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2016 is well and truly underway as we approach the end of January. As we reflect upon our festive season and the time we spent with friends and family, 2015 seems like a blur now, and many are left stunned to think of how quickly another year has come and gone. With the commencement of a new year, we may feel refreshed and energized at the opportunities presented before us. A new year marks a new beginning in some ways and provides us with a clean slate to attempt to reach our goals.

This brings us firmly to the topic of New Year’s resolutions, and although there is a sentiment in some that a new year’s resolution is a cliché, a resolution can be a powerful tool in helping one get closer to achieving their goals. A resolution does not necessarily have to be a new resolution, it can be one that you have had for a few years. We know that not all goals are completed in the space of one year.

Many look at altering their lifestyle to improve their health and fitness in the New Year. This is not always an easy task as many of us are limited by other commitments such as work and family, however there are adaptions we can make to help us in reaching our desired state. But before we get any delusions of grandeur, we have to set realistic goals, be persistent, be patient and have the courage to try harder than before. Here are 10 steps to help us get there:

  1. Workouts don’t need to take place at a gym. Walk the dogs, wash the car, go on a hike, cycle around the block, move some furniture or do some gardening. Just make sure you warm up and stretch first.
  2. The weight loss formula: Output is greater than input   The thing that we don’t realise is that our bodies are super-efficient at using energy so our daily input can usually be a lot less than what we think
  3. When we workout, wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes and appropriate footwear.
  4. Be consistent, one cake won’t make you fat, just like one salad won’t make you skinny. Consistency is key.
  5. Find a relative benchmark. You can’t buy a soccer ball and expect to be Ronaldo. Use your own progress as your motivation.
  6. Workout with friends or family, make it an occasion. Chances are if you have planned to meet up with friends later at the park, you won’t talk yourself out of it.
  7. Allow some flexibility for cravings. Don’t be too restrictive on yourself, but remember your consistency.
  8. Seek medical advice. If you are in discomfort or have health concerns, do not be afraid to seek professional medical advice from your doctor.
  9. Do not exercise if your resting heart rate is greater than 120 bpm.
  10. Lower back pain is common and is caused from a sedentary lifestyle. This can be remedied by strengthening our core, hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteal muscles. Remember to take the stairs instead of the lift and try walking instead of driving when the opportunity presents itself.

As is the way with life, we have the advantage of looking back at our mistakes and adapting our approach for next time in order to exceed. We are familiar with the saying; ‘The real failure is when you stop trying’. So the lesson we should take to heart as we hurtle down the highway of 2016 is that we should never give up. This is a somewhat simple saying that we have all heard time and time again but few take it to heart. It is easy to give up and make excuses but it is much harder to persist and attempt to reach our goals.

Whether your 2016 goals are financial, health, or family orientated, be persistent and patient. Goals are not necessarily achieved in one year, they may take a lifetime to be realised, the point is to keep working on them.

 

The IE Group offers one on one personal training in a quiet and relaxed environment. The goals are to improve your physical wellbeing through functional training and nutritional awareness for individuals with limited time and fitness experience. Contact ewen@iegroup.co.za for more information

 

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