Americans spent $62 billion on health-club memberships, fitness classes and weight-loss programs in 2012, according to MarketData Enterprises. It’s no surprise that January is the most popular month for gyms and health-clubs when it comes to new business. At many gyms, new membership doubles during the 30-day period. The spike in new members doesn’t last for long, though. Quora reports that 80 percent of those people who sign-up in January give up the gym in February. Keep your 2015 New Year’s resolution with these simple tips:
The most important factor in keeping your New Year’s resolution is to be realistic. Don’t tell yourself that you want to lose 30 pounds in 30 days. Instead, set goals that focus on small changes instead of big ones. Getting fit and healthy takes time, so don’t expect instant results. It takes a lot of hard work to change your body. Set realistic and attainable goals and you’ll be setting yourself up for future success.
Find an Activity You Love
If you’re not a runner don’t force yourself to trudge on the treadmill for 60 minutes. If weights aren’t your thing, skip the free-weights section. Getting fit should be an enjoyable experience. With the right activity in mind you’ll want to workout everyday. Find an activity that you’re passionate about and that you see yourself doing as a hobby. Cycling, swimming and hiking are just a few suggestions. If you want to improve muscle tone but you’re weary of navigating the weight room try a barre session. This method concentrates on problem areas like hips, thighs, abs and arms and you’ll get a full-body workout in just 55 minutes.
Join a Community
Signing-up for a membership at a big-box gym can be a big mistake for some people. Entering a new gym without a plan can be so daunting that many people just give up. If you like to work with other and have taken a few group classes here and there consider joining a fitness community. Many health-clubs offer group classes, and communities such as Crossfit programs offer a sense of comradery among members. Plus, finding and focusing on your niche will return amazing results.
Bring a Friend
Working out on your own can be tough, especially if the activity is entirely new to you. Some newbies will enlist in help from a trainer, but it’s often easier to get in the swing of things with a little help from a friend. Navigating the weight room at the gym and operating the cardio machines can be difficult at first, so bring an experienced, trusted friend along to show you the ropes. Plus, a friend will likely be less-intense than an intimidating trainer.
Get comfortable in the gym and find out which areas of your body you want to focus on and then consider working with a trainer.
Keep Track of Your Progress
Keeping track of your progress can inspire you to continue working hard for the body you want. If you hit a slump in March you can go back to January and remember all of the progress that you have made. Documenting your progress in a journal, online or on paper, keeping a food diary or noting your weight and writing a couple sentences about how you feel during your workouts can keep you on track. I weigh myself each week, write daily about my nutrition and workouts and I take a photo of myself in the same gym clothes each month to document my progress. Do whatever works best for you. However, I do not recommend counting calories or weighing yourself each day. Falling into these habits can set you up for failure.
Don’t be that person who has to try every new diet plan or supplement on the market. The best way to take care of your body is by controlling what you put into it. Eating raw foods and eliminating the junk from your diet will work wonders on your body and you’ll feel better too. Start by making small dietary changes, like eliminating soda for example, and you’ll see changes in no time. There’s no need to jump into a diet trend like juicing or paleo if you’re eating a rainbow of healthy foods each day. Contrary to popular belief, not all clean food is tasteless and boring. It’s not all that expensive either. I’ve even found that some organic items, like butternut squash, are cheaper at local farmers markets than at the grocery store. If you’re ready to start eating clean check out CookingLight. This site has a handful of healthy recipes that are easy to make, even on a weeknight.
Plan Your Meals
Instead of being tempted to swing by a fast-food restaurant for lunch, pack up your meals and take them with you each day. Meal planning each week–I cook on each Sunday–can save you money and you’ll always be prepared. Healthy, easy-to-cook meals like chicken, rice and steamed veggies keep well and can be divvied up into sealed containers. If you have a meal ready to eat you’ll be less tempted to break your clean eating habit.