Make Your Fitness Resolutions Stick!
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you enjoyed the holidays and some good times filled with family, friends and good food.
If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve made your list of New Year’s resolutions and there’s a good chance something related to health and fitness take up the top spots. I love seeing so many new faces at the gym at this time of year, but I hate the fact that usually by March, many of those enthusiastic newbies are long gone. So, I kick off 2012 with a few tips that I hope will help anyone who has decided THIS is the year they’re finally going to make those fitness resolutions stick long after Old Man Winter has made room for Spring.
- Leave the Past Behind. Don’t waste your energy regretting the times you overdid it during the holidays. I have my own memories of indulging in a second piece of lasagna and/or chocolate cake. Today is a new day.
- Adjust Your Attitude. Think of exercise as a “chore,” and no doubt you’ll be done with your new routine in no time. Instead, think of exercise as “Me Time.” No matter what’s going on in my life, the time I spend working out is the one time my brain goes into neutral and the only thing filling it is my music. So, use exercise as a break from the ordinary, and before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to sweating out whatever ails you.
- Be Realistic. Saying you’re going to exercise seven days a week is one of the easiest ways to set yourself up for failure. The first day you miss, you’ll be discouraged, and could find yourself saying, “Well, I just blew the whole week!” A more realistic approach would be to aim for a minimum of three days each week for the first month. As you start experiencing the endorphin-rush and other benefits from exercising, you’ll want to spend more than three days working out. Discouragement aside, everyone should take a minimum of one day off each week to let the body rest.
- Find What Works for You. You woke up Christmas morning to find Santa left the latest version of P90X under your tree. Meanwhile, all your exercise DVDs have been hanging with the dust bunnies under your bed since VHS went out of style. Why not return the new program and put the money toward a new pair of sneakers and moisture-wicking workout wear? Grab a friend and start those power walks or sign up for that Hip-Hop or Zumba class at your local community center. Have no idea what to try? Splurge and hire a personal trainer to get you started on the right track or get a book that breaks things down for you in simple English.
- Avoid Extreme Food Restrictions. If you deny yourself something you truly enjoy for too long, it’s only a matter of time before you break down and go overboard. So, the chocolate bar you could have had last week turns into five chocolate bars, washed down with a chocolate shake and a side of cupcakes two months later.
I leave you with this reality: there will be “off” days. Even as a lifelong fitness enthusiast, there are times I simply don’t want to workout and all I want to eat is cheese and chocolate. It happens. Just don’t let one bad day throw you off course. Just wipe away the crumbs, prep your gym bag and remember tomorrow is your next chance to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!