Setting S.M.M.A.R.T. Goals

When you set a goal related to your health and fitness, to give yourself the best chance at achieving that goal you need to make it SMMART.
Specific – When creating your goals, make sure you specify the who, what, when, where, why, and how of what you are planning.

Measurable – Avoid setting goals that you can’t quantifiably measure or track.

Motivational – Your goal should motivate you and those around you. If you are not excited about working toward achieving your goal, then perhaps you should rethink your motivations for achieving the goal in the first place. In the health industry sometimes you will find that the goal does not motivate you, but you need to do it to extend your life. If that is the case, use external motivations such as your family and friends to motivate you to achieve your goals.

Attainable – It is good to be ambitious, but do not be so ambitious that your goal becomes impossible to achieve. If you currently can only walk a mile before you are winded, it is not a great idea to say you are going to run a half marathon in 2 months.

Relevant – Ask yourself if your goal is worthwhile and worth your time. While a goal to eliminate gluten from your diet will help if you have a gluten intolerance, eliminating gluten may not be relevant to your overall goal of improving your health.

Time Bound – Set a time frame for when to complete the goal. Will it take a month, a year, a lifetime? It is up to you to decide, but a goal without a deadline will never be achieved.


Volunteering Improves Your Health

Have you ever wanted to build houses for the poor, coach your kid’s sports team, or become a volunteer firefighter? If yes, then you can use these volunteering opportunities as a way to stay in shape! There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities out there, and many of them require you to be on your feet most of the day. From serving homeless residents at soup kitchens to being a camp counselor, these require you to get up out of your chair and move around. In one camp dedicated to teaching health and fitness, the counselors managed to walk on average almost 8 miles over the course of 12 hours.[1]

With how active you are while volunteering, it is no surprise that according to one Harvard School of Public Health study, people who volunteer their time may spend on average 38% fewer nights in the hospital than non-volunteers.[2] This may be a result of a combination of psychological, social, and physiological benefits of volunteering. On top of the exercise you achieve, volunteering may give you a better sense of your purpose in life, reduces stress, and you get to meet new friends.

The more active social life that results from volunteering has some great health benefits on its own. According to one University of Cambridge study, living with an unfulfilled social life can be considered just as dangerous as other risk factors such as smoking or obesity, increasing your chances of early mortality.[3]

Next time you have a weekend off and are unsure of how to spend your time, or if you believe your time would be better spent helping others, then contact local organizations to see how you can volunteer. I’m sure your local animal shelter, fire department, or homeless shelter would love to have you! Then I am certain you will discover that volunteering your time is perhaps one of the best things you can do for your health.




The 3 ‘Rules of 3’ for Exercise

There are three rules of 3 that you should follow when it comes to exercise. They sound very similar, but there are differences between them. They are:

1) Never go three days without exercising

Your body will begin to lose muscular and cardiovascular endurance faster than you may think. To keep up a healthy life make sure you aren’t skipping too many days in between workouts. If you notice the last time you exercised was three days ago, then try to ensure you do not take another day off.

2) Workout at least three days per week

If rule number one is followed, then most likely you will follow number two. However, if you spread out your exercises too much you may realize you are only exercising 2 days per week. To avoid this, always strive for three workouts per week. Don’t jam them all into a three day weekend. Spread them out in order to accomplish both the first and the second rule.

3) Exercise for at least 30 minutes

The last of the three rules is to ensure you are exercising for at least 30 minutes at a time. While it may be enticing to go for a 10-minute jog to fulfill your daily workout, this only hurts your long-term health. The ideal length of a workout is about an hour, but do not let your workouts last less than 30 minutes.

If you currently have a sedentary life and you begin to follow these three rules, you will discover that just a few workouts per week will make you feel significantly stronger and mentally more aware.

The 6 by 6 Workout: A Full Body Workout for when the Weather’s Keeping You in

Sometimes it is nearly impossible to get outside for a run or to drive to the gym. With the recent Hurricanes pushing through the lower and eastern states, hurricane parties are all the rage. But for my fitness enthusiasts out there, here is a simple and easy workout you can do anywhere you have an open space that is 6 feet by 6 feet.

The 6 by 6 workouts is a series of 6 exercises that you do 6 times each in an area that takes only 6 feet by 6 feet. No equipment is required so you can complete this workout almost anywhere! Here is the workout:

Complete 1 minute of bicycle kicks.

After completing bicycle kicks, immediately begin alternating lunges and time for 1 minute.

Complete 1 minute of traveling push-ups.

1 minute of body-weight squats.

1 minute of mountain climbers.

Then conclude the circuit with 1 minute of side kicks.

After completing 1 minute’s worth of all three exercises, rest for 1 minute and then repeat this circuit 5 more times. This workout is designed to activate your full body with an emphasis on your hips and core.

6 Organizations that are Fighting Childhood Obesity

2 Weeks to Health is dedicated to encouraging public education regarding health and fitness. Our currently reach is minimal compared to some larger non-profits who have a larger reach for stopping obesity. This article points out just a few organizations that focus their efforts at least partly on childhood obesity prevention and reduction. I encourage everyone to check them out and donate your time or money as you see fit. It will take more than a village to make a cultural change in how we eat and view our health, and these organizations are just part of the 2 Weeks to Health mission to encourage, education, and exercise.

Obesity Action Coalition

Campaign to End Obesity

National Childhood Obesity Foundation

Choices: Fighting Childhood Obesity

World Obesity

Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Do you know any other organizations that are fighting obesity, small or large? Please comment below.