We’ve all had that sudden burst of energy after the holiday season where we rehash that age-old resolution of getting in shape. We dust off the nearest exercise apparatus and “work out” indiscriminately until we’re too exhausted to go on.
Unfortunately, the event becomes an anomaly, rearing its head only briefly every year. It’s not a lack of effort, for most of us it just fails to become routine. Fortunately, sticking to a resolution is within your power—you just have to go about it the right way.
Here, six ways to lock in your fitness goals.
1. Make it non-negotiable
Exercise isn’t easy and even the most committed gym-goers find it difficult to develop a fitness routine at first. According to a recent GoodLife poll, the majority of long-term members owe their success to making fitness a non-negotiable part of their schedule. Think of your daily exercise routine as paid work, only to be missed due to illness or injury. Eventually, the daily task will become less daunting and more rewarding.
2. Cut the calories
Results are what keep us motivated. To achieve those results, exercise must be combined with a supportive diet. According to the Harvard Medical School, a daily 30-minute walk, combined with a reduction of 250 calories a day, would result in a loss of one pound in just over a week.
3. Walk the line
You can start out with something as easy as walking. If the brisk Canadian winter isn’t appealing, a treadmill or a shopping mall is an option.
4. Protect against injury
Nothing is more discouraging than an injury early on in your new workout routine. So take some time to warm up before you begin. The Harvard Medical School recommends a five-minute warm up and cool down, even for less strenuous exercises such as walking.