by Jonathan Pope, facility manager of FirstHealth Fitness - Richmond
The holidays have come and gone, and resolutions are once again being made for the New Year. One of the most popular resolutions is to begin a new fitness regime.
For some, this is an all too familiar fresh start of their yearly routine to begin their new healthy lifestyle. For others, it may be their first time making the decision to work toward better health. Either way, this time of year comes with a lot of pressure to set personal resolutions. The problem is we too often make resolutions that may sound good to others, but aren't realistic to what we’re actually trying to achieve.
Fitness resolutions come with a lot of baggage. Thoughts of what to eat, when to exercise and how many crunches to take can deter excitement and motivation. Losing this baggage can help give you the confidence to take the first steps in seeking your new fit lifestyle.
Here are four ways to drop that fitness resolution weight:
- Choosing your Fit
There are many different forms of exercise in today’s world. The trick is finding what form works for you to help you achieve your goals and have fun in the process. Get out and find something that you enjoy to help you on your journey. Whether you prefer a health club or another option, make it a point to find something that you will make time for.
Health clubs are a great way to get started. Everything you need is right at your fingertips – cardio, weights, group classes and personal trainers. It’s also beneficial to be around so many like-minded individuals who are working toward their own goals to give you that extra motivation. You can also try some outdoor activities such as hiking and sports or some at-home workouts. Whichever you decide upon, make the commitment to be consistent.
- Realistic Goals
Goal-setting can be much more difficult than you might expect. You know what goals you want to achieve, so you set a very broad goal for yourself and jump into a new routine head first. This is an all too common mistake. It’s good to set goals, but make sure they’re realistic. Set yourself up for success by setting small, achievable goals to boost your confidence during your journey. As you hit one goal, you’ll feel more energized to work for the next one.
- Buddy System
I've worked in the fitness industry for more than 12 years now, and I can count on one hand how many people I've met who prefer to work out alone. It’s just uncommon. I believe that having a workout partner is essential to holding yourself accountable. Your buddies are there for you and you for them to help motivate and congratulate. The extra push from a friend can take you to a fitness level you would never achieve on your own.
If you can’t coordinate a time and place with a friend, consider a personal trainer. These professionals are trained to help design a plan around your wants and needs and can give you the extra motivation you need.
- Food Choices
Fad diets really thrive this time of year. Promises of quick weight loss and smaller waist sizes sound appealing, but have little sustainability. Most of these diets are unhealthy and unrealistic. Start out easy by making smarter food choices. Choose a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a cheeseburger or a salad instead of fries. Don’t set yourself up for failure with a diet of tasteless food. Many healthier options are available today. Slowly work these healthier options into your diet while removing unhealthier ones. Once you have mastered your willpower over food, make an appointment with a dietitian or nutritionist. Either can guide you through the next steps by helping you create consistent eating habits.
Focus on these tips to help put you on a path that will make your resolution journey a success.
Jonathan Pope is the facility manager of FirstHealth Fitness in Rockingham. For information on fitness, nutrition and other services provided at FirstHealth Fitness- Richmond, call (910) 410-0123 or visit www.firsthealth.org/fitness.