Starting Your New Fitness Resolution Strong
Written by Andres Salazar
We’ve all been there; we’ve all thought something along the lines of “This year, I’ll get into shape for sure.” The most cliché of New Year’s resolutions, picking up a healthy exercise routine to stick with is no easy task. Often, people start the year with a new set of gym clothes, or a new gym membership, only to see that fitness journey fizzle away in only a couple of weeks. This exact phenomenon is such a common occurrence that a January start date for a new workout routine is occasionally met with strong comments of doubt, critique, or straight insults.
In any case, it doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re looking to get into shape starting in January, there are some strategies that you can apply to ensure that you stay strong throughout the next twelve months. While it won’t make your fitness crusade an absolute breeze, some of these strategies will help prevent you from being exactly like those who strengthen the new year’s stereotypes of fitness newcomers.
The beginning of any successful project starts with a solid plan. Overseas trips tend to go smoothly when there’s an itinerary, and football plays go well when they follow a specific strategy. Likewise, you need a plan to stay on top of your fitness goals. Those who start the new year with a brand new gym membership and try to lift the heaviest weights in the facility immediately are often the ones to burn out and stop working out the fastest. Instead, before starting your fitness journey, begin by making yourself a game plan for the next couple of months. Focus on creating a routine with small, achievable goals that increase slowly but surely. Having an itinerary of progressively bigger goals makes the long path ahead seem more like an achievable hike rather than a spontaneous climb on Mt. Everest. Start with the basics of simple movements with smaller weights, and slowly build your arsenal of workouts and weight capacity. This slower approach to the beginning will help you stay on track and see the journey as something you can overcome.
One of the biggest misconceptions that fitness newcomers tend to have is that healthy exercise is only found in the weight room. Forms of fitness are as diverse as those who go to the gym. Be sure to take the time to learn about the different types of exercises that exist and try to give each a shot. While lifting dumbbells at the gym is always a good choice, other forms of fitness training can be just as effective. Alternative forms of exercise include dance, joining a sports league, or becoming part of a group that goes on regular hikes and runs—taking the time to explore the choices that can help you find a form of physical training that works well for you. Suddenly, working out becomes less of a chore and more of a fun daily activity.
A common trap for those starting to exercise regularly is missing the routine and failing to return to it. The comment “Well, I haven’t worked out in a while anyway” is all too familiar to those who previously gave up on new year’s fitness goals. Instead of seeing a bump in the road as a fatal bullet to the overall goal of improving your health, look at those as moments of rest, boosting you for the next workout session. Don’t be afraid of days you don’t complete something as intended or worked out for less than usual. As long as you’re still doing something, you’re still improving. The growth is still present even if the momentum slows down for moments. To put it simply, keep going.
While starting a new adventure in personal health and fitness in January seems like a cliché and never-achieved goal, there are steps to help you start the year off strong. The focus should be on slow and gradual improvements, doing a form of physical training that meshes well with you. While this goal often fizzles out as soon as February hits, these suggestions could help you avoid being the stereotypical person who quickly gives up as the journey is only getting started.