Make your fitness habits stick this new year
Whether your New Year resolution is to get fit, you want to step up your exercise routine or you simply want to improve your health, you need to do more than simply sign a gym membership this January.
While getting yourself to the gym is a good place to start, many of us start the new year off with great goals and a lot of enthusiasm that then dwindles away before March. The real key to improving your health and fitness is to start with habits that you can make stick for the full year.
Taking steps to allow you to not only reach your goals but continue exercising even when life starts to get in the way will ensure you see a difference in your body and health. Starting the year with habits that will stick and targets that are attainable could mean you end the year a totally different person.
Rather than simply signing up for a couple of yoga classes or promising yourself that this time your gym membership won’t be wasted, here are some ways you can stick with your fitness habits in 2017:
Easing yourself into exercise if you aren’t used to doing a lot of it is one of the best ways to help you build up endurance and see a gradual difference. Walking is great whether you regularly hit the gym or are usually a bit of a couch potato, as it helps to burn calories and gets the blood flowing.
Getting more steps in each day can help you lose weight, get some air and improve your fitness without making any huge changes to start with. It’s recommended that you walk at least 10,000 steps a day to keep active and healthy, with these being spread out throughout the whole day.
Try walking to and from work rather than driving or getting public transport, or even getting off the bus a couple of stops early. You should also get up and move around every hour during the day.
You never know, walking more could ultimately lead to a love of running, so make sure you keep at it and push yourself to do more steps and travel greater distances on foot.
Do it together
Trying to exercise more isn’t easy if you’re doing it on your own. Teaming up with someone else can be a great way to ensure you stick to a routine and push yourself more, which will get you closer to your goals.
Working out and tracking your progress with someone else can mean you both encourage and challenge each other to do better. It will also help get you to the gym and make better food choices, even if all you want is to eat chocolate while watching Netflix.
Have a plan
Going into each week knowing what you are going to do on set days can help you stick to a routine. Planning when you’re going to walk to work, what morning exercises you can fit in, when you’re going to the gym and which classes you’re going to attend will help ensure you don’t overdo it but also that you don’t skip out on activities.
You can also be reactive to how well you’re doing, which exercises you prefer and how your week is looking, such as swapping classes if you find one you enjoy more or fitting gym sessions around meetings at work. This will also allow you to plan your rest days, which are just as important as regular exercise – you can find out why here.
Knowing what you’re doing and when you’re doing it can push you to stick to your plan as you will be able to see what you have achieved within a seven day period.
Track your results
As well as creating a visual plan, it is important for you to be able to see your progress. Not all changes are instantly recognisable when you look in the mirror, so tracking your results is a great way to see your progress. Even if you haven’t yet dropped a dress size, this will help you see that you are on the right track, which can encourage you to keep going.
Not keeping an eye on your progress can mean you aren’t really aware of the benefits of your new fitness habits, which can lead to them falling by the wayside. Celebrating your victories and marking your progress will help you make long-term changes.
How are you planning on making your fitness habits stick this year?