Easy ways to make and keep your New Year's fitness resolutions

A Running Start


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New Year's fitness tips
Lei Chic's Tip: Use style as a fitness motivator! Cute active wear, like Lily Lotus' new Mermaid Dreams collection, will have you looking forward to workouts. Photo: Adam Jung.

Your 2014 resolutions include:

1. Get a full night's sleep (no more Game of Thrones marathons at midnight).
2. Stop falling for those surprise Kate Spade sales.
3. Limit your drunk texting (to best friends. Not exes. NEVER exes.)
4. Get back in shape.

Um, yeah, good luck with that.

Well, good luck with all but #4. That one, we can help you with, thanks to personal trainer and Fitness HI founder Ryan Pang. Here, he shares six key tips to set up a fitness plan and stick with it.

1. Don't jump on the latest fad diet or workout just because everyone else is doing it. Find a plan that works for you, your timeframe, lifestyle, likes and dislikes and you'll be more likely to maintain it. For example, if you love food, swap sauces with spices and herbs, or fruit-infused sparkling water for soda and sports drinks for healthy alternatives that don't skimp on flavor.

2. Avoid the all-or-nothing approach. Slip in a splurge meal every once in awhile or alternate tough workouts with a walk, hike, yoga session or even a massage to avoid burnout.

3. Break down your plan using short-term goals and benchmarks. Sure, you'd love to lose 20 pounds, but how are you going to do it? Eat two more servings of veggies? Check. Drink more water? Done. Eat breakfast every day? Got it. Now, your goals seem much more real, manageable and attainable.

4. Don't beat yourself up over a missed workout or a non-diet meal. Think of all the positive things you've accomplished and encourage yourself to keep doing those things. You can't change the past, but you can get back on track with your next meal or by working out tomorrow. Don't look for perfection, look for consistency.

5. Longer workouts aren't necessarily better. Pushing the intensity does more to boost your metabolism than extending the length of your workouts. Try two to three quick 15- to 20-minute workouts alternating between rests and high-intensity exercises like burpees, jump squats, sprints and stairs. Bonus: They're easy to squeeze into busy schedules.

6. If you feel overwhelmed, seek the help of a fitness coach who will work with you and doesn't push his or her own agenda. A great fitness coach can take the stress, struggle and worry away from achieving your fitness goals and help you work smarter, not longer to get the best results.

Kick your resolution into high gear by signing up for Fitness HI's New Year, New You program, a six-week challenge where teams compete for the highest body fat percentage loss. For more information, visit FitnessHI.com.

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