You can go only so long placing your health and well-being on the back burner. Make 2018 the year you take charge of your health and your fitness.
My friend and I arrived at the community center right at opening this week, because we knew what we were about to face – competition with short-term “resolutionists” for our usually readily available treadmills. It happens every January, a renewed enthusiasm for fitness and weight loss, and each person who gets struck with the fitness bug is sure this is the year it will last. Those of us who have been hitting the gym all year long secretly hope your enthusiasm will wane just has it has in years past, so we can count on easy access to our gym equipment within the next couple weeks – March at the latest. If, however, you’d like to beat the odds, and make fitness a part of your life for the long-term (ideally, the entire time you inhabit this earth), here are some words of advice to help make it stick.
Hire a Personal Trainer
Yes, of course, I’m going to say that. It’s what I do for a living. BUT! I do mean this as a sincere and effective piece of advice. Why? Because many of you aren’t sure what the heck to do with all those odd looking machines, dumbbells, bands, balls, and barbells. A personal trainer can help you structure an effective workout plan while also teaching you proper technique so you can gain strength while avoiding injury. You’ve committed to spending money on your gym membership. A personal trainer will help you make that membership not go to waste.
Develop the Discipline. Don’t Depend on the Desire.
In reality, for most of us motivation is short-lived. Yes, deep down, you always have the desire to be fit, strong, and active. It sounds so great, right? Yet, that enthusiasm begins to fizzle out within a matter of days, and the idea of hitting the gym starts to hit the road. This year, instead of expecting to feel like working out every day, decide to do your workout no matter what. Know that these warm, fuzzy feelings about working out will not last, but your need to do so will. Most of us don’t get a kick out of mowing the lawn, brushing our teeth, going to the office, or cleaning the house, but we do it anyway, because the consequences of not doing these very important tasks could be disastrous. The same holds true for your fitness. You likely already are experiencing the consequences of not including exercise into your daily or weekly routine, and this can lead to disaster. Overcome the temptation to skip your workout by putting your workout schedule on your calendar. Make your workout a non-negotiable appointment. You can go only so long placing your health and well-being on the back burner. Make 2018 the year you take charge of your health and your fitness.
Join the Club
There is something pretty powerful about having a group of fellow fitness enthusiasts you can connect with on a regular basis. I have seen how much fun it is to be a part of a group fitness class, a run club (check out River Runners Run Club), and a sports team (they are not just for kids, you know). Being around other people who also want to be fit helps you feel accountable, more motivated, and creates new and lasting friendships.
Know What You Want
Knowing what you’d like to achieve makes getting there a whole lot more doable. Be specific. If you want to lose weight, know how much. Do you want to be stronger? Know how you will know you’re stronger (squat, bench or curl a certain weight; or maybe being able to do a certain number of pushups or pullups). Do you want to run, bike or swim a certain distance at a certain speed (or maybe do all three and do a triathlon)? To help you see your progress and know that you are achieving your goal, I recommend that you set a SMART goal (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time bound). Write your goal(s) and post in a place that you visit frequently.
Although we like having immediate access to our gym equipment, I really love the idea of seeing you on a regular basis at the gym throughout 2018. Who knows, maybe next January we will be working out at the same time wondering how many of these new people are going to be here in March.