Creating a New Year Fitness routine that lasts

fitness new year - thrive magazine

New Year is always that time in our lives we focus our intentions on an exercise routine or lifestyle change. Thrive Expert James gives you some advice on making a new year fitness routine stick!

Flaked out across the sofa following a period of serious overindulgence, we tell ourselves that as soon as January starts, we will be changing our lives forever with a new exercise programme. But in truth we know there is a slim chance of this happening.

This trend of thinking dates back thousands of years, after generations of evolution, when we looked at winter as simply a time to survive. Our bodies have developed to prepare for this season by eating more and staying as warm as possible, purely as an instinct to survive. But you can change this. My advice is to only kick-start a new health initiative which is genuinely realistic. So many of us, create unrealistic goals and sometimes life doesn’t allow for our plans to be delivered at which point it all falls by the wayside.

If you are going to make your 2020 fitness routine stick, it is imperative you find an approach that slots into your lifestyle, and around work and family. I always encourage people to move forward with what you enjoy in order to give the regime the possibility of longevity.
Here’s my simple set of straightforward tips and advice to help you achieve a fitness approach that sticks:

Start easy
You don’t have to start at 100 miles per hour. The chances are you will fall out of love with exercise quickly if you do. Take it easy to begin with and enjoy exercise but most importantly it will prevent injury.

If you haven’t been active in recent times, then build momentum with a simple foundation approach to purely increase the activity levels. Intensity and various types of exercise can be introduced at a later date

Make a plan
Many people join the gym post-Christmas, but very few of them really know what they are doing or hoping to achieve. One way of ensuring that you don’t fall into this trap is set out your objectives and form a realistic plan to support you. This doesn’t need to be anything complicated. Identify when you can train, how long for and what you are doing each day then identify how you will use the time. This may include creating a day-to-day food diary, but my advice is not to beat yourself up too hard with detail, as the more measured approach can come at a later date.

Set small goals
Just like taking it easy when you start out, setting small and reachable goals can help you stay motivated. The goal can be as simple as running a mile without stopping or to get back into those jeans we used to wear. Similarly, set yourself a challenge. These are similar to goals but can often be a side project to something which can support your exercise plan i.e. to build your fitness to take part in a charity bike ride.
Book an event later in the year

On that note, one sure fire way to getting you motivated is by committing yourself to an event or competition. If you want to do more running, why not sign yourself up for a 10k or a half marathon in the spring/summer? The tough mudder concept have also become a fun way for groups to participate in challenges.

If you are going to make your 2020 fitness routine stick, it is imperative you find an approach that slots into your lifestyle.

Find what works for you
I have always insisted, ‘if you don’t like the gym environment, then don’t go’
You have several methods of training at your disposal when it comes to how and where you exercise. If you are restricted by time or feel too tired when you return from work to head to the gym, you can set yourself up with some inexpensive equipment at home. You can kick start your exercise routine with nothing more than a mat and set of light dumbbells. However, you don’t need equipment to make the body move. A 30-minute bodyweight HIIT routine is one of my classic pieces of advice for many of my clients wanting to feel fitter and healthier.

Get into activewear
You don’t need to spend a ton of money on equipment and attire that only the elite wear, but I do recommend spending a small amount of cash to keep yourself motivated. If you invest your hard-earned money into something then you are more likely to stick with it, otherwise you are just throwing money away.

Investing in an active wear wardrobe can help you naturally think more positively towards exercise.

In a nutshell, anyone can catch the exercise bug and what was once a chore can become something you look forward to if you keep it simple to start and apply realistic changes which can become part of your lifestyle.

Feature article written by: James Golden James is a qualified Fitness Professional and a Thrive Expert. He works as a Fitness Consultant to the prestigious Bamford Spa at Daylesford