It’s that time of year that we decide we’re going to get in shape this year. We set those lofty New Year’s resolutions and feel determined. By the way, if you’d like to read my previous post about why New Year’s resolutions don’t work, check it out here: http://getfitnowwithcheryl.com/uncategorized/the-day-the-resolutions-die-january-21st/
By February 90% of us who set those New Year’s resolutions will have either fallen off the grid completely; more of us will slow down and others will get totally discouraged. Did you know that Confucius said: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fail”? Maybe he never got stuck in his resolutions because of a busy period at work, a naging injury or a tough time backing away from the Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream but I sure have! Here are some helpful ways to bounce back and stay with those resolutions so you don’t have to repeat them again next year!
1. Start Slowly– Whether you’ve been away from your routine for a week or two; a month or two or more than that, as we all know “too much, too soon” is a recipe for injury. Maybe you were running 40 or 50 miles a week before you lost your way or working out an hour a day but you can’t expect to start over anywhere near that level. You need to start slowly with three easy workouts a week and by easy, I’m saying slowly and no more than 30 minutes. If you think you might be running too fast – slow down. If you’re wondering whether to workout or rest – rest. Listen to your body
2. Schedule it and use reminders – Make your workout a date in your calendar. You wouldn’t blow off a meeting with your boss that is on your calendar so don’t write off your date with yourself. To put it front and center, put your yoga mat by the TV. Keep some healthy snacks in the fridge. Put your running shoes by the front door. Lay out your workout clothes by your bed the night before. If you keep running into these reminders to pursue your fitness goals your more likely to use them.
3. In the same vein as number one, don’t forget the 10% rule. What’s that you say? It’s really important that you don’t increase your training by more than 10% from week to week. You can’t go from a 20 mile a week run to a 40-mile week because you’re in a hurry to get back into your routine or because you have some major event or goal looming in the near future. An upcoming race, reunion, party or New Year’s resolutions are not worth getting injured and having to stop your workouts again and start the process over – again. So, if you’re at 20 miles or 20 minutes then you should increase to 22 then 25, etc. It may take you more time but you’ll avoid an overuse injury and burnout.
4. Stretch – yes stretch every day without fail. If you don’t stretch your quads, hamstrings, calves, Achilles tendons and lower back, you’re asking for an injury. Find a routine that forces you to remember to stretch. Stretch your legs before you get into bed at night. Don’t forget to work your core too. Just pull out the yoga mat and do a couple of planks or some crunches. It doesn’t have to take much time.
5. Use a mantra or a phrase that motivates you. It may sound silly but when you’re trying to talk yourself into a workout or even to coax yourself to keep going and push yourself to finish, they really work. You can use something like, “if it were easy, anyone could do it.” My word this year is “action” – so I’m saying, “take action”. Of course, there is no guarantee that you won’t quit or fail but you can always start over – again.
6. Lastly, remember your why. Why do you need to start over again? Probably because you were working too hard before; weren’t getting enough sleep; weren’t eating right or you just lost sight of why you wanted to be more healthy. Maybe day-to-day life got in the way and you forgot how you wanted to be able to keep up with and enjoy your kids or grandkids. Remember what made you start and why you want a healthier life starting today!