January 1st is getting closer and closer which means one thing: New Year’s resolutions. Many people make resolutions to lose weight and work out more but don’t stick to their regimen after only a couple of weeks. Beat the 2013 crowds and get a head start on your fitness goals now! Make this year’s fitness resolutions work for you with these seven simple strategies.
1. Schedule the Time. One of the biggest excuses people give to not work out is saying they’re too busy. No one is too busy to squeeze in a 30-minute workout. Pick a time of day that works best for your schedule, put it in your planner or smartphone and stick to it! Try waking up earlier to start your day with an energy boost from the gym. Mei Fitness is open 24 hours per day, so you can work around your schedule.
2. Bring a Buddy. Having a support system is key. By using the buddy system, you have another person to hold you accountable for your workout. Knowing that another person is counting on you makes it less likely you’ll back out. Exercising with a friend also makes the time go by a bit faster if you’re chatting and having fun. Motivate and encourage each other to reach your full potential.
3. Keep a Journal. A fitness journal is a great tool for staying on point with your workouts. By writing down the exercises you do each day, you can keep track of what you’re doing and monitor how much time you’re spending on each area. Motivate yourself by looking back at everything you’ve accomplished or use it to locate trouble spots in your routine. A journal is also another way to hold yourself accountable to working out.
4. Make a Plan. What is your motivation for working out? Do you want to lose weight? Gain muscle? Live a healthier lifestyle? Whatever the reason, write it down and make a plan. Will you be working out with a trainer, taking classes or simply hitting the gym each morning? What areas do you want to target? What is the best workout for you? Should you join classes? Strategize so you can make the most of your gym time.
5. Set Goals. Setting realistic fitness goals is a great way to stick to your workout plans. Your goals need to be specific, measurable, adjustable, realistic and action-oriented. Each time you hit a goal, cross it out and make a new one. Short-term goals are less overwhelming and show you the stepping stones to hitting your long-term goals. Monitor your progress in your fitness journal.
6. Change Your Diet. If you really want to see results from your work outs, make sure you’re eating a healthy diet to accompany all of the hard work you put in at the gym. Set a diet that fits your lifestyle and includes protein-rich foods. Start out with small changes, such as trading a bag of chips for a handful of carrots. Stay away from fad diets, but instead change your eating habits into a new way of life.
7. Use Your Smartphone. There are so many apps on smartphones that are focused on fitness that you’re bound to find the right one for you. For instance, MotionTraxx Radio ($2.99) is a podcast with a huge selection of workouts set to dance music at different BPMs. Power 20 ($2.99) offers 20 minute workouts with a variety of body weight exercises. Daily Burn (free) is an excellent nutrition and exercise tracking app. Find the app that best fits your needs.