The first month of a new calendar year is approaching quickly, which means many people are trying to establish their New Year’s resolutions. Losing weight and eating healthier foods are the primary resolutions, but they are very broad. Some people want to lose 40 pounds within the first two months, cutting out refined sugars, carbs, and processed foods in the process. While eliminating those foods from your diet is a good idea, the extreme all-or-nothing idea tends to backfire.
The key to setting yourself up for success is to make attainable and realistic goals, especially in regards to fitness. The primary reason that people give up on their resolutions is because results don’t happen instantaneously. Make the goals specific and define them clearly, for example, working out three times per week, as opposed to just exercising more. Measure your progress, such as log the weights you lift or distance you run each week. Understand exactly why you established the fitness goal. Perhaps you want to feel stronger, improve flexibility, or manage an underlying condition. Whatever the reason, make sure you understand what you want to tackle and make a simple checklist to keep you motivated.
Achieve X Number Of Push-Ups In A Month
If your goal is to increase upper-body strength, push-ups are a tried and true exercise to help achieve that goal. It is a classic move that engages your chest, shoulder, ab, and arm muscles. You don’t need special equipment, so you can do them anywhere, anytime. Once you find your base number of how many push-ups you can do, try to set a goal for how many you want to do after one month. If you have to start with incline push-ups or knee push-ups, so be it! Start however you need to and increase the challenge from there.
Workout 12 Days In A Month
For some reason, people have a lofty goal of hitting the gym every single day in the new year. If you didn’t do that before, how will you fit that into your schedule now? Don’t set yourself up for failure; rather, aim to get 12 workouts in during January. That balances out to three workouts per week, which is very attainable. Health experts encourage people to make these exercise sessions last 60 minutes, but start at 30 minutes if you are new to working out. Set reminders on your phone for the days that you are supposed to work out so you can pack gym clothes if needed. For added accountability, consider sharing this goal with a friend, or start a challenge to see who can complete 12 workouts sooner.
Stretch For 15 minutes After Each Workout
Stretching is something that many people neglect, but it is one of the easiest ways to reduce risk of injury and accelerate recovery. The National Academy of Sports Medicine said that stretching improves range of motion and helps reduce inflammation, both of which stave off injury. The ideal time to stretch is after a workout, when the body is already warm. That said, stretching a few minutes before you work out is something you should do as well. The last thing you want is to pull a muscle while exercising. After your workout, try to hold each stretch for 15-45 seconds, and avoid bouncing during the stretch.
Hold A Plank For One Minute Within 30 Days
Planks work to activate your core, but if you do a plank correctly then you will feel all your muscle groups working together. A strong core goes beyond the aesthetic appeal, helping you maintain proper posture, reduce back pain, and improve balance. Even though planks are stationary, they can be difficult, so work your way up to your one-minute goal.
Find An Enjoyable Way To Move
It’s very common for someone to stop working out because they feel like they are in a fitness rut. Additionally, entering a gym can be very intimidating and confusing, especially if you are new to gym life. You are more likely to want to workout when you enjoy the exercise. For this reason, it can be a great idea to try different workout classes. ClassPass, for example, is a great program that allows you to try different modalities, until you find an instructor, class, or gym that you enjoy. They typically have great intro specials, so see what they have and see which workout makes you feel good.
There are many other goals that you may decide to accomplish, and we encourage you to find your stride. We just want you to remember to be kind to yourself on your fitness journey. Adjust your goals if you need to, but don’t set lofty goals that you cannot achieve. Challenge yourself, but pace yourself and you will continue to check off your fitness goals as the year progresses.