If there’s one thing that everybody says they are going to do once the New Year arrives, it’s that they are going to get into shape. However, it’s not enough to nearly say it. You need to take action actually to do it as soon as you can, whether that’s on the first day of the new decade or once the excitement dies down.
The problem is, though, that too many people go into this decision unprepared. They might understand that getting fit and in shape is going to be challenging, but not everyone recognizes just how challenging it can be, and this is why around 80% of people give up after just the first few months of their fitness quest.
If you don’t want to be part of that statistic, you’ve got to approach your fitness journey the right way, so here is everything you need to get fit in the New Year and maintain it well beyond that.
An Understanding of Where You’re At
The first thing that you need to do before starting at the gym is to work out and understand where you are currently at. What is your current fitness level? How long can you walk for before stopping to catch your breath? How much can you lift? What’s your push up personal best? These are all the questions you need to think about and ask yourself.
Understanding your current fitness and ability level will allow you to get started on your fitness journey with a more sufficient and well-rounded idea of what you can do, what you can’t do, and where you need to improve. It makes it easier to plan your workout routine and allows you to get advice from professionals or peers with more in-depth knowledge about what steps you need to take.
Knowing What You Want
After you recognize your fitness level, you can then consider what you want to get out of your exercise routine. There are many different reasons that people exercise, and there are a variety of different goals that you could be aiming for.
Do you want to build muscle? Improve endurance? Do you want to look better on the beach in a swimsuit? It’s essential to be honest with yourself when thinking about what you want, as this can help you, and your personal trainer if you invest in one, figure out the best and most appropriate action to take to ensure you get the best results.
If you’re not exactly sure what you want from working out, and are happy with general fitness, that’s okay, too. The more you workout and exercise, the better idea you’ll have about what your future goals are.
Something to Motivate You
Much like knowing what you want from exercise, you should also understand why you are doing it, as this will give you something to motivate you to keep going even when you don’t want to. No matter who you are, everybody has a reason for wanting to work out and get into shape. So what is yours?
Perhaps you’re planning on running a marathon, and you want to be at your best for it. Maybe it’s health-related and comes from a doctor’s recommendation. You might even be considering a career in bodybuilding. It doesn’t really matter what your reason is, though, as long as it keeps you going.
This motivation will give you perspective and clarity, and whenever you feel like it isn’t worth it, think of your goals.
A Doable Diet Plan
They say that it’s impossible to out-work a bad diet, and this is often where a lot of people fail when starting their fitness journey. While they may be hitting the gym every day after work, their diet does not reflect the positive changes they make in their lives, and every meal filled with junk food puts you right back to square one.
You don’t need to do anything drastic, but making small adjustments to your current diet to ensure you get all the food groups and the benefits of a healthy diet will fill you with energy to tackle your workout, whether it’s at home or the gym, and provide the results you crave.
It’s useful to think about healthy meal plans that you can prepare at the beginning of every week so that you’re not tempted to head to a fast food joint because you were too rushed to make lunch in the morning.
A Disciplined Attitude
Anyone who frequents the gym and is the best shape of their life will tell you that it didn’t come easily, and it was through stern discipline that they managed to achieve their goals and get into the habit of exercising as often as they did. If you’re serious about exercise, you need to have this discipline, too.
This means working out even when you don’t feel like it. It means ignoring any excuses or other plans. It means saying No when your coworkers invite you to gorge on half-price wings at the local sports bar. It’s going to be difficult, but it’s not impossible.
All it takes is one slip to get out of the habit, so don’t let that slip occur, as it can throw off your whole routine and mess up your plans. You’re allowed cheat days, of course, but these should be days where you weren’t planning on working out, anyway.
A Backup Plan
Even if you try to stick to a plan, life is bound to get in the way at some point. This can throw you off your game and affect your workout plans for the day and even the week.
It’s easy to give up on these days, but as it affects your routine, you may find it harder than expected to get back into it. Instead, you need a backup plan to ensure you still get a workout in even if it’s not your usual.
Instead of heading to the gym, try doing bodyweight workouts at home, or if you’re at the office, how about some yoga on your lunch break? You can always find some way to work out. You may just need to be a little creative.
A Way to Track Your Progress
It takes a while for you to see the results of your exercise program, and this can hurt motivation and confidence. However, there is a way around this, and even if you can’t physically see changes, you can still get an idea of how you’re doing.
Fitness apps and workout diaries are an excellent way to keep track of your progress to keep you motivated and inspire you to keep going. Even the smallest change is worth celebrating, and it’s these little wins that keep your confidence up and helps you realize that things are improving.
Someone to Hold You Accountable
For first-timers, it’s never any fun going to the gym or going for runs by yourself, and this is why searching out a gym buddy is a great way to feel confident enough to get you off your sofa and onto your fitness journey.
However, there are additional benefits to having a gym buddy, as they are someone who can hold you accountable and force you out of the house even if you don’t want to. You don’t want to let your workout buddy down, so you’ll feel more inclined to get up and go even when you don’t feel like it.
You feel like you are in it together, and by encouraging each other to exercise, you’ll reach your goals faster and foster a better friendship.
Something To Get You Pumped
Finally, no workout would be complete without the proper tunes to get you pumped and in the zone. With things like an Unlimited data plan, you can listen to music while you’re at the gym, on a run, or getting a quick yoga session in at the office without worrying about spending too much on data, especially if the wifi is down or non-existent.
Whatever you need to get pumped up before a workout, it will make your exercise experience much more enjoyable, and even if you don’t feel like it at first, the right song and the proper advice from the community will get you going in no time.
Fighting Fit in 2020
There will be times where you do not feel like going to the gym. There will be times where the allure of sitting on the sofa binging Friends for the 5,000th time is too hard to resist. You will come up with excuses; you will hide from workout responsibilities. You might also justify a lack of exercise with some serious mental gymnastics.
However, staying on course and remembering why you wanted to get fit, and having a proper support network around you will keep you going. Soon, exercise will become a habit, not a chore, and you’ll look forward to it every time.