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Love them or loathe them, most of us will set some kind of fitness-related resolution for 2020. But according to the running and cycling tracking app Strava, the average date that people fail their new year’s resolution is 12 January. That’s less than two weeks! To help you stick with your new fitness goals, here are five tips to help you plan for success. 

Try something new

Have you been going to the gym for a while and struggling to make progress? Then perhaps it’s time you changed things up a little. If you’re someone who loves their cardio exercise and rarely does any weight training, try adding some to your routine. 

Weights are fantastic for improving your metabolism by increasing your muscle mass (but without making you look bulky!). This makes it easier to lose weight and keep it off, and you’ll also find it can significantly improve your strength very quickly. These are great motivators, which in turn will help you keep on track to reach your goals. If you’re not sure where to start with weight training, book some time in with one of your club’s personal trainers.

If you usually work out on your own, why not try a group class? Classes can help foster a sense of community and inspire you to keep going. Download the Fernwood app to view your club’s class timetable. You’ll definitely find one that’s right for you at a time you can easily fit into your busy day.

Read more about cardio versus weight training here.

Stick with it

Contrary to the popular adage of 21 days, it actually takes on average 66 days to form a habit. Right from the start of planning your new year’s resolution, prepare to work hard at it for the first 66 days. If you can manage this and turn it into a habit, then it will become much easier to stick with it for the rest of the year. Preparing yourself mentally right from the start by understanding that it takes 66 days will make it easier for you to get through this transition period.

Make it sustainable

One of the biggest mistakes people make when setting fitness resolutions is trying to do too much. One thing you must ask yourself is: can you see yourself doing this in six months? Two years? Ten years? Our advice would be to aim for small changes you know you can achieve. Making big health and fitness changes takes lots of hard, consistent work over a long period of time rather than a flurry of activity over the course of a month. Start small and then slowly look towards achieving bigger goals once you feel like you’re ready to work harder.

Change one thing at a time

One of the reasons resolutions fail is that people try to change too many things at once. While well intentioned, starting a new exercise program, changing your diet and trying to get more sleep will be near impossible to maintain. Often focusing on a single goal can have a “halo” effect, where positive changes are achieved in other areas without you actively doing anything. For example, research shows that increasing your level of exercise can lead to improvements in your diet without a conscious effort. 

Add some variety

Our bodies crave variety in movement and intensity, so try adding in some yoga, Pilates or FIIT30 to your regular workout regimen. A contrast in training style helps keep both your body and mind fresh. Yoga and Pilates in particular can provide a slower, more focused form of exercise, which can help introduce some mindfulness into your workouts.

Find more fitness, nutrition and wellness content here.

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