By Martin Ebner
A new year, a new you!?
After weeks of overindulging in all that the festive season has to offer, the year has come to an abrupt end and all that's left to remind you of the good times is a wobbly waistline.
Every year, thousands of us vow to make the new year our healthiest and fittest ever. Yet a colossal 73% of us throw in the sweaty towel before the month of January comes to a close.
Start off the way you mean to go on in 2017 by following these professional tips on how to make it your fittest year to date. Let's do this!
1. Set (realistic) goals
It's crucial when beginning any sort of exercise program to first, set yourself some goals. Ask yourself, why am I doing it? Is it for weight-loss, muscle gain, improved confidence, a result of a health scare etc? Once you've decided why, put pen to paper and write out some realistic goals. Realistic being the key word here! To run a marathon by the month's end or to lose 21lbs in 21 days are not realistic goals and will more likely result in a burnout or injury than to achieve any sort of positive results. Instead, start slowly, be patient and build up your workout routine and goals as your fitness level and experience improves. It's a marathon, not a sprint!
2. Make a plan
Now that you've set some realistic goals, it's time to put yourself together a workout plan. By knowing what, when and how you're going to exercise to achieve your goals, you stand a far greater chance of sticking it out in the long run.
What to include in your exercise plan?
- Exercise type (Running, yoga, cross-fit, HIIT etc)
- Frequency (How many times per week)
- Workout length (Length of each session)
- Specific exercises included in each workout (Squats, push-ups, sit-ups etc)
- Sets and rep count (Example 3 sets of 12 repetitions)
3. Buy yourself some new "active wear"
Look the part, feel the part. Treating yourself to a new workout wardrobe can serve as a great motivator. The psychological phenomenon is called "enclothed cognition" and suggests that the clothing we wear can trigger metal changes that positively effect our performance. As you ever needed another excuse to hit the winter sales?!
4. Join a group fitness class
If the idea of companionless exercise is enough to make you stay home, joining a fitness class could be your ticket to fitter 2017. Working out as part of a group has been scientifically proven to help boost your motivation by offering support, accountability and inspiration from like minded fitness enthusiasts.
5. Hire a personal trainer
Not into group fitness? Recruit the help of a personal trainer.
Personal trainers will eradicate any doubts you have, help you establish realistic goals, create you a comprehensive and effective training plan, teach you correct form, offer accountability and motivation and can help educate you on healthy eating and lifestyle choices.
Related: Personal training
6. Reward yourself
By rewarding yourself for a job well done, it will keep you motivated, make you feel good, encourage you to work harder and will serve as a reminder that hard work pays off.
To summarise: set goals, make a plan, start slowly and build up, look the part, join a fitness class, hire a personal trainer and reward yourself for all your hard work! You got this peeps!!