A lot of self-help, motivational, nutritional, and fitness advice bounces around this time of year.
One of the best things I read these holidays is that whatever change you decide to make, it has to be sustainable. Too many people jump out of the starting blocks with great intentions of exercising five times a week only to get injured, lose motivation or burn out a few weeks later.
When introducing exercise and fitness into your already busy life, if you plan to be in it for the long run then you’ll be more realistic about setting maintainable fitness schedule for the year. Of course, it would be great to complete a boxing session or 5km run every day, but your circumstances and current fitness levels may not allow this to happen. If you are currently doing no exercise then maybe your goal is to do just one or two things a week. The key is a small change that sticks is better than a significant change that doesn't.
Focusing on a challenge or event is an excellent way to make some permanent changes to your lifestyle. There are plenty of options when it comes to picking an event to challenge yourself; the key is to sign up and tell your friends (then you’ll be less likely to pull out). It could be a 10km fun run or a more challenging long-distance trail run or cycle event. There are plenty of challenging (Epoch events) options for the more adventurous to consider.
Good habits are hard to break, once exercise becomes a regular and enjoyable part of your day you'll start to find that when you don't exercise, you will miss the gratification and endorphin kick that you get from doing some form of daily activity. In time you will look back in disbelief that you used to struggle for motivation to go for a run, ride or swim.
It's got to be fun if you don't like running then don't run. There are heaps of options to get moving and get the heart pumping and the blood flowing. If you are a social person then working out with friends is always way more enjoyable than exercising by yourself.
Understand why are you doing it? The why is the motivator, we all exercise for different reasons. Understanding why you want to develop a new habit and improve your current state in the first place is the key to successfully kick-starting your sustainable (or maintainable) fitness journey.
The 'evidence suggests' is a new campaign we are working on to highlight the health benefits of the king of superfood the mighty Blackcurrant.