To Your Health
January, 2016 (Vol. 10, Issue 01)
Getting Past January
By Editorial Staff
January is the No. 1 month, bar none, when it comes to exercise participation. Why? Simple: New Year's Resolutions are still fresh in the mind, and "Lose weight," "Join a Gym," "Exercise More," etc., are at the top of many people's list.
But then February hits and for whatever reason, the enthusiasm often fades and exercise becomes relegated to next year's resolutions.
How can you get past January and keep your exercise drive going strong all year? Here are four tips to keep you on track.
1. Timing Is Everything: Some people can wake up at 5:00 a.m. and hit the gym; for others, it's a late-night enterprise. Fatigue, family and job responsibilities, and sheer preference all play a role. Find the time that works best for you and you'll significantly up your chances of staying the course.
2. Flexibility Is Critical: Yes, this applies to your body, particularly in terms of reducing your risk of an injury that will keep you on the sidelines for weeks or months; but it's also relevant in terms of tip #1 above. Dedicated to working out at 7:00 p.m. every night - but then life rears it's non-supportive head with obligations that make early-morning workouts a better option? Don't be afraid to change things up if it keeps you on track. You'll feel better sticking to your exercise schedule (regardless of the time) versus abandoning it because of a temporary time conflict.
3. Take the Road Less Traveled: The more you do anything, the more you get used to it. Your body (and mind) work the same way when it comes to exercise. Stick to the same routine with the same exercises, same repetitions, etc., for too long and you'll start to plateau and stop seeing the results you want. Even worse, you may get bored or burned out, and find it harder and harder to make it to the gym at all. The solution: Mix up your workout every 3-4 weeks (or even every session, if desired). Keep things fresh and you'll be excited to exercise each and every time.
4. Keep It Personal: Our final tip may be the most important: Your exercise experience is about you and no one else, so don't compare yourself to your fit friend, other gym members or the supermodel you aspire to be. Set your own attainable goals and celebrate when you achieve them; then keep plugging along toward the next one. Try to become someone else and you'll likely give up trying; try to become a better you and enjoy every minute of the journey.
For more tips on how to keep your New Year's Resolutions, click here.