7 ways to stick to your new year fitness resolution
As the new years goes on, the motivation to stick to your resolution becomes harder. This is especially true when it comes to getting in shape, as the motivation dwindles down, will power takes over and each work out can feel excruciating for many reasons. However it does not have to be that way, everyone who have made physical transformation made tweaks to make the transition to a more active and healthy lifestyle easier.
To help you demystify your 2017 fitness resolutions, we decided to ask some fitness professionals and trainers who have transformed the lives of many to help you with yours. These are people who own very influential lifestyle and fitness blogs; individuals who own gyms and have seen how exercise can transform peoples’ lives. Below we have compiled 7 most important recurring themes from these experts that will keep you in track towards achieving your new year’s fitness goals. these incredible influential figures in fitness have changed and transformed the lives of many.
Before we go any further let us introduce the people who made this piece possible.
- CONSISTENCY is the Key, not INTENSITY
When we set down the rules of exercise we more often than not fail to include the rules of engagement. In other words, we focus on losing fat and staying fit more than how regular we do it. Carly Thorton says that exercise is “a continual journey and consistency is the key.” Gunnar Peterson goes ahead to say that “Consistent is the key, not intensity. Not every workout needs to be fire and brimstone”.
No matter what you do in life, you will never achieve your objectives until you stick to consistency. For example, where you are in your career, you got there by being consistent about it. Same goes to working out; being consistent in your workouts every day as per your schedule is the missing key in your life. Errick McAdams points out that “the only bad workout is a missed workout.” When you miss out your workout session, you spin out of control. The viscous cycle of inconsistency hits you harder than you think. If your exercise plan has a one day break, stick to that. “Consistency yields results,” says McAdams. Skipping exercise affects your motivation, endurance, and could lead to injury.
Having a plan is planning to succeed. You will need to have a starting point. Let us say you could start by doing resistant training maybe 2-3 times a week. The time could be early in the morning or in the evening after work. As long as the time is convenient for you; if your exercise time collides with your other activity time, the spirit of motivation collides with opportunity choice. You find yourself choosing to do other important things than work out. So instead of sparing time to attend the gym, make a schedule and fit your routine there. Adherence to the plan is vital.
The more time you spend being consistent, the better you get, and the more it flows. You can have the best trainer and diet plan, but without consistency, frustration is just a short way from you. You will need to give your efforts time to mature. The reason why people do not achieve their fitness goals is that they fail to be patient, and impatient people are inconsistent.
- Eating Healthy and Filling Meals Instead of Counting Calories
“Eating clean is the most important thing,” says Errick McAdams, “We can’t work out a bad, high calorie, diet.” McAdams used to work in a food restaurant at JFK. When he lost the job depression walloped him, and before he knew it he was overweight. With a new motivation, he joined a Health Club gym.
While working out surely promises on a general change in physique, your diet is also as important as how hard you exercise. The most important part of eating clean is to provide your body with the necessary nutrients needed to gain lean muscle mass while at the same time helping your body get rid of excess fats and upping your metabolic activities. According to Food Basics 101: Your Diet Makeover, smart food choices is the key to reaping maximum benefits from gym sessions. The author points out that in the gym you will always find one person who exercises like crazy, but hardly any changes occur; diet is the primary reason.
While it is okay to indulge once in a while in our favorite meals, adhering to smart food is important. One way of achieving lasting sustainability. In other words, you can include your favorite meals in the diet but with limitations instead of just denying yourself the chance to indulge in something you love.
According to Denny Watkins, when we make deliberate diet decisions with our minds focused on just light choices, the brain can produce a hormone called ghrelin which makes you feel less full and also slows down your metabolism. So instead of walking on the straight road of counting calories in your diet, focus on eating healthy and to satisfaction. Pick healthy foods that look like a treat. McAdams goes on to say that you should "Aim to make water your only non-alcoholic beverage." Staying hydrated is part of dieting right
- Progressive Training: Set Small Achievable Goals
Progressive overload is the key workout requirement, unless your body learns to adapt, you will never grow stronger or bigger after reaching a certain point. What does that mean? The human body defaults to sustaining life in the most basic manner. To increase its efficiency, you have got to train it and exercising is the best way forward. Even so, you do not just ramp up your workout. You need to take a calculated approach when setting your fitness goals. Have realistic objectives. “Set small goals that keep you focused on progressing,” says Carly Thorton. “Stick to the basic compound exercise to build.”
Starting small may seem counterintuitive but keep in mind that success is your goal and not injury. It does not matter whether you have the best intentions and willpower to do a grand workout for faster burnout, but if you do not have a smart plan or goal, you will fail. That is why Stephen Hoyles recommends that you “set your targets low enough that you can achieve them, so you are not disappointed with yourself.”
The trick is breaking your huge objectives into small achievable plans that help build your fitness level slowly and safely. When you achieve one goal, “build on that success,” says Hoyles. Make it a hobby and watch how you achieve your fitness goals progressively without injury or losing too much fat. Train your body with "progressive overload," and you will notice desirable results. Do not be overzealous about achieving weight loss or muscle gain less you end up breaking your spine or fracturing your bones. Make small smart and realistic goals.
- Have at Least 8 Hours of Sleep a Day
Staying healthy is easy but sleeping healthy is one thing most people ignore. Nobody needs to tell you this but sleep is the best friend of fitness. They are correlated, and one without the other only works to diminish the effectiveness of the other. In a nutshell, without sleep, you will have trouble keeping that lean body or building those abs and then without working out you reduce your sleep quality, and your whole life is in peril.
Sleep plays a critical role in muscle building. Lack of sleep raises the levels of cortisol- the stress hormone that causes loss of muscles and increases visceral fat. In other words, without sleep, you will have a difficult time achieving your fitness goals.
In men, sleep plays quite a large part in growth. Unlike women who secrete small amounts of growth hormones even when awake, a man only produces growth hormones when they sleep. So if you are a man looking to burn the excess fat and grow some abs, consider increasing your sleep hours to eight. Still in men, lack of sleep also increases your cortisol especially in the evening making you more restless, intolerable, and increases your insomnia. Sleep and exercise determine your mental and physical behavior.
According to shape.com, “Your Sleep Schedule May Be Making You to Eat,” Research indicates that lack of sleep could be the reason you are stuffing all those bad calories into your stomach. That complicates your fitness plans further. One night of lack of sleep does not devour you but if you do this often is going to affect your progress. It is not about how long you sleep but consistency. In other words, it is better to have a regular sleep pattern than sleeping on short days and then sleeping longer on other days. Research indicates that sleep variation could be one of the main reasons for the spreading obesity.
- Take Photos to Keep Track of Your Progress
If you are serious about your fitness plans, I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping track of your training progress. That does not include stepping on the weighing scale every day and frowning or freaking out on the added pounds. I mean, you need a plan, a functional one, which will guide you through your progress. Here are three importance of tracking progress as:
- Tracking for motivation and plans
- Tracking means discipline and focus
- Tracking Summarizes progress
Most people use the weighing scale as their track-progress friend. Every week, they weigh. As long as the numbers are going down, they are comfortable and continue training. Then one day the scale goes up by an eighth and all hell breaks loose. Does that sound familiar? Well, here is the good news; weight usually does not tell the whole truth. You might be burning the fat, but the numbers refuse to move. Thus you become super discouraged, and you may fall off the wagon. However, if you tracked your body changes more carefully, you would notice changes. So know that the scale has nothing on you. It should not and does not define your fitness progress. Yes, weight is important, but then your body could be torching fat while building muscle which is the whole idea unless being a weakling is your objective.
That is why Carly Thorton recommends that “To track progress use photos as these are the most accurate way to see progress.” Keeping evidence of your progress is a great way of realizing how close you are to achieving your dreams. Photos will reflect your depleting fat stores, the incoming muscles, and your come-to-shape demeanor. Working out is feeling healthy and vigorous. Take it from Tina Gowin who has worked out all her life.
- Avoid Get-Thin-Quick Diet Fads
Every day we wake up to new fad diets with magical powers of helping you lose weight in just a week or so, or at least that is what most fad diets say. While some of them spur short-term weight loss, many are difficult to adhere to and may be dangerous to your health. Most of these diets have arbitrary rules that ban nutritious foods from your life. For example, extreme veggie is one way of torching fat extremely fast, but then you have to eat raw foods. While it is true that eating fresh produce is healthy, cooked food also has lots of fiber, nutrients and vitamins in them that are paramount to your health. Alkaline diets, on the other hand, require you to cut out meat, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, sweets, processed or artificial foods and increase your intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. This diet confers some benefits to your body, but it also bans foods that might confer more significant health benefits such as meat and dairy products, the primary source of calcium.
Losing weight has a lot do with feeling good. Your confidence and esteem lie on how good you feel towards yourself. Therefore if having a lean body with less body fat, or having fat only in the right places is your thing, you need a change of approach. While most fad diets can help you burn fat faster, remember that the key thing is providing your body with enough carbs for energy and nutrients needed to make muscles for a stronger body. Marci Warhaft says that you should “listen, trust, and respect your body.” Feeding your body fewer carbs than your daily value is disrespecting what your body needs. She goes further to the point that feeling right is all about exercising; that you should avoid these “fad diets and the dieting propagandas.” To Tina Gowin it is not just about the calories; it is about eating healthy for a more fulfilling life.
Most celebrities endorse fad diet, making this weight loss plan a big industry. Since most of us admire or even worship these skinny celebrities, we end up delving in these diets. However, after about five years of using fad diets as your weight loss plan, you start storing fat. Why? Fad diets have very stringent rules and failing to keep them results to frustration about your incapability, and eventually, you start to gain weight and soon forget about the diet. So instead of wasting your time getting thin for a short term course, why not work out and not only lose weight but also get a lean body with less fat but more muscle? Warhaft also remembers how being fit helped her recover from a fatal condition quickly.
- Enjoy Your Workouts
Many people fail to realize their fitness goals because they hate exercising. Despite the motivation to continue, without enjoying your workout sessions, you soon lose your drive. Others simply hate exercising, so it is never a priority to them. To enjoy your workout sessions you need to enjoy what you to do like how Stephen Hoyles sees his workout sessions, “Training makes me feel good, helps me de-stress and most importantly is something I enjoy!”
One way of making exercise fun is by making it a hobby. A habit is a disease, and sure enough, the minute you make what you do a hobby, you will hate to miss any session. Removing the negativity you have associated with exercising helps you to embrace it. Find your own space, your own thing, something that you enjoy doing and go for it whole heartedly. According to Robert Martin, one way of achieving your 2017 fitness goals is “You need to find something you can be competitive at and have a ton of fun at the same time.” Your exercise should be challenging enough to keep the fire burning. Challenge is the key to enjoyment, but it should not be overwhelming. Have a routine that challenges you ever day.
Getting an exercise partner committed to fitness is another way of enjoying your workout sessions. A partner will always have your back, and when you are less motivated to turn up, he or she will drag you to the gym.
Last but not least is you will have to overcome you. Self-consciousness could be the reason you rag in your fitness goals. Maybe you are not as muscular as your gym friends but so what? You are there to achieve your goals. The more you show up the closer you get. Pay less attention to them and just do you. Max Barry says that” in life, if you want to succeed, you need to "do you”.” Tina Gowin also realized doing what she enjoyed was more fulfilling. Doing you is the best way to enjoy your fitness goals.
Carly used to hate the way she looked. If Carly Thorton had given up on herself, we would not have elitebodyandfitness.com. If all these fitness professionals had given up on life, I would not be here writing this piece. So never give up on yourself.
Hence, 2017 can be the year you achieve your fitness goals, if your willing to put in the effort and discipline, once you start noticing the results there will be nothing to stop you!