Is the New Year the Right Time to Start a New Fitness Routine?

Getting fit is one of the classic New Year’s Resolutions. It seems like people are always saying they want to get fit right now. Why is that?

Honestly, this is one of those things you should work on whenever you realize you need to get fit. But at the New Year is as good a time as any, and may even be the best time to get a workout buddy, since other people you know may well be making the same resolution.

But if now is not the time that you will stick to your goal of getting fit, don’t commit yourself to it. Find the right time to set up a workout schedule.

stationary bikes

When it’s wrong

This is the wrong time if you’re stressed out from the holidays and have no idea how you’re going to go about getting fit. It takes a plan. It takes commitment. If you don’t have those, you’re probably only going to frustrate yourself.

If you know you have too many excuses for why you can’t so much as take a regular walk around the block for fitness, never mind working out, you probably aren’t ready to get fit yet.

If feeling like you’re so out of shape that you won’t fit in at the gym, decide if that is too much of an obstacle to join a gym, then figure out an alternative. This can be an obstacle, but you don’t have to let it be one.

When it’s right

Getting fit is the right decision most of the time, however. It doesn’t take money if you don’t want it to, so even finances should not be an excuse. Anyone should be able to find a safe place to take a regular walk, even if it’s just around the block at home, around the office you work at, or the mall. They’re all free, so you just need to pick the one that meets your needs.

You can also do basic exercises indoors at home with no equipment at all. Crunches, dancing randomly to music, anything you can do to get in motion.

If you can afford some basic home gym equipment or a gym membership, so much the better. This can often be one of the easy ways to get a workout buddy. Find someone who wants to join the same gym and plan at least a couple nights, mornings or whenever it works a week to workout together at the gym.

Many people find a workout buddy to be a great motivator. If you can’t work out a schedule to work out together, just try comparing how often and how long you work out. That can also be enough to give you that extra nudge to keep going.

But the most important thing to remember is simply that you don’t need to give up just because right now is not the time for you. Get started when you can make the commitment, then plan out what it will take to keep going. Having goals can make it a lot easier.

Stealth Exercise

Being too busy to work out is one of the most common reasons why people don’t exercise. Just about everyone uses it at some point. But even if you don’t have the time to break for even 15 minutes to take a walk you can sneak in a little bit of exercise.

Think about times you just stand around… brushing your teeth, cooking, that sort of thing. Leg lifts or walking in place can get you moving just a little bit more. It’s not a lot of exercise but it is something.

Put a little more effort into housecleaning. This in itself is fair exercise. Do a bit more of it and work harder at it.

Work out whenever you watch television. It may be a leisure activity, but it doesn’t have to be so sedentary. I like using a Gazelle while watching television, doing crunches, leg lifts, whatever. An exercise ball can be nice too. Fitness balls are also nice. The exercise shouldn’t be anything that makes it too hard to watch your show, or you probably won’t keep up with it. Then again, there are always commercials!

Working out at the computer is harder. This is one of the hardest areas to work out, and it may not be possible to do much about that. You can move your legs, but generally not much and not terribly effectively.

When you shop, park further out. The added walk really won’t be all that bad, and it’s generally much easier to find a spot.

Stealth exercise isn’t generally enough to get you fit, but it’s better than not trying at all.

What to Buy for Fitness Lovers for Christmas?

Shopping at Christmas time is a bit of a chore for many people. Coming up with the perfect idea is hard.

Fitness gifts can be a good choice… PROVIDED the person will not be offended. If you are shopping for someone sensitive about their weight, it might be better to get something else. But if they’ve been commenting on how much they want to get fit, and seem sincere, not the type to take offense that you noticed, fitness gifts can be extremely welcome.

Most budgets won’t allow for anything fancy, such as a treadmill. However, there are a lot of things you can buy that will help with working out at home and not be expensive.

Fitness Balls

As a parent, I love my exercise ball. Not only can I work out on it, my kids love playing with it too. I just have to be careful that they don’t abuse it too much.

Yoga Gear

Yoga is a wonderful form of exercise and relaxation. Most people will enjoy both. Much of the gear is quite affordable.

There are a lot of options when you want to help someone with their home gym that are extremely affordable. For the person in your life who is genuinely interested in improving their fitness, it can be a great gift choice.

Be Honest With Yourself

Having a perfect figure is the goal for many. I know that I’d love to get my middle under control once again, but that has been my challenge since having two children, one by C-section, I’ve had to struggle with a touch of extra weight and slack stomach muscles.

It’s hard. These used to be the areas that just came naturally to me. I drove people nuts that way.

But now it’s much harder, and I know it.

balance

I’m still pretty fortunate, since my weight is just in the higher part of the healthy range. I work harder than I used to have to in order to keep it that way.

Being honest with myself about these physical changes has been a challenge. It’s easy to see it as worse than it is or better than it is. An honest self assessment is challenging.

So how do I go about it? How should you go about it?

The first thing is to know where you are in terms of where you want to be or where you feel you ought to be. I don’t own a scale, but I do check my weight occasionally at my inlaws’ house. It keeps me lightly aware of where I’m at without obsessing over it. It works for me. It doesn’t work for everyone.

If weight is your concern, know where you are compared to what’s considered healthy. If you’re just a little higher than you want to be, and still in the healthy range, things aren’t that bad. If you’re far from where you would like to be, you should be aware of that too.

If overall fitness is your goal, you need to be honest about that too. Plan out how you’re going to reach your goals. Work toward them. When life gets in the way, admit it and allow yourself to get back on track.

Being honest with yourself about what you are and are not achieving will help you to succeed, but it’s not easy. It takes practice. It takes a degree of honesty about yourself that is not always easy to achieve. But it’s also something that will help you to reach your goals.