8 things you need to do over the next month before embarking on your fitness journey.

THE NEW YEAR has kicked in, the trees are coming down, the Christmas lights are turning off and all the back to back partying has been done for another festive season.

 

 

Let me start my first article for 2017 in hoping you had a lovely Christmas and New Year with family and friends.January is a time of the year where you start to get going again eyeing up new years resolutions and goals.For a lot of us these goals tend to be focused around your health, wellness and fitness so I hope this article can help you out.

Below are a couple of simple tips that I feel are quite important and can be treated as a January checklist for you.

  • Start small and build from there

This advice can be for everyone whether you are a complete beginner or the advanced gym goer who has taken those extra few days of rest over the Christmas and looking to get going again in January. It is very common for a lot of people to go all in and dive straight into the deep end. Over the years, I have seen this happen to many and it only leads to burnout, injury or loss of interest within a couple of weeks. Start small and go from there. Build your foundation and develop it.

  • Choose the right path

Lets face it so many of us walk into the commercial gym in January and sign into the 12 month special offer. Having worked in these gyms, I have seen many people sign up and come march a lot of these people are nowhere to be seen. First of all, it is great that you have a goal on getting fit and wanting to improve your health but my advice here is to look at different avenues out there before going down this route. Go do something you might actually enjoy and get more benefit from. This could be anything from joining a sports team, signing up for a weekly 5km parkrun, sourcing a gym to suit your needs, working with a personal trainer or even just get out on the many hiking/walking trails that Ireland has to offer. You need some help on what type of gym will suit your needs then go read this article here I did last year.

  • Drink more water

Easier said than done for most and a lot of the time people underestimate their daily intake of water. I recommend starting your day with a glass of water and shooting for a total daily intake of at least 2.5-4 litres depending on each individual.

  • Catch up on sleep

Another pretty basic rule that people need to nail down. It is an area I feel that lets down many when getting after their fitness goals. Believe or not, its not the training or food plan your on that is not working, a lot of the time its the fact your not getting the basics right first. Getting at least 8 hours sleep in every night is one of the fundamental rules to healthy lifestyle and not to forget the point above of drinking enough water where plenty of people fall down on.

  • Get back onto your 80/20

In Decembers Christmas article I mentioned the 70/30 approach and allowing yourself those nice treats that little bit more when it comes to nutrition. Most of us at this stage of the year are sick of eating Christmas food and are now ready to get back on track. My advice here is to clean up the food and get on the 80/20 approach. I have written about this before and you can find all that information  here

  • Write down your goals/ Visualisation

I am a big believer of writing down your goals for the year ahead and using daily reminders to keep you on track in getting after those goals. I have talked about using a journal and logging your daily progress or even having a visualization board of all your goals on show for the year as another useful way of helping you out. Log your weekly goals and every day write down what went right and what could have even gone better. Remember the goal here should be 1% better each day and you don’t need to be perfect every single day.

  • Short/ Medium/ Long term Goals

Having short to long term goals is something I strongly believe works very well. Like I said above, build your foundation and develop from there. A short term goal could be something as basic as aiming to have 3 litres of water a day for the first 7 days of your new healthy lifestyle allowing that to become a new good habit and moving on from there. A medium term goal to be to do a couple of 5-10k runs believe your start to work on that long term goal of a half marathon.

  • Test and retest

This is another important point and something I like to do with my own training targets and all my own clients too. As I like to say “If your not assessing your really only guessing”. I would suggest you test and retest your progress every 4-6 weeks and this is something you could do towards the end of January. This could be anything from retesting your bodyfat readings that most personal trainers should be doing with their clients or even comparing your 5k run that you did in the first week of January to the final week of January to even something simple on retesting your mobility/flexibility work that you started doing daily.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the links below. You can also get more advice on my social media pages, which are also linked below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Or you can send me a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.

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