Keeping Your Fitness Resolution
The most common New Year's Resolution made every year, is the promise a person makes to themselves to better their fitness levels. Or to exercise more. Or to finally lose 10 pounds. However it is phrased, it remains the same. And those promises are made with all the right intentions, but the issue arises when it comes time to enact on that promise and, harder still, to keep it.
Halloween pretty much kicks off the bad eating habits, but somewhere around Thanksgiving, it is generally accepted that you everyone is going to be eating a little bit naughtier. And that's fine - because in a few weeks it'll be a New Year and a new you! In the gym burning it all off, right? And that might be true for a month or two. Around 12% of gym members sign up in January, and most of them quit within 24 weeks. It would probably be more if they weren’t tied into a six or twelve-month contract.
For most people, when they sign up for the gym, with all those good New Year intentions, they never plan on quitting - at least not that they would admit to. And if you're one of those people - how are you planning to stick it out when so many around you (some of whom you may have made a fitness pact with) are dropping out? It doesn't matter if you have just taken a holiday break from the gym, are coming back to it after a slump or an injury, or even if you are entirely new to the world of fitness, getting into a proper regimen can be daunting. It’s not just about getting to the gym four or five times a week - your diet will need a complete revamping, and so will your mentality towards fitness. You need to restructure your life in order to fit it all in. But never fear! There are many tried and tested ways in which you can make your New Year's Resolution happen. All it takes is a little bit of preparation, a hefty dollop of perseverance, and a good sprinkling of patience.
The very first thing you need to do is get into the right frame of mind. You need to banish that little voice in your mind saying that you’re probably going to quit soon, that you haven't swum since school so you will just make a fool of yourself, that it’s okay not to go every day. You don’t need those toxic and completely untrue thoughts. Kick out the negativity and replace it with a solid, positive, mantra of ‘can’. You can do this.
Sign up to a gym, learn about the classes and the times and set yourself a plan. When you book your classes and schedule a time to go to the gym, treat them as if they're doctors appointments. That way your mind will register them as something that you cannot miss. Wherever possible, keep your session regular and consistent, that means going will become a habit after a few weeks. Willpower is the most important thing that will get you through all the food cravings and the sore muscles. So if you don’t turn the way you're looking at this new venture, then you’re not going to succeed in it.
Make sure you're setting a realistic goal for yourself. If you’re trying to lose weight, then pick a number just under your ideal, and a time frame just over what you think it would take to lose that much. That way if you reach it you’ll be happy, and if you surpass it, you’ll be ecstatic. If your aim is to tone or bulk, then again set the bar slightly lower, and always aim to beat it. On top of that - reword your resolution from ‘im going to lose weight’ to ‘I’m going to lose 10 pounds by March’. The idea of splitting your resolution into smaller checkpoints is to make the whole process seem more manageable and will give you multiple points to celebrate through the year, which keeps up your momentum and your morale.
Your Diet Control
What is the point of putting in the hours at the gym just to go home and eat your body weight in junk food? So many people think that exercise allows them to eat the wrong stuff - that an hour on the treadmill equals a takeout pizza. Actually, it's more likely to equal half a chocolate bar. You can't treat the gym as a way of being allowed to eat the wrong stuff - it just doesn’t work like that. When you’re working out, you’re striving to burn off that saturated fat sitting in your body, so why would you just keep replenishing it every day? When you're in the cycle of eating badly, gaining body fat is easier than losing it, and it’s not just about what you eat, but the portion sizes too. You need to sort out a meal plan from day one. One that will cover three meals a day plus three snacks. Unfortunately for some people, a lot of the nutrients the body needs, particularly when trying to be healthier, isn't being naturally produced. In these instances its best to check with a doctor or nutritionist about taking supplements or things like KetoMCT to balance it out. If your fitness journey includes the help of a personal trainer, then they should be able to help you to create a diet plan. If not, then look into programs like the ones created by people like John Wicks, where a diet plan is teamed with a workout programme to best benefit you.
Once you have all the gym information; class options and times, equipment availability and so on, it's time to make a plan. Again, if you are working with a personal trainer, then they will sort this out for you. But if you’re on your own, then don’t worry, you can just ask for advice from any of the gym personal, or you can follow a plan like some found at the body coach website we mentioned earlier (John Wicks). Start by working out which classes you can, and want to, attend weekly, and then arrange gym time around that. Once you know when you're going, you can look at what you're doing. What part of the body are you most concerned with? Or are you looking to focus on everywhere equally? Splitting your workout days by body part can work in your favor - that way you know that only one area of your body will be aching the next day. Plus if you know that every Wednesday is spin class followed by leg day, you know not to go for a long walk the day after. However, do bare in mind that you aren’t going to be the only one using the gym, and, particularly at peak times, you might find that you might have to switch it up if there aren’t any treadmills free for example. But otherwise, stick to the plan. Choose the right exercises for the fitness gain you are looking for. If you’re concentrating on cardio, then you’ll want to start and finish on the treadmill each session. If you’re looking to tone, but not gain, muscle, then choose lower weights but do more reps per session. You can find some help in selecting the right weight for you and your needs at dailyburn.com. Don’t start too heavy, remember that it will get heavier with each rep. So start light and build yourself up over time.