It’s a new year, and you’re gunning for those shiny resolutions, right? But the last thing you want to do is hit the gas too quickly and burn out before you ever end up reaching your 2015 goals. So set yourself up for success with a few simple guidelines for making sure you ease into exercise with an approach that’ll keep you active for the long run.
t You don’t want to jump headfirst into an intense fitness binge, only to have it fizzle after a few weeks. It’s smart to make gradual changes, such as altering your diet by swapping out unhealthy foods for nutritious, whole foods that will give you more energy and nourish your body better than sugary, pre-packaged foods. Make a slow, but steady investment in your fitness workouts to help your body adjust, build up stamina and prevent injuries from sidelining you. Investing in a personal trainer can also be really helpful, as they will know how to help you individually achieve your fitness goals, and keep you motivated in the long-term.
Give ample time to recover
t The recovery process for your muscles is arguably more important than the actual workout. If you don’t allow your body to take a break and repair the micro-tears in your muscle tissue, you’ll risk an injury, which would put you farther behind in your fitness goals. So it’s a good idea to give yourself at least a day between workouts to rest. And listen to your body; if you’re still really sore after your rest day, give yourself more time.
Fuel your body
t Take a good, hard look at the foods in your kitchen, especially those cabinets, where we all tend to stash our favorite late-night treats. You’re committed to your fitness goal, so making changes in the way you feed your body will have a direct effect on how effectively and efficiently you will achieve it. This doesn’t mean that you have to suddenly become a health nut and throw out everything in your refrigerator. What it does mean, however, is that you should make conscious, healthy choices about what you’re buying at the grocery store. It’s a great opportunity to get a bit creative with your cooking and explore new foods.
t Whether your fitness goal is to lose weight, build muscle or incorporate fitness and healthy living into your daily lifestyle, having friends who are on similar journeys can help you to stay committed. So give that Pilates class that you’ve always wanted to try a chance, or join that running club in your neighborhood. Take advantage of social media and search for online fitness groups, like Fit Approach, your healthy community, to find people who want to motivate each other.
t Transitioning into fitness doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing endeavor; get going slowly and discover what works best with your body, your lifestyle and your schedule. But start with these four pointers, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving any goal you set for 2015!