…and things will change
Many of us use this time of the year to provide the motivation we need to get ourselves back into the world of fitness. Ending the current year in a pool of indulgence to get ready for the restrictions that the discipline of fitness and health will bring.
I believe that’s how most of us view it. But it doesn’t need to be that way. It doesn’t and I know that as a fact. Having said that let me be clear that there is nothing wrong with indulging if it isn’t the majority of what you are doing. The 80/20 rule can always be applied to how we maintain fitness and health. Enjoy life. If you aren’t enjoying life than what are you doing?
January 1. A new year. A marker to change the things you would like to change about yourself, for yourself. You are getting pumped knowing that the new shoes you have just purchased are soon to be on your feet ready to get you moving. Maybe you just purchased the gym membership for your training and are anxious about showing up at a new place. New clothes, new shoes, new gym, it’s everything you need to get back into fitness. The new year is the final push off the precipice of inactiveness.
Are you going to dive in from a 10 metre platform or are you going to slowly wade in from the shallow end? If you want my recommendation, and I hope you do because you are spending time reading this, skip the dive and wade in. History has shown that the majority of people who dive in head first are more likely to dive back out of that pool, if that were possible. If you are someone who has been leading a sendentary life for the last greater part of the year than you need to give yourself time to get out of that lifestyle and into the new one. Rush into it and you will probably be overwhelmed, overworked and will quickly be looking for a way to stop going to the gym. This is evident in the amount of new people at the gym for the first 6 weeks of the new year that dissappear come week seven. The glow of new shoes and clothing has worn off.
Give your body and your mind the time to acclimate to the new routine. You have the whole year ahead of you to change around your lifestyle. Take your time. Another option is to engage a personal trainer to assist you in this process. They can be there to setup your program based on your goals making sure they are realistic and also help you to stay motivated. It could be a small investment that leads to large gains. It can feel good to do these things alone but it isn’t necessary. If you need to, put the ego aside and get yourself a trainer.
Another option is to start the week off with working out twice a week for the first week. Then the following week increase the frequency to 3 times a week, for 2 to 3 weeks. Then, you can move to a 4x a week schedule if you need that. Remember, the frequency is important but so is the intensity you train at. Again this is where having a personal trainer will benefit you. The trainer should have you training at a level that is challenging but not overwhelming. If the training is too intense for your level of fitness you risk overtraining which can be as bad or worse than not training at all.
Slow and steady
Just like the turtle and the hare, there are inherent risks when trying to achieve too much too quickly. What’s your hurry? Why weren’t you this anxious last year, or the latter half of the year? I’m being blunt for a reason. Sometimes when you look at things this way it helps in opening the eyes and realizing that you need to reevaluate your plan.
Train hard, but train smart.
Yours in health,