No matter how many times people make resolutions to get fit for the new year and then quit by March or April, most of us continue to make them. The new year signifies starting fresh and getting another chance to do things right. There is nothing wrong with using the coming year as your start date to better health. What is important is actually getting started and doing so in such a way that you continue long past the time most people quit.
photo credit: ArmyStrongPA
1. Adjust your attitude – if you’ve always hated eating healthy and the thought of exercise makes you mad, then you better adjust your attitude quick. Getting back into healthy eating and exercise habits is a positive thing. Think and be positive about your new fitness goals.
2. Don’t run out and join a gym – that is, until you weigh your options. There are several types of gyms to choose from. You have the typical commercial gyms with exercise machines, weights, classes, and more. Then there are specialized gyms that can range from kickboxing, boxing, Crossfit, and others. Try them out before you sign on the dotted line. You may find that one has a lot more variety which means more fun and a higher chance you will get your money’s worth.
3. Figure out what you can do for free – joining a gym is a very common option for new year’s resolutions, however, it isn’t at all necessary to get into shape. I’m a big fan of body weight interval routines, running, and calisthenics – all of which can be done for free. Working out on your own can be challenging because you may not be sure of what types of exercises to do or how effective they can be. Below are some resources and inspiration for what can be achieved:
- Bar-Barians – these exercises are all about using your own body weight as resistance. I learned about them after interviewing Rick Seedman on this blog.
- Calisthenics Kingz – after interviewing HIT of Calisthenics Kings, I discovered just how effective calisthenics can be. They can be done anywhere and requires nothing but your own body.
- Turbulence Training – this is a program put together by Craig Ballantyne. I’ve watched several of his videos on YouTube and he has great examples of how to use interval training to burn fat and build muscle.
All of the above have YouTube accounts, so definitely check them out.
4. Get some basic gear – you don’t need a lot of equipment to exercise (unless you are really specializing and need certain things.) For the basics, consider good running shoes, dumbbells, jump rope, stability ball, a GymBoss interval timer (I use this almost daily), or whatever you feel you’ll need to help you workout. Keep it simple and avoid expensive equipment (treadmills, ellipticals, etc.) Those more expensive machines are often left to collect dust later on so don’t buy them for the new year if you can help it.
5. Educate yourself – there are always things to learn from how your nutrition effects you to what type and how much exercise works best. Learning as much as you can will help you tailor diet and exercise to your own personal needs.
6. Stay accountable – it’s easy to set goals, but unless you stay accountable, you are more likely to give up along with the others who have made the same resolutions of losing weight and getting fit. Accountability can be with a friend, family, a blog, fitness clubs (online or off.) When you have to answer to someone or a group, you don’t want to let them or yourself down.
I’m all for starting over and setting new goals when it comes to fitness. If it takes the new year to get you started, then go for it!