The new year is rapidly approaching, and with 2020 being such a remarkable disappointment, more people are making New Year’s resolutions than ever. The biggest one seems to be greater respect for health and fitness. With work-from-home causing sedentary fatigue and weight gain from stress eating, retaking the reigns on health is on many minds.
Instead of waiting, getting back into it now is a better choice. You need to build up to it. Even if you used free weights at home and weighted jump rope, or worked out with videos for free on YouTube, or engaged in Zoom classes, there is still a disconnect between your full activity and the new normal.
Health and Fitness in the New Year
Did you know that 80% of January gym-joiners quit within five months.
After a long period of gym closures, stay-at-home orders, and a general lack of willpower, primarily due to quarantine depression and malaise, your body has changed. Your joints are stiff, you might have lower stamina, and your pulse and lung capacity have returned to a predominately rested state. Diving back in where you left off on January 1st is going to be tricky.
Here are helpful tips to help you keep your fitness resolutions and get back in shape.
1. Create Measurable, Realistic Goals
Unless you really stuck with your workout, you might need to give it some time before you can run as far or as fast. Exercise is one of those things that must be maintained. The key is to create specific, measurable goals you can achieve. One way you can improve the chances of succeeding in accomplishing your fitness goals is to apply SMART goal principles. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-specific.
2. Make Habits
Routines you can ignore, but habits become like muscle memory. That is right, instead of making resolutions, instead, focus on creating long-lasting habits. The study of 800 user-logged activities in 2019 showed that people who make resolutions instead of creating habits will abandon most of their goals by January 19. So before the ball drops in Times Square, set in motion new health habits that you will stick with for a long time and will look forward to each and every day.
3. Go It Alone
We aren’t talking about shucking your support system. However, you will definitely feel alone in a gym that is pretty much empty. So, take advantage of it. There is no wait for a machine, no feeling of being scrutinized by other people, and an atmosphere designed to promote your goals, as is evident by the health and fitness advertisements all over the walls. Also, you don’t need to to wait on anyone to go for a quick run or a hike.
4. Support Systems
This will seem in direct contravention of step 3, but it isn’t. You need support. Anyone who has run alone, then run with a friend, knows it is better when someone else is there. You want to do better, push harder, and generally are more motivated. If you have a workout buddy, it is time to give them a call. If not, aligning with someone else who plans to make exercise their resolution will work.
Starting small is the best plan. It’s important to keep habits and goals that will make you feel better and help you live a healthier life.
As you start your regimen and get back out into the wonderful world of exercise, better dieting, and putting the remote down for the first time in months, don’t forget that maintaining discipline starts with the will to program yourself, and the body will follow.
Have you made a resolution to create a healthy lifestyle part of your new year?
Rachel Burns has been writing on topics related to fitness and healthy eating for 2 years now. As a mother, she really appreciates the ease of raising children with her advice. Rachel specializes in plant-based diets. In addition to nutrition, she is also an exercise enthusiast.