Ahhhh it’s finally over, all those holiday parties are in the past, big holiday dinners are no more. Now, it’s time to lose the holiday pounds and laziness you acquired over the season. With the New Year comes new commitments and goals, and at the top of many people’s lists are things like losing weight and getting in better shape. During this time of year, gyms are packed with people who are all trying to achieve the same goals.
For many, the first time in the gym can be very intimidating and confusing. It’s important to remember that whatever you decide to do, you should ease into it and let your body get acclimated to the new movement patterns and stresses you are about to place on it. The worst thing would be injuring yourself because you went too hard, too fast. Remember- you didn’t put on the weight overnight, so don’t expect it to come off overnight, either. In order to reach your goals, you have to first believe in the process and then enjoy the journey. If you have this outlook on your goals, you will be successful.
The best way to achieve your fitness goals is to change up your typical gym routine. Don’t get comfortable doing the same thing. Try something different… your body will appreciate you.
It’s important that you partake in an activity you enjoy doing because you will have a much better chance of succeeding if you enjoy the activity. Depending on where you live, there are many different ways to jump-start the road back to a healthy you besides going to the traditional gym. Most cities and towns have local recreation leagues for different sports, if that is an activity you used to do and enjoy. There is nothing better for the body than random and, at times, chaotic movement patterns (sports personified), which differ from the everyday norm of very linear and stagnant movements. Anything from indoor soccer, hockey, tennis, volleyball and basketball are typically all available to join in the winter months.
In warmer cities across the country, there are even more choices than I have, living in New York. Many people who live in the Northeast can’t wait to switch to outdoor activities when it starts getting warm out. Central Park turns into Venice Beach on steroids. People who live in warmer climates don’t have to worry about getting bogged down with indoor workouts during the winter months because they are still able to spend time outside without freezing. You want to take advantage of all that life has to offer when you live in a place that is 75 degrees year-round. If you have ever visited Southern California or South Florida, you understand why so many people there are in shape. Overall, people tend to lead more active lifestyles in warmer climates because because they are able to spend a lot of time outdoors.
Another way to get your body on the right track this New Year is doing pool workouts. Most family centers and some big chain gyms have pools in them. Pool workouts and swimming are great for the body and easy on the joints. If you’re afraid of injuring yourself in a traditional gym or have joint problems, going to the pool is a great alternative. Local YMCAs and other gyms tend to have great pool workout classes on a weekly basis. Going to the pool is a wonderful way to wake your body up, turn on dormant muscles, and strengthen muscles while placing very little stress on your joints.
If you think about it, our bodies are meant to move and we’ve been exercising since the beginning of time. To stay active, it’s most important to do activities that you enjoy and bring out the best in you.