While admirable, sticking to a new regime isn’t without its challenges; the cold weather, social commitments and flu season are all factors that make getting to the gym just that bit harder. If you’re struggling to stay motivated, take a look at our tips for keeping your fitness goals on track well into 2018.
If you’re new to regular exercise try to avoid setting yourself unachievable targets. It’s tempting to set your end goal when you start your fitness journey, but for most of us this can end up being counter-productive and can make us feel like we’re failed if we fall behind.
Setting small achievable goals will allow you to get into the swing of things and, ultimately, keep you motivated.
Mobile apps are a great way to start out, offering a wide variety of basic workouts from high intensity interval training (HIIT) to yoga. Plan to do 15 minute workouts three times a week and increase the frequency as your fitness starts to improve.
What works for someone else may not work for you. Before committing to a costly gym membership, or investing in the latest yoga kit, try out a range of activities. You may find a YouTube dance class gives you more enjoyment than a 5k jog. Remember, everyone’s different.
Pay attention to your body, and go for the activities that make a difference to your mood as well as your physical health.
Flexibility Isn't Failure
Don’t be afraid to adjust your new fitness plan if you find you’re struggling to keep up. Your fitness goals should be realistic and enhance your lifestyle - both mentally and physically - and certainly not cause you anxiety if you miss one day.
Food Is Fuel
A search for ‘healthy recipes’ on Google can fire up hundreds of results, so spend time looking for ones that excite you and compliment your new fitness plan. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to healthy eating. The key is to eat a balanced diet which includes proteins, fresh vegetables, heart-healthy oily fish, complex carbohydrates and drink plenty of water.
Measure Your Progress
A great way to motivate you to stay fit is to look at the progress you’ve made and focus on how much further you can go. Fitness trackers and apps are a great way to log your improvement, particularly for beginners. Equally don’t beat yourself up if you’ve not made as much progress as you’d like; take it as an opportunity to analyse your plan and make adjustments where you need to.
Beware Of The Scales
Scales give an indicator of weight loss, but they don’t allow for the bigger picture and can be counter-productive to your motivation. For alternative measurement techniques, try calculating your BMI or taking monthly circumference measurements to get a true overview of your progress.