It’s that wonderful time of year again when we are actually motivated to hit the gym and finally lose those stubborn extra pounds we’ve been carrying for some time. Studies show that the top two New Year’s resolutions last year were to stay fit and healthy, and to lose weight; there’s no doubt these are at the top of our lists year after year.
Which is precisely the issue-if we would keep to our resolutions, losing weight wouldn’t be at the top of our lists again. We would already have lost the weight, while staying fit and healthy would have become second nature. A lot easier said than done, which is why we present our Top 5 tips for actually sticking to your New Year’s fitness goals in 2016.
1. Walk Before You Run-Literally
Hitting the gym for the first time in 8 months and trying to lift weights or run with the regulars for a couple of hours will bring your motivation crashing down to earth. Even if you can keep up once or twice your drive to continue, especially with your hectic schedule, will disappear quickly.
Start slow, says Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau. Aim for two 30-minute workouts per week. After getting comfortable, add another day to the routine, he says.
2. Set Realistic Goals
10 pounds? 20 pounds? 40 pounds? Whatever your goal is keep in mind that it won’t happen overnight and the commitment is for the long-term. That being said, people often give up on their resolutions too easily simply because they don’t feel a sense of accomplishment. To keep yourself motivated set small, attainable short-term goals. If the goal is to lose 20 pounds set a goal to lose 2-4 pounds during January; the sense of accomplishment will be what ultimately keeps you going.
3.Customize A Plan
What works for one may or may not work for the next. With the goal of finding the right cardio zone the key to many exercise routines, it should go without saying there’s no one size fits all. Everyone is starting from a different launch point which is why you should seek out professional help to get you started. Many fitness centers, including Anytime Fitness, offer a free consultation with all new memberships. Even if your facility doesn’t have this offer it’s worth seeking out the help of a personal trainer to set you along a path you’ll enjoy and be able to stick with
4. Work out with a Friend
Another great way to keep the motivation up is to find a friend with who to work out. When you’re just too tired after a long couple of days it’s a lot harder to tell your friend no than it is to tell yourself no. No one ever left a workout saying I shouldn’t have done this-it’s getting to the gym that’s the challenge. Motivation simply works better in pairs.
5. Reward Yourself
Planet Fitness is a bit unorthodox with their monthly Pizza Monday giveaways but it works: they’re the fastest growing fitness chain in the US. There’s no reason you can’t take the idea and make it your own. Your goals should include rewards for when you reach them. Meeting short-term goals can earn you a small splurge; meeting bigger goals can be accompanied by larger splurges. Just try to keep food off the splurge list!
Here’s to a successful and healthy 2016!