Kick start your fitness routine
In January each year, millions of people of all ages plan a healthy fresh start for the year ahead. It can feel like a struggle to combat the effects of over-indulgence and lethargy, but it is possible. The health benefits of exercise are available to all - irrespective of age and agility. Studies have shown that even a short bout of physical activity can help prevent chronic illness and lengthen your lifespan.
Here are some top tips to kick start your motivation and keep you on the right track in 2022.
Find a workout buddy
By following an exercise plan with someone else - even if it's virtually spurring each other on - can be the best way to motivate you. Exercising with a friend is not only more enjoyable but also far more motivating. Research shows that 95% of people who started a weight loss programme with friends completed it, compared to 76% of people who went it alone. You are more likely to persevere if you commit to a fitness goals together, so you don't let each other down. From a regular walk together, or separately, to an online workout you both log in to, yoga on the TV while you're on a video call together, or even a gym session if you're both a member at the same local gym.
Our fitness experts at the Mayfield Clubsay the key to success is to set realistic targets to you can stick to them. And to start small. It's not always easy to balance fitness and wellbeing with all the other demands on our time, but by starting small you can find the level that's right for you. “Think of it not as a resolution, but as an evolution”.
Whether it's a little more or a lot more, go back to basics. The more you move the better it is for your body, and your mental wellbeing too! Take something like Tai Chi for example, it is high impact so suitable for all body types and it not only exercises the muscles but also twists and stretches all parts of the body, massaging the internal organs. Tai Chi and exercises like yoga and pilates increase the flow of blood, fluid and energy throughout the body.
If you have limited mobility then rest assured there is still plenty you can do to build muscle and healthy bones, from the comfort of a chair. Chair exercises focus on balance, coordination and strength.
Dance it out
Join a Zumba class, dance along to a Zumba video workout or perhaps just freestyle it in your front room. That's the beauty of dance, you can make it your own and have fun! It doesn't matter if you miss a few steps in the choreography, the fact is you're moving more and hopefully having a great time!
Get out in the fresh air
There is also much to be said for just getting out for a walk or a run in the fresh air. It can have an immediate positive impact on your state of mind, as well as the longer term health benefits of the physical activity itself.
Track your efforts
Fitness trackers are increasingly popular. Watching exactly how many calories you’ve burnt or how many steps you’ve taken that day can be extremely motivating and rewarding (or in the case of the 'Time for a walk' reminder whilst sat in virtual meetings, possibly slightly irritating). Tracking your activity though - be it tracking steps, time spent exercising, calories burnt or inreasing the frequency of your exercise - is undoubtedly rewarding. It can also spark some friendly competition between you and your neighbours – why not set a weekly step goal and see who beats it first?
Whatever steps to take to kick start your motivation this new year, remember Rome wasn't built in a day. It takes time but the rewards are worth it!