"Get healthy" may have been one of your 2017 New Year's resolutions, but we get it. It's hard. With a busy schedule and sometimes absolutely no motivation, how do you commit to fit? I say, leave it to the experts. We've compiled 17 ways you can commit to your fitness resolutions from some of the biggest names in health and wellness to keep you on track. Just remember to bookmark this page and read it every time you're in need of a bit of inspiration!
1. Train First Thing in the Morning
We know you mean well when you say you plan to work out later. But after a day of work, socializing and more, it just doesn’t happen. That’s why Erin Parker says you should work out early in your day.
“Prioritize your training, wake up early, and make the time to just get it done. You'll feel fantastic to have the rest of your day ahead with training already complete.” Erin is a national level olympic weightlifter and CEO of Spitfire Athlete, a top strength training app for women.
Training with Spitfire Athlete is about celebrating our bodies for what they can do rather than what they look like. It's about practicing the warrior’s mentality of strength, mental toughness, grit and dedication.
2. Know Your Why... and What, How and Who
According to Staci Stills, health and wellness coach, author and mother of 3, your best bet to get fit this year is to discover your fitness goals, more specifically your why, what, how and who. The why determines what your reason is for starting your fitness plan, what makes you investigate your goals, how requires you to sit down and write down your goals and the who means you must surround yourself with like-minded people to keep you on track.
3. Break Your Exercise Goals Down in Small Steps
Working out doesn’t have to be a scary feat. Instead, start small. “The more small steps you have the easier it is to make it more manageable and doable,” says Kristin McGee. Kristin is a nationally recognized celebrity yoga and Pilates teacher, speaker, mompreneur, and author. To get started she suggests you, “nail a headstand: first practice dolphin (a move that strengthens the arms, core and shoulders) 20 reps every day. Second, work your way up against the wall. Third, try doing it without the wall in center of room assisted. Try center of room unassisted.” From there, you can move your way up the fitness ladder!
4. Publicize Your Goal
Putting your fitness goals out there on social media helps make you a lot more accountable. At least, that’s what Kiesha Ramey-Presner of V.P. Teacher Development and Master Instructor at The Bar Method says. “Share your fitness plan with friends and family so that you’re more likely to stick with it. If you are brave enough to share your goals on social media, even better. And don’t forget to post about your progress too!” But then again, don’t we share just about everything on social media anyway? This task shouldn’t be too hard, fun in fact!
5. Surround Yourself With Inspiration
Inspiration isn’t just found on a Pinterest board. Motivation is actually your social circle. Rob Jackson of Purpose Fit believes in a balanced approach to health, fitness, well-being and life. Naturally, he thinks friendship is a key necessity to fitness. “You are the product of the 5 people you spend the most time with, so befriend the gym bunny you know and join in with classes or a club for something you might enjoy. If all your mates are going to the pub after work every day, you're unlikely to go to an exercise class. But if your friends are going to the gym or run club, you will naturally want to go too. Use the human psyche to your advantage.”
6. Prepare for Boredom, but Celebrate Small Wins
Make sure you take the time between your workouts to celebrate! “Identifying changes and checking off the small achievements in your life this week on the way towards your larger goals will also build your confidence as you see and appreciate what you have accomplished,” says Lori D'Alessandro, weight loss coach and author. But you must also prepare for the monotony of working out. “You know those times in the past when you decided to make healthy changes and it felt like one of those little cartoon devils immediately took up residence on your shoulder to throw you off track because schedules, routines, planning and consistency are boring to them (i.e. ‘Another salad? Let's get pizza today!’)? You can remove much of the power of these tricks by being aware of what your personal ‘devil’ does to make your old habits seem exciting compared to your ‘boring’ new healthy habits.”
7. Focus on Your Health
Aside from emotional therapy and looking great, remember the purpose of working out is for your health! According to therapist and yoga instructor Jenny Giblin, remind yourself what you’re really doing here. “Instead of making weight loss a goal and focusing only on the #s, try to focus on being your ideal weight, and having perfect health,” says Jenny. “The more you make true health the focus, the more your body can naturally begin to heal, reset itself and ultimately achieve the goal you want it to. Nourish yourself instead of punishing yourself.”
8. Remember This is Your Life, Not a Fad
Remember, working out is a lot more than looking good. Alex Baril is a fitness professional of 5 years and found of E.P.I.C designs, a new wave of active wear product that infuses performance enhancement elements into wearable pieces. Alex says that, “a fitness routine shouldn't be perceived as a chore or as recreation, it is more therapeutic. Therefore, goals should be measured by what the individual is capable of and not by any public figure or media outlet. Work from the inside out, train your movements not your body, fuel your body instead of feeding your body.” We’re all about that kind of self love!
9. Always Have Your Workout Clothes Handy
Living in Southern California means the opportunity to work out is all around us. From hikes to the ocean to pop up gym boutiques, it’s everywhere! That’s why Sarah King says you should always be prepared. “Keep some activewear at work or in your car.
You can reap health benefits from as little as 10 minutes, so grab your shoes and get walking during your lunch break. Exercise also improves creativity and memory so it's a great way to break up a study session and can also improve problem solving.” Sarah King is an accredited exercise physiologist and pilates instructor based in Sydney (another constantly sunny location), specializing in women's health, hormonal issues and fertility.
10. Focus On A Life Change
Sometimes, making the time to work out is about changing your attitude. Jen Dean is a personal trainer (focusing on Prenatal & Postpartum), wellness coach, fitness model, yogi, writer and owner of Fit Lovin Mama. With a resume like that, she knows what she’s talking about in the realm of fitness. And Jen says that getting ready to work out is all in your mind.
“Change the mindset to ‘this is part of your new routine’ vs. ‘exchanging your calorie burn for class compared to what you're eating’. Yes, this is scientific less calories in vs more burnt, however if you focus on this as an overall life change vs. a tick for tat you're more likely to commit and make it a long lasting habit.” A hard habit to break, but a more healthy one for sure!
11. Make Exercise Fun!
Running on a treadmill is super good for you, but it can get boring really fast. Carol Phillips, national health and wellness expert, author of 52 Simple Ways to Health, says exercise should be enjoyable! “Make exercise fun. The body was designed to move and the more enjoyable exercise is to you, the more likely you will be to stay physically active on a regular basis.”
Carol suggests to take classes you like outside or your typical gym regimen. “Think of activities you enjoy doing that just happen to also get your body moving. Or, perhaps there’s an activity you’ve been wanting to try but haven’t taken that step yet. Go ahead and put it on your calendar and invite a friend to join you. When the goal is Fun First, your brain will embrace living a physically active lifestyle.”
12. Make Your Fitness Locations Convenient
Have you ever wanted to avoid the gym simply because the traffic to get there was unbearable? Or maybe that awesome spin class is on the other side of town! “If you’re going to ‘join’ a gym/studio or other organized activity, be sure to choose a location that is easy to get to, that won’t take you too far out of your way (especially if it’s a daily or 3x week sort of thing),” says Ken Immer, owner of Culinary Health and 12-year yoga teacher. “You’ll be more likely to keep it up if it’s “on the way home or on the way to work” than if you have to make a special trip.”
13. Eliminate Tough Decisions During Your Busy Week
I’ve heard of decision fatigue during wedding planning, but in fitness? Alas, decision fatigue is hiding everywhere, according to Dr. Eugene Gamble, a behavioral expert from the UK. “The more decisions you make through the day, no matter how trivial, the lower your willpower becomes and your decision making quality deteriorates.”
Now it makes so much more sense as to why I can’t even decide what color shoes to wear after a long day. The solution? “Eliminate the need for making decisions during the week by pre-planning (ask 'what will I wear, eat and look to accomplish for each day this coming week?'). It's not a coincidence that high achievers (Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg) wear the same style clothes every day.”
14. Set a Firm Fitness Commitment
With fitness, sometimes a little tough love is necessary. Lea Genders, a certified personal trainer, running coach and fitness blogger, says “An effective way to commit to fit is to make a non-negoiatable commitment to do at least 15 minutes of exercise every day.”
Seems easy enough, right? “Often the hardest part is getting out the door for a run or to the gym. Once you get going you'll likely want to keep exercising past the 15 minute mark, but if not, then a 15 minute workout is still better than no workout at all.”
15. Be Realistic With Your Goals
Working out and eating well is all fine and good, but it’s not very sustainable if you’re setting goals that are too far out of reach, at least that’s what George Foreman III says. George III is the son of heavyweight champion George Foreman and founder of Everybody Fights - a new, holistic fitness program that combines proven training methodologies both he and his father used, with new school high-intensity interval training elements.
He explains that “setting yourself up for success with realistic and long-term goals is of the upmost importance. The ability to conquer big challenges is developed through defeating smaller ones along the way. Setting modest goals and crushing them one by one will also build up your confidence.” George uses examples like eating a healthy breakfast every morning or trying a new fitness class once a month as simple, yet attainable fitness goals.
16. Use a Visual Calendar and Use Your Kids as an Excuse to Get Fit
If you’re a mom, finding the time (and the energy) to work out is pretty rough. That’s why Erinn, Mom blogger of Parenting Healthy, suggests you not only keep a workout calendar to force you to stay on track, but also use your kids to help you commit to fit!
“Visuals help you feel motivated by checking off days and you keep one to stay on top of kids sports, meals for the week, appointments so keep your own fitness log,” says Erin. And… “use the kids. They need exercise too so if you can't find the time alone-schedule family night walks, bike rides, a game of Wii Dance. Now everyone is moving!”
17. Find Balance in Your Fitness World and Regular Life
It’s easy to get lost in the world of fitness. Some of us go so big, that we eventually fall off the wagon due to all of that pressure. “The most important thing in not just fitness, but life, is balance,” says yoga and fitness guru, Megan Wage. “To make your routine sustainable find a healthy balance to keep you on track and not burn yourself out. Find an activity you enjoy and healthy alternatives to food you love.”
Yoga-lover Megan suggests that you really need to get in touch with your body to understand that balance. “To find your way to a healthy routine begin to understand your body. Does your body need slow controlled stability and strength building or fast paced high intensity? Knowing what suits your body and understanding as you go through life that can change is key.