With the snow and cold and workout boredom setting in, many people have already lapsed on the New Year’s resolutions set only a few weeks ago. They’ve fallen into not exercising and resuming old patterns of letting work, kids, social schedules get in the way of leading a healthier and happier lifestyle.
The good news is it is never too late to get back on the workout wagon and resume achieving those goals that you set a little over a month ago. There are a few things to consider as you begin to work on creating the new you that you wanted to do so just shortly ago.
1. Avoid workout boredom. Most people fall off the workout wagon because there are so many times in a row you can hop on a treadmill, the elliptical, the bike and just mindlessly go for a half hour or hour. Eventually it becomes old and when you lose sight of your goals you can justify replacing this time with so many other more pressing things.
How to beat this: Mix up your workout. Do the treadmill but do intervals or do intervals on the elliptical. Don’t overset your goals. If you never worked out before do not commit to 5-6 days a week. Start with 3 or 4. Make each day a new workout. Give yourself one day where you stay at home and work out— that way if you get snowed in or have a schedule change, you can always make that your at-home workout. Use this You Tube video for your at home work out. You can make this as easy or as challenging as you want.
2. Don’t set unrealistic goals. Most people set out with an all or nothing philosophy after New Year’s. They say they’ll work out 6 days a week, 1-2 hours a day when you have not worked out in years.
How to beat this: The first thing to do is find a time that will make the most sense to work out. Then find a workout you will enjoy. Do not do something that you hate. If you do not like running, then do not run, do yoga or swimming or something you enjoy. Add days and time as you are meeting the goals that you set up for yourself.
3. Schedule your workout time as a non-negotiable meeting. People are much more apt to stay with a workout program if they do it consistently at the same time every day. Many people find that before work is the best time to do it but sometimes you are not a morning person so find a lunch hour or reserve time after work. Set a definite time and do not let anything get in the way. Putting a workout time on the calendar and making it permanent will be difficult for the first few weeks but the more you stick to it the easier it will become.
4. Do not ignore food choices. I say food choices as I do not believe in diets. You need to make lifestyle changes. Cutting out all junk food and foods you enjoy is an easy set up for failure. Everything in moderation. And you will have days that you over eat. Tomorrow is another day. Everything in moderation. If you deprive yourself of food, you will be less likely to stick to it. Change a few things about your diet. Take out unhealthy snacks. If you like chocolate, have a piece or two, not the whole chocolate bar. Making small changes will eventually lead to bigger changes over time. You cannot be successful in the gym without changing the way that you eat.
5. Recovery is just as important as working out. Many people neglect the recovery part of working out, allowing the body time to reset after working out. Sitting down and doing a stretching routine after you are done most likely will not happen if you have a busy schedule. Recovery can be done throughout the day. Icing, foam rolling and stretching can be done at any time throughout the day. In fact the more times you do them the better. Finding three minutes here or there multiple times throughout the day will be more beneficial. You can do them at the end of the night while you are on a conference call, anytime really.
6. Don’t ignore the pain. Many times when you start a new exercise program there are aches and pains that develop. Immediately put ice on it. If it persists more than two weeks, seek professional help. This time of year my office is filled with people who started workout programs and ignored the pain and are now too injured to continue. Mixing up the workout routine will help prevent injuries too. But above all do not ignore it. Getting in and getting help when the pain starts will minimize the time that takes to heal and recover.
Every day is a new day. Starting a new life and a new workout takes time and you will fall off the train while you are trying to make life changes. The most important thing is not to quit. Remember that tomorrow is a new day and every day is a new day to make a change.
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