The start of a new year inevitably sees our screens, airwaves and favourite publications telling us which diets we should be following, which workouts we will be trying and what we will be wearing this year. Here are 16 things that I will be trying to make time to do in 2016…
…These are not resolutions or goals, these are minor life changes that will help to improve our health, wellbeing and fitness levels this year;
Watch what we eat. Now I’m not saying that you should count every calorie that goes into your mouth, or drill down into the macronutrient content of every meal, far from it in fact. However, what I am saying is that we should pay more attention to our food, minimise waste, make more time to know where it has come from and most importantly do we need to eat it? Put down the elevenses and eat a heartier breakfast instead.
Monitor our progress. If your main aim is to lose weight, then the scales may well be the best way to monitor your progress. However, there is more to exercise than losing weight; some of us want to become fitter, some of us faster and others stronger. Remember muscle weighs far more than fat and therefore the scales will not always be the best way to monitor progress. So take measurements, take pictures or note down your starting point and use these instead.
Train with an aim. For far too long I would wander on into the gym on an evening, run a little, lift a little and then leave without really achieving anything or feeling any better. Now I find it much better to go in with a plan, train a specific muscle group and feel slightly sore afterwards. So set yourself a plan, pre-book some classes and have a purpose when you enter the gym. It will make you smile.
Try something new. If you always head into the gym and straight onto the treadmill or only ever attend a particular class then maybe this the year to try something new. If you’re a runner why not join a running club? If you love classes why not try a few more? Broaden your horizons and feel the benefits.
Go rolling. Foam rolling is a wonderful way to help maintain muscle health and help iron out those aches and pains. Most gyms have these in their functional training areas but if not they’re not to hard to come by in stores. I have the Kayla Istines one which worked out about £25 including shipping and does exactly what I need it to.
Pump it up. For far too long now there has been a stigma attached to women who lift and an incorrect one at that. There is nothing wrong with women getting into the weights room and going ass to grass on the squat rack. Don’t worry, you won’t start to look like Arnie, you don’t have the genetics for that!
Prevention is better than cure. Warming up and cooling down properly will help you keep fighting fit and avoid lengthy lay offs caused by not paying your muscles enough attention. Pre-workout make sure you get those muscles moving, raise your body temperature and heart rate to prepare your body for what comes next. Cooling down allows your heart beat to naturally slow back down to it’s normal pace, helping you avoid dizziness and stretching the muscles whilst they are still warm will help increase your range of movement and flexibility over time.
Use your bodyweight. Knee deep in snow outside? Unable to make the gym or just can’t be bothered to battle the January crowds? That’s fine, stay indoors but don’t use it as an excuse to become a sofa bear. You can put your own weight to good use by doing some bodyweight exercises such as push ups, dips and squats.
Time to go HIIT. A great way to shake up your workout. If you’re finding the same old distance on the treadmill boring and unchallenging, set yourself some intervals instead, for example try jogging o walking for 2 minutes followed by a 1 minute run or 30 second sprint. Get your heart beat above the fat burn zone and go for it.
Now is the best time to make some changes, to mix things up and set yourself some new challenges, so take a few minutes and think about what you want to achieve and what you need to do to achieve it.
Are you trying something new this year? Let me know below and I’ll catch up with you again soon, until then though x
Thanks for stopping by, don’t forget to join me on Facebook, Twitter or Bloglovin’ to stay up-to date.
Some of these items may have been sent to me for review. Please see my disclaimer for more information.