Whipping your butt back into shape after a leisurely (or down right sloth-like) holiday season can be a completely daunting experience. But, alas, it must be done – at least if you want a healthy body and mind and a boost in energy and vitality.
But before launching straight back in to a military-style fitness routine only to find your interest waning two weeks in, follow my tips to get back in shape the right way.
1. Take it easy on yourself
It is all well and good to plunge yourself into a new year workout plan, but take the pressure off and ease in to it. The key to any fitness routine is commitment – and you won’t do this if you go in with all guns blazing, then find it all too overwhelming.
Start easy, perhaps with two to three workouts a week, depending on how long you’ve gone without exercise, and work your way up from there.
2. Plan it out
Instead of walking into the gym without a clue as to what you will do that day, plan out your cardio and weights days and mark them on your calendar, just like you do with your other weekly commitments. Not only will you arrive ready and rearing to go, you will be less likely to skip a workout if it is permanently marked in your diary.
3. Try new things
Always wanted to try a Zumba class? How about power yoga? Treat the New Year as the chance to mix it up with your workouts and break away from you usual routine.
Try as many new classes as you can. You may just discover a new exercise class you never knew existed. The variety also helps keep you interested in exercise, which is an added bonus.
4. Work smart
Short on time? Not a problem. Today’s workouts need not involve hours spent slogging it out on the treadmill. Try high intensity interval training, or focus on large muscle groups. The legs, for example, are the largest muscle groups in the body, so honing in leg exercises can result in more bang for your buck.
5. Lift more
I have written about weight training many times before. Resistance training helps raise the metabolism, helping to burn more calories after exercise, not just during your workout.
A strong body is a healthy body, and resistance training is the best way to tone up and tighten those problem areas.
Getting back to a long-term fitness program is simple. Take the pressure off, mix things up and above all, be consistent.
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