Don’t you just love the New Year? It’s full of new opportunities, new enthusiasm, and new commitments to change your life for the better.
One common goal around the New Year is to get healthier through exercise. If starting a new exercise routine is part of your self-improvement plan this year, here are seven tips to help make it easier.
Tip #1: Consult your doctor first. Before you begin any exercise program it is really important to make sure you’re physically up for it. This is particularly important if you’re not normally physically active. A doctor can advise you on how to approach a new exercise routine and tell you what signs to look for if you’re overdoing it.
Tip #2: Set small goals. While it may be really exciting to set a large goal like running a marathon or going to the gym every day, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to actually achieve the goal. The goal may begin to feel overwhelming. The solution? Set smaller goals. For example, if your goal is to go to the gym every day, just go to the gym one day a week for three weeks. Once you’ve accomplish that goal, step it up. Decide to go to the gym twice a week for three weeks. Once you’ve accomplished that goal, step it up again. Soon you’ll be going to the gym every day.
Tip #3: Reward yourself. Goal setting and achieving is supposed to be fun. When you reach a goal, whether it is a little one or a big one, reward yourself. For example, using the gym example from above – when you reach your goal of going to the gym once a week, you could buy yourself some workout music or get a new piece of workout clothing. When you reach the final goal of going every day, well it’s probably time for some new clothes because you’re looking awesome, right?!
Tip #4: Do something fun. Exercising doesn’t have to be running around a track until you can’t breathe anymore. Dancing is exercise, walking in nature is exercise, jumping on a trampoline is exercise, as is tennis, yoga, etc. Find a sport that you enjoy, and reaching your goals will become easy and fun.
Tip #5: Mix it up. It’s easy to get into a rut when you’re beginning a new workout routine. In order to keep things interesting and maintain your motivation, consider a few exercises or sports you enjoy. This can make it easier on your body too. For example, if you’re running two or three times a week, consider walking or riding your bike on the other days. Maybe add yoga to keep your muscles flexible.
Tip #6: Exercise with friends. Friends motivate you to get to the gym, friends make it fun, and friends can challenge you to push yourself just a little bit farther than you might if you were working out alone.
Tip #7: Exercise during your best time of day. Are you a morning person? If you’re a morning person, then the best time for you to plan your workout time is probably in the morning. If you’re a night person, then try to plan your workout in the evening.
Starting a new exercise routine is a fantastic way to feel great, look great and improve your health. Congratulations on making a resolution to improve your life!