How to Stick to Your Resolutions: Fitness
The first quarter of 2016 is finally finished and we are still talking resolutions. This is by no means a bad thing as research has shown that most resolutions are abandoned less than a month into the year. According to Nielsen, the numbers company, the top two resolutions for Americans in 2015 were “stay fit and healthy” and “lose weight” at 37% and 32% respectively.
You probably even know cynical gym enthusiasts who live by the motto: No gym in January. Gyms, fitness clubs and running trails are usually packed at the beginning of the year because of resolution makers who swear to themselves (and possibly the world through social media) that this is the year they get fit.
Making the resolution – and actually attempting to keep it – at the beginning of the year is not a problem. The statistic will make it sound as though trying to improve oneself by promising to change bad habits and cultivate new behaviours that will make you an all-around better person is the problem. Others will make it seem as if pursuing self-improvement is a cliché and uncool. It’s not, particularly if this is an informed decision you make for the sake of your happiness.
For the next few weeks we will be sharing tips with you on how, in April or even July, it’s not too late to start with your resolutions and goals. First up is the dreaded fitness goal. You may want to be able to walk up a steep hill without feeling breathless or you may want to be optimum shape for the next Kaya relay. While these goals are different, getting started with them will take the same thing: lacing up your running shoes and actually starting, as well as commitment.
We spoke to fitness enthusiast, blogger and fitness coach in the making Cashé Kidd, founder of the blog Fit Kidd to find out what advice she had for fitness novices:
How should I get started?
Getting started with fitness resolutions isn’t as simple as joining a gym. To make a success out of a New Year’s fitness resolution, you need to put in some work.
Start off by deciding why you want to get fit and write it down. Ask yourself a few hard questions and be honest with yourself when you answer them. Questions like, Am I doing this for me? Do I want to lose weight or just be healthier?
Once you know why you’re on this journey, move on to the how.
Don’t just join a gym because it seems like the thing to do, there are other ways of being fitter and active. Sign up for classes instead or join the weekly park runs that are hosted across the country. You can register for park runs here: www.parkrun.co.za. These are great for becoming part of a community of people who are possibly on the same mission that you are, without the intimidating gym machinery.
Just remember that if you do want to lose weight, exercise isn’t where it stops and you will have to change your eating habits as well.
How do I stick with it?
This is actually easier than deciding what fitness route to take. The difference between a successful New Year’s resolution-er and those that get turned into sad “New year, New me” memes is simple, it’s all in the mind. How focused you are will determine how successful you are in your fitness journey.
- So, once you have made the decision, write it down and put it somewhere you will see it all the time.
- You have now committed yourself to that goal, so to keep yourself accountable for it, join a wellness support group. There are numerous groups on Facebook which all provide amazing support systems.
- Don’t punish yourself with an activity that you don’t like. You’ll never stick with anything if you’re forcing your way through running on a treadmill for hours. Find something you enjoy doing, with people who you enjoy being around!
Keep up with CashéKidd online as she continues to chase her fitness goals and inspires others along the line on her blog and on Facebook.
Remember to check with your physician first before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle. Although exercise can only mean good things to your fitness and body, your doctor will let you know where to not overdo it.
Next time we discuss money: how to save and how to hack away at debt
What resolutions have you found difficult to commit to?