New Year, New You?

For many people, exercise and nutrition are common for a New Year’s resolution topic. As an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, I hear these resolutions every January. People are full of good intentions and flood into the gym and get started on a new and healthier lifestyles.

It is something important to work towards and some of these people are successful in working towards a healthier lifestyle, but some lose sight of their good intentions and fall back into old habits and unhealthy patterns.

If a healthier New Year is what you want, keep that desire strong throughout the year. New habits are not born overnight; you have to keep working at them.


Top tips for a healthy new year:

Do what you like.  If you look forward to (or at least do not actively hate) a particular physical activity, do it. If you like tennis find an indoor court. If you like dancing, look into dance-based workouts like Zumba or body jam. Do whatever will make you move. Just because you know things like running and jumping are great cardio does not mean they have to be your thing. If you like what you are doing, you will do it continually. If you do not like what you are doing, you won’t do it. If you are not sure what you would enjoy, try a variety of activities until you find one that sticks.

Formulate achievable goals. Instead of formulating your ultimate goal as what you are working toward, break your goal down into smaller achievable goal If you want to lose 10kgs, think of it as a goal of losing 0.5kg-1kg per week . If you want to add muscle mass, you can aim for putting on a 2-3kgs of muscle a month. If you want to run a 5K, try intervals of walking and jogging to get to the first kilometer, then the second, then the third. Keep in mind that your goals may shift as you work toward them.

Share your goals with the people in your life. Share what you are doing with the people around you. Having the support of others can both inspire you and hold you accountable. You will not want to report to your loved ones that you have given up on your goals. You will want to report that you are working hard to get what you want. You never know who will inspire you during this process. You may even inspire others to join you on your journey.

Something is always better than nothing. I hear the question all the time, “if I can only get to the gym for half an hour, is it worth it?” My answer is always a resounding, “Yes! It is worth it!” You can get a lot done in half an hour and it keeps you in the habit of exercising.

Treat yourself!. Once you hit your goal for the week whether it be getting to the gym 4 times a week or completing a 10 minute job without stopping. Reward yourself for the hardwork. Choose a reward that won’t undo your hard work: a weekend getaway, a beach day, a mani-pedi, a massage, some new fitness swag, or a movie date. Regular treats divided by goal can help you reach those milestones faster than you previously thought possible.

It’s okay to be nervous, but don’t let it stop you. People are often afraid to try something new. This is completely normal. Nerves can often be beaten with some extra preparation. If there is a group exercise class you have been curious about, but haven’t gone because you are nervous about it, ask someone for more information. By finding out more about a teacher’s style and the format of the class, you will feel more mentally prepared and in control. Even ask a friend to join you!

Ask for assistance. Many types of exercise are not intuitive. While your body knows how to walk without you having to think about it, it does not automatically know how to properly lift weights or use kettlebells. If you are a member of a gym, ask a personal trainer to show you correct technique.

Remember, if you have any concerns about starting a new exercise program, always consult the advice of  an Accredited Exercise Professional.