The New Year is a fantastic time to focus on improving your fitness. It seems the whole nation is motivated, with everyone determined to get physical and keep their New Year’s fitness resolutions. But after a few weeks of effort, our exciting endeavours often lose their shine and unfortunately, most people end up abandoning their goals. If, however, you’re determined to stick to your resolutions this year, follow these tips to keep moving and achieve your aims.
Choose an activity you enjoy
New Year’s fitness resolutions are much easier to keep if you’re having fun. So if you’ve always hated cross country running, but have a passion for salsa dancing, it’s obvious which activity you’re more likely to stick with. Exercise doesn’t have to feel like a punishment, so if it’s something you’re starting to dread, take time to think about what activity gets your heart pumping – in a good way.
Start small and build up
One of the classic mistakes when it comes to New Year’s fitness resolutions is to attempt too much, too soon. It’s all too easy to get carried away with our desire to achieve our targets, and neglect to put in the groundwork, but our bodies need to build up gradually in order to cope with the demands we put on them. Start with small, achievable tasks and you’ll feel a real sense of achievement every time you train. By slowly adding extra challenges at a manageable pace, you’re more likely to stay on target, keep training and avoid injury.
Exercise with a friend
Do you have a friend with similar goals? By getting together for joint training sessions, you’ll each improve your chances of keeping your New Year’s fitness resolutions. With only yourself to answer to, you might find yourself making excuses not to get out there and train. But with a training buddy who you can’t let down, you’ll each provide support and motivation for the other – and maybe introduce a little healthy competition into the mix.
Diarise your training sessions
We often make New Year’s fitness resolutions with the best of intentions – only to find that they don’t fit into the practical realities of everyday life. If you’ve decided to swim three times a week, but the swimming pool timetable clashes with the school run, it’s never going to happen. So, get out your diary, work out when you’re free, and carve out some dedicated, uninterruptable slots that you can use for your training.
Don’t ignore signs of injury
If you’re feeling sore or stiff, your body is sending you a message that you shouldn’t ignore. You may be tempted to press on and exercise through an injury, but inevitably, this will make things worse in the long run. So if you have a niggle or something just doesn’t feel right, that’s the one time when missing your regular training is the right thing to do. Check out our blog on preventing and treating sports injuries, and don’t hesitate to book an appointment with Harpenden Physiotherapy to get your injury treated.