It’s February. Are you still staying true to your New Year’s Resolution to start exercising and lose weight? Or have you fallen off the fitness wagon?
We’ve all seen the crowds that flock to the gym in January to only see everything return back to normal by mid February. Perhaps you were part of that crowd, flushed with enthusiasm and proclaiming, “This is the year I get healthy and fit!” Then real life kicked in with an illness or a late night at work that caused you to miss a workout. You said, “I’ll make it up tomorrow.” Tomorrow came, a new challenge arose and once again a workout was missed. Then it was food day at work. A cupcake or two and you said, “Oh well, I’ve blown it. I might as well have the ice cream too.”
That’s how the spiral back to couch potato begins. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Yes, things didn’t go as planned for a week or two. That doesn’t mean you have to wait until next January to start again. You can start today to rediscover your motivation and enthusiasm with a few simple steps.
1. Commit to one small habit. The reason most people don’t keep New Year’s Resolutions is they try to take on too many things at once. To restart your efforts just pick one small habit that you feel confident you can conquer. Resolve to get 5 minutes of exercise a day, increase your water intake daily to half your body weight in ounces, or eat 2 servings of vegetables per day.
2. Write down your goals. Putting your goals in writing can make them more real. Write down that one small habit you are committing to and place it where you can see it everyday.
3. Find a workout partner. A buddy can help keep a long run interesting and hold you accountable when you’re tempted to hit the snooze button. A friend with a greater level of fitness than you can also help you train harder than you might on your own. Or find another beginner and choose a goal together, like running your first 5K.
4. Keep it fun. Exercise doesn’t have to be confined to the walls of gym. You’re also more likely to stick with it if you enjoy it. Try ballroom dance or martial arts. If you’re really up for a fun challenge, find a roller derby or dodge ball team in your area.
5. Have a plan B. Life is going to get in the way. There will be mornings you oversleep or forget your healthy brown bag lunch. Have fitness DVDs handy to replace the gym session you missed. Keep a snack drawer at work filled with protein bars, raw almonds, dry roasted edamame, fruit and other healthy snacks to create an easy and healthy lunch or snack.
Committing to health and fitness doesn’t have to be ruled by the date on the calendar. You can take the first step on your journey to health and fitness any day of the year.
About the Author:
Pamela Hernandez is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, an ACE Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach, and the owner of Thrive Personal Fitness in Springfield, MO. For additional tips and tricks to help you get healthy and fit in the real world, check out her blog, like her facebook page, and follow her on Twitter @ThriveFit.