How many times have you set the same old resolutions on January 1st– to lose weight and get fit? And how many times have you started with epic enthusiasm, only to give up after a couple of months? If that’s you, then you’re not alone with a YouGov study suggesting that losing weight and getting fit were the top two UK New Year resolutions in 2017 made by 48% and 41% of people respectively, but that 6 in 10 failed to stick to the resolutions they made. If you really want to make some fitness resolutions that last this January, we’ve got some pointers.
1) Take that big goal and break it right down. It’s no wonder that so many people don’t manage to achieve their New Year resolutions to lose weight and get fit because really they are making lifestyle statements rather than making resolutions. It’s fine to say that you want to drop the pounds or up your fitness level, but think of this as you visualising where you want to be in the future. When you make a resolution, make it really specific such as ‘it is my resolution to go swimming once a week in January’. Come February, set a new one.
2) Look at your diet. A big reason that people give up on their resolutions is because they’re not seeing the results they want. They might be training a few times a week but not seeing the pounds drop off. Assuming that they are training in the right way, then this is usually because they haven’t adjusted their diet. Remember the old PT ratio of 80/20, so 80% of weight loss will come from diet and 20% from exercise. Don’t kid yourself either on what you’re eating. Download an app so you can track what you eat and make better choices.
3) Make small lifestyle changes. Whilst it’s brilliant to start including extra specific exercise into your week such as going to the gym, also think about small changes that you can make to your lifestyle. Research now suggests that being inactive can be as bad for us as smoking or being obese, so if your job is primarily desk based, make a point of taking a lunchtime walk and getting up and moving every two hours.
4) Choose sustainable over sensational. Sure, who doesn’t like to impress their friends and colleagues with tales of how many sessions they’ve put in that week. The reality is though that getting your butt to the gym every day might be manageable for a week or even a month, but there’s very, very little chance that you’ll be able to maintain in. Opt instead for something realistic and spread your enthusiasm out over a longer period. And if you don’t enjoy the gym, make it something that you do enjoy, like sport, jogging or spinning.
5) Variety, variety, variety. Another big reason for enthusiastically made resolutions being a distant memory in February is pure boredom. If you run on the treadmill for 20 minutes then do the same weights routine, you’ll quickly get to the point where you’ll see not training as a reward. Switch your mind-set and reward yourself with variety, like a HIIT class, barre or circuit training. Not only will you keep your mind engaged, your body will stay engaged too and challenged- helping results to come through more effectively and you to keep on track with your New Year resolutions!