It’s that time of year when New Years health & fitness resolutions should now be in full swing. Gyms are packed and Personal Trainers, such as me, are in our peak time with work. The really motivated resolutioners are going to the gym or exercising at home several times a week. The not quite so motivated ones are starting to get excuses together as to why they won’t train today, or tomorrow, or the day after. Maybe it’s the weather! Maybe you don’t have time! Maybe you’re tired! Maybe it’s the weather! (again). Maybe you’re just lacking in motivation. Maybe you’ll start next week!
There are a thousand reasons for not keeping to the good intentions you outlined only four weeks ago but let’s be honest…How many of these are actually good reasons?
Here are a few ideas to either get you started or keep you motivated with your health & fitness resolutions during the rest of winter.
1. Be Realistic
The biggest reason why people fall off the resolution treadmill is that they set unrealistic goals. You’re not going to lose 3 stone in a month and deciding that you will NEVER eat your favourite food again is just going to lead to you being miserable. Tell yourself that you can eat your favourite foods once every two weeks. This way the 3 stone will come off naturally and you will be happier knowing you have something to look forward to.
2. Set Goals
It’s great to have it in your head that you are going to lose 3 stone before summer or that you want to lose 4 inches from your belly for a wedding in 4 months. The only problem is that 4 months and the summer are still a long way off. You have to set short and medium term goals to go for in between. Tell yourself that in the next 6 weeks you will lose say one stone and that in 10-11 weeks you will be half way to your goal. This way it makes the time frame seem more doable.
3. Don’t make excuses!
It’s so easy, especially at this time of year, to come up with a different excuse every day to not exercise. It’s cold and wet outside. The nights are dark. The heating is on at home.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym and looking at a wall while you’re plodding away on the treadmill in a packed gym. Exercise can be going for a walk or bike ride or doing a fitness DVD.
4. Reward yourself
Health and fitness doesn’t have to be about giving up everything that you like for something that may seem like the worst thing imaginable. Give yourself a reward every so often. For example, if you go walking, say that once you cover 10 miles you can have a small bar of chocolate or a bag of crisps. This might take 3-4 days, or it may take 2 weeks. The point is you have something to look forward to.
5. Keep Trying
If you feel totally finished with keeping your resolution by mid-February, don’t despair. Start it again, think about why you haven’t been able to keep to it and maybe use some of the above reasons to help you get going again. A health & fitness resolution doesn’t have to be from January 1st. You can start it any time!