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The Best Changes for Greater Health & Fitness in the New Year


The new year is right around the corner and that means most people will resolve to make at least one positive change. If you are unhappy with how you look or feel, make getting into shape your resolution for 2018. Here is a look at some of the best changes you can make to improve your health and fitness in the new year.

Start out With a Realistic Assessment and Goal

Be honest with yourself when gauging your current physical fitness level and determining what you are capable of accomplishing in the new year. If you are not honest with yourself about your condition and potential for improvement, you might push yourself too hard and end up suffering an injury. Just as important is your psyche. Set a lofty goal, fail to reach it and you won't be motivated to continue exercising.


Begin With Something Simple and Achievable

Get the ball rolling on your healthy new year by accomplishing something right off the bat. Hold a plank each morning. This is a fitness ritual that will get you one step closer to attaining your goal. It will take a mere minute to perform. Planks are a fantastic exercise as they work the full body, especially the core muscles. In fact, many physical fitness experts are adamant planks are better than sit-ups and crunches. If you can't do a full minute, hold a plank for at least half a minute and gradually work your way up.

Gradually Transition Into More Difficult Exercises

Too many people start the new year with an “all or nothing” mindset. They want to burn off all that excess fat and tone their body right away. Some overdo it at the gym. Others go so hard they endure an injury. The bottom line is, it is not realistic to transition from little or no exercise to a demanding exercise regimen. Ease your way into a progressively difficult and more frequent workout. This way, you will be more inclined to stick with your new health and fitness routine.


Turn Those Weaknesses Into Strengths

If you love leg presses but hate the bench press and pull-ups, assess why you feel this way. Consider the possibility that you might come up with excuses to skip certain exercises. It is time to address these weaknesses. Start to highlight the exercises you have neglected. Work on them and they will eventually become a strength. Your body will respond in function and form with increased flexibility and strength in the areas these challenging exercises key in on.


Abide by the SMART Acronym

The SMART acronym is a goal you can strive toward for the new year. It stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. As an example, consider setting a goal of partaking in group fitness classes between two and four times per week across a period of three months. If you have reached your goal at the end of this period, provide yourself with a form of positive reinforcement like a massage, a mini-vacation, your favorite drink or something else worthwhile. Do not hesitate to plan your reward at the same time you plan how you will go about improving your health and fitness in the new year.


Be Specific

If you set a goal of losing weight, you might not follow through and make it happen. There is a better chance of enjoying a healthy new year by setting measurable goals. As an example, set a goal of running a mile in less than eight minutes three times per week. Such a specific goal will motivate you to push yourself until you can accomplish it.

Plan Ahead

Instead of making a mental note to go to the gym in the upcoming days, make more of a formal commitment to the activity by writing it down or noting it on a calendar that is easily visible. Be precise with your plans. Write down details like the nature of the exercise, the location, the hours, anybody you might meet up with for the session and so on. Plan out the exact times and days of your upcoming exercise sessions and you will find it is easier to shed the weight than it is by simply making a commitment to exercise.


Exercise With a Friend

Teaming up with a buddy for an exercise session will prove rewarding in numerous ways. Try to find someone who is goal-oriented. Such a driven person will push you toward your goal and help you build the body you have long dreamed of. Most important is the approach and personality of the other person. If you have polar opposite personalities or share a different approach to exercise, you will likely conflict. Choose wisely and you will find a workout buddy worth keeping around for the long haul.

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