“New Year, New You.” It sounds simple, but we know the reality: Between “New Year” and “New You” are weeks and months of setting fitness goals, committing to a regular workout schedule – and then actually working up a sweat. We’re not gonna lie: It’s tough to stick with it!
But the key to following through on your New Year’s resolutions is ultimately simple: You just have to create a realistic workout plan that fits into your day-to-day schedule. Here’s how.
Find Time for Cardio
You don’t have to go on a run every day (unless you want to). Try to squeeze 30 minutes of cardio in at least three times a week. This can be running, walking, hiking or swimming. The important thing is to work at a comfortable pace. If you’re not a runner, don’t take up running five miles a day without training up to that distance. You know your body, so don’t push yourself past your personal physical limits.
Tip: To make your cardio plan truly flexible, keep a gym bag packed with the essentials in your car. In addition to workout clothing, put a water bottle, a pair of headphones and deodorant (Secret Freshies are conveniently portable!)
Build Your Strength
No heavy lifting here, just simple exercises that will help tone and build muscle. Invest in 5- or 8-pound weights, and increase the weight incrementally when and if you feel like you can handle more. Pick one day a week to focus on abs and legs, and a different day to focus on your arms. Here are some ideas for exercises you can do at the gym or on your living room floor:
- 3 sets of 10 reps of crunches and bicycle crunches
- 3 sets of 30-second planks
- 3 sets of 30-second side planks (30-seconds on each side) (see below)
- Walking lunges, 10 reps for each leg
- Wall squat (hold for as long as you can, shoot for at least 30 seconds)
- Calf raises – 30 raises on both, 15 on each individually
- Repeat the circuit two more times
- 3 sets of 10 reps of bicep curls
- 3 sets of 10 reps of tricep kickbacks
- 3 sets of 10 reps of shoulder presses
Make Your Plan Visible
Write your weekly plan on a calendar and place it where you will see it every day. As you continue working out, track your milestones (“Ran 5 miles today!”) and setbacks, as well as related goals, like endurance, speed and weight loss. The visual reminder of your resolutions will keep you focused and motivated.
Set up Small Rewards
Of course, getting fit and staying healthy are their own reward, but a little extra incentive never hurt anyone! Something as simple as placing a dollar in a jar every time you work out can help build positive reinforcement, especially on days when crunches or bicep curls feel like a chore. Or you can reward yourself with fitness-related items, like a new set of workout clothes or those running shoes you’ve been coveting for months.
Tip: Keep your workout clothes smelling fresh and odor-free by washing them with Tide PODS Plus Febreze Sport Odor Defense. Each POD contains 4-in-1 breakthrough technology – detergent, stain remover, color protector and Odor Defense – that gives you more bang for your buck.
Give Yourself Time to Rest
Schedule at least one day of rest each week. Taking off on a Saturday or Sunday will give your body time to recover. Your body needs that time, especially when you are just starting a new exercise plan.
Don’t Give Up!
Staying motivated and following through on your New Year’s fitness goals is not an easy task – but your biggest cheerleader should be you. Write down all the reasons you’re working out, whether it’s to have more energy, sleep well or fit into your clothing better. Whatever your motivations, keep them close in the days and months ahead. Remember: You got this!