Welcome to the New Year!
January represents personal trainer nirvana, as millions resolve to get off their couches and back into the gym. Here are some tricks that will help your fitness resolutions endure long past the champagne hangover.
#1 The Buddy System. Working out with a friend tends to force you out of bed and onto the cold floor in the morning. You are much more likely to stick with a fitness program that involves spending quality time with someone, either a friend or a mate.
#2 Be prepared. That Boy Scout Motto has universal applications. If you are engaging in outdoors activities, make sure that you invest in and wear appropriate attire. Warm up sweats and Gore-tex will make that first mile much more pleasurable, and will insure that your muscles remain warm and strain-free. If you’re walking outside before dawn or after dusk, wear light clothing and a reflecting safety vest. Always carry water with you, and try to eat something light a half hour before starting out for an energy boost (a protein shake is usually ideal.)
#3 Forge into new territory. If you feel that your workout has become routine to the point of tedium, mix it up a little. I have my clients start the New Year with a list of things that they’ve always wanted to try (fitness-related activities, that is.) This year, I have people venturing into indoor rock climbing, salsa dance classes, and water polo. Community centers frequently offer adult league team sports and a variety of classes that might strike your fancy. You’re more likely to exercise if it involves a fun activity that you look forward to.
#4 Pencil it in. Schedule in workouts the same way that plan on other must-not-miss appointments, and treat them with the same respect as you would a visit to the dentist (with less apprehension, hopefully.) If that doesn’t seem to work, consider hiring a personal trainer; chances are that if you’re paying to workout, you’ll exercise with some regularity.
#5 If you fall off the wagon, get back on that horse. If you find yourself wavering by March, brushing cheetos off your chin during the designated fitness hour, take heart; it’s never too late to start over. Re-evaluate the program, and try to figure out why it failed. Make changes that will help you succeed on the next go around, and keep those sneakers by the door as a reminder. New Year’s tends to be the impetus for many of us to improve our lives and ourselves, but in reality, it’s just another day. Remember that fitness is about extending your life and making each day count.
I wish you the best of luck in making all of your resolutions a reality. Happy 2000.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) can
help you to find an ACE certified trainer in your area. They can be
contacted at either www.acefitness.org, or by calling 1.800.825.3636.