It’s that time of year when most of us will now be looking to join a gym and get into some fitness routine after an over-indulgent festive period. It’s ok, I’ve been there too! It’s also the time when many people will start looking at diet plans, whether it’s one of the branded diets or programs with products. The downside to this can often be by the time we get to the end of the month, many people will end up losing faith with their exercise regime or diet if they’re not seeing a difference. Here’s how you can survive January and go on to get great results in 2017.
- Be Consistent
It’s not the workout or what you make for lunch that will make the difference but being consistent with everything you do. Forget about performance for the first week and focus on doing things like exercising for 30 minutes every day, eating healthy (base your meals around meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds) and aim to create regular meal patterns every day so that your body gets used to the new habits you’re creating.
- Keep A Diary
Its good to be able to measure your progress so keep a diary and write down your workout for each day, what you eat and drink, how much sleep you got and your moods/energy levels. It doesn’t have to be an essay but keeping track of everything that you do can be useful and motivating when you see that you’re able to do more than did the week before, feel it getting easier and feel like you’ve got lots of energy. It can also be useful if you have a day where everything feels like a slog and so you can refer back to a good day, see what made it good and then replicate it so that off day becomes a one-off and doesn’t derail your plans.
- Be Flexible
Ok so even the best training plans don’t always work as well as we had hoped when we start and so it’s important that we stay flexible in the way we approach our training. In the first week, we will soon find out what works for us and what doesn’t, which is why the diary comes in handy. If one aspect of your training isn’t working or feels hard to keep up with then have the flexibility to change it so for example, if you really struggle to fit in the session that’s supposed to be done on Thursdays, why not turn it into a rest day and put the workout in elsewhere? If we try to stick to a plan and we struggle to fit in specific sessions due to work or other commitments, this can lead to frustration or become demotivating if we can’t do it.
- Allow Time For Rest And Recovery
When we start a training plan, especially in January, we’re always keen to work as hard as we can, do lots of classes and want to workout every day and while this is good, it’s also important to reign our enthusiasm in a wee bit and allow time for rest and recovery. Rest is important for our body to recover from our workouts, is when the changes usually take place and ensures that we’re fresh for our next workout/training session. Having a night off from training and maybe even adding in a Yoga class to our plan can have significant benefits, least of all reducing our risk of becoming injured.
- Be Patient
We’re all keen to get started with our training, changing our diet so that we seldom post little more than our meals on social media ready to smash all our goals but we have to remember that progress takes time and we have to allow our bodies time to adapt to what we’re doing so if we get to the end of the month and we haven’t lost as much weight as we wanted or don’t seem to see our bodies changing or our times improving, this doesn’t mean that we’ve failed or that we’re never going to see the results we want.
It’s not always about what we see in the magazines or online about losing 3 stone in a month or having a bikini body in 3 weeks etc, everybody develops at different rates so have faith in what your doing, make changes where you feel you need to but the main thing is keep going, be consistent in every aspect from your training, your diet to even the time you go to bed and the time you get up in the mornings as that all makes the difference and the results will come.
I always believe that our goals are great but it’s also good to park them to one side, focus on the journey to get there, begin to love what you’re doing, discover who you really are and fall in love with the person you’re becoming. You never know, the more you exercise regularly and make better changes to your life, you will begin to inspire other people who will likely see the differences in you before you do.