Friday, January 29 2021 8:11

Stalled In a February Fitness Funk?

Written by Rachel Thompson

Re-energize your fitness resolutions

Already noticing your 2021 fitness resolutions shifting into low gear? Or worse, coming to a grinding halt? It’s time to jump start your motivation!

Exercising is a key component of a healthy lifestyle and this past year has re-emphasized that point. Exercise boosts your immune system to fight off disease, plus helps with anxiety, depression and stress.

That’s why fitness resolutions are some of the best resolutions. Yet, they’re also the hardest to keep. New Year’s burst of motivation quickly sputters, so four out of five who make health resolutions break them and about a third won’t make it to the end of January.
To help you avoid being a statistic, we’ve gathered tips to help.

Pre-Workout Prep

Start Small. A common resolution problem is creating overly ambitious goals that often feel overwhelming. Instead start small by creating a workout ritual and commit to it for just a month—and then another month. This shorter time frame will help build better habits while also feeling more manageable.

Create a Schedule. Start by creating a schedule that’s right for you. If you’re an early riser, schedule your workout as a powerful wake-up call. But if waking up early sounds like punishment, plan a post-work sweat.

Record Your Progress. Measure the amount of time you work out in a week, number of sets and reps in each workout or miles you run a day (depending on your workout routine). Not only will a visual record hold you accountable for your fitness, but it also helps you adjust your workouts based on progress made.

Make Resolutions Manageable. Remember it’s important to listen to your body and understand its limits, especially when beginning an exercise plan. Don’t set yourself up for failure by adding too much too soon.

Create Small Benchmarks. Small goals help you maintain motivation throughout the year and give you a chance to celebrate each of many successes. Once you build up stamina, you’ll be able to adjust your workout routine and schedule to match your progress.

Set Reminders. For a visual motivator, set out your workout clothes the night before and put them in a spot you can’t ignore. For morning workouts, put your clothes on your dresser or next to your bed. For after-work exercise, put clothes on your couch or kitchen table so they’re the first thing you see once you finish your work day.

Exercise Tips

Add Variety. Add a healthy mix of cardio (jogging, running), strength training (weights) and flexibility activities (yoga, stretching) to avoid losing interest in your routine.

Experiment with Exercise. Experiment with something new, like bike riding, barre classes or boxing. Try creating outdoor workout circuits, HIIT workouts or going for a mindful walk (mixing in meditation and exercise). The more options you have in your schedule, the more you’ll look forward to each session.

Online Classes. To try out a new type of exercise, check YouTube for free online classes with everything from Zumba and Yoga to HIIT and weightlifting. Apps like Nike Run Pro offer free guided runs accompanied by music and a motivational coach to keep you moving. Or support local by checking in with your local trainers and gyms (ACAC in West Chester) for online classes.

Get Creative. Have fun with fitness! Create an obstacle course in your backyard and race against family members or hold a 1-on-1 basketball tournament using your driveway hoop.

Lifestyle Fitness. If you’re struggling to find a block of time to work out, try integrating exercise into your daily life. Exercise doesn’t have to be a specific regimen that’s labeled “exercise,” especially when life keeps getting in the way. Try walking during phone calls, squeezing in some active chores (vacuuming) or riding a stationary bike while watching your favorite TV show.

Reward Yourself. Treat yourself to a spa day filled with relaxation—pamper yourself, binge-watch favorite movies, or join a Zoom happy hour with friends. Or reward yourself with new workout gear to keep you motivated and looking great. Whatever you do, make sure you take time to celebrate your accomplishments. You earned it!

No matter what workout you pick, remember the best type is the one you’ll actually do. Whether that’s taking a scenic walk around your neighborhood or dancing some stress away after work, as long as you’re enjoying yourself and spending time moving, not sitting, you’re doing it right.

These tips for your February fitness plan will help you stay on track and build better habits in the long run. Even after you achieve your 2021 goals, reevaluate them and push yourself even further.

The most important thing is keeping your body moving and staying healthy long after those early January resolutions.