It’s no surprise that by mid-January many New Year’s resolutions have already gone by the wayside. The sparkle of the holiday season has fully dimmed, and the full weight of winter has set in. No matter how excited you were to get started reaching your goals on the first, there’s a good chance you’ve already hit the first speed bump, whether that’s from a lack of progress, the stress of “real life” after the holidays, or something else. But fear not! Studies have shown that it takes 21-30 days to form a habit, so you’re already halfway there! Read on for some tips to change things up a little and keep the motivation up through the end of the year and further.
Try New Tech
At Prairie Lakes, our 24/7 fitness center is equipped with Wellbeats™ programs and technology for our residents to use as they please. This gives them access to fit tests to track progress as well as dozens of workout plans and programs. Whether or not you have access to this type of technology, you’re sure to find some sort of tech to help you reach your goals. Physical technology such as heart rate monitors and smartwatches can keep you on track, and streaming services (including YouTube) have plenty of workouts available to keep things fun. Check out your smart phone’s app store for tons of apps from food and water trackers, to yoga and other workouts on demand, to other fitness programs and challenges.
Try New Workouts
One reason you may be getting burnt out already is that you’re getting bored. Try switching up your workout routine to add some new moves or types of exercise. For example, if you’ve mostly been focusing on cardio, think about trying weight lifting once or twice a week. Go at your own pace and work up to it, starting with body weight exercises, then moving to weight equipment, and finally free weights. This can also help if you’re losing motivation due to lack of progress. Working anaerobic exercises like weight lifting into your aerobic cardio has shown to be more effective with weight loss than cardio alone.
Get New Gear
There is truth to the phrase “if you look good you feel good”. You may think it’s pointless to spend money on clothes you just put on to sweat in, but if you’re lacking motivation this is an easy way to make it easier to psych yourself up for the gym. So use some of that holiday money you’ve been saving and go take advantage of the sales that are always going on this time of year! If your gym shoes are starting to look worse for the wear make sure to replace them as well. This is a good tip to keep in mind whenever you’re in a plateau as well, especially if your clothes are feeling a little loose. Getting fit is a mental game just as much as physical, so any way to keep positive is a way to reach your goals as well.
Get More Sleep and Drink More Water
Chances are good that if you’re not hitting your personal goals one of the reasons comes down to sleep and/or water (as long as your goals are reasonable). Doctors recommend at least 8 hours of sleep per night, and studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain and increased stress levels. Make sleep as much of a priority as anything else in your fitness routine and you’re almost guaranteed to see progress. Similarly, water is vital in supporting a healthy lifestyle. While individual hydration needs can vary, the rule of thumb is at least half your weight in ounces per day. If that’s not doable for you, just work on drinking more throughout the day and set your own personal goal to meet each day.
Get a Workout Buddy
It’s easy to excuse our own bad habits to ourselves or rationalize an excuse so that it sounds reasonable. It’s harder to make excuses when someone else is involved. Find a friend who has similar goals, or who is already working on their health and fitness, and use each other as motivation. If you’re both competitive maybe set out rules for a friendly competition, or make a bet that whoever misses a workout first owes the other dinner. If you live close to each other and your schedules allow it set a time to go to the gym together or take a fitness class that you’ll both go to each week.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have before starting a fitness or diet plan.