New Year, New Routine.

Friday 13 January 2017

New Year, New Routine

2017 has arrived and for many of us in Cork we are glad to see the back of the festive season and period of over indulging and under activity. This month lots of people will be taking on a new health and exercise routine, joining gyms and hitting the roads running. For some this will continue long through the year and they will achieve their goals of getting fit, feeling better and fingers crossed happier with what they see in the mirror. But for many this will mean they will start a routine with all the right intentions but will quickly fade and go back to their old habits.

But why does this happen?

Firstly, there is no such thing as a new you. You are you, warts and all. Don’t try to reinvent yourself. Instead have a look at your routine, this is the thing that you can change. What time do you get up in the morning? How much time do you spend watching TV in the evening? What do you do on your lunch break?One hugely detrimental factor today is how much time we spend on our phone looking at social media. I’m not sure if there is a more time wasting activity in the world than staring at Facebook. You'll lose 30min on Facebook in the blink of an eye, what else could you have done with that time?! Over 1 week have a look at these various factors. Could you find an extra 60min in your day by changing some of the above? Could you put down your phone at 8pm and go for a 20min walk, could you get up 15min earlier and make a healthy breakfast or pack a lunch for work the night before?

Secondly, don’t do something you hate. If you hate running, then don’t set yourself a goal of running 3 times a week. If you hate the gym then (don’t tell my boss I said this), don’t join a gym! Have you tried swimming? Maybe you’ll love it (you can tell my boss I said that). Maybe cardio isn’t for you and you should try lifting weights. Training with weights will not only burn calories while exercise but your body will continue to burn calories for another 48 HOURS AFTER!! Try a new class, why not ask a friend to join you. Go for a walk with a family member, friend or partner and have a good chat while doing so. Sharing an activity with someone else will not only benefit your body but it will grow a relationship and also help your mental health.

Thirdly, seek help. Too often we see masses of people come into the gym early in the new year and do a bit of this and a bit of that with little or no structure, plan or goal. Ask a gym instructor or personal trainer for some advice or how to get a programme designed for you. At LeisureWorld we offer a free induction plan and programme design with any 12 month full priced membership and if you are on a shorter term or discounted membership you can purchase it for just €35. It includes 1 consultation session, programme design and then 2 personal training sessions. Not enough people make the most of this offer so please get in touch with us to book yourself in. Other tips are to buy a new cook book that has simple and easy to follow recipes or ask a friend who loves the gym or exercise to give you some tips. A well-structured 30min workout is far better than 90min of aimlessly walking around a gym.

Other bits of advice to help you stick to a new routine.

It takes 30 days to create a new habit (good or bad) so if you can consistently do some exercise every Wednesday night for 30 days then you are more likely to keep it up then if you try to do 4 nights a week and stop after 15 days. Once that Wednesday night is ingrained in your routine then why not add a Monday night and stick with 2 nights for 30days.

Something is better than nothing. Even if you do a 5minute run and then pack it in and go home, that is still better than doing nothing. Don’t take an all or nothing approach. If you can’t get to the gym for a few days, it doesn’t mean you should say feck it and eat bad food for those days too. If you’re not exercising then try to eat a little less than days you do exercise.

Start with 1 meal at a time, similar to the 30 days to establish a habit. Take one month to improve your breakfasts. Read up on what’s a healthy breakfast, try new ones and get in the habit of making something every morning. Don’t worry about the rest for now. The next month start to tackle lunch, then after that work on dinner. If you are unhappy with your weight or body shape then it probably didn’t happen overnight, so don’t try to reinvent it overnight. Be patient and enjoy the journey.

No such thing as a quick fix. You should work on your health and fitness for the rest of your life, not for the next 6 weeks or not just for a holiday. A quick fix might work quickly but it will also fade away quickly. Slow and steady is the way to go. Keep tipping away on small changes to slowly address the issues holding you back from your objectives.

Watch what you eat! Look at your food in take over the whole week. If you like to go for drinks and eat what you want on the weekend, then eat less during the week to balance it. If you could reduce your food intake by 300 calories a day (just over an average chocolate bar) then across 7 days that is 2100 calories. That’s a whole days’ worth of calories! Just that small change is going to have a huge impact.

Besides that, find something you enjoy, fit it in at a time that is manageable for you and stay as consistent as possible.

For more information on gym and pool memberships, personal training and fitness classes we offer then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at LeisureWorld on 021 4396878 or at churchfield@leisureworldcork.com

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