4 Tips to Make Your Fitness Resolutions Stick
In most people the approach of a new year brings about a bit of self-reflection and eagerness to make positive changes in one’s life- particularly when it comes to health and fitness. And I think that’s fantastic. However, it’s also a sad reality that come February, many people experience a dwindling down of their initial New Year’s fitness enthusiasm. The excitement of their shiny new gym membership has dulled, they’re back to their old (not so healthy) eating habits, and after a long day at work these same people find that they’d rather hit the couch than another Bootcamp class. In fact, this February phenomenon is so common that Gold’s Gym has dubbed it the “Fitness Cliff,” and for members (as well as the general public) that feel they are at-risk of “falling off the cliff,” Gold’s Gym will provide special programs and freebies during the month of February. I think this is an awesome initiative by Gold’s, and it’s also an important reminder that the human disposition is to slack off a bit (or a lot) when it comes to fitness. So if you have a Gold’s Gym nearby, check them out. Also, for those of you fast approaching the Fitness Cliff, below I’ve provided 4 strategies to help keep your fitness resolutions going strong.
1. Use the entire gym
Bottom line: Boredom kills. So sure, that Spin class may be lots of fun in January, but come February, it may start to feel pretty stale. That’s why I advise you to mix things up every month. Each new month, challenge yourself to try a different class and a different exercise program. Also, to help shake off boredom, try revamping your playlists. As I’m sure many of you know, music is a great exercise motivator, and some people will get bored and feel less motivated to exercise after listening to the same tired playlist over and over again.
2. Set mini goals with mini prizes
Oftentimes people will say things like “I want to lose 20 pounds by Spring Break.” And while that is definitely a reachable goal, you’re still setting yourself up for failure because you’ve put all this pressure to keep performing without much incentive or reward as you go. I believe a better strategy is to break things up into “mini goals” (i.e. “My goal is to lose 5 pounds each month”), and when you accomplish each mini goal, treat yourself to a mini reward (i.e. a massage or manipedi). Overall, breaking your entire fitness goal into mini goals will help drive consistent results, and rewarding yourself with mini prizes is a great way to keep momentum strong for the long haul.
3. Buddy up
Simply put, it’s going to be a lot harder to ditch your workout if you’re also accountable to someone else. Exercise buddies can help provide motivation on days you don't want to work out, and they can serve as spotters during exercises like the bench press or leg tosses. Last but definitely not least, exercise buddies can provide companionship, as well as healthy competition. So try finding a workout partner who’s just a little fitter and stronger than you are. By working out with them and trying to keep up with them, you will end up challenging yourself in ways you probably wouldn’t if you were going at it alone.
4. Skip the gym
Once again, remember that boredom kills. So if you’ve grown tired of your gym routine, try taking your routine out of the gym. For one week, ditch the gym and do your workouts elsewhere. Whether you’re exercising in your living room, a local park, or going for a run around your neighborhood, give yourself a break from the gym rat race without losing sight of your fitness goals. Plus, change of scenery is always nice, and chances are may even be eager to get back to Spin class after you’ve taken a little time away from the gym.
Have you fallen victim to the Fitness Cliff? How do you plan to get back on track with your fitness goals? Let me know in the comments. Till next time, stay active and awesome! – Doc
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Dr. Phoenyx Austin is a Sports Medicine Physician, Certified Trainer, creator of BeautyElite & BodyElite advanced supplements, and #1 Bestselling Author of And That’s Why You’re Fat and If You Love It, It Will Grow. Dr. Phoenyx's passion is fitness and her goal is to help people achieve their best bodies. Connect with the Doc on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.