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Thursday, January 27, 2022

That’s why most New Year fitness plans don’t work, and how to make sure they do.

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If, at some point in your life, you have not compromised your loyalty to strenuous daily workouts in early January, you are a minority. While our attitude toward exercise has changed immeasurably (it is now much more widely recognized as a tool for increasing mental and physical well-being), many still take New Year’s resolutions to get in shape. at the gym or lose a few pounds.

But does it work? Personal trainer and performance specialist Luke Worthington believes not, for the most part. “When it comes to improving health and well-being in a genuine and sustainable way, the number one factor to consider is consistency,” he says. “A program that you can constantly follow three times a week, all year round, will give better long-term results than training every day for six weeks, and then abandoning it because it becomes too overwhelming.” The New Year’s fitness plan shouldn’t be about what you can achieve in January, but something you can still see yourself doing in November, the mistake many make. In fact, data collected by Strava suggests that most people dropped out of New Year’s fitness resolutions on January 19th.

Why do so many people give up?

Worthington says bootcamp-style exercise and hardcore diets fuel the I-I relationship that many people have with healthy eating and exercise. “When exercise plans are too intense and nutrition plans are too restrictive, they become exhausting, and we find ourselves longing for the end or leaving them quickly.” Taking a binary approach to our well-being — being on a plan or not on a plan — means that when normal life begins, with all its meetings, dinners, and other commitments, we cannot follow the timeline we have set. ourselves, and we surrender. The trick is to incorporate positive habits into our daily lives, because a consistent fitness routine is effective.

Get ready for success

Instead of creating a plan that focuses only on one aspect of your health and well-being, such as losing weight, and then neglecting others, such as mental health, the trick to following your fitness plan is to establish you tangible goals that help you feel like. you are progressing. “We humans are task-driven animals, and we all need some kind of sense of success and progress in whatever we’re doing to feel satisfied,” says Worthington, adding that goals that are purely aesthetic (and subjective) tend to be less tangible than those that have a performance aspect.

It links to a measurable aspect of performance, whether it’s being able to run faster, move a heavier object, or reduce back pain; something quantifiable should be your goal. “Then you experience a time when you can’t and a time when you can: Success and progress improve your ability to be consistent,” says Worthington.

How to find a balance that you can stick to

“Try to understand which ones are non-negotiable. This could be a Sunday roast with the family, weekly cocktails after work, or a Friday night takeaway,” says Worthington. “Then look at how much time you can realistically spend on the proposed exercise and when it can be. For example, if you tend to be pushed into last-minute meetings, don’t schedule a workout for 6 p.m. “When your non-negotiables are in place, plan for them; your training regimen should be complementary to your life. Your life, rather than the other way around, if you don’t stick to it.”

The other key thing to keep in mind is to find an exercise that really makes you feel happy and enjoyable. You are much more likely to want to do this. “When it comes to cardiovascular exercise, consider game-based skills or activities, such as climbing, dancing, netball, or tennis; then the goal is to get a skill or win the game, instead of how long you’ve been doing it, “Worthington suggests. cycling to work or walking to the grocery store, which by itself does not sound so important, but which is done consistently over time can have a dramatic impact.

The ideal training schedule

It will be different for everyone, but Worthington says a balanced health and wellness regime should show success and progress, and address the five pillars of well-being: strength, cardiovascular fitness, mobility, body composition, and emotional well-being. “When it comes to choosing activities that help address these five pillars, resistance training should be the basis of any exercise plan, and then we look to build our cardiovascular activity around that,” he says. .

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