How to kick-start your health and fitness goals for the new year
The Christmas period is a difficult time to stay motivated and focus on your health and fitness with all of the festivities, food and fun to be had. However, fitness is not something you want to turn on and off. You want to ensure your body is always healthy enough to maintain a strong immune system, avoid injuries and move pain free all day, every day.
January is the perfect time to kick start your fitness and health goals for the new year to ensure you bounce back from the holiday period.
So, the real question is not ‘do I?’ or ‘don’t I?’, it’s ‘HOW do I?’. This is not necessarily an easy endeavour with such a busy schedule during the holiday period and following Christmas. Here are some quick tips that’ll assist in not only new year resolution success but maintaining your health and fitness all 2019 long, without spending hours in the gym.
Topics in this article:
How to stick to your new year’s fitness resolution
Set your fitness goals
Without understanding where you want to be it’s hard to get there. Don’t just set your new year fitness goals but outline how important they are and what you’re willing to do to achieve them.
Give each of your health goals an importance rating out of 10 so every time you think about doing something that will move you further from that goal (or not doing something you know you should) you can remind yourself of that rating and this will help keep you on track.
Focus on three goals; one primary that is going to be what you put most of your energy into, a secondary which you would like to achieve along the way and another which would be an added benefit from the training you’re completing.
Establish fitness benchmarks
If you don’t know where you currently are fitness wise, how will you know if you’ve changed or been successful in completing your new year’s resolution fitness challenge? There are many different ways to set benchmarks including:
- Body measurements
- Body scans
Whichever you choose, make sure you can replicate that benchmark within the timeframe that you set your fitness goals.
An easy benchmarking tool anyone can do themselves at home is taking your girth measurements. Have a family member or friend help take your stomach (around the naval), hips (around the bum), thighs (bottom of your thumb pointed at the ground) and arms (widest part).
To measure your fitness, start by recording your resting heart rate. Then set yourself a distance to run or cycle and time yourself. Once complete, record the time it took and measure your heart beats per minute and record how long it takes to get you to your usual resting heart rate.
While it is important to incorporate different types of training including resistance and cardiovascular exercise, the key is moving. Aim to get your physical activity in for at least 30 minutes five days a week.
To help you with this, we can provide a complete body weight workout or its something that you can easily do on your own at home. The workout is as follows:
- Push Ups
- Rows (find a bar or bench you can hold onto and pull yourself up to)
Complete each of these exercises with 25 reps, 20 reps, 15 reps, 10 reps and 5 reps. Record your time and use this as a strength and fitness benchmark. Each time you do the workout, try to beat your previous time.
The key to healthy nutrition is moderation. While ideally you don’t want to indulge in too many treats, they can also be great for your mental state of mind and relaxation.
Focus on eating regular, consistent meals throughout the week without going more than four hours without fuelling your body and ensuring you are incorporating sources of protein in all meals, especially in the morning, before and after workouts.
Avoid packaged food and opt for the fresh option, however, if you do go for something with a label, a simple rule of thumb is to avoid anything with more than 10 per cent sugars or fat per serve.
Track your progress
Not only do you need to revisit your benchmarks but tracking your workouts live will make all the difference to understanding how to improve faster.
There are many different types of wearable technologies and apps out there to help you with this. One we recommend is MYZONE; the most accurate wearable on the market to within 99 per cent accuracy tracking your heart rate and calories burnt during and post workout.
We use MYZONE in all of our sessions to ensure we take the guess work out of your training and help you achieve the results you are looking for.
We hope these insights aid in improving your health and fitness. All the best with your 2019 fitness new year’s resolutions!
Sam Greenwood is the Manager Director of Fit Academy; Melbourne’s most innovative group personal training facility. Fit Academy specialises in corrective movement, strength and conditioning for everyone from those who are looking to improve their fitness and/or lose weight up to athletes playing sport at an elite level. Sam has spent 10 years in the industry training clients of all levels as well as supporting sporting teams in their strength and conditioning. Follow Fit Academy on Instagram or Facebook.