January 2020 is the beginning of a new month, a new year and a new decade – and as usual, getting fit is likely to be a popular resolution for many.
The experts at Total Fitness are expecting their biggest ever January gym rush in 2020, as people sign up to get their health back on track. However, studies suggest as many as 63 percent of people break their resolutions by 19th January (as predicted by Strava).
To help make 2020 the year you actually keep to your resolution, Steven Virtue at Total Fitness shares his five top tips that you can stick to:
1. Set personal and realistic resolutions
“When it comes to setting fitness resolutions, “go hard or go home” isn’t the way – setting yourself a resolution to attend the gym five to six days per week is likely to lead to failure.
“The road to success starts with baby steps. Commit to exercising one or two days per week as a starting point, with a view to increasing the regularity of your training as you ease into the swing of things.
“Starting small and building up is easier to maintain and will help you to stay motivated.”
2. Work with a personal trainer
“Although not essential, working with a trainer has huge advantages. Their main responsibility is to guide and coach you on your fitness journey and ensure you remain accountable towards your goals and, in this case, your resolutions.
“Most gyms and health clubs provide personal training services that can be tailored to your specific goals and budget. You’re more likely to make fitness a habit with the guidance and passionate approach of a personal trainer.”
3. Join a group exercise class
“If you would feel more comfortable in a group setting than one-on-one with a personal trainer, an exercise class could be the perfect place to start, not to mention a lot of fun! Training in a group environment feeds social inclusion and puts you with like-minded individuals which can be a great incentive to show up to class and continue on your fitness journey.
“The guidance from the instructor, as with personal training, takes the decision making out of your exercise regime, ensuring you are challenged and inspired by those around you.”
4. Use a fitness tracker
“A fitness tracker can help to clearly define your goals and keep you motivated throughout your journey, in and outside of the gym. Trackers monitor various aspects of your physical fitness, such as your daily step count, heart rate, number of calories burned and this data can be used to keep you motivated.
“The calorie tracking functions are particularly useful; finding a unique balance between calorie expenditure and consumption is imperative to achieving your fitness goals regardless of whether your goal is to lose weight or build muscle.”
5. Avoid fad diets
“Jumping on the next big diet trend can often lead to disappointment. Most fad diets offer a lack of variety or balance, and are centred around deprivation of your favourite foods, which makes them difficult to maintain for the long term.
“Instead, create a personalised nutrition plan that revolves around sensible and manageable changes. Some easy diet changes include:
Eat less saturated fat: opt for lean cuts of meat or plant-based alternatives
Reduce your sugar intake: sugary drinks are one of the biggest contributors to weight gain so avoid these at all costs
Get your five a day: opt for fresh fruit and veg as these retain more nutrients than frozen or canned varieties
Cut back on alcohol: enjoy alcohol in moderation but remember alcohol contains calories too
Eat fewer dairy products: these can increase your cholesterol levels