Get Real: Maintain Fitness Resolutions by Setting Manageable Goals
By Blake Crewe and Bethany Roley, Co-Owners, Fierce Fitness Training
The New Year is quickly approaching and with it comes a vast array of New Year’s Resolutions. Many of us choose this landmark time to decide to get healthier. This might include losing weight, losing body fat, eating clean, being more active, joining a fitness class…the list goes on and on.
The problem most people face with fitness resolutions is that the goals they have set are difficult to maintain or they do not receive the correct guidance necessary to reach or obtain their goals. In fact, about one third of the New Year’s Resolutions made are to lose weight as their primary goal. So here are a few suggestions to help.
Set manageable goals. The first thing to do is choose goals that are attainable. For example, set a time frame that within three months, you would like to lose 10 pounds. Losing 1 – 2 pounds per week is attainable and a healthy way to keep it off. Being realistic with your goals is also very important. If you are just starting to exercise, begin with 30 minutes two or three times per week, and gradually increase over time. If eating healthier is part of your resolution, start with small changes, such as eating one fruit per day. In time you become accustomed to eating it and creating a healthy dietary habit.
Support. Your family and friends are a great support system to help you to reach your goals. They will sometimes join your healthier lifestyle endeavor which provides greater support and accountability. Changes can be made around your house to help. Try to eliminate the junk foods and also foods that you might have a weakness or crave for. Replace these foods with a healthier alternative.
Have fresh fruit and vegetables on hand instead of potato chips and cookies. Greek yogurt, for example, is great for snacks and provides a good source of protein. Plus, it makes you feel fuller longer.
Of course, eating real food versus processed food is always a better choice. With our busy schedules, many of us have chosen to eat frozen meals instead of preparing our own home cooked meal. One thing to consider is meal prepping: Choose one day to make your meals for several days or the entire week. Your time spent on the one day of prepping saves countless hours in the kitchen each day.
Gradually build into an exercise program. We all have a starting point when it comes to our fitness level. From there, your goal should be to get started, then gradually adding to your exercise program. Some try to dive in head first and do too much which may result in soreness or injuries. If you first start out exercising three days a week, you can add some active rest on the days in which you are not following your program.
For example, if you were to do some form of training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then Tuesday and Thursday would be your active rest days. Active rest means being active but not pushing like you should be during your training. So take your family and pet for a walk, go for a bike ride, or something else that involves you getting up and moving. Then you can work on adding an additional day or two to your training program.
Becoming fit needs to be a priority. This is perhaps one of the most difficult things for us to accomplish due to our hectic work and family schedules. How can we fit a healthy lifestyle around going to work, taking kids to lessons or practices, coming home to cook and do household chores? If your fitness is a priority, you will make time for it. After all, you only have one body, so you should take care of it the best you can.
One thing that might help is planning a menu for each week so you will know what to purchase at the grocery store. This will also help prevent eating out or ordering take-out. Also, choose healthier options for your meals, even if you are at a restaurant.
How do you find time for your exercise training? Exercising before your children get up for school is an option. It is difficult at first to get accustomed to but soon becomes a habit like all other things and gets easier as time goes on. This also leaves you with the rest of your day to do your regular daily activities.
Include your family in your training. This also will teach your children the importance of staying healthy and you are being a role model for them.
Just do it. You must start somewhere. Don’t try to put too much on your plate (literally). Don’t be frustrated with yourself if you slip every once and a while. The key is to start again. Don’t give up on yourself because you are worth fighting for.
Once a routine has been established, you create healthy habits, which lead you towards your fitness goals. When goals have been reached, reward yourself, and then set new goals to attain.
Blake Crewe and Bethany Roley are the co-owners of Fierce Fitness Training, a women and youth only fitness training facility. Blake is the Lead Programmer of Fierce Fitness Youth, CF-L1, CF Kids certified, Ed. S. Bethany is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, health coach, and online health and fitness coach. She is the creator of Bethany’s Bikini Fit Camp and Breaking Free, a women’s self-empowerment program. Contact Bethany at firstname.lastname@example.org.