How to Meet Your Fitness Goals for the New Year
today at 6:57 pm
BY SANDRA GUY
Now that we’re daring to hope for a New Year of recovery, what better way to celebrate than to create — and this time, meet — your fitness goals? Here are my tried-and-true tips:
• Find teachers who motivate and inspire you, who make you laugh but also bring out your inner ambition to be the best and fittest person in class. It’s similar to finding a favorite pastor, priest, celebrity or TV personality you’d set your alarm to see or hear.
• Commit to the same “me” time every day, preferably in the morning before you let yourself get distracted by email and chores. Remind yourself that this time is your well-deserved treat — an indulgence.
• Read and listen to the news for motivation. You’ll find daily headlines and radio and TV news stories about scientific studies that show exercise benefits much more than your physical strength. In just the past few days, headlines and radio news stories have detailed how exercising 300 minutes a week teaches the body to burn more fuel, as well as a study in Finland that showed a link between heart-healthy behaviors, including exercise, and a lower risk for dementia in later life.
• Explore options and choose least-expensive ones that get results. You’ll have bragging rights about your bargain. For example, I bought a $50 CD player with a screen — something that parents give their children so the kids can watch movies on a long car trip — so that my husband and I could work out to his old P90X classes. The workouts are fabulous – and playing CDs requires no ongoing subscriptions.
• But if you find a subscription-based workout that you love, go for it. Make it a budget priority because it will be worth it in so many ways. My favorite is LES MILLS, an Australian-based workout series that features teachers from throughout the world. I love the accents, the energy and the quick pace.
• Stay active in your workout-club community via Zoom or remote video classes. Two students of workout teacher extraordinaire Sue Wen’s East Bank Club classes set up a Zoom-based workout program to let others share in Wen’s expertise. It’s subscription-based at https://www.virtualstudiospace.com/
• Set up a playlist that makes you feel great — one that you want to replay over and over. Play your favorite music over top of a video class.
• Admit it — it’s fun to be competitive – and even to leave your mark on the class. Find a class where everyone posts his or her smartwatch or fitness-tracker results so you can strive to get better and even surpass your classmates’ results.
• See how strong you can get. Don’t settle for five-pound weights. After a few weeks, start using seven-pound weights, and then 10-pound weights.
• Feel young and free. Jump rope. Shoot baskets. Throw yourself into Zumba. Find a retro dance class so you can do the “pony” or the “Bristol stomp” again.
• Escape into the freedom of virtual worlds. A spin bike transforms into a magic carpet ride with a videogame-like simulation (you can find these spin classes online), as you “ride” up and down magical roller-coaster-like hills with pop-up fantastical scenery. Or watch a video led by a teacher you want to look like.
• Give yourself regular rewards in a way you haven’t done before. Buy a soft housecoat. Set up an in-home spa afternoon. Give yourself a facial.
You’ll even find yourself laughing as you immerse yourself in online searches for your favorite workout music, video exercise classes and throwback scenery. Take pride in choreographing snippets of a variety of exercise classes and make it your own.