New Year's Resolutions
If you are like millions of other Americans, you made a resolution to hit the gym and get in shape this year. You got off to a great start, but now it's mid-January and you are already starting to falter. The Office of Alumni and Community Relations asked personal trainer and UHCL alumnus John Wade, '12, for tips on how to stick with it and make life-long, healthy changes.
Fitness Guidelines for Your New Year's Resolution
Many say that the best time to begin a new fitness routine is at the start of a new year. While anytime can be the best time to start living a healthier lifestyle, there is something to be said about putting past, unhealthy habits behind you and starting fresh in the new year.
Many struggle with how to make their New Year's resolutions happen. They fail to set measurable goals and become overzealous and unrealistic in their expectations. You may be realizing that you are that person and have continuously started over with same fitness goals year after year.
To help you get off to the right start, here are three fitness guidelines that you can use to keep that New Year's Resolution:
1. Develop a baseline. I have known many people who, after taking an extended amount of time off, decided that the best way for them to start working out again is to begin exactly where they left off. They begin hitting the weights and their workouts at the same intensity as before, disregarding the potential risk of injury in doing so. Don't let that be you. Accept the fact that you are not the same physically anymore. Start wherever you are right now, not where you were when you left off. This will minimize your risk for injuries, create "small victories," and cultivate better habits over time.
2. Start slowly. Remember, it's not a race. Okay, maybe you are signed up for an actual 5K race in March, but remember that your primary focus is trying to create long-term changes. Healthy habits take time to create. If you don't win the 5K race this time, you can train to win the next one. Take small steps, and take your time.
3. Ask for help. Don't ever be afraid to ask for help. Everyone needs help to some degree. While some may have had enough experience in the gym that they only need to find a few good fitness blogs or YouTube videos to get them started, others may need significant help (and that's okay!). If that's you, don't be afraid to ask for assistance from the gym staff or even about getting a personal trainer. A few weeks with a good personal trainer can be a worthwhile investment. By doing this, you are spending time gaining the information and confidence you need in order to make those long-term changes on your own.
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