The holiday season of pies, cookies, and those little tasty chocolates is over folks and chances are you’ve set a goal to be more active and lose weight in 2018, right? In fact, I saw a few of you at the gym today; some with a confused look when walking around all the equipment, some with a halfhearted effort with the weights or on the treadmill, and some digging right in like they were a regular gym rat the whole time. Well in the last ten years of being in one gym or another as a personal trainer or just training myself, I’ve seen a lot of people come and go within two weeks of that New Year’s resolution they set. It doesn’t have to be that way, however. I guarantee it. Just be smart about your goals and how you go about achieving them.
ARE YOU READY? If you have major health issues it’s important to speak with your doctor before starting a training program. If ‘Doc’ gives you the go ahead, that’s the first step. Next is make sure you are ready. And by that I mean mentally. It’s not always easy stepping into the gym, hitting the track, or even going out on nightly walks at first. Be motivated. Be confident.
WHAT’S THE PLAN? It’s really important to make yourself a plan that’s easy to follow and manageable with your daily schedule. How much time do you have during the day/week for a workout.? I recommend 20-30 minutes. What days are best for you? Choose days that you know will work and that can be routine during the week. And finally, what type of exercise are you looking for? Cycling, walking, weightlifting, swimming, or jogging? You can mix and match but do what you’re comfortable with.
TAKE YOUR TIME. Your desire to be healthy should last the rest of your life so it’s important to think of your fitness goals as long term rather than short term. So don’t go into beast mode right away because you’re either going to burn yourself out or get an injury. Try this. Start with three days a week, low-to-moderate intensity workouts that includes a good pace walk and some low weight strength training. (For advice, find a personal trainer at the gym or look for more tips over the course of this health series.)
GOT A FRIEND? Music definitely helps a workout but it’s also nice to have someone around with the same goals, someone there to lean on for support, and someone to push you a little further when you need it. Put a workout plan together with a partner, stick to it, and motivate each other as you push toward your goals.
SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS. Goals are important but when you set them, start with a solid foundation, move forward slowly, and be realistic. Don’t try to lose 40 pounds in a month. Aim for five to ten pounds. Don’t go out and run two miles on the first day. Walk for 20-30 minutes three times a week for a month and eventually build up to a point you feel comfortable jogging a 1/2 or full mile. Just be honest with yourself and put in the effort and I guarantee you’ll be on your way to a new you in 2018.