New Year’s Fitness Resolutions
You can achieve your goal of getting in better shape during the New Year if you plan ahead on what to eat, how to exercise and when to work out. Here are tips for preparing yourself to succeed in keeping New Year’s fitness resolutions without experiencing too much stress.
Set realistic goals
Be honest with yourself about how much you can alter your eating habits, how often you can exercise and how strenuously you can work out. Those parameters will expand once you actually begin dieting and exercising. If you set extreme goals at the beginning, however, you may become disappointed and discouraged when you fail to achieve quick and consistent results.
Also, don’t think in terms of the pounds you want to lose or a clothes size you want to reach. Everyone loses weight at different rates. Eat healthy and work out regularly, and you’ll drop weight and inches over time.
Keep the ‘die’ out of ‘diet’
A diet plan you can and will stick to is one that lets you eat foods you like in reasonable quantities. Instead of skipping meals and totally denying yourself irresistible holiday treats, stock up on healthy items that keep well and are super-easy to prepare.
Commit to an exercise plan
Set specific days and times to exercise, then figure out how you’ll get in a workout if you’re pushed for time or if the weather turns against you. Also decide whether you want to work out with a friend or if you prefer to make your exercise routine a private matter that meets your personal needs.
Do cardio and resistance exercises
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise each week. Walking counts, and it’s OK to break up that time into periods of no less than 10 minutes in any way that suits you. Start from those recommendations and increase your time by 10 minutes or so every week. Work on raising your intensity and distances, as well. Walking around the block or climbing a few flights of stairs can be your busy-day workout.
In addition to those cardiovascular workouts, lift weights two or three times each week. Start with amounts you can move 12 to 15 times while using good form, then raise the amount of weight as you gradually become stronger.
Buy comfortable exercise wear and a good pair of running or walking shoes.
An exercise mat lets you work out at home in any weather without overspending. On the higher end, having a treadmill in your home can make sticking to an exercise plan immune from excuses. Wear gloves that double as hand weights to gain muscle while walking or jogging, or get hand weights that double as pedometers so you can keep track of the miles you cover.
Time goes by quickly walking or jogging, and you’ll see results within weeks. Most treadmills come with holders for TV controls and refillable water bottles. It’s important to stay hydrated while you exercise, too.