Having trouble sticking with that ambitious New Year’s resolution to work out more? Unrealistic expectations might be the culprit. When we’re not making progress as quickly as we hoped, it’s hard to stay motivated. Here are some tips from Gympass on how to make exercising more of a pleasure than a punishment during the long winter months:
- Set "SMART" goals for your workouts. Remember those unrealistic expectations? Here’s what behavioral experts recommend: set SMART goals. They’re specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based. For example, instead of “I want to lose 50 pounds,” try “I want to lose one pound a week over the next three months by eating fewer carbs and more protein and walking for 20 minutes on the treadmill every day.”
- Add variety to your routine. To meet your fitness goals, shake it up. Hop on an elliptical one day, then cycle the next. Try free weights to build those biceps, then do pushups the next time around. More variety ensures you’re less likely to get bored. And most physical therapists and personal trainers agree that trying different activities prevents injury and improves flexibility.
- Join a team or group challenge. Team sports or group classes like yoga, Pilates, dance, and martial arts are all good ways to socialize and improve your fitness at the same time. Working out with other people can not only be more fun but hold you accountable to your goals, knowing your workout buddies might miss you if you don’t show up. Plus, you can celebrate each other’s progress.
- Invest in home workout tools. Going for a run when it’s freezing outside might not sound so appealing. But if you prefer a solo activity, you can build some great home workouts. You just need the right tools. There are plenty of fitness and wellness apps designed by professional trainers and coaches.
Most importantly: give yourself a healthy reward when you hit a milestone! And be sure to check with your doctor before you set any fitness goals or try a new routine.
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