[fitness friday] 5 Tips for your New Year Fitness Program

Here are my 5 tips for making your new year fitness program stick this year!

John Ashworth, MA, CES
The Fitness Nomad

Here are my top 5 tips for your new year fitness program.

I will present these in-person and live with Leigh Mills on NBC15 this evening.

  1. Back away from the cardiovascular exercise.  We all tend to think this way when it comes to the gym and your fitness program.  People head in droves to the lines of cardiovascular exercise equipment and then spend hours and hours cranking away only to find diminishing returns for the increasing amounts of time they put in.The problem: BOREDOM & MORE BOREDOM, as well as the fact that beyond about 20-30 minutes, you’re not gaining much benefit from the time you are putting in.  You would be much better off ramping up your exercise program with interval training, more strength training and that 7-minute workout I covered with Leigh Mills about a month ago.
  2. Step up the Strength Training.  This one is the second point to #1 above.  Most people either leave out strength training altogether, perform very little of it, or choose routines that are easy and that NEVER change.  Remember, this form of exercise is not only essential for your weight loss and overall success, but this routine MUST be designed by an expert, and it MUST change regularly in meaningful and specific ways so that you gain the full benefits it can provide.  This is the #2 reason people abandon this form of exercise in the first place.  The first reason is that it’s hard, so they choose easy stuff and don’t get results.  Results don’t come, and so they give up!  This is one of the greatest benefits to hiring an expert personal trainer to help you.
  3. Try something new.  We all know how boring the same old exercise program can become.  Choosing something new will keep you excited and motivated and hopefully staying with it for more than just the first few weeks of January.
  4. Don’t be overzealous. It’s a good thing that you’re excited and that your finally ready to get serious about your health and fitness program and improve your life dramatically as a result.  The only problem is that now it can be all to easy to over do it.  As a personal fitness coach for many years now, I have seen this happen again and again, especially at this time of the year.  Try and keep in mind that if you really are in this for the long run, your big new year push to get going is only the first step, and it doesn’t have to be a gigantic one.  You just need to get started.  Doing too much too soon is one of the quickest ways to an injury that might prevent you from doing anything.
  5. Stay away from the gym.  I know.  I can hear you already.  ”Stay away from the gym?  But what do you mean?”  First of all, don’t get me wrong, I’m trying to make a point.  Especially for someone not used to attending the gym regularly, the environment can be extra intimidating this time of year.  It’s crowded with lots of other folks on the same new year’s resolution path as you.  It stinks a little, in spite of what the sales manager might have told you, it is NOT the answer to all your prayers.  One great example of this is the fact that if you’re not regularly attending the gym now, you’re going to have to get used to the extra time in your life that you need to get there, workout, shower, and then get on with your day.  This is a habit that will take time to form, and when it does not go smoothly over the next few weeks, it could derail your motivation.

Lastly, be realistic. This is the rest of your life we’re talking about. One step at a time.

John

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