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Resolved to get fit in the New Year? 5 Tips to keep your exercise programme going

By Emma Brown BSc Hons Sport & Exercise Science

Getting fit and losing weight rank in the top 5 New Year's resolutions - no surprises there! So it's likely many of us have embarked on a fitness regime this month. Unfortunately every year, although we start off with the best intentions we struggle to keep our resolutions going past January.

Through working in gyms for years, I have seen the January 'boom' come and quickly go far too many times! As a fitness instructor, I'd have lots of new clients in January saying things like, "I really mean it this time" and "I'm coming to the gym 5 times a week from now on"... but despite the big promises, they didn't make it to the gym 5 times a week for very long. This is where a lot of people go wrong - they set themselves unrealistic goals from day one then give up as soon as they break the rules a little. The key is to make it part of your lifestyle and not see it as a temporary solution. So whether you're joining a gym, doing exercise DVD's at home or simply going for more walks, here are my top 5 tips for sticking with it in the New Year.

  1. Don't set yourself unrealistic targets: If you're going from doing no exercise at all to working out 5 times a week for 2 hours a time... it's just not going to happen. You'll burn yourself out far too fast and find the whole experience horrible. Be realistic, aim for 3 times a week to begin with, each about an hour.
  2. Have a specific goal in sight: It's really motivating to have a specific event to work towards. For example a holiday, a wedding, a reunion etc. As long as it's important to you, set your sights on a specific date and make that your goal. This works wonders at keeping you on track. Just remember to set a new goal when you've reached that one!
  3. Don't give up just because you have one bad week: I've heard so many people say "I fell completely off track for a couple of weeks, so I figured what's the point?". It's completely realistic that there'll be times when "life gets in the way" and that's fine. Just pick up as soon as you can and continue. A week or two off track isn't going to undo everything you've already done. The minute you make it all or nothing, you fail.
  4. Find something you actually enjoy: Exercise doesn't have to be running on a treadmill for an hour, it can be anything from dancing to doing housework, so find something you find fun to do. Go for a power walk with a friend! You can chat the whole way so you'll hardly notice you're exercising. Or try a new class like Hula Hoop at the gym... you might spend most of the time bending down to pick up the hoop, but it'll be good fun and great exercise.
  5. Remember why you started in the first place: Before you embark on your new exercise regime, write down what is motivating you to start in the first place, and then stick it on your fridge. Everyone has a personal reason for setting themselves any goal. So by having it to refer back to, you'll have a friendly little reminder whenever you're struggling of why you're doing it. This should be enough to reignite your motivation.

Good luck!!!

Disclaimer
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