Fighting fit: How to make your fitness resolutions stick

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As the new year kicks in, so too do our resolutions. And while it might be easy to make these decisions, sticking to them isn’t a walk in the park.

The trick is in setting goals that are realistic and which still allow you to enjoy life. What’s the point of making drastic lifestyle changes only to break away and feel guilty?

Take baby steps

Studies have shown that two-thirds of people give up by the end of January and by mid-February, 80% of New Year’s resolutions have gone out the window. Lauren Wannenberg, a private personal trainer from Cape Town, said that when planning to get back to your healthy routine after the festive season, you should take baby steps.

“Firstly don’t beat yourself up about holiday food. It’s all about small steps. Don’t cut food out of your diet, rather eat what you want BUT in moderation,” said Wannenberg.

A trio of tips to keep your eye on the ball

Here are 3 tips to help you stick to your 2022 New Year’s resolutions:

#Tip 1: Create a vision board 

Create a vision board with achievable goals and place it where you’ll be able to see it every day. According to Science Daily, the brain’s response to visual stimulation helps you to focus, which could be a great motivator to see your goal daily.

“Follow a training program. This will help keep you disciplined and focused for the first few weeks. When training, wear some of your favourite activewear as great motivation to make yourself feel good while looking good,” said Wannenberg.

#Tip 2: Get a workout buddy

When you have a workout buddy, you will feel more motivated as you have someone to encourage you. There is also nothing wrong with a little bit of friendly competition. Your buddy will push you on those days when you don’t feel like waking up in the morning. It will also force you to turn up for workout sessions because letting your buddy down would only disappoint.

“Pair up with a friend or two to keep the commitment and that will make things fun. Move your body as much as you can every day. Whether it be a HIT session or chores around the house, or even a 3-5km walk with a loved one, keep moving,” said Wannenberg.

#Tip 3: Avoid crash diets

Losing weight is complicated and crash diets only add to the battle. They can lower your blood sugar levels which can result in you feeling tired, irritable, and feeling hungry. This is when you may end up eating unhealthy food which will result in you gaining the weight you worked so hard to lose.

“There is no quick fix to losing weight. Losing weight is a journey, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If your goal is to lose weight, you need to make sure you are in a caloric deficit. Being in a caloric deficit means burning more calories than you are putting in your body. Hence your body is moving more than you are eating,” said Wannenberg.

#Tip 4: Reward Yourself

If you’re new to working out, rewarding yourself might help you appreciate how far you have come. If you want to succeed, create a habit of working out and give yourself some immediate rewards. The aim of this is to develop ways to make working out second nature so it becomes something you are less likely to skip.

There will always be moments where you indulge your cravings or even eat more than you intended. Beating yourself up after a day (or week) of indulgences only adds to your stress, so be gentle with yourself and remind yourself you’re doing the best you can do.


“The best way to detox after a cheat day is to not detox at all but to rather get straight back into your regular life and eat healthily. We need to learn not to beat ourselves up after having a ‘cheat day’,” said Wannenberg. – Health-e News 



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