It's that time of year again...New Year, New You - right?! The gyms become packed in the new year with people focusing on their fitness goals, but end up falling off after a month or two. We’re all for setting New Year resolutions, especially ones that focus on a happy and healthier you – BUT we want you to stick a plan. Here are a few tips to increase your chances for long-term success in achieving your fitness goals.
Determine Your Readiness
Make sure you're both physically and mentally prepared to start an exercise program. If you don’t think you are healthy enough, consult your doctor before starting a fitness regimen. Once you have been physically cleared to proceed, consider your mental readiness. How likely are you to stick with an exercise program? There are many factors in succeeding in your fitness goals, but attitude is everything. You are more likely to succeed if you:
- Have confidence in your exercise ability.
- Receive encouragement and support from those closest to you.
- Participate in an enjoyable form of exercise.
Create a Plan
Before you start your fitness journey, ask yourself these questions. First, when will you exercise? Choose three days and times that will work for you and stick to it! Second, what type of exercise will you do? Find something you enjoy and doesn’t feel like work. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing; pick an exercise that works for you. Take your pick: spin, running, zumba, basketball, HIIT, crossfit, swimming – and the list goes on. Last but not least, how much time will you devote to exercising? Start small and work your way up. Even 15 minutes of getting your heart rate up is better than nothing – remember that!
Bring a Friend
You’re not the only one who decided to step up your fitness game this year so find a friend to join in on your journey! It will increase your chances for success and you'll have more fun. For this to work, you have to find an exercise that both of you enjoy. This might be a challenge, but it's worth it since a fit friend provides you with a support system, a positive social experience and inspiration. Your workout partner will keep you motivated on those days you don’t feel like working out – and trust us there will be those days!
One of the biggest problems with New Year's resolutions is they can be extremely unrealistic. Setting goals is a great idea, but make sure they are reachable. Try to lose 10lbs by spring break, not 30. Train to complete a 5K by tax day, not a marathon. Start slow (low intensity and duration), develop a solid foundation of fitness and then build up as your fitness improves.