It's halfway through January, and if you're still going to the gym on regular basis, congratulations! You are a step closer to achieving the most trending New Year's resolution in history -- to get fit. You just have to stick to it for another 11 1/2 months weeks. Thankfully, you don't have to suffer because there are plenty of options for you to make 2016 your fittest yet.
The basics of success are setting an attainable goal and making your journey to reach it as fun as you possibly can, says Theresa Racicot, certified personal trainer and yoga instructor, and founder of AeriaLibrium. "People have to find something they love doing, something that makes them excited because that means they'll stick to it," she adds. Experiment and find out what that is. It could be boxing, swimming, weightlifting, working with a personal coach or a friend.
It's hard to stay as motivated as on January 1 to work out six times a week, eat only healthy foods, and run a marathon when on January 2 you actually have to wake up at 5 a.m. to jog when it's 30 degrees outside. No one will blame you. A quarter of the people who decided to get fit in the New Year gave up within the first week, according to a study.
"A resolution is a new habit," Racicot, says. "I tell a lot of new people in my classes, 'Let's do one a week. We'll work on it together.'" No one sticks to a purpose without making a few exceptions along the way. "If it's not fun anymore, you won't do it," she adds. Be honest with yourself and what you can actually achieve in a certain period of time.
Tips To Make 2016 Your Fittest Year Ever
Try a fitness app
"Using a health and fitness app is very individual," Racicot adds. "It's all about how you find accountability towards achieving your goal." Apps can be a good source of keeping track of what you eat, how many calories you consumed and burned, how much you've progressed. They can also be very useful in coordinating workouts with friends. Some of them also have the roll of a personal trainer (but one that you don't pay).
Detoxing is a controversial method of starting with a clean slate. Experts are divided because detoxing often involves 3-7 day juice fast, which mean drinking only fresh fruit and vegetable juices and water. Your body needs more than that. It's up to you. You can still get rid of toxins in your body by not starving but adding lemons, which are packed full of antioxidants such as vitamin C, and ginger, which improves digestion, to your diet.
Always remember the progress you've made
"I try to remind people how far they've come from when they started," Racicot says. "They may not remember that they couldn't even think about doing pushups and are now doing jumping pushups." People like compliments but they can't always count on others to make them. "Recognize how much better you're feeling whether it's you have more energy and how your clothes fit." Keep that in mind next time you're on the verge of giving up. Write it down.
Swimming is a fantastic sport for weight loss and a good choice for people who are just starting to get fitter. Don’t hesitate to hit the pool if you don’t like gyms or if it's too cold for working out in the park. Swimming works out every muscle in your body at the same time. It's easy on the joints and is great for the lungs and heart. If you are looking for a short but complete workout because you're super-duper busy, swimming is your match.
Hire a personal trainer
The most important factor about choosing a personal trainer is finding one "you really click with," Racicot says. The process is almost like a job interview but this time you're the recruiter. Trainers specialize in different areas. "So it won't make sense to work with someone who trains Olympic weight lifters if your goal is to simply get in shape," she adds. The way the instructor usually works has to make sense to you. Only then will your professional relationship be successful.
Recruit a workout buddy
Isn't everything more fun when you share it with friends? Or less painful when they go through the same pain? Find yourself a fitness partner who has the same goals as you or, preferably, someone whose fitness level is more advanced. You'll feel motivated to catch up. It's also very likely that he or she will hold you accountable for every time you even think of skipping an exercise. You don't want to disappoint, do you?
Find a workout you enjoy
If you don't like running for 30 minutes on a treadmill, why not switch to another cardio machine that requires less time to achieve the same effects such the Stairmaster? Have you considered that you dread going to the gym because you haven't found the right kind of training for you? Experiment until you do. Everything else will fall in its place after that. Make a list of the exercises you like and base your workout sessions on them.
A monotonous routine gets very boring very fast. When whatever you're doing starts to feel easy and you're not sweating much, it's time to challenge yourself, Racicot says. The body is always adapting because it naturally wants to not be working hard. If you ran more miles in the same amount of time, it's time to speed up or run at an incline. Pick up weightlifting as a change or do more resistance exercises. Try dance workouts. Maybe you'll finally learn the pasodoble.
Control meal portions
Getting fit has a lot to do with what and how much you eat. You don’t have to give up everything you like but you do need to at least not overindulge. Controlling your weight starts with controlling your meal portions. Put the fork down after every bit or eat from smaller plates and bowls. Trick your mind and give your brain time to realize your body doesn’t need any more calories.
Add strength training to your workouts
You are not going to get fit unless you build muscles and you are not going to do that if you don't do any resistance training. A bonus: Just a few exercises of weightlifting or bodyweights can boost your metabolism and give you more energy. Strength exercises also help build bone density, which is tremendously important because we lose bone mass as we get older.
More From The Active Times:
-- 16 Easy Ways to Quickly Boost Your Health
-- 10 New Year’s Resolutions For Gym-Goers
-- 13 Trending Workouts to Try in 2016
-- 10 Exercises You Should Do Every Day to Stay Fit for Life