Traditionally we make a New Year’s resolution to get fitter, slimmer or generally be more determined to achieve certain goals.
Did you make a fitness resolution in the past and have you fallen by the wayside?
When it comes to fitness, what is it that holds us back?
Cost, Time, Effort, Motivation, Knowledge … maybe all or several of these?
If you took out a gym membership in previous years and ended up not going after January, then here are some alternatives to consider. Remember, just because you’ve fallen off the fitness resolution wagon, it’s never too late to get back on.
Mr/Ms Brown wants to get fit, choose healthier eating options and lose a bit of weight, but has limited disposable income to splash out on a gym membership, fancy bikes or expensive pre-packed healthy meals.
What are the options?
Running, Cycling and Walking are some of the lowest cost options to start up or get back into.
- Run or Walk – a good pair of running/walking shoes £80-£120
- Cycle – basic bike £50-£100
- Run/Cycle/Walk outdoors, you can plan yourself a route on Google maps for FREE!
- Use a Phone Fitness App
Apps like Endomondo, Runkeeper, Strava, Nike+, MapMyRun, Couch to 5k, all of these apps are FREE to download for Apple and Android Phones. They’re amazingly good value considering they offer accurate tracking of your Run/Cycle/Walk including Route, Time, Distance, Pace and Calories. They also offer a reference point for previous activities so you can compare and track your fitness and progress.
The NHS program Couch to 5k gives you safe and easy guidance on how to get from Zero to Active with easy achievable goals, which you can print out and take with you if you don’t have a smart phone.
NB – they do take a fair bit of battery life off your phone so make sure it has a good level of charge left minimum of 30%
Little and often is the key to begin with. You need to think about your week and your potential free time periods i.e lunch time, after work, before work and plan or diarise a workout of some kind.
Try 10-15 minutes maximum to start with so you know you can easily start and finish.
Trying to go all out straight away and the chances are you may hurt yourself or BURN out and give up completely.
Start with an effort that raises your heart rate, gets a sweat on but you would still be able to maintain a chat or conversation.
Also try to vary your efforts – Don’t do the same workouts all the time, try slightly slower but 5 minutes longer or slightly faster and 2 minutes shorter.
Match your effort depending how you feel as well – So don’t go off fast if you feel slightly tired, listen to your body.
Work out with a friend, set a goal that is achievable, use one of the apps mentioned earlier. They often have sections where you can set yourself a goal and/or challenge your friends to a certain time, calories or frequency target.
Combine one of the FREE Fitness Apps with another clever FREE App called MyFitnessPal.
It’s an amazing App that allows you to track all of the food that you are eating. Not only does it make you aware on how much you are eating, if also guides you on how much you should be consuming to reach your chosen goal, plus there are healthy recipes and motivational blogs.
It does make you realise how many calories are in certain foods that we perhaps take for granted.
You know the basic cost to get started
You know you only need to start making 10-15 minutes available, you can do that
You should have a good idea where and when you are going to start going out and get Walking/Running/Cycling
You will know how your body feels after these workouts and how to listen to it
You know you can track your progress whilst out and about for FREE
You know how to challenge yourself and your friends
You know you can track your food and make sure you are not eating too much of the wrong foods for FREE
The key to sustaining a fitness programme of any sort is to find something you enjoy doing, maybe make it more social, so go run, cycle or walk with friends or family.
As the weather improves and days lengthen, mix it up and pick different locations so that you’ve something new to see and new terrain to negotiate.
Always set yourself achievable goals, if you’re too ambitious you might not succeed in reaching them and become demotivated.
Run/Cycle/Walk – it costs less than the gym and can be much more enjoyable.