January is a month where a lot of goals will be set, and a lot of goals will be discontinued. There are many reasons why people start and fail all within this month. When you look at the big picture it can be intimidating but with a little knowledge and guidance, you will be successful! Below I have highlighted four tips that will help you achieve your fitness goals.
Create a plan
Creating a specific plan helps you map out what your journey will look like. First, start by stating what your goals are and list them in order of importance. Then you need to determine how you will achieve them and what resources you have at your disposal to do so. Also, list any obstacles that may impede your journey. Here are a few examples below:
Available resources for training
Ability to schedule work outside the training schedule
Home workout equipment
Can hire a personal trainer/exercise physiologist
Travel for work
Unpredictable work schedule
Lack of support from friends/family
The above examples are self-explanatory, so I will not go into detail. I will note that a personal trainer/exercise physiologist can help you plan your overall picture based on your goals. Even if it is not in your budget to hire a fitness professional regularly, there is a huge benefit in hiring one a few times a month or at the very least just speaking to one about your goals. Your health is your wealth, invest in yourself.
Once you have listed your available resources and obstacles, determine how many days a week you can commit to training and start conservatively. If your goal is 5 days a week start with three days a week, then work your way up to 5 days. When it comes to intensity, start low to moderate and give your body rest days to heal and recover. Stay away from high-intensity high-intensity interval training (H.I.I.T) if you have never done it before or it has been more than 3 months since you did it. I have seen many times in January when a new face will come down to the gym and perform H.I.I.T workouts in their first week of training then discontinue training. While H.I.I.T has many benefits for cardiovascular health, muscle tone, weight loss, etc. you must know when and how to implement it in your programming. Speaking to a fitness professional before attempting H.I.I.T is highly recommended.
Get a training partner
Getting a training partner has many benefits with the most obvious one of accountability. In the absence of a fitness professional or lack of support from your support system, a training partner is a great option. During training sessions, you can motivate each other without making it competitive although a little competitiveness is not bad. You can also hold each other accountable when it comes to going to the gym. When I was a younger personal trainer working in Westchester County, N.Y, one of my clients said to me: “N'Namdi, the number one reason I train with you is that I’m not going to waste your time by making appointments with you and not showing up. These appointments hold me accountable and keep me in the gym”
Stick to your diet
When mentioning diets in this text I do not mean a specific diet, I mean just being aware of your food intake and choosing healthy foods. With that said, it is a well-known fact that diet and nutrition go hand to hand with health and fitness. There are many health benefits of doing one, without the other but the one not chosen can impede your road to your goals. Coactively you will achieve your goals much faster! Regardless of your Body mass index (BMI) or weight, healthy eating and exercise will decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, and/or obesity.
There is a little more detail to these tips, but it is enough information to keep you motivated on your journey. Fitness goals are not easy to achieve, and they take time to accomplish. Stay on your road as this will create the lifestyle change necessary for success. I will leave you with a quote I read the other day.
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something you do it only when it is convenient. When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.” – Kenneth Blanchard
N’Namdi Nelson M.B.A, CSCS, ACSM-EP, PES, CES
P.S. For more information or guidance on your fitness goals please email me at email@example.com