog, here you can set your resolutions and be connected to people with goals that match yours. Track your progress and be supported by a community of people at the same time.
- 100 Days John Bingham, also known as “The Penguin” to those of you who are readers of Runner’s World magazine issued a challenge to do 30 minutes of activity a day for 100 days. He started it as a way to get himself moving and figured it would attract a few hundred followers. Join in and become one of over 10,000 people participating (and counting, presumably).
- Map My Run is hosting a few different 30-day challenges, tailored to your fitness interests. Participate and you could win one of a few very awesome gifts.
- Daily Challenge, which I found out about from Jill, is not NYE-specific but will present you with a health-related challenge every day. A great way to work slowly and steadily toward building healthy habits and making lifelong improvements.
- Joe’s Goals came to my attention via Lifehacker. This is another goal-tracking tool, but isn’t fitness-specific so you can really track anything you want. Walk at least one mile every day, and call Mom once a week: if you meet your goals, you get to put a check mark on your little chart. I happen to find checkmarks very satisfying, and maybe you do, too.
Hopefully you find something here that tickles your fancy. Or maybe you already have your goal-getting under control, in which case that’s awesome and I salute you. Regardless, I hope your goals are designed to make you happy and healthy, and not just to make you a thinner but emptier version of yourself.