It is that time of year whether you play sport or not, that you might be tempted to start a new get fit drive. Gym memberships go through the roof during January before they tail off again mid-February. Personal trainers will not have enough hours in the week to accommodate the new enquiries. Local Zumba, Pilate's and circuit training classes are already full with waiting lists for the following weeks sessions. Full gyms and full classes will test your mental resolve, as if you miss one session it may be you on the waiting list. When you return from work and park up in front of the fire, it can be incredibly hard to motivate yourself to get changed and go back out into the cold. We have had the same problems in the past. We have joined gyms and then found we have to queue up to use the machines or feel inferior to all the well toned bodies strutting around in their Lycra. Gym memberships can be very expensive not only on a monthly basis but, don't forget the joining fees and cancellation fee, when you decide you are not getting value for money. So, if we do need to lose a few pounds, let it be from our waist. How do we plan our new fitness targets and achieve success?
Set your target. Be it weight loss or being able to full a distance in a set time but, make it achievable. There is no point setting your target goal too high as you will fail, when things start to get tough. If your target is to lose 14 lbs in a 8 weeks, why not make it a smaller target of 7lbs in 4 weeks. It may sound the same but, trust us, its easier to achieve a weight loss of 7 lbs and then set yourself the same goal, than to aim to lose 14lbs as your initial goal.
Get yourself a training partner. Having someone to train with, that have similar targets and goals, will ensure your training sessions will be more fun and easier to get through. You will also feel you are letting someone else down if you pull out of your scheduled training session. Ensure you do pick a buddy that has similar goals.
Prepare to succeed. We all set out with the right intentions but, if we fail to plan before we start the training schedule, we will be sure to plan to fail. So you have set your goal, next you will need to work out how to achieve that goal. Write your goals down and make a record of every training session. Record your time, speed, calories burned, how you felt, what the weather was like and what exercise you tried. Making a record of every session ensures you can see, over time, each session is actually getting easier.
Get the best shoes and clothing you can afford. A recent conversation with my local GP, highlighted how many people suffer extreme injuries, early in the new year, every year. He says it is down to poor footwear in most cases. So, our advise is to go to a qualified running shop and have your running shoes, expertly fitted. These shoes can cost a lot of money but as adults, they should last at least one year, depending on the amount of use. Women should also invest in a decent quality sports bra. Over 50% of women still fail to wear a sport bra when exercising and of those that do, we hear more than 65% where the incorrect size. Sports bras are a must and they are not that expensive. It makes sense to look after your breasts, once they begin to go south there is no way back without surgery. Given the current scare over breast implants, i suggest a sport bras is a wise investment. There are many different types of sports bra but you can't go wrong with a Shock absorber D+ Max sports bra for the larger ladies or the Sportjock Action sports bra for more petite women.
Give yourself a visual target. This is a new one for us but, it is a simple idea and seems to be helping with our motivation. If you have a target of X amount of miles on a running machine or bike, you can convert those miles to a real event. If you want to run a marathon (26 miles and 385 yards), print of a map of your favourite course such as the London marathon. Then after each training run, plot your achievements around the course. Remember to record your time and other data. Then having completed it once, try to better the time. This can work for cycling and walking too. For cycling you could print off the London to Brighton course.
If you want to succeed then these tips might help. I have used all except the sports bra one and have almost reached my first target goal. Good luck with yours.