According to estimates, 45 percent of Americans will make fitness and weight-loss resolutions in the new year. Unfortunately, statistics show that within a few weeks many of these goals begin to fade, and after a few months, most are replaced by a return to old habits.
Some tips to help keep you on track:
Have a support system. The more people you have rooting for you, the better. Having a workout partner with goals and objectives similar to yours is a great way to stay motivated and achieve success with fitness goals. Training with the right person leaves less opportunity for boredom, creates an environment of friendly competition and provides accountability to keep you both in check. Training partners serve as spotters for one another during weight lifting sessions, give each other a needed push to work harder and help each other meet challenges they may not have otherwise pursued.
Leave options open. To avoid getting burned out, don't box yourself into doing the same workout over and over again. A good fitness plan includes a variety and exercises that can be performed whether at home, in the gym or when traveling. You don't have to spend a lot to get a lot when it comes to products designed to help you get into shape either. Some inexpensive, portable and versatile strengthening options include resistance bands, dumbbells, stability devices, wrist or ankle weights and jump rope.
Hold yourself accountable. One good way to do this is to keep a journal so that you can take an honest look at your choices. For example, what excuses do you typically give yourself when you don't feel like working out or counting calories? Whatever your excuses are, write them down. Coming to terms with what may have stopped you from reaching your goals in the past is key, so that you don't slip back into selfdefeating behavior.
Another way to help ensure weight loss success is to write down what you are eating. In a study of more than 1,500 people conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, it was revealed that participants keeping a food diary more than five days of the week lost almost twice as much weight as those who didn't, and were able to keep the weight off.
Be positive. Successful people are driven by two things; an unwavering belief in themselves and an excitement about the future. The way you talk to yourself can be empowering, energizing, keep you focused and motivated or it can create stress and zap your energy. To move forward with confidence, keep your eyes on what you want and understand the power you have to make a positive difference in your own life. Setting small and realistic goals is also important, as is celebrating each achievement and patting yourself on the back for a job well done.
Use exercise as your stress buster.
Stress is a major trigger for overeating, fatigue and subsequent avoidance of exercise. Study after study demonstrates that being active keeps stress at bay because it changes body chemistry for the better, relieving depression and anxiety, and reducing feelings of anger, sadness and irritability. As little as 20 to 30 minutes a day is enough to begin improving mood, health and level of fitness. Each exercise session builds on the next, and so as you give yourself regular doses, you will begin to notice improved strength, stamina, endurance and sense of well-being. For those who hate formal exercise, "activity" does not mean that you have to go to the gym or jog for miles in order to get into great shape. Any movement matters as it all burns calories, so simply start doing more at each opportunity.
Be patient. Generally speaking, allow yourself about three weeks for exercise to become a habit. And if you are overweight or out of shape, acknowledge that it took time to get that way, and it will take time for pounds and inches to be lost. The length of time it takes to reach goals varies tremendously from person to person. On average, it takes about 12 weeks of diligence to diet and exercise to see significant changes, such as having to buy smaller clothes.
Cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise
is typically the activity of choice for those looking to shed pounds. While it can help you to lose weight, without regular resistance training, some of the weight you lose will be muscle. To help ensure body fat reduction instead of focusing only on scale weight, engage in strength training workouts two to three times weekly.