When it comes to getting older, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. Despite the ups and downs, you’ve successfully made it through another year. Festivities with friends and family are definitely in order but, once the day winds down and you’ve gotten in the 10,000 steps needed to set off your own fireworks display, it’s time to plan for the year ahead. Remember, not all goals need to be lofty—though kudos to you if a mid-life crisis fuels you to complete a triathlon. Check out this fitness bucket list filled with doable tasks that you can cherry pick from or spread out over the next 365 days to boost your fitness, mindset, and overall health.
1. Hike Your State’s Highest Peak
Walking is great for your cardio fitness levels—which can help improve your sleep and even lessen the risk of type 2 diabetes—but if you’re looking to burn more calories, hiking may be the way to go. This year, aim put one big hike on your calendar and then work up to it by adding smaller hikes to your weekly cardio rotation. Not only can you stoke an afterburn effect and boost your energy, research shows you may also improve your mood.
2. Run Your First 5K, Half Marathon, or Marathon
Having set goals with end dates can help you stay motivated, especially when you’re mapping out your checklist for the year. Stay on track by signing up for a planned event, such as a 5K, half marathon, or marathon. Just make sure to take it slow and bump up the mileage gradually before slipping in some speed.
3. Nail a Pull Up
The idea of mastering your first pull-up can be daunting, and may even give you P.E. class flashbacks, but with proper coaching it can be easily mastered. This year, get your first rep by building your lat, biceps, and forearm strength with exercises such as cable pull-downs and machine or band-assisted pull-ups.
4. Master a Tripod Headstand
Turn the year upside down by working towards a tripod headstand, sans wall. You’ll build enough confidence, core strength, and coordination to carry you into the year ahead. Just make sure you have the strength from a strong plank hold, the flexibility from a chaturanga, and the balance from warrior III first.
5. Squat Your Body Weight
Squats are a total lower-body builder. This year, make sure they’re a part of your workout routine. Try adding in different variations, like jump squats that boost strength and athleticism and sumo squats for that inner-thigh burn. Looking to kick things up a notch? Add a dumbbell press to turn it into a total-body exercise.
6. Give Cyclocross a Shot
Give the road a rest and make this the year you hit new terrain with cyclocross, a type of cycling that takes place off road and includes obstacles. A favorite of Fitbit Ambassador Jens Voigt, cyclocross can help you connect with nature while allowing you to combine a sense of adventure with getting fit. Push yourself by signing up for a race.
7. Hold a Plank for Two Minutes
Let this be the year you set a new plank personal record. Besides the ego boost, you’ll reap a stronger core, which will pay off in spades during everyday movements that require support and stabilization. Work up to a 2-minute plank with this 30-day challenge.
8. Do 50 Perfect Push-Ups Or Conquer Harder Variations
Sometimes mastering the basics is the best thing you can do. Push-ups are a foundational movement that strengthens and tones your chest, shoulders, and arms, and even helps with core stability. This year, perfect your first push-up and work up to doing 50 in a row, or master different variations, whether that means going from knee push-ups to incline push-ups or from triangle push-ups to walk-overs.
9. Make Meal Prep A Priority
Ok, this isn’t a fitness challenge, but if you want to get fit and see results, you’ve got to fuel smart. Adopt a healthy meal-prep strategy that allows you to cook once and eat all week.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.