It’s that special time of year when you can’t turn around without hearing and seeing people proclaiming “New Year, New Me!”. The fresh page of a new year tends to have a revitalising effect on the human mindset, with improving health and fitness a resolution many make and swear they won’t break. Gym membership sales skyrocket, fitness classes are full to the brim, activewear is flying off the shelves and fridges and pantries are cleared of junk and replaced with only the healthiest products.
The issue is, resolutions also place additional stress on our shoulders. You’ve told everyone this is your year and now you’re terrified of failure. The statistics show the boom in health-based consumerism every January is often followed by a large decline in interest or a major drop-out rate.
The key to maintaining an active and healthy life doesn’t lie in the making of unachievable resolutions. It lies in smart goal setting, and EFM are here to show you how.
Our five tips for getting healthy in 2019 are small, manageable and doable, and will lead to greater long-term success.
Psychologists state that it takes on average 66 days to form a habit but 21 days to break one. That bodes well for everyone, as it shows that it takes much more time and energy to fall into a rut than to pull yourself out of it. However, those numbers won’t apply to everyone, and breaking bad habits and forming new positive ones could take some longer than others - and that’s okay!
Breaking your habits down into small, manageable “chunks” and slowly but surely disintegrating them is the best way to give them up for good. In their place, start to build good ones. Whatever your vice is, setting small goals is the way. For example, if quitting smoking or drinking less is a top priority, don’t go cold turkey immediately. Set gradual daily, weekly or monthly goals to get you there. Try to go a whole day without succumbing to temptation, then three days, then a week and so on. Don’t tell yourself you can’t have it ever again, just say “today I can’t, but if I feel like it tomorrow I can.” You’re tricking your mind into not reacting with fear to the prospect of “never again”, and you may find the next day you don’t even feel like caving in to your addiction anyway. Many who have given up cigarettes or limited their alcohol intake swear by this “slowly but surely” goal setting process.
It’s great to go in guns blazing into a new fitness routine, but In the wake of a New Years resolution to get moving, you may end up overdoing it if you approach it with too much gusto.
If you haven’t been a very active person for a while, you body - just like your mind - needs time to adjust to the concept of regular movement. Don’t put pressure on yourself to hit the footpath striding like Usain Bolt in your first week in your runners. We all have to crawl before we can walk, and that applies as adults too. Download a great fitness app or invest in a Fitbit and set a daily step goal or calories burnt goal to achieve. Experts recommend 10,000 steps a day should be the average we all fit in. Start off by walking and just getting going. Before long you’ll feel up to a light jog or alternating walking and jogging and voila - one day you’ll be running like a pro! Add in some group fitness classes to mix it up and integrate walking in where you can in your day. Take that flight of stairs instead of the lift or get off the morning train a station early and walk the rest of the way to work. You can do it!
Let’s be honest. For some exercise is super enjoyable and something they can’t wait to get out there each day and do as much of as possible. For others, it’s a chore and something to dread. We get it! Half the reason resolutions to get active fail in their infancy is that newcomers to the world of fitness just don’t find it fun. This could be because of the activity they’ve chosen to dedicate themselves to, or it could just be because we aren’t all built to brim with happiness over exercise. After all, it’s sweaty, often uncomfortable and leads to serious post-workout muscle pain.
The best way to maintain interest in your newfound healthy lifestyle is to enjoy the exercise you are doing, and some are way more fun than others! Join a Zumba class and dance your daily cardio goal out or join a fun, medium to fast flow yoga class where you stretch to your favourite tunes. Pole dancing classes have seen a huge spike in popularity in recent years, because, while it’s a tough workout, it’s sexy and fun. Getting busy in the sheets is a great form of cardio, so burn those calories off in the bedroom!
The right fit for you is out there, so give a range of activities a shot to find your happy place.
We’re taking you through five easy ways to get healthy this year, but that doesn’t just extend to physical health. Maintaining your mental health is just as paramount to overall wellness - and often neglected. Thankfully, terms like “self-care” and “mindfulness” are now part of everyday vernacular, and more and more people are nurturing their mind as well as their body. Stress, anxiety and depression are rife in today’s society, and If your mental health could do with a little overhaul, there are lots of simple, small steps you can take each day to take the pressure down and dedicate time to just you.
The term “self care” doesn’t just mean bubble baths and face masks. Self care can also mean chatting to a healthcare professional regularly, spending time with your furry friends, eliminating toxic people from your life, limiting your time on social media (and in turn, comparing yourself less to others) and taking time to do the things you truly love. These are all manageable steps that nurture your mind and soul.
It doesn’t hurt to tempt yourself with a few incentives for choosing a new, healthier lifestyle. After all, the right tools to accompany you on your new journey could be the difference between sticking with it and packing it in.
Invest in some new workout wear to make those 6am gym session more enjoyable, because when you look good, you feel good. Do a big kitchen cleanout and buy new kitchen storage canisters, boxes and jars to Konmari your way to fridge and pantry organisation heaven. Buy yourself a good insulated water bottle for your workouts or some plants to purify the air in your home. You can even rent workout equipment if buying isn’t in the budget. Last but not least, EFM stocks workout-friendly mobile accessories that will help keep you on the road to success. From the strongest Case Armour for your phone to headphones to blast your favourite tunes in crystal clear quality as you sweat it out, we’ve got you covered.
Remember, January 1st isn’t the only day you can start anew and commit to a healthy life. You have 364 other days to turn the page and start over. So get out there!