New Year – new you? Five ways to achieve your fitness goals in 2016
It’s that time of the year again. No sooner has the Christmas tree gone up and we’ve tucked into our turkey dinners and selection boxes to our hearts content that it’s suddenly all over and we’re signing up for an expensive gym membership and splashing out on some flashy fitness gear, vowing this is THE year we will get fit and change our health for the better.
But with 25% of us giving up on our New Year’s resolutions after just one week, how do you ensure that 2016 is the year that your fitness resolutions stick? YCB spoke with British Military Fitness, the UK’s undisputed leader in outdoor fitness, to put together five top tips which will help kick start your fitness regime in 2016 and ensure your goals go the distance.
1. Set SMART goals
It’s all well and good making a resolution to “get fit” or “get healthy” but what does that really look like? Making SMART goals means that you will become more accountable for your progress and be clearer about what you want to accomplish. Break down each resolution to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound, so instead of saying “I want to get fit”, you could say “I will improve my fitness by working out three times a week including one group fitness class, and will keep track of my fitness levels to ensure I am staying on track. In three months time I hope to run a 5km race”.
2. Surround yourself with like-minded people
Research has proven that those starting an exercise regime alone have a general dropout rate of about 43%, whereas for those who train in a group environment, that figure lies around the 7% mark. Joining in group exercise classes can be much more effective and surrounding yourself with people with similar goals can really help you to stay motivated.
3. Try something new
A wise man once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. If you hated the gym last January, why would this year be any different? The New Year is a perfect time to try something new, as the likelihood is there will be many other people doing the same! If you’ve always wanted to try yoga or an outdoor fitness class, now is the perfect time to do it, and if you’ve struggled with fitness in the past it might just be that you haven’t found the right type of exercise for you. Make it your new years resolution to find it.
4. Mix it up
Often, people have the perception that keeping fit is an unpleasant chore that we have to do once in a while to keep ourselves healthy. It shouldn’t have to be this way! Making fitness a part of your social life and leisure time ensures that you don’t get bored and are more likely to stick to your goals. Try a team fitness activity or sport, sign up for an obstacle course event with friends or go on a weekend walk or cycle to make fitness more fun.
5. Give yourself a break!
The number one reason that most people fail in their New Years resolutions is they go in too hard – living off turkey breasts and kale and working out seven days a week is a sure fire way to send you nose diving straight back into the biscuit tin if you’re not used to it! Moderation looks different for everyone, but ensure you are building in regular rest days into your workout schedule and treating yourself now and again. Some find that eating well 80% of the time and allowing 20% for treats helps, whereas others will go for a full blown ‘cheat day’. Whatever you do, ensure you are being balanced and aren’t denying yourself, to keep your goals on track.
By: Tom Frearson