This is it – time to turn over a new leaf. As the festive hangover fades, this is the month when we vow to stick to a new healthy, fitness regime and promise to stay true to the resolutions we have made.
We’ll turn down chocolates and trips to the pub because January is the quiet month. The fitness month. The time to be healthy and feel smug when you speak to others who haven’t kicked the party habit or quenched the eating cake desire. This smugness doesn’t always last forever, though, as things can soon feel a bit dull if all you do is sleep, eat lettuce and drink water. However you can have your cake and eat it (not literally – it is January after all!) and you can still enjoy the first month of the year. You just have to liven things up and make sure your workouts are fun and exciting.
This year, I’m going to attempt a ‘31 days of January’ workout which means that every day in January I will vow to do some form of fitness. Although it sounds daunting, it is absolutely possible. The key is variation-running and this is free and easy to do, particularly if the weather is good. Of course, it can be hard to feel motivated if you have to run in the dark early in the morning or late at night, so that’s when you need to find alternatives.
I enjoy bootcamp classes because of the combination of cardio and weights, as well as the fact that the competitive element spurs me on. Some bootcamps and gyms will offer deals in January and trial periods – it’s worth taking advantage of them, even if only for the month to kick-start your new 2016 healthy regime!
Alternatively, how about trying the ‘12 runs of Christmas’. This is something a few of my friends used to do religiously and loved it. Pick your start date – they always chose Christmas Eve – and then for 12 days you must complete a run of some sorts. My friends loved doing this because they considered it a very sociable and fun way to workout while also catching up.
Another suggestion is to get involved with your local park run. There are even some taking place on New Year’s Day itself. Some park run regulars I know do a park run crawl (which is similar to a pub crawl, but involves swapping the drinks for 5k runs) over the festive period, and some even manage three different runs on the same morning. You’ll have to check your area for schedules but, to me, this is a lovely way to start the day before venturing home for a delicious New Year’s Day lunch.
My husband is embarking on a 12 week fitness plan and is going to the extreme – cutting out all booze and carbs and also taking a number of supplements to complement his workouts. He wants to be ripped by Easter and obviously I am delighted! (A hot husband headed my way? Yes please!) But, in all seriousness, what’s really great about this is that I have someone else who is committed to a January fitness regime, so it will be easier for me to keep going.
The other way to motivate yourself in the new year is to invest in some fitness clothing. It’s incredible how a new pair of running tights or a workout top can boost your morale and your focus.
Good luck and here’s to a wonderful healthy, happy and super-fit 2016.