It’s that time of year that everyone is in the pubs and out visiting families. The Booze is flowing and there’s and endless supply of finger food and tins of treats. Almost everyone who isn’t an athlete drops the diet and forgets all the hard work they put in over the year to get to the shape they are in now. The two weeks Christmas holiday will be a binge session for most. Now what most people find is that after Boxing Day has finished everyone is regretting their binge session and looks to dig out the running shoes from the bottom of the cupboard to star their intense detox “ha-ha.” January is always packed in the gyms with half-hearted people who have made their new year’s resolution to “get fit.” It’s great to see them all in there but you know that by the time Valentine’s day has come and gone most have cancelled their membership or stay a member but not come back until the following new year.
Each year they decide this is the year I want to sort my shape/fitness out but they never follow through. It’s neither the lack of discipline nor the lack of time. It’s more to with organisation and structure. The problem most people have is they try the cold turkey approach where they cut out everything that they feel is bad for them and try to live on the “rabbit food” (salad) as a meal three times a day. This will never last and it never does. My suggestion is to start small and just cut out 1 or two things. For example start the year without fizzy drink. Keep all other nutrition habits the same. After week 2 if you have been successful then cut out the sweets/chocolate. By then end of that month (4 weeks) you can move on the next change to your nutrition. You could cut down on or completely remove bread for example. Basically what I’m to say is don’t try and do everything at once as you are more likely to fail. Slow and consistent is more effective plus the weight loss that you may experience will be easier to keep off.
When it comes to gym training or gym classes if you feel you are unfit it would be silly to say that you are starting the new year by going to the gym every day. Again like the food intake – by overloading and making a sudden drastic change you are more likely to fail. What happens is that you over train your muscles and your body can’t cope? Because your body become tired you end up making yourself ill and then taking time off from the gym. By the time you feel well enough to go back you generally can’t be bother.
Try this – start the year with one evening at the gym where you use the weights provided. So try to do a bit of everything. for example 2 exercises for shoulder, 2 for chest, 2 for back, 2 for arms, 2 for legs and then finish with a couple of Abs exercises. What you have managed here is a fully body workout but please remember to keep the weight light as this is all new to your muscles. As the saying goes don’t run before you can walk.
Ok so we have your first day at the gym sorted. This could be a Monday or a Tuesday preferably. As well as this you should also perhaps try a gym class towards the end of the week. You could try a spin class which is great for cardio and fat burning or you could try a total toning or body attack class. if you are not one for classes you could always meet a friend for a game of badminton or squash. Both are great for fitness.
What you are trying to create here is a simple plan per week where you have 1 weight session to stimulate the muscles and 1 cardio session for fitness and endurance. It’s a lot easier to commit to and maintain a 2 session a week program. This along with your gradual nutrition changes you will start to feel a lot better within yourself and you will start to notice the changes on the scales and in the mirror. Once your fitness levels increase you can start to add session’s in. a good number of sessions to aim for would be 4 sessions a week. So it would be 2 muscular and 2 cardio.
The key to success is slow and simple. Over training and crash course diets are a waste of time and effort. Start slow and build up your habits gradually