Doesn’t it just seem like it was New Year’s Eve and you were making plans for the year ahead?
Then family, work, and real life seem to get in the way of your intentions to “work out every single day” and “be my best ideal weight and self by summer”. Check and check. Well, January isn’t over yet and all is not lost. A few smart, simple hacks to your fitness program and good habits to get into early in the year can keep any goal in sight and you headed towards it. Here are our top picks.
Refresh the Routine Now
Variety can be inspirational so it’s a good idea as the year gets underway to refresh your workout routine. If you only do group classes, look to incorporate some resistance and weight training into your workouts. If you prefer classes like barre or Pilates that focus on key muscle groups, stretch a little and add a high energy session in to the mix. Cross training isn’t essential to work different muscles and develop overall stamina, it’s good for your mind too – keeping exercise interesting, challenging and even unexpected, the true key to staying with your plan for the long term. Whatever you decide to change, add or mix up, make sure you keep a set, specific schedule for the week to stay on track.
Bring the Gym Home When it Makes Sense
This time of year can be challenging to any weekly workout plans. Getting back in the swing of work after the holidays. Kid activities ramping back up at school or daycare. And unexpected weather events rearing their head. The quickest hack for the unexpected fitness roadblock is to bring the gym home with you. Almost every club now offers some form of on-demand content: instructor-led classes that look a lot like the one at your gym. Or specific focused workouts and form exercises that improve technique and endurance. If you can’t get to the club, take a class at home, or a few a week. The best on-demand platforms for clubs now offer easy to navigate libraries and content in easily digestible :15, :30 and :45 minute packages to fit any schedule as well as content that looks, feels like and augments the classes you take live in-studio.
Do What Your Parents Said: Sleep Well, Eat Right
There’s a reason your parents and grandparents probably lectured you about getting your greens and a good night’s rest. Eating right and sleeping well are the two major factors in helping you have the energy reserves and the will power to workout. CDC data shows more than one third of American adults don’t get enough sleep which can be damaging to mental health and increase stress. The risk factors for pro-longed sleep deprivation are endless too: diabetes, heart conditions, elevated blood pressure, weight gain and general inability to concentrate. Set your thermostat to an optimal 65 degrees, black out all light and try to get 7-9 hours for maximum benefits. Rework your daily diet too for a double-whammy of health boosting habits. Drink 64oz of water in a day (eight regular glasses) to hydrate well and focus your meal plans around vegetables, fruits and lean protein. Cut out all processed foods, eat wholegrain versions of your favorite breads and pastas and be careful about portion control.
Sneak Fitness into Your Day
Even with the best intentions, life can get in the way of your workouts. Cut yourself some slack and stay flexible with where and how you work out. If you’re stuck at a desk, get up and do a circuit of the apartment, house or office. If you are able, take the stairs even if it’s ten floors. And keep your phone handy for whenever a free few minutes presents itself. Even 15 to 20 minutes of exercise a few times a week streamed or accessed on your phone can make a difference. Reserve a portion of your lunch break to find a quiet spot and do an on-demand 15 minute workout to get your heart pumping and your mind motivated. Most require no equipment other than your natural bodyweight or a resistance band that’s easy to take wherever you go.