This Is Why Most New 12 months Health Plans Don’t Work—And The way to Guarantee They Do
If you haven’t committed to strenuous daily exercise by early January, you are in the minority. While our attitude towards exercise has changed immeasurably – it is now recognized much more as a tool for increasing mental and physical wellbeing – many still make New Year resolutions to get fit, hit the gym more, or do a few more Losing pounds.
But does it work? Personal trainer and performance specialist Luke Worthington mostly doesn’t believe. “When it comes to really and sustainably improving health and well-being, persistence is the most important factor,” he says. “A program that you can consistently follow three times a week year round will produce better long-term results than exercising every day for six weeks and then giving it up because it becomes too overwhelming.” The New Year’s fitness plan should not about what you can achieve in January, but about something you can still do in November – the mistake many make. In fact, data compiled by Strava suggests that most people will have given up their New Year fitness resolutions by January 19.
Why do so many give up?
Worthington says bootcamp-style training and hardcore dieting promote the yo-yo relationship that many people have with healthy diets and exercise. “When training plans are too intense and nutrition plans too restrictive, they become strenuous – and we either long for the end or quickly quit.” A binary approach to our wellbeing – being “on” or “off” a plan means that when normal life begins, with all of its meetings, dinners, and other commitments, we cannot keep up with the schedule we set ourselves and we give up. The trick is to build positive habits into our daily lives because a consistent fitness routine is effective.
Prepare for success
Instead of creating a plan that focuses on just one aspect of your health and wellbeing – like losing weight – and neglecting others, like mental health, the trick to sticking to your fitness plan is to set yourself tangible goals to put that help you feel you are making progress. “Humans are task-oriented animals, and we all need a sense of achievement and progress in everything we do to feel fulfilled,” says Worthington, adding that it is more about purely aesthetic (and subjective) goals tends to be less tangible than those that have a performance aspect.
Include a measurable aspect of performance, whether it be running faster, moving a heavier object, or reducing back pain – something quantifiable should be your goal. “Then you have a moment you couldn’t and a moment you could – success and progress improve your ability to be consistent,” says Worthington.
This is how you can find a balance to hold onto
“Try to understand what your non-negotiable things are. It could be a Sunday family roast, a weekly after-work cocktail, or a take-away Friday night, ”says Worthington. “Then look at how much time you can realistically spend on targeted exercises and when that can be. For example, if you tend to get drawn into late last minute meetings, don’t plan your life training for 6:00 p.m. and not the other way around, or you won’t stick to it. “
The other important thing to keep in mind is to find exercises that make you really happy and that you enjoy. You are more likely to want to do it. “When it comes to cardiovascular exercise, consider skill or game activities such as climbing, dancing, netball, or tennis; then the focus is on mastering a skill or winning the game, not how long you’ve been doing it, ”suggests Worthington. He also recommends trying to increase the amount of “non-sports activity” such as a dramatic impact.
The ideal training plan
It will be different for everyone, but Worthington says a balanced health and wellness program should show success and progress and address all five pillars of wellbeing: strength, cardiovascular fitness, mobility, body composition, and emotional wellbeing. “When it comes to choosing what to do to address these five pillars, weight training should be the foundation of any training plan, and then we try to base our cardiovascular activity on it,” he says.