By: Bhavani Narayanan
The most common New Year’s resolution is “to get fit.” As January arrives, gym memberships are handed out like candy. Everyone is ready to hit the gym and walk out looking like Captain America; but, by the end of the month these memberships are tossed out like used candy wrappers. For all of you Spartans who want to “get fit,” the following are some solutions to your failed resolution!
Step 1: Set your definition
When you say, “fit,” what do you mean? Do you want to be able to run up and down the stairs without feeling breathless? Do you want to get through those dreaded twelve-minute runs without having to walk the whole thing? Or, do you want to be able to lift half your weight above your head? Fit is a general word and it’s up to you to decide what your specific goal is. That way you will be more motivated to start tackling your specific goal.
Step 2: Set a schedule
Regardless of popular belief, you don’t have to exercise every single day. In fact, doing so increases the likelihood of getting injured. At first, include two workout days per week, giving yourself breaks in-between those days. This allows your body to adapt to your new schedule; maximize the effectiveness of this by planning your workouts around any extracurricular, family, and homework commitments.
Step 3: Set a regime
This is where a gym membership can come into play. You’ll need to learn how to exercise in a way that is both safe for your body and focuses on what you want to work on. A fitness trainer is ideal for those new to working out, especially if you haven’t been to a gym before. Your trainer will know what’s best for you, and will teach you how to exercise safely.
Step 4: Reset your schedule every month or two
Push yourself to workout harder once your body is used to working out twice a week. Try to slip in a third workout day and consult your trainer if you plan on changing it. Your fitness trainer is most likely more educated regarding strength training, so it’s better to heed their advice about how far to push your body.
Step 5: Relax
Assign yourself days to relax, unwind, and indulge in the simple pleasures of life. Just because you’re exercising, doesn’t mean that you can’t occasionally eat chocolate. And remember: a bubblebath never hurt anyone! It’s important to know your body and to stop when you need to. Taking a week off from working out is better than hurting yourself and never working out again!
Step 6: Have fun
Exercising should become a part of your normal routine, so take the opportunity to have fun with it and make it something you love! If you like reading, try audible.com – that way, you can run AND “read” (because you’ll be listening to a book read to you)! Audiobooks are a runner’s best friend, and when you sign up for audible, you’ll get your first book free!
Do you like music? Pop in your headphones and lift to your favourite songs! 8tracks.com features hundreds of workout playlists that are sure to get you pumped up for your workout.
While you might be a tad pessimistic after 2015, this guide should lead you through the start of 2016 feeling confident and more organized. Happy New Year, Spartans!
Let’s work it out.