New year new me.
A lot of us say that each January 1st. And a lot of us say the new me is going to get in better shape.
Making a resolution to get in better shape has been proven to be easier said than done. 37% of 20 year olds will succeed with their fitness goal. And only 16% of people over 50 will succeed with theirs. Not good odds by any means. But by following these tips, it might just increase your odds of succeeding.
Make it social
Humans are social animals. The more we interact with others, the more likely we are to modify behavior.
Social interaction has been shown to make people more likely to work out.
Join a group, such as signing up for a Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. And better yet, if possible bring a friend along on your journey.
Also, pre-pay for classes when possible. Having financial “skin in the game” combined with a commitment to another person means you’re much more likely to stick with your program.
Commit to a date-specific goal
Goals don’t need to be lofty to be effective. But it’s useful to sign up for an event: a BJJ tournament, a 5K run, a sparring class.
When you set a goal, preferably one just slightly outside your comfort zone, you’re much more likely to stick with your fitness program. Pick your goal, register for the event and put it on your calendar so you know where you’re headed.
helps people stick with a workout program. A study published in Germany showed that when people were having fun, they were much more likely to stick with their exercise
Even if the workouts are difficult — when Scott says one more round of 10/10/10’s on a hot July evening — classmates still arise to the challenge to get it done. As they have reported, the primary reasons are fun and community. Make sure your exercise program is making you smile. If it’s not, try another approach.
Recognize aches and pains
If working out doesn’t make you slightly uncomfortable, you’re probably not doing it hard enough. Effective exercise is all about pushing your limits.
But when the aches and pains of starting a new fitness regimen pop up, it’s important to pay attention. Many well-intentioned fitness programs have been derailed by ignoring the discomforts that can turn into more serious injury.
Differentiating between common problems and unhealthy discomfort is important to prevent that mild ache in your shin from turning into a stress fracture.
My basic rule: If pain changes the way you move, get it checked out. If the ache in your shoulder changes the way you swim, if the ache in your knee changes the way you walk, if the ache in your back changes the way you swing your golf club, go to the doctor.
When an ache or pain persists for more than a few days, causes swelling in a joint or limits how you’re moving, get it checked out so you can make a plan that allows you to stick with your fitness program while fixing the problem.
In today’s world of sports medicine, we’re getting increasingly better at assessing aches and pains through the use of technologies such as X-ray, MRI and ultrasound, and we can figure out ways to prevent these problems from slowing you down. In addition to making muscles stronger and more flexible, experts are able to use newer technologies to figure out the most effective ways to move.
Most of all, just keep moving
Most of us are not going to become pro-fighters or world BJJ champions.
Regardless of what you are doing, just keep moving. Show up for classes.
What keeps these people pushing ahead? Determination. It doesn’t matter if you’re first, last or anywhere in between. The final and most important key to making your New Year’s resolution work is 100% mental.
Keep moving, day after day, step after step. Move when it’s cold; move when you’re tired; move when you don’t want to keep going or even get off the couch. The toughest part of any exercise program is getting out the door. Once you get started, it’s almost impossible to stop.
Happy 2018. Here’s to your health, fitness and success.