Doing more exercise and losing weight regularly rank amongst the UK’s most popular New Year’s Resolutions. Fitness Instructor from Better leisure centre in Ealing & Hillingdon have come up with ten top tips on how to kick start an achievable New Year’s fitness regime and ensure you stick to it.
Better’s Top Ten Tips to Kick Starting a Fitness Regime in 2017
- Set goals
Start with simple goals, then progress to longer-term goals. Remember to make these realistic and achievable. It's easy to get frustrated and give up if you are too ambitious early on.
For example, if you haven't exercised in a while, a short-term goal might be to walk 10 minutes a day, five days a week. An intermediate goal might be to walk 30 minutes, five days a week. A long-term goal could be to complete a 5K walk.
- Make it fun
Find sports or activities that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep you on your toes. If you're not enjoying your workouts, try something different. Join a Tennis, Squash or running club, or take a Zumba or circuits’ class. Try something new and you might discover your hidden athletic talent.
- Make it part of your daily routine
If it's hard to find time for exercise, don't fall back on excuses. Schedule workouts as you would any other important activity.
You can also slip in physical activity throughout the day, for example use the stairs instead of the lift. Walk to the shops rather than taking the car. Take a walk during your lunch break. Pedal a stationary bike or exercise while you watch TV.
- Create a playlist
Exercising to music can be a great motivator, so why not create a new playlist that you can exercise to? Upload songs to your iPod or phone that increase in speed and tempo. Work out to a high-tempo beat to give you maximum motivation. A slow tempo beat could be used when cooling down and stretching.
- Pen to paper
Are you hoping to lose weight? Boost your energy? Sleep better? Or manage a chronic health condition? Whatever your primary aim, write down your goals, seeing the benefits of regular exercise will help you stay motivated and will help to monitor your achievements.
- Support a good cause
Signing up to do a charity walk or taking on a marathon that raises money for a good cause is a great way to ensure that you don’t give up at the first sign of your motivation disappearing. You will feel that you’ve accomplished two goals in one and once you’ve sent off the application form there’s no going back.
- Join forces with friends
You're not alone. Invite friends and colleagues to join you when you exercise. Work out with your partner, friends or family. Play Football with your kids or organise a group of colleagues to take a fitness class. Studies shows that exercising with company can help you stay motivated and maintain a fitness regime over the longer period of time.
- Say no to sports drinks
Unless you are a professional athlete, these are not necessary. Sports drinks are loaded with sugar and unnecessary calories. Drinking plenty of water is the best way to stay hydrated when exercising.
- Reward yourself
After each exercise session, take a few minutes to savour the good feelings that exercise gives you. This type of internal reward can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise. External rewards can help, too. When you reach a long term goal, treat yourself to something fun but healthy, for example a new pair of trainers or some new music to work out to.
- Be flexible
If you're too busy to work out or simply don't feel up to it, take a day or two off. Be gentle with yourself if you need a break. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as you can.
Maximilian Goodchild, Better Community Sport Manager adds: “The road to fitness is paved with good intentions, but sometimes it’s hard to know how to take the first steps. Sticking to these simple ten tips will help you get your New Year’s fitness programme moving.
“It’s also important to remember that everyone suffers setbacks and loss of motivation. The crucial thing is to get back on track if things go wrong, or if you miss a few sessions. It’s the long-term goals that are the important ones.”
Better leisure centres in Ealing & Hillingdon, offer a range of sports facilities, clubs and group exercise classes to suit all age groups and abilities. Whether you’ve never exercised before, want to focus on a particular problem area, get your heart pumping or stretch out tight muscles. For more information on what’s on offer visit www.better.org.uk