Beating the January Fitness Blues
By Annabel Clark
With silly season only a distant memory and a long cold winter ahead, often it doesn’t seem the most inspiring time of year to embark on a new fitness regime in January.
The nights draw in and the indulgences of Christmas have taken their toll but with some careful planning and a bucket load of motivation, you can get your fitness and health back on track in the New Year.
Below are our top tips for top motivation and performance in January:
1. Don’t ditch it!
One of the main obstacles that people come up against is an all or nothing attitude and a sense of hopelessness if it all goes wrong. Let me set the scene: You start your new year regime with plenty of get up and go, then 3 weeks in your 4x weekly gym sessions have dwindled, you had a few too many indulgences on the weekend and suddenly it’s all ruined, not worth it and you give up. Well don’t! A small glitch in your regime is no reason to ditch it entirely and you can easily pick your self up and get back on track.
2. Pick your target
The key is to set regular and achievable targets for your regime and don’t punish yourself for one slip up! Whether it be running that extra 2km by the end of the month, beating your personal best or even just getting to the gym 3 times a week, make it achievable and rewarding and you will remain motivated and focused on your goals. Take it one step further and sign up for a competitive run to really have something to aim for. Be it a 5km or 10km run or the London Marathon, set your sights on a future event and commit to it – and then set your target higher for the next year!
3. Buddy up!
One of the best motivators is competition so team up with a friend as training partners and get moving! A bit of gentle rivalry will help push your performance and ensure you train more regularly - if you are committed to meeting and training with someone, you’ll be more likely to force yourself there, even when that morning lie in is so tempting!
4. Something new
‘New Year, new you’: we’ve all heard that one before but what about ‘new sport’ to really drive forward your fitness levels and interest. Get out there and try something different, and we’re not just talking about a new running route! Scour your gym board and local sports clubs and papers for ideas: badminton, boxing, yoga, or trampolining to name a few! By diversifying your programme, you’ll gain full body work out and strength and may find a new skill or muscle set you never knew you had!
5. Gear up….
Updating your gear can be a great help in motivating you to stick to that regime. We’re not suggesting that buying the most expensive pair of trainers will ensure you never miss a training session, but it is important to be comfortable in the footwear and clothing you use when exercising. Ensure the trainers you use are comfortable, don’t give you blisters and suit your running style, providing enough support. Also, running and exercise specific clothes these days have in built technology to keep you as comfortable as possible – look out for ranges from Nike, Ronhill and especially Brooks (their Nightlife range is great for keeping you visible during the winter months).
The best way to beat those January blues is to get out into the crisp winter air and get those endorphins going so take advantage of those New Year sales and gym promotions and get to it!