We’ve all done it. You know- made New Year’s resolutions that we didn’t stick to. They may have been unrealistic or you may have been un-devoted. Whatever the reason it is hard to stick to New Year’s resolutions. You can do it this year though. Stay on track with your fitness goals and tone your body the way you’ve always wanted to.
The first thing you need to do is create a workout plan. Mix up some workouts – cardio vs. strength. For instance cardio is safe to do every day, but strength training should focus on different areas of the body or else be done every other day so that the body has a change to repair the muscles that have been worked on. So don’t stress over what exactly you’ll be doing (unless you prefer it that way), just list out some of your favorite exercises in each category and pick them out daily if you need to keep things mixed up.
Secondly you need to pick a time of day to include working out into your daily routine. If you don’t make it a solid part of your routine that will turn into habit than it will be much harder to stick to. Really think about what an ideal workout time would be. For some people that might mean the same time every day, for others that might mean fitting into nooks and crannies of each day (during baby’s first naptime of the day, during preschool, after your regularly scheduled Tuesday meetings, etc.).
Don’t try to do too much at first. Getting into shape needs to be a gradual process for you to be able to stick with it. You can’t just jump in full force and expect your body to keep functioning as usual. Your body is going to take a beating, so bring it on gradually and build up that strength and endurance.
Be realistic with your goals. Be happy with where you are at now and with each improvement that you make. Don’t let overreaching goals leave you feeling defeated.
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Find a workout buddy! If you have someone to workout with then you have someone extra to be accountable to. Or if you get a trainer at the gym that you work with regularly you are accountable to them. Having that extra voice in your head is helpful in getting out and exercising.
Finally, rest each week. If you push and push and push you won’t feel like you’re ever done or ever reaching your goal. If you know you have a day off it’s easier to get through one day at a time. You can tell yourself “I can do this” and actually believe it. A day off also helps to rejuvenate your body. It allows it to spend some extra time repairing and resting. Breaking down muscle and then letting it repair is what helps it to get stronger, so if you don’t allow your muscles the time necessary to repair they won’t build strength or endurance, they’ll just be sore.