Lost track of your ‘new year, new me’ plans? Top five ways you can get back on track with your exercise resolutions
- Livvy Probert and Penny Weston reveal the top five ways to get you back active
- Many set New Year’s goals, but most quit before January is even over
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The ‘New Year, New Me’ mantra motivates many to accomplish their long-desired fitness goals.
But less than three weeks into the year, eight in 10 people had already abandoned their work out goals, priligy active ingredient according to research by Peloton.
But fitness experts have now revealed their top tips for getting back on track with exercise resolutions.
Personal trainer Livvy Probert and fitness and nutrition expert Penny Weston explain how to get your goals back in reach, from how to prepare yourself mentally to setting realistic goals.
Ms Probert said: ‘Is your New Year Resolution still a goal you want to achieve? As quickly as our lives can fluctuate, our goals will also shift.
Personal trainer Livvy Probert (left) and fitness and nutrition expert Penny Weston (right) explain how to get your goals back in reach, from how to prepare yourself mentally to setting realistic goals
Less than three weeks in to the new year research by Peloton suggested more than 80 percent of people already abandoned their work out goals
‘What you wanted to achieve in January might not only be no longer realistic, but not even what you want.
‘It is important to find regular times to check in with yourself to reflect on your progress and ask yourself why you want to achieve your goals so you can give yourself the best chance for success.’
Take it slow
It may feel tempting to restart your fitness goals with full power, dedicating lots of time and effort into your new regime.
But this can actually set you up for failure.
Explosive daily workouts are unrealistic for most people and your body should be given the time it needs to ease into new habits and routines, experts say.
This will not only reduce the risk of injury but also make your goals more manageable.
Exercise advice for new parents
Blaze Trail Director, Jennifer Walsh, has provided her advice for new parents wanting to get active.
Ms Walsh said: ‘Find a community – for many new parents exercise can be a lifeline for mental as well as physical health.
You’re tired, you’re in a body that can’t do what it once did and at times it can be lonely. But with a baby it’s hard to get that time to yourself.
‘Finding a community that suits you and where you can bring your baby with you can help build your confidence and get you out the door.
‘Joining a local group can help you connect with like-minded parents, get you out walking and repping the benefits of fresh air, exercise and connection.’
Ms Weston, director of a country spa retreat Moddershall Oaks, said: ‘Maybe in January, you said you’d exercise daily but this has proved unrealistic, especially if you’re starting from nothing.
‘Why not aim instead to exercise three times a week?
‘Ultimately, healthy adults should be aiming for 150 minutes of exercise a week but you can take time to work up to this as you don’t want to risk injury by doing too much too soon.
‘Basically, just take it slow and don’t rush it.
‘Listen to your body too…it will tell you when it needs a rest day.’
The NHS advises adults to spread exercise evenly over four to five days a week.
Just like stretching to prepare the body physically for a workout, experts suggest taking some quiet time for reflection or meditation to prepare mentally.
Ms Weston said: ‘When you’ve never meditated before, it can be very hard to make this kind of resolution. Why not aim to meditate twice a week?
‘It’s a good idea to start meditating, combined with walking, as it can be hard to focus at first.
‘Sometimes people, especially women, can find it intimidating to go to the gym, and this might be why the New Year resolution hasn’t worked out.’
Fitness experts believe mental preparation is also vital to achieving your goals as it makes every workout leading up to your goal more digestible.
Ms Probert who is the co-founder of HAWQ – a fitness and mental wellbeing service- advised: ‘Give yourself half an hour of quiet time with a pen and paper and write down what you really want to achieve and underneath write why.
‘Next time you reflect, you’ll have a better starting point for remembering why you wanted to achieve the goals in the first place.’
Meditation involves sitting silently and paying attention to thoughts, sounds and the sensations of breathing.
As well as helping with exercise, the NHS says meditation, along with other mindfulness-based therapies, can help with stress, anxiety and depression.
It is estimated around eight million people in the UK practice meditation — around 15 per cent of the population.
The key tips revealed by the experts are: take it slow, meditate, set realistic goals, beginner exercises and to reward yourself
Set realistic goals
While many would love to complete a long-distance run after training for just three months, it may not be achievable for some.
And setting unrealistic goals can make it hard to feel motivated and lead to disappointment when failing to reach targets.
So scheduling and planning small workouts to achieve one larger goal can be a way of tracking progress and staying on track, experts say.
Ms Weston said: ‘Set a realistic goal. If you’ve taken a long break, don’t expect to be at the fitness levels you were before and don’t try to be.
‘You need to make your goal achievable. Don’t try and get back into the swing of things straight away as it will make it much harder.
Top tips for new runners
Head coach at PASSA on behalf of London Landmarks Half Marathon, Lille Bleasdale has offered advice for budding runners.
1. Remove the pressure and do something you enjoy
Try switching things up!
Remove the pressure of training for a little while and switch to trying some new activities that you may find more enjoyment from.
A refreshed perspective can really help with that drive and motivation.
2. Sign up for a race
If running is your goal, but you’ve started to fall out of love with training, then why not get yourself signed up for a local race.
Remember to keep the distance inline with an achievable goal.
3. Plan it in
Make your training a non-negotiable within your week. Give it a slot in the diary the same as you would that important work meeting or dinner with friends!
Make sure that you’re scheduling in a realistic amount of sessions per week and start off on the lower end of the scale.
That way you can easily build in more sessions if you find that the time is manageable.
The achievement post session of ticking it off your to do list is sure to power your motivation.
‘If your goal is to be able to run 5k, why not start with the couch-to-5k app, which breaks it down into manageable steps? You can work up to longer work-outs.
‘If you plan your workout and pop it in your diary, you’re more likely to make it happen.’
Making detailed plans for workouts in advance and understanding how they act a road map to a bigger goals is the best approach, according to Ms Probert.
She said: ‘It is easy to get wrapped up in one big goal. We want to dream high so we can achieve high.
‘But day to day, we need something to work towards. Breaking up your long term goal into smaller goals and milestones gives you an easy way to measure progress and make sure you’re keeping on track.
‘Then try breaking these small goals into actions you could practice each day or week.
‘The smaller the action, the more likely we are to stick to it and the more easily it becomes a habit and keeps us moving towards our goal.’
Even exercising just once or twice a week can boost fitness and reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke.
Regular exercise makes the heart and circulatory system more efficient and lowers cholesterol levels.
It also keeps blood pressure healthy, which reduces the risk of having a stroke.
Exercise can also helps control your weight and reduce the chance of developing other conditions, such as type 2 diabetes.
Focus on beginner exercises
It is vital to perfect the basics, experts say.
Complicated and advanced exercises can increase the risk of injury if done wrong.
Performing simple exercises with the correct form is far more beneficial.
Ms Weston explained: ‘It’s always good to make sure you know the basics, such as squats, lunges and planks.
‘These are used in many workouts, so learn these first to build a good foundation.’
She also urged budding exercise enthusiasts to stretch before and after working out.
It can boost flexibility, increase muscle blood flow, lower the risk of injuries, relieve stress and increase performance.
Ms Weston said: ‘This will help ease you back into exercise and also help prevent injury.
‘I recommend starting with some dynamic stretches, such as leg swings and hip rotation and finishing with cooldown stretches, such as hamstring and triceps stretches.’
What is the point in all work and no play?
Experts hail the benefits of being kind to yourself and celebrating each accomplishment in a fitness journey.
This will not only keep your mindset working towards achievable goals, but it will also keep you motivated to carry on.
It is important to reward yourself when you achieve your smaller goals- incentives could include buying your self some new work-out clothes, schedule a massage, see a movie, learn a fun new sport or have a spa day, says Ms Probert (pictured)
Ms Probert said: ‘Even though our dream is the end goal, who says we can’t celebrate along the way?
‘We aren’t all intrinsically motivated to just work towards our goals and it’s okay to find some external motivation to keep you going.
‘Short term incentives are important to keep you motivated by making a positive environment for you to succeed in.
‘For example, if your long-term goal is to lose 5kg, why not celebrate every kilo along the way?’
Incentives for yourself could include buying new workout clothes, scheduling a massage, watching a film, learning a fun new sport or having a spa day.
How often should you exercise? Physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64
Adults should aim to:
- do strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) on at least 2 days a week
- do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week
- spread exercise evenly over 4 to 5 days a week, or every day
- reduce time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity
These guidelines are also suitable for disabled adults and pregnant women and new mothers.
When you start exercising after pregnancy, make sure your physical activity choices reflect your activity levels before pregnancy.
You should include strength training.
After your six to eight week postnatal check, you can start to do more intense activities if you feel you’re able to.
Vigorous activity is not recommended if you were inactive before pregnancy.
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