Every year, most of us make at least a few fitness resolutions to help ring in the New Year. And although these resolutions are usually first met with great enthusiasm and the best of intentions, some of them might not always be realistic.
This year, opt for a less daunting list of resolutions and feel great about yourself by trying a few of the following ideas:
Ditch One Unhealthy Habit a Month
By giving up one small habit each month that lends itself to sabotaging your best fitness efforts (sitting down with the whole carton of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream), you will be healthier in twelve big ways at the end of the year.
Trade Your Drab Workout Clothes for Light and Bright Ones
I love black. Nothing makes me feel sleeker or faster than a pair of black running tights and a black jersey. While this does enhance my outlook, nothing boosts my mood more than a cute pair of pink running shoes or a cheery yellow sports top. Think “girly” and "bright" when choosing new workout clothes and you might be amazed at how motivated this small change can make you feel.
Plan a New Route
Keep the motivation alive when you feel the well running dry, by planning a new route to ride or run through your city or town.
Be adventurous and map out a completely different course. If you are limited by heavy traffic or unsafe neighborhoods, run your usual route the opposite direction or cycle it in segments: bike out a mile, then back to the start; ride out two miles, return a mile; bike out three miles, return for two miles, and so on.
Surround Yourself with Fit People
Positivity begets positivity. Spend time with others who love to workout and convince yourself of the same. A love affair with exercise has to start somewhere, so why not “catch” it from people from whom you can learn?
Get More Sleep
Numerous studies have been conducted on the importance of sleep. Our motivation and performance both suffer when we lack enough shuteye. Energize your workout by stocking up on enough sleep and you will be more likely to follow through on that thirty minute walk.
Don't Forget Your Skin
Don't forget during the winter your skin can take a beating, especially if you are exercising out doors. Even if you are not tanning on the beach your skin is still exposed to the harmful influences of the sun so make sure to put on plenty of sunscreen. Also, make a point of drinking plenty of water before and after your work out to help hydrate you and your skin. Resolve to break the bad skin habits you might unknowingly be doing. Check out this article to learn what habits to break when it comes to your skin.
Create a Fitness Collage
Reignite the artistic child in you, and cut out magazine photos or drawings of strong, healthy women who inspire you. Post your creation on your bathroom mirror to remind yourself each morning why you spend your lunch hour away from the office and at the gym.
Consider a Staycation for Workout Inspiration
In these economic times, especially post-holidays, a vacation may be a deferred luxury, Take an extended weekend to explore your town of residence—on foot! Walk, run, hike, or cycle around your city’s historical landmarks, or explore the nature trail you’ve never found the time to get to. Check out your local snow slopes and get the kids tromping through snow at their favorite summertime park that is now enchanted with pure white.
Continue to Visit—and Conquer—Your Fitness Fears
Are you afraid of heights? Maybe that indoor climbing gym is just what you need to free yourself from a childhood fear. Does speed scare you? Try mountain biking in a controlled area with rolling hills to test your wheels. If the ocean overwhelms you, educate yourself on open water swimming and consider taking the plunge in the spring. You will be empowered by facing your fears, which will only build your confidence and perpetuate more endorphins, luring you back for more of that feel-good feeling.