For many of us, 2014 was a year of discovering what a cronut was, eating too much pizza and drinking one too many craft beers, exacerbated by a lack of eating discipline and a general unwillingness to change our dietary habits. As this tasty year reaches its delicious denouement, you may wish to take a moment to look back fondly on your show reel of overindulgence, because with the year coming to an end, enough is enough. It’s time to take action against your broadening waistline, discover some new hobbies, and explore the routes that will take you to a healthier, happier you. Making the decision to get fit, and meaning it, should not be taken lightly, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Read on for some of the best ways to say sayonara to flab and welcome in your year of fitness.
Take a hike
Putting one foot in front of the other is easy, it costs nothing and it is generally agreed to be the most effective way to gradually improve your fitness levels. Take advantage of the January sales, and invest in some equipment to strengthen your resolve in the face of bleak, wintry weather. For starters, a good pair of hiking boots is critical, especially in colder months when the ground is hard and the terrain icy. Buy these first, so you have plenty of time to break them in. A fully windproof jacket is also advisable, and a good pair of socks will cushion toes and prevent friction blisters.
Learn the ropes
Climbing is great for strength, stamina and chiselling your body, fast. You don’t have to ice-pick your way up a sheer rock face at first. Just head for your local climbing wall, and learn the basics with a friend. Fellow climbers are usually welcoming and helpful, and if you get stuck on a hold, you’ll find great satisfaction in being able to master it after a few tries. Even if you don’t have a head for heights, you’ll be so busy calculating your next move that you’ll soon overcome your nerves.
Boot up the backside
Give yourself an early morning wakeup call by joining a boot camp. While it might throw you–quite dramatically–out of your comfort zone, doing army drills and forcing yourself to learn discipline can be really rewarding, and highly effective in blitzing excess pounds. If this sounds a little full-on, get a group of friends and work colleagues together, and put together your own bootcamp regime or circuits class. You’ll be fighting fit in no time.
With so many ways to get fit without having to shell out money for a gym that you’ll get tired of in a few months, try our alternative fitness options and say farewell to the festive flab.
Image by Sam DeLong used under the Creative Commons license.