7 Tips on Creating New Year Fitness Resolutions That Stick
At the start of every New Year, most of us will make some sort of resolution related to health and fitness or increasing exercise. The question is how many of you actually end up sticking to it?
Most people tend to make unrealistic goals and end up losing motivation when they can’t achieve these or don’t see results right away.
If you want this year to be your year, check out these tips below and our New Years Resolutions Infographic to help you on your way.
1. Set Realistic Goals
Many of us will set an overall end goal, but you need smaller attainable goals to achieve this. Set practical goals that will fit in with your career and social life, whilst allowing for plenty of sleep (this is when your body repairs) and relaxation. For example, if you plan to attend the gym 6 days a week right away after not having done any exercise for a few months, your body will burn out quickly as muscles you haven’t used in a while need time to recover. This will likely result in you skipping planned sessions because your body is too sore, which will disrupt your overall training program. It would be best to ease yourself back into it and go 3-4 times a week with a rest day in between and slowly work your way up to more days once you can judge how quickly your body recovers.
2. Measure Your Progress
Depending on your goal, keep an exercise and/or workout journal, which will help you to track your weightloss and/or workout routines. Start with tracking the first 1-2 weeks and you can reassess your progress if necessary. This will allow you to look back over workout routines to see what worked and what needs to be changed in order to reach your goal. You can also start to compare your workout routines with the amount of food you’re consuming. For example, if you are consuming more calories than you’re burning off during a workout, then you need to either adjust your exercises to be more intense or change up your diet.
3. Outline a Plan
Plan your meals for the week so you can prepare before your training sessions. This will eliminate the chance of you possibly skipping meals or eating a less nutritious meal because you can’t think of what to cook. Cooking takes time so on the days you are training, prepare your meals in the morning before work or you can schedule an easy to cook meal on the days you train. Plan in advance what days/nights you will be training as well as your workout routine so you know what you are doing as soon as you step into the gym or class. This leaves no time to dawdle or excuses for skipping a session.
4. Stay Flexible
It’s important to stick to your goals but understand that unexpected situations can arise that may temporarily set you back from achieving your objectives. For example, you may need to attend a work or family function on a night you would usually train. If this happens, you can always make up the session on a rest day or try training in the morning rather than your usually evening routine.
5. Make Exercise Fun
Most people continuously go to the gym every day and do the same workout routine, which can become boring and you lose interest very quickly. Keep it fun and change it up every so often. Go to the gym twice a week and do a class outside of the gym twice a week. This could include boxing, strength & conditioning, yoga or pilates. Another option is to join a local sports team or try doing exercise with friends such as walking, hiking or riding. Working out with other people is a great motivator as you don’t feel like you’re alone in achieving your goals and it pushes you to work harder.
6. Reward Yourself
Keeping to a strict diet and exercise routine can become tedious and it’s only natural for people to slip and binge on junk food or skip routines. One way to avoid this is to reward yourself with a treat once a week or have what people call a ‘cheat day’. As long as you only stick to one day a week, it won’t spiral out of control. For example, on Sundays treat yourself to your favourite food that you don’t eat during the week or go buy some new workout clothes for sticking to your goals.
7. Review Intermittently
After a few months, review your journal to see how you have progressed and make changes where necessary. If it has been 3 months of setting a goal to exercise 3 times a week, you could try increasing it to 4 or 5 sessions per week for the next 3 months. As your fitness levels increase, you will need to change your goals accordingly. Keeping the above steps in mind when reviewing your goals, will help you on your way to obtaining them.
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