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5 Things To Know About Working Out in January

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#1:  No Crowds

For South Whidbey residents, the national phenomena of the crowded gym in January doesn’t really happen on South Whidbey Island. I’ve been watching this for over five years now and we get a statistical blip at the most.

And, it is usually not the first week of January, but the second or the third.

And this can be a good thing, because gym owners and fitness professionals across the nation know that the great majority of people who are lining up for treadmills the first week of January are done with the gym by March.

So, don’t let the myth of lines at the cardio machines, or overpacked exercise classes, keep you out of the South Whidbey gyms or studios.

There is room for you there, and this is a great season to keep your workouts or movement practices up.

#2: A Five Month Commitment is Key

People who really change their shape, body composition, posture, strength, heart health, joint pain, etc., are the people who initiated changes starting in January, and are still maintaining their healthy habits five months later. If you can make it to the five month mark, you create lifestyle habits that you’re still following five years later.

#3: Incremental Changes are Realistically Achievable

If you made a Beast Mode sized New Year’s resolution to lose weight or get fit overnight, you’ve set yourself up to fail!

One significant change at a time hugely increases your chance of making any change it all.

I knew a guy who dropped the bagel out of his morning routine. That’s it. He didn’t change anything else. Six months later, he was down 20 pounds.

This is a great example of doing something manageable, sticking to it, and patiently reaping the rewards.

After you have made a change and have stayed with it 80% of the time or better for 3 or more weeks, then add another change. This is NOT a sprint, my friends! Steady determination beats the head on attack every time!

#4: Your WHY is a Powerful Motivator

Go deep into WHY you want to make changes in your health and movement practice.

Especially for the 50+ crowd, the following are very powerful “why?” motivators:

  • I want to live to see my grandchildren grow up
  • I don’t want to be a bedridden burden on my spouse, my children
  • I want to garden, pain free
  • I want to lift a bag of groceries without throwing my back out

Then, imagine how you will FEEL and what will be better as you achieve your incremental desired outcomes.

Create a list of desired fitness outcomes. Write ’em down, post ’em on your refrigerator or desk as reminders. Excellent examples include:

  • Drop 15 lbs
  • Shed 50 cholesterol points
  • Drop a waist size
  • Take 30 seconds off your mile (walk or jog)
  • Be free from back or joint pain
  • Feel firm and supple, instead of squishy and achey

Set the goal about around the feeling that you are after, and you’ll see how great it feels when you get there.

#5: Team Up!

If you can, find a friend who will join you in your eating changes or movement practice or workout routine. Commit together to stay on it through May, or beyond.

Or, join a class or a workout group or running group. Joining groups can be as effective if you can’t find a willing accomplice.

Final Thoughts!

Don’t be a New Year’s resolution flunkie! This is your opportunity to get excited and plan a better fitness year than last.

Especially if you are 50-ish or older, you are wise enough now to know that you can really settle into slow, consistent change.

If you come down a belt notch every three months for the next year, you are succeeding royally, and setting yourself up for some healthier, happier decades ahead!!!

Here’s to your strong and vibrant 2016!

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