Following the festive season, many a new year’s resolution is to lose weight and tone up. Sadly come February, many of us have reverted back to our indulgent Christmas consumption. However with a little planning, you can commit to establishing some long lasting habits that will put you on the path for a healthier life.
Starting out, it can be daunting to overhaul your entire life, especially if it means cutting down on treats! Instead, begin with some long term substitutions that will decrease unnecessary calorie intake and increase your amount of exercise. Perhaps it means that you’ll walk further to public transport or ride to work. If you’re already exercising, add some additional reps or work in some interval training to up the intensity of your workout. Ditching soft drink for soda water that you add your own fresh fruit to is a good way to wean yourself off fizzy, sugary drinks.
Although Instagram and fitness blogs can be a good source of workout inspiration, don’t forget that it’s these people’s jobs to look amazing all the time. Also, sneaky filters and lighting can make all of us look like our best selves in the digital realm. In other words, don’t try to copy the pros! Instead, focus on setting personalised goals that fit into your lifestyle and will be sustained long term. Even if you’re prepared to cover the cost of liposuction in order to achieve your aesthetic ideals, don’t forget that you’ll need to maintain your healthy lifestyle in order to maintain your reduced level of body fat.
On the topic of goal setting, making a lofty, vague objective is more likely to be unachieved. Instead, define your goal and then identify the steps that you will undertake to get there. Even better is to add a time line and frequency as to when you will work towards your objectives. For example, if you want to become fit enough to run 5 kms, you might start with a smart goal that lists that 3 times a week you will jog for 20 mins for 3 weeks, then reassess. After this time you can up the time or speed, pushing you towards that coveted 5kms in one session. You want a goldilocks approach, not too easy or too hard.
Pushing yourself to participate in activities that you truly despise will make it harder to maintain in the longer term. If you particularly hate cycling, for example, try other types of cardio that you are prepared to partake in. However, hating something purely on the basis of not being good at it, is not really what we are talking about. A great way to mix up your fitness routine is to try something new, whether it be a circus class, rock climbing or new type of team sport. Putting yourself out of your comfort zone is a good way to find a new passion and meet a bunch of new people.