February is already here and you have been working diligently the whole month of January to achieve your fitness goals. Perhaps you have been swimming, strength training, taking yoga classes, or just walking or jogging in the fresh air. How are you feeling? Do you feel like you are accomplishing your goals?
Or have you fallen off the dreaded Fitness Cliff?
CBS News recently reported, according to a survey by Gold’s Gym, February 9, 2016 was this year’s cliff. It was also Fat Tuesday. A bad day to feel fat! If you have gotten bored with your routine, or have already thrown in the towel, read this post now!
If you have any doubts about your exercise and fitness regimen, here are some tips to freshen up your routine and save your workouts.
1. Add more time to your workout. If you are walking for 20 minutes, add five more minutes to your time over the next two weeks. When you feel ready, add another five minutes, and so on.
2. Try cross training. This can be as simple as trying a new exercise or activity. If you belong to a gym, try a spin class, zumba or boot camp. Adding a completely new and different type of workout exercises new muscles and can invigorate your fitness routine. If gyms are not your thing, check into your local recreation center for fitness classes.
3. Buddy up. To help keep you motivated, bring a guest along to your gym workouts. Many gyms offer guest incentives and low new member rates this time of year. Hiring a personal trainer can boost your workout as well as introduce you to new exercises. A trainer can motivate you and push you to work harder. Simply walking or jogging with a friend can be an added incentive to continue your workouts. Boredom is a workout killer and having a friend along can help keep you both accountable and motivated. Joining classes with regular attendees and instructors can also be an incentive.
4. Check out your workout gear. If you are wearing the same old shoes you’ve had since 2010, it may be time to change them! Look for wear and tear in your footwear to make sure you aren’t causing harm to your feet, knees and legs. If you swim, take a close look at your goggles or perhaps fins if using them. Many stores have winter clearance sales. Now is the time to buy something new to add to your exercise wardrobe. Nothing like a bright color to put a spring in your step!
5. Quantify what you have accomplished so far. Write down how many days you exercise, for how long, record any inches or weight lost (or gained). Do your clothes feel looser? Keeping an exercise journal can be very simple, from jotting on a notepad to keeping track on a mobile app. By writing things down, you can visually see what you have accomplished and see what else you might need to do to adjust.
Bonus Fitness Fix: Fitness Trackers
The latest trend in fitness has been the wearable fitness tracker. These are activity and sleep monitors that track user movements and activity levels to provide information on metrics including step count, calories burned, distance traveled, and number of hours of light and deep sleep via mobile technology. More notable are Fitbit, Misfit Wearables, and Jawbone. I recently started the wearing the Fitbit One and I am very pleased with its tracking ability. See my in-depth post Keeping Track of Your Fitness Progress.
Don’t let foul weather prevent you from getting your exercise each day. Don’t let a couple of setbacks be a barrier to regular exercise. Life can get in the way and disrupt our routines. Unfortunately, it seems easier to abandon our exercise plans when faced with time constraints or lack of interest.
We all need to live balanced lives, and committing to leisure in the form of fitness and exercise in a consistent manner can lead to better health and happiness!