The start of a new year offers the perfect opportunity to start fresh on fitness plans – especially after the over-indulgences of Christmas. However, keeping up with your new exercise routine is easier said than done and by the end of January, you may have already given up on your fitness goals!
So, here are some simple tips on how to make sure you’re doing everything right when it comes to reaching your targets.
Write down your goals, and be realistic
Studies have found that you’re 42% more likely to achieve any goals if you write them down, as it helps your mind engage with the targets.1 When writing them down, follow the SMART model (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based) to help you stay on track and know what you’re working towards.2
To make your fitness goals stick, they need to be achievable. Give yourself one realistic target at a time to work towards in the near future, rather than one big one way in advance, which could cause you to become unmotivated.3
For example, if you’re looking to start running, rather than setting yourself the goal of running a marathon, set yourself a more sensible target such as the NHS initiative Couch to 5k which is a more feasible milestone in the short to medium term.
Maintain a healthy, balanced diet
A healthy diet is important at any time, but never more so when you embark on a new fitness plan. Eating an unbalanced diet could counter any results from your exercise, so be sure to eat a mix of proteins, carbs and healthy fats, alongside plenty of fruit and veg. As the saying goes, “abs are made in the kitchen”!
Change your routine
If your exercise plan is just to go running every day, or you’re visiting the same exercise class each time, you may become bored and unmotivated quickly. It isn’t about reinventing the wheel, but mixing your routine up will not only help you work out different parts of your body and muscle sets, but also help keep your exercise plan feeling fresh and keep you interested.4 If you’re looking for a different way to keep fit, check out our blog on five weird ways to workout!
Give your body time to rest and recover
An easy way to help you reach your fitness goals is allowing your body time to recover from exercise. Symptoms of overworking your body can include muscle and joint pain, a lack of energy and a weakening of your immune system, caused by your muscle tissues breaking down.5
If you’re feeling fatigued or sore, you won’t want to workout. By taking a much-needed rest day, you’ll give your body time to recover so you can keep working towards your goals.
Don’t forget – ensure you stretch both before and after exercising to avoid injury and help muscle recovery.
Reap the rewards
Undertaking a new fitness routine can be a big ask, so don’t be afraid to treat yourself when you reach any targets you’ve set yourself. From treating yourself to a new purchase, or going out for a ‘cheat’ meal, giving yourself a reward when hitting milestones can be really motivational when it comes to hitting your goals.6
Look after your health with a health care cash plan
Alongside your fitness, make sure you’re looking after your overall health and wellbeing for the year ahead. Did you know that a health care cash plan can help to keep you fit and healthy?
With our Good All Round cash plan, you can claim money back towards physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic and sports massage costs (pre-existing conditions are covered after 6 months). There are plenty of other health costs you can claim money back towards too, including trips to the dentist and opticians, prescription charges, and alternative therapies such as acupuncture or reflexology. To find out more about the Good All Round cash plan and how it can help keep you healthy from top to toe, visit sovereignhealthcare.co.uk/good-all-round.