How to make your New Year’s fitness resolution count this January.
Queues for the showers, zero mat space and a line for the treadmills which will take longer than the time you’re allowed to spend on it? It must be January at the gym. Every year this predictable phenomenon occurs due to thousands of individuals signing up to yearly gym memberships, full of good intentions for the New Year. You can already start to see the numbers diminish in late January and by mid-February, things are back to normal.
I’m here to try and help you keep on track of your New Year fitness and health goals with a number of hints and suggestions:
1) Set a REALISTIC goal
Start by having an honest conversation with yourself and decide on a resolution which is achievable within a certain deadline. It’s no good pretending you will have the time to run 10 miles everyday if you have a demanding job or schedule. The number one killer for a New Year’s resolution is placing too much pressure on yourself.
Set a realistic deadline, for example: I would like to work my way up to a half marathon within 4 months. The deadline can easily be changed along the way depending on your level of commitment and progress.
Take the next few days to set out your game plan.
One of the easiest ways to stay on target over the next few months is to sign up to an event. This will introduce a competitive element and added incentive to your training. I’ve always been tempted by the gruelling Tough Guy competition, but this would involve an exhausting training programme and I’m not sure how well I would cope with burning obstacles and pools of freezing water.
If you think you’re up for a challenge, check it out:
Don’t go it alone
It can be really helpful to enlist the help of a training partner to keep you motivated and positive. The alternative is to join a running/ cycling/ exercise group to make your workout more enjoyable and sociable.
Choose something you actually enjoy
This is probably the most obvious, but the most important piece of advice. It’s best to focus on an activity, sport or form of exercise which you know you can really throw yourself into and have fun at the same time.
2) Track and reward your progress
My goal this year is to keep a workout log to make sure I meet my targets.
There are a few different ways to keep track of your progress such as the Nike Plus iPod Sports Kit. This incredible device transforms your iPod into a personal trainer by providing real-time, spoken feedback that alerts you to workout milestones. It fits inside your trainer and you can then track time, distance, pace, and calories burned by transmitting the information wirelessly to your device for instant feedback. You can see it here on my Christmas gift wish list:
Another option is the Nike + Sports Watch which is easy to use and gives you great running data.
Reward yourself with a little treat- a new gadget, running accessory or new music each time you pass a milestone.
3) Kick one bad habit
I’ll be giving up sweets for as long as I can bear. What’s your weakness?
4) Go the distance
There’s always the opportunity to go further and train harder than you anticipated. Don’t be put off by the January crowds in the gym. Wait it out and you will be rewarded. Remember- no one ever regretted a workout.
This really surprised me. Saturday at 5pm is usually prime time, but clearly people have not decided to kick-start their New Year’s resolutions. Gyms are often really quiet around midday or late in the evening, so try and target the less busy times during January.
6) Change it up
Alongside your main fitness routine, try some additional exercise classes to avoid getting stuck in a fitness rut. It is very easy to get bored of your usual workout, especially if your are just running alone or going to the gym. Try a group fitness class, the camaraderie really helps, especially if you are lacking motivation.
What is your New Year’s Resolution?
I’d love to hear from you. The 3 most inspirational goals will be posted up on Higher Tone on January 1st. Feel free to send me as many as you like.