It begins with good intentions, a new gym membership, a few weeks diligently hitting the gym, eating better, feeling better until the day comes you don't 'want to' go work out. Those 'don't want to' days come more frequently, the meals slip back to the old familiar foods which bring comfort and before long any progress made has disappeared...until next January.
Instead of radical resolutions, taking fun smaller steps keeps us moving in the direction of our big goal. Here are a few fitness resolutions to keep us headed in the right direction:
1. BE A GAINER
Instead of focusing on what you want to lose from your workout, focus on what you want to gain. For example, “I want to lose 30 pounds” is less motivating than “I want to gain strength.” Turning the focus to how clean eating feel so good instead of the loss of some of the favorite foods.
2. GET COMPETITIVE
Make your resolution a measurable goal by participating in a race or other fitness competition like a charity walk, 5K, marathon or sprint triathlon Whatever level of fitness, these are fun things which inspire us to train and become better.
3. DITCH THE “ALL OR NOTHING” MENTALITY
Instead of using your jam-packed schedule as an excuse to say, “I don’t have time for exercise,” use the time crunch as a reason to perform a quick high-intensity interval workout. Hold a wall sit while you brush your teeth, or just take the stairs more often. Find something physical to do in those quick spare minutes.
4. REWARD YOURSELF
Once you hit a goal, do something nice for yourself. For example, if you want to run a 10K in under an hour, your reward could be the running watch you’ve been eyeing.
5. MAKE CHANGES SLOWLY
Instead of trying to go from zero to 100 on January 1, work on mastering one small exercise habit over the course of a couple of weeks. Once you feel like you have that one down, add another one.
6. WARM UP
Don’t skip your exercise warmup. It makes your ultimate workout — running, cycling, lifting weights or intervals — feel easier, and it allows you to push harder, which means you’ll get better results.
7. ENLIST A “WELLNESS CHAMPION”
Ask your family, best friend or sibling to help keep you accountable and cheer you on during your fitness journey. Pick someone who already see health and fitness as a top priority.
8. PICK UP SOMETHING HEAVY
Integrating strength training into your workout routine is vital to building muscle, increasing strength and keeping your bones healthy.
9. DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
Every once in a while, you will miss a workout or have an “off” day in the gym. Don’t let that trip you up. Just accept it and move on.
10. TRACK YOUR WORKOUTS AND NUTRITION
Apps like MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness make you more likely to stick with your goal and will eliminate time spent guessing about how much you ate, how fast you ran or how much weight you should lift this week. Plus, it’ll allow you to see just how far you’ve come.