Hands up if you made it through January with your health and fitness resolutions from 1st January still intact? I’m really pleased to say I have. Now don’t get me wrong – it was tough. Snow, sleet and Blue Monday were very trying but we are now in February and I’m 6.5lbs lighter and feeling fitter and healthier. Dare I say I have even started to look forward to working out! With a recent survey finding that nearly half of us give up on our resolutions after just one month, how have I managed to stick to my routine and resolutions I hear you ask.
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail’? I’m a firm believer in this and so I spent some time working out the best way to stay keen and motivated when the hype of the ‘New Year New Me’ starts to fade and I decided that a plan was in order. Helpfully, one of my good friends gave me a personalised chalkboard for Christmas which I have put to good use and am using as my diet and exercise planner. It sits proudly on display in my kitchen, which is also where I do my home workouts, and reminds me of what I should be eating and doing that day exercise wise.
Now I don’t know about you but I like to keep things simple as far as I can, and so I decided to apply this principle to my exercise plan. Convoluted and complicated plans are not what you need at 6am in the morning or on those evenings when you’ve had a really tough day. The plan focuses on my running of course but also cross training, and I have been using My Fitzone for this. I’ve found the website really user-friendly and easy to follow. The site is split into zones, each with a different focus, including fitness, nutrition and a blog.
The TRI (that’s Train, Repeat and Improve) workouts encourage me to repeat workouts regularly and improve my time, These are a particular favourite of mine as I find it really motivating to see my time improving, even if it is very gradual. There’s a good selection of other workouts alongside the TRI’s and these are categorised for different abilities (starting from beginner level so no excuses) and workouts focusing on certain parts of the body – hello glutes and core strength workouts. Most of the beginner workouts I’ve tried have all been around 15 minutes long which is perfectly manageable time and effort wise and slots easily into and around my life. I’m really interested in the regular challenges that are set for website users. I’m definitely planning on getting involved with the challenge this month!
As well as my diet and exercise planner to help me keep things simple and straightforward, I treated myself to a treadmill so when the weather is particularly awful I yet again have no excuse not to get my runs in. I’ve noticed a marked improvement in my running too from the cross training and even managed a virtual 10K race in the third week of January. Go me!!! I’m sticking to the programme I used in January for the rest of this month and I will review in time for March. The great thing about the weight loss is that the more I lose the more determined I get to lose more. The pressure of a Hen Do in Marbella in July is also helping to keep me motivated.
I think it’s safe to say that the key for me is keeping it simple. Overhauling everything at once and going in too hard with an exercise and eating regime is likely to become overwhelming and unsustainable. The small little steps will all start to add up. Stick with it. If I can do it then you can. Till next month – keep up the good work.