by Emily Wiliamson
Like most gyms, January marks the busiest month of the year for Rainier Health & Fitness. We’re saddened, however, to see many members slack off after a few weeks. Rather than getting fit through extreme diets or intense weight loss plans, we encourage people to develop lifestyle changes that they keep year-round. That’s why we’ve put together 10 tips for keeping your momentum going beyond the first few weeks of the year:
- Get sufficient sleep. It might seem strange to start with sleep as a tip for getting in shape, but a well-rested body boosts your mood so that you feel motivated to make time for exercise. In exchange, vigorous exercise will enable better sleep.
- Join a fitness class doing something you love (yoga, ZUMBA, cycling). The scheduled classes will keep you accountable and other people in the class offer great support.
- Sign up and train for a race. The deadline adds motivating pressure to prepare for the event. Whether you’re easing into a 5K or prepping for a marathon, you can find training schedules online to keep you on track for the big day. Print one out and stick to it. Be sure to cross-train.
- Invite someone to join you. Having a workout buddy offers accountability so that if one person is feeling unmotivated, the other can urge them on. For example, Rachel and Sue became workout buddies when they met by volunteering at RHF. Recently Rachel noted, “Yesterday I was tied up with my kids but made it because of the accountability call Sue gave me. I feel re-committed.”
- Hire a personal trainer. The trainer will help design a workout plan that helps you reach your personal goals. Set times of meeting with your trainer plus the financial investment will add motivation for keeping your resolutions! At Rainier Health & Fitness, personal trainers also provide suggestions and resources for healthy eating.
- Focus on building snacks and meals around what you CAN have and want more of in your diet rather than what you’re trying to limit. Incorporate more vegetables, grains, fruits and lean proteins. Getting in shape is a two-pronged process that must combine healthy food choices with working out.
- Drink lots of water. The clear liquid will keep you hydrated plus flush toxins out of your body. Your skin will be happier too!
- Keep a fitness journal. Writing down your workouts provides accountability and helps you see progress. You can also note patterns of what is and isn’t working.
- Keep a food journal. Similarly, writing down what you eat causes you to think twice before indulging in a second serving of dessert. You can also note times or days of the week when you’re most prone to cheat on fast food or guilty pleasures. Perhaps you need to stock up on more healthy snacks or start making lunches the night before.
- Make exercise a habit. Even 10-15 minutes of exercises when you first wake up will get your blood pumping and your body and brain ready to take on the day! The actual exercises can and should vary and modify as you progress and work different muscles.Emily Williamson is a member of Rainier Health & Fitness and began the habit of exercising first thing in the morning over a decade ago. She carries a water bottle everywhere and is passionate about helping others experience a healthy life through fitness and nutrition.