Workouts can get pretty blah and boring during the cold, dark days of winter and many folks lose their resolve when it comes to sticking to their fitness goals. But a leading expert on fitness says if you apply tried and true tricks of the trade, you can stay on top of your game all year long.
“Statistically speaking only 8 percent of people keep their resolution to get into shape each New Year,” Dr. Rob Silverman, author of “Inside Out Health: A Revolutionary Approach to Your Body” tells Newsmax Health. “The main reason they break their commitment is that they are so rigid with themselves. They fall off the wagon once or twice and then give up entirely.
“Ultimately it comes down to being realistic with yourself — forming tiny habits that grow into larger lifestyle patterns, planning ahead to anticipate and avoid roadblocks, avoiding perfectionism and comparison with others, and finally and most importantly, staying consistent.”
Silverman, who is a certified sports expert and nutritionist, borrows the famous goal-setting acronym from the corporate world called the SMART system to assist his clients in achieving their fitness objectives.
Be Specific. Take time to analyze exactly what you want to achieve in a thorough and practical manner. Be honest with yourself and aim for what you can realistically do to improve your body at your age and fitness level.
It often helps to visualize your plan and focus on positive goals. “If you are 50 years old and five feet, 7 inches, you don’t want a visual of a seven foot professional basketball player as your ideal goal!” says Silverman.
Measure your progress. Set small goals that are achievable and track them in a journal so you have concrete examples of your achievements. Commit to doing something every day, say even 10 minutes of physical activity and then increasing that amount with time.
You may want to enlist a buddy or a personal trainer to help you stick to that commitment. It also helps to set as fitness gal for the future, say you want to run a 5K next summer. Measuring your progress towards that goal can help propel you in the right direction.
Make your goals attainable. You may have set a lofty plan for losing 25 pounds and eating a Spartan diet only to find your resolve slipping as you grab the foods you crave. Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time, allowing for your favorite foods to be part of that plan.
The same goes for your workouts. Schedule what you are comfortable with and then increase slowly. Try adding variety to your workouts to make them more enjoyable by doing weights one day and a spin class another so you don’t become bored.
The same principle can be applied to your eating plan. You can follow your strict food plan during the week and then relax and enjoy yourself on the weekend without going overboard.
Be realistic. You need to make room for mistakes because we are all human and will make them, says Silverman.
“You’ll miss your alarm, you’ll grab that extra brownie and you may miss a couple of workouts entirely,” he says. “Don’t’ worry! Just notice what your biggest roadblocks or obstacles appear to be so you can learn from them and prevent them in the future.”
Take your time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you can’t achieve your fitness goals overnight. Your resolution to transform your body doesn’t have a time limit or an expiration date.
“Be consistent and adopt a positive outlook along the way. Enjoy the journey without focusing only on the destination,” says Silverman. “Don’t look at the mountain as insurmountable. Just take one step at a time.”
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