Lets face it January (dubbed most depressing moth of the year) is a bit of drag. Your all spent out after Christmas, the dark mornings make leaving your bed harder and you resemble a grizzly bear. Its a known fact that lack of sunlight in these short days causes extra melatonin production which accounts for your sleepy carbohydrate craving body. Exercise plans, your new treadmill from commercial gym equipment uk, and your newly purchased workout DVD sit firmly on the shelf as you hibernate. The result- less energy, sluggish circulation and lymphatic system which leads to weight gain, water retention and general malaise. Actually exercise id one of the best cures for lack of energy (unless you have a serious illness) and can lessen depression as it produces endorphins that act on the serotonin receptors in your brain. Serotonin is the hormone that gives you the ‘feel good factor’ Its now in deepest darkest January that you need to drag yourself from that couch and get moving in any way shape or form. Be it the gym, stress busting kick-boxing, relaxing Pilates, en vogue Zumba classes or a simple brisk 20 min walk.
With the above in mind I have noted a few motivational pointers that can keep you on the right heath track in these winter months. Here are some practical tips to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions & health goals and make 2012 your healthiest yet!
1 Prioritise and schedule time for regular exercise.
The hardest part about exercising is often getting ready for exercise such as travelling to the gym or getting changed! Plan ahead by writing down all of your essential weekly commitments into your calendar. If you simply view exercise as as bonus part of your weekly routine, you’ll be less likely to find excuses. Also try and get a friend to come along so it’s a social thing and you can support each other. Joining a class is great as you feel inspired by other people and can make new friends.
2. Choose a gym, class, running track or cycling route close to your home or en-route to/from your normal commute. Make exercise convenient.
Because the getting there issue is so important, its recommended you select a gym (or other relevant setting for exercise) in an accessible location so that you’ll be less-likely to be put off by factors such as bad weather, traffic, safety concerns, etc. Even if your nearest gym costs more for a membership, research indicates that you’ll be more likely to use it making it well worth it! Or you can run, cycle or skate for free in your local park. You don't have to sign up to expensive gyms to get fit. But what you do need is self-motivation. Classes are a way to encourage healthy life patterns and meet new people so you are more likely to keep it up rather than exercising alone in the beginning. Once it becomes a way of life you will not be able to live without the buzz that exercise gives you!! You will probably happily run, dance or whatever alone then :)
3 Dont rely on your level of motivation or emotions. Just do it!
We all have those day when we simply ‘cant be bothered’, perhaps we had a broken night’s sleep? Or there was a problem at work? What we need to keep in mind is that action is generally the prerequisite for motivation, not the other way around. If you think you need to wait for some inspiration before you start your new exercise routine and/or nutritional plan, you could be waiting for a long time. Many sources suggest that new habits take a minimum of three
Consistent weeks to form, and sometimes longer. Some days you won’t feel like it-fact. But try to see it as a job that you have to do in order to care for your body.
4.Write down your long and short-term fitness goals, including detailed steps.
Writing down your New Years resolution and including both long and short-term goals, as well as the steps involved in reaching them can increase motivation and reduce the risk of giving up. Be realistic....Rome wasn’t built in a day! Pin motivational quotes and exercise routines on the wall this way subconsciously you will get the fitness message when you are thinking about chucking it allin.
5 Aim low to begin with
Many New Years resolutions aim to change way too much, way too soon and are soon completely abandoned due to unrealistic commitments and goals, as well as due to insufficient how-to information. A personal trainer can help you stay motivated and guide you. Friends and family can also exercise with you and give moral support. Dont beat yourself up if you really are too tiered. We all have life commitment that get in the way from time to time, thats normal. However if you are not really exhausted and are making excuses ( you will know deep down what is true lol) then push that extra mile and get out there. If you consistently make excuses and have no physical health reasons then there may be other issues at work and some counselling or a self help book may help you to break out of your self-limiting cycle and let you feel the fear but do it anyway. What Im trying to say is that anything is better than nothing so don’t think that you have to look like a super-model over night, forget unrealistic role models and work on small exercise goals that fit into your own personal life structure, this way you are more likely to stick to them.
6. If you cant resist temptation, take it out of the kitchen!
Whatever food habits you have weather you are a carnivore, vegeratarian, vegan raw foodist etc.....there will be times that you feel the urge for comfort food. Obviously if you exist on a no sugar, non dairy, wheat free, and meat free raw diet you are less likely to get sudden urges for sugary carbohydrate style foods as you have eliminated the main energy robbing food groups. However I realise for many such food habits are too restrictive for most. So as the majority of people eat a standard meat and two veg diet I would suggest making one very important change to your diet. That is to cut out all refined sugar and fructose-syrup containing products. You will be surprised how many foods (even savoury) contain this non-nutritious energy robbing substance. Sugar is not needed by the human body and while it may give you that quick energy surge that you need to start exercising you will soon feel tiered and anxious as your sugar raised blood level drops sharply after about 20 mins. To exercise demands alot from the body and it needs the best fuel. Instead of sugary sports-drinks go for a banana before exercising. Human beings are influenced by the five senses touch, taste, smell, sound, and sight! There is nothing wrong with having treats sometimes. But ask yourself are you really hungry? Or just bored and performing auto eating or emotional eating? Make sure you dont have stashes of junk food around the house as it will become an emotional crutch. Also when you do have some treats they will be a real reward. There are some great safe sugar substitutes out there for if you really want a sweet treat. Xliytol, Stevia,Sweet Freedom fruit sugar and Agave syrup are all natural sweeteners and safe in moderation. Use them instead of refined cane sugar. Stay away from artificial man-made sweeteners like aspartame, maltitol , Canderell and Splenda they are toxic for the body and hormonally disrupting.
As you complete some of the many steps involved in achieving your health goal, reward yourself! A little of what you fancy does you good. A massage at a spa, or a new out-fit, a trip out somewhere new will seem all the more special if you know you have worked hard on your health to get it. Remember that advert by a big corporation that sells shampoo?.....‘ you are worth it’.
8 Periodically re-evaluate your New Years resolution.
Frequently our life circumstances change. Its important that our goals (and steps for achieving them) are flexible enough to change too. While a New Years resolution might be set in a single day, its achieved by completing multiple steps over a prolonged period of time. As you exercise more you will perhaps find you enjoy certain things more than others so you goal/routine will change. By looking at your original New Years health resolution you can also see if you are still on track. Life changes, its fluid so your exercise plans must do the same. Perhaps you start a class but find its too high impact on your joints. Don’t just give up on exercise there is always an alternative which will suit you better. Finding your preferred exercise routines is like getting to know your, we are all different and so what works for someone won’t necessarily for you. Be like water, go with the flow but never give up.
9 Dont be a perfectionist!
Don’t beat yourself up over the occasional slip whether it involved missing a few too many workouts, or and indulging on a Friday night while out with friends. Expect to slip-up from time to time, and when it happens, just get right back on track immediately afterwards.
10 Tell your family, friends and colleagues so you have a support network.
Find somebody with a similar goal, and keep one another accountable by checking in with each other regularly to make sure you’re both on-track. Tell your friends and family of your goal so you get extra support on your health journey. Humans are by nature sociable creatures and the healthiest people are both balanced in mind and body so spread the fitness word. Tell people about your desire to get fit and maybe they will feel inspired too so you share the love!
Finally enjoy it and have fun! 2012 is your year!
The New Year is an opportunity for fresh starts and to set new goals and renew previous commitments. We can throw out the old and form new habits and there is a feeling of optimism and liberty. Improving fitness levels is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, yet so many struggle to maintain it! Research indicates that more than two-thirds give up within two months. Fast-forward a month and do you find yourself in vegetative state randomly flicking channels on the sky remote?