The majority of New Year’s resolutions involve getting in shape and exercising more. This leads to people rushing to the nearest gym or exercise facility and trying to get right to it. These people are who I like to call “New Year’s Resolutioners.” Common examples can be spotted one to four times at a gym, pretending to know what they are doing on the thousand dollar machines. However, that is not the best or easiest way to accomplish this resolution.
To get into shape, one must exercise. However, exercising is hard work, takes lots of effort and sitting on the couch watching Netflix sounds a lot more enjoyable sometimes. To accomplish that New Year’s Resolution, you have to start somewhere.
The best thing to do is to take baby steps and start small. Do not set unreasonable goals. For example, going on a run every day or to go to the gym four days a week. Impractical goals will not last and that resolution is a goner. A body that is not used to regular exercise has a low tolerance to strenuous physical activity, making chances of getting hurt higher which discourages further activity. Starting small helps achieve long term goals because they are simple and actually reachable.
What can be done to start off? Taking a walk is a good way to start. Maybe it is during a break at school or work, or walking during a free period. Walk alone, bring a friend along for a chat, or even listen to music. Just enjoy the fresh air and even use this time just as “you” time and take a break from life and breathe a little bit.
Use the stairs rather than an elevator. Walk to the other side of campus rather than driving. Do not take the lazy way. It may take more time, but the little things do count.
Plain old traditional yoga is not only good for one’s physical health, but also one’s mental and emotional health. It is simple and not too strenuous but will help kickstart the journey to fitness. Take a class and enjoy the whole experience. In-between work and school, going to a yoga class at least two to three times a week should be manageable. Not only does yoga help ease people into a type of physical activity, but it may encourage more challenging or vigorous types of exercise later on.
Eventually, one might want to try a challenge or something new. This is all part of the process. Try going on weekly runs, take a kickboxing class, take dance lessons, or whatever may be an exciting yet scary (because trying something new for the first time is usually scary and nerve racking) physical activity. The key to staying with a physical activity is finding something you like. There are so many “sport” options out there, it is hard not to like at least one thing.
If a gym still sounds appealing at this point, then go for it, but a personal trainer might come in handy for motivation as well as teaching the correct ways of how to use those thousand dollar machines as well as other non-machine related exercise.
Good luck, and Happy New Year.