“New Year, New Me!” Am I right, or am I right? How many times have you said this to yourself on New Year’s Day and then subsequently watched the year pass by without making any lifestyle changes? Put the Nutella back in the cabinet and close your laptop (after reading this article, of course). SarahScoop has 5 kick-ass fitness tips to kickstart a happy and healthy new year.
1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew
If you haven’t worked out in the last month, please don’t run a 5k your first day back. Your body can’t handle that and it WILL hate you. I promise. You may feel physically capable considering your muscles haven’t been worked out in a while and they won’t be sore and/or weak. However, coming from the girl who decided to run full speed ahead after 3 months from the gym, take my word – You can’t do it. Start off small and gradually increase with small increments. You will impress yourself with how much more you can do at a slow pace!
2. Give your body a break!
When you finally get into a workout regimen, it’s extremely important to give your body the break it deserves. It is 100% possible to become addicted to working out. Have you ever heard of the ‘runners high’? Even though you may love working out everyday and the accomplished feeling it gives you afterwards, your body needs a little cool-down in between workouts. Above all else, rest prevents injury and allows your muscles to repair and grow.
3. Set goals
One of the biggest motivators is setting an exact deadline for the change you’re attempting to make. (ie; “Run an 8 minute mile by February 7th). Once you’ve set a goal, write it down on a post-it note and put it somewhere that you will see everyday! Having this constant reminder will prevent you from slacking off and will help you stick to your workout plan on days when you would much rather lay in bed.
4. Change it up
Monogamy is preferred in most situations. Just not this one. In order to see the biggest change in your body, you need to incorporate some change into your workouts. Doing the same workout day after day can lead to injury from overuse of the same muscles. Adding something new to your workout each day will also prevent boredom. You won’t find yourself counting down the last few seconds on the treadmill if you add in some alternative cardio!
5. No pain, no gain, right?
Wrong! Sore muscles aren’t always the sign of an effective workout. If your muscles are too sore to workout the next day, you need to take a step back. Extreme soreness can be the sign of muscle damage and you need to be constantly aware of what your body is trying to tell you. Working out at a consistent but relaxed pace will be more effective in the long run than a ‘gung-ho’ workout that leaves you stranded on the couch for days!
Whatever you choose to do in 2015, keep a positive attitude! “You’ve always been beautiful. Now you’re just deciding to be healthier, fitter, faster, & stronger. Remember that.” -Unknown.