How to Deal with a New Year Fitness Slump
By all appearances, it seems easy to gear up for the New Year. With the onslaught of fitness commercials, gadgets, and push from clothing retailers you may have that extra motivation to reach your fitness goal. There’s another side to this picture though. You may find it difficult to get things going. An unexpected illness or family situation can set you back in a heartbeat. If you haven't gotten in the groove of things for the year don't despair. There are ways to get through your fitness slump and still make progress toward your goals in 2014.
Tip #1: Re-work your goals. Did you start the year with an unrealistic goal? If you've been a coach potato for the last year, aiming for five plus days a week to exercise may actually set you up for failure. Studies show that setting small, achievable goals work best. Let's get back to your weekly workout goals. Start by walking 10 minutes a day for three days per week. Sound too easy? That's okay. The key is to stick with your goal for that week. If you achieve your goal, increase your time by just five minutes at a time and then try it for another two weeks. By week four you'll be up to 60 minutes a week!
Tip #2: Avoid stress eating. This is a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. It's important to realize that getting back to normal after the holidays can be a stressful event itself. The back-to-school routines along with getting the house together can be tiring to say the least. No wonder why it's so easy for snacking to get out of control. As a general rule your snacks should be just enough to stave off hunger, not fill you up until the next meal. Some best bets include a cup of red bell peppers, a nonfat yogurt with fresh fruit, or a one-ounce serving of nuts.
Tip #3: Celebrate your success. This is an area we don't do often enough. For example, you eat out without filling up on tortilla chips. Guess what? That's worth celebrating. Making better choices everyday sets you up for greater success. Other ways to celebrate is to pub yourself a bit. Record your workouts on Facebook or share your run stats with your friends via text message. The little things matter and it's the little wins that make the entire journey more successful.
Studies show that people start to abandon their New Year goals within the first six weeks of the year. Avoid this pattern by making the necessary tweaks in your lifestyle now. Doing this now will keep the mid-year slump at bay.