The gap between the holidays and New Year’s Day can be a long week for some of us. The winter blues combined with too much turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and more is enough to make one forgo adulthood in favor of hibernation. While motivation may seem far off, with 2018 around the corner, there’s no better time to pull yourself from the snowy trenches and get crackin’ on paving the way for personal improvement.
Statistically, health and fitness goals are at the top of the list of New Year’s resolutions for Americans. However, it’s a fact that only 8 percent of people who make those resolutions stick with them past two months. Here are the do’s and don’ts from our panel of local fitness experts on how to NOT become the majority.
Let’s meet the panel of fitness pros:
Jonathan Eddy, Ideas in Motion Media Contributing Editor and Coach at Fit Body Boot Camp in Valparaiso:
“Don’t give up! This is a hard thing to do, changing your physical appearance. You didn’t add that weight on overnight, it won’t come off overnight. Change WILL come if you keep plugging away at it. Think of it like this: Michelangelo had to carve David from solid marble. To do that, he chipped away at the stone, every day, until the final shape emerged. It took YEARS.”
Ian Bowen, Owner and Head Trainer at Pumps Fitness in Valparaiso:
“Make them specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (SMART). On the journey to reach your goals, there will be up’s and down’s but you can never give up. Once your mindset is right, you can achieve anything.”
Jon Rogers, Co-owner and Coach at Fit Body Boot Camp in Valparaiso:
“Remember that you are worth the effort and time. It takes a little bit of sacrifice to become healthier, but you are worth the time and you are not alone in your fitness journey.”
The 12 Do’s:
1. Start with your food
No matter how much you work out, if you don’t change the way you eat, you won’t see much in the way of results. Start eating more fruits and veggies every day. Just add them to one meal to start with. Also, start paying attention to ingredient labels on your food and become more conscious of what you are putting in your body. Nutrition is essential to health and fitness. You can never out-exercise a poor diet.
2. Take baby steps
Institute one small thing each week and do it consistently every day. If you successfully do that for the week, add one more thing in the next week.
3. Be consistent
Whatever you choose to implement that week, do it every day. Small steps, done consistently every day, will equal huge results in the long run.
4. Ease yourself into your workouts
Three times a week, full body workout is plenty for most sedentary individuals. You WILL be sore that first week, but it will go away and be as bad as before, provided you keep working out.
5. Drink more water
Ideally, drink a gallon a day, but to start with, add an extra 12-16 oz. glass of water per day. We’re mostly made of water, so we need a lot of it for our bodies to function optimally.
6. Walk more than usual every day
Instead of taking the elevator or the escalator, take the stairs. Or go on a hike with some friends. The possibilities are endless!
7. Eliminate sugar from your diet
Sugar is the main culprit of weight gain and an unhealthy lifestyle. Reducing your sugar intake can help give you energy and put you on the path towards your goal.
8. Get support for a healthier lifestyle
Use your spouse, a friend, or even hiring a professional to encourage, support and hold you accountable to your goals.
9. Find an expert, like at Fit Body or Pumps Fitness
Get expert help. The less you have to guess and the more guidance you have, more likely you will live a healthier, more fit lifestyle.
10. Think about a favorite sport you used to play as a kid
Or think of your favorite type of exercise you've done in the past, and take steps towards doing that again.
11. Be intentional about your plan
Exercise 20-30 minutes 5 days a week doing your favorite type of exercise. Then slowly increase the intensity and length of the time you spend exercising. If you are coming back from an injury, ease back into your routine. Don't try to pick up where you left off.
12. Set reasonable goals for yourself
Set a goal that is within reach, rather than one that seems to impossible to meet.
The Eight Most Common Mistakes:
1. Listening to the wrong people or trying something found in a magazine or on TV
Do not underestimate the use of an expert. People always think they can just look it up or ask a friend, but if it were that simple, everyone would succeed and be fit. There are experts and people that make a career in fitness for a reason.
2. Trusting anyone that promises guaranteed results in X amount of time
Nothing in fitness is guaranteed because we all are unique.
3. Being too gung-ho
Changing your lifestyle takes time and a lot of effort. Try to think of a year from now instead of 2 months from now when thinking about your fitness goals.
4. Trusting the scale, rather than clothes
The scale can lie to you, depending on the time of day, how much salt you had the day before, and a variety of other factors. But your clothes will tell you if you’re losing weight or not.
5. Being afraid
People tend to let the fear of being criticized or judged stop them from starting a fitness program. One of the best things about a good fitness community is that we are here to support each other no matter where you are starting. Fitness communities might be some of the most accepting and supportive around as we are all here for the same goal: a healthier, more fit life.
6. Setting unreasonable goals
If you set unrealistic goals, you are more likely to give up on them. Give yourself a break and ease into this new lifestyle.
7. Taking on too much too soon and getting injured
Be patient and be aware what your body can take on.
8. Trying to do everything at once
Most of us try an all or nothing approach. This almost never works. Instead, take baby steps.