Seven Things To Ponder Before Starting Your New Year Exercise Regime

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Micheal Dillon, of Kinetic Health And Fitness Gym in Monavalley, gives some advice on what to do before you jump into a fitness plan for the new year…

1. Plan Out Your Goals

The biggest mistake that most people make when they start training is exercising for the sake of it.

It is extremely important that you make SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time based. You must decide is it weight loss, muscle gain or fitness that you want.

We will take weight loss for example. It must be measurable, put a number on it.

“I want to lose 10lbs or drop 2 dress sizes”.

Now, add a date, are you going to achieve this in 6, 8 or 12 weeks? Is it really attainable and realistic? If not, do you may need longer to achieve it? Make sure you write this down and put it somewhere you will see it every day. This will keep you motivated and focused.

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2. Nutrition Is Key

No matter what your goal is, nutrition is vital. In relation to weight loss, nutrition would hold roughly 75% importance, whereas, exercise would only be 25%. You cannot out train a bad diet. The most common reason for people not achieving their goals is not improving nutritional intake. Do not fall for all the, well marketed, crash diets as they do not work. You may get some short term result’s but long term, you will rebound. Eat real food, which grows from the ground or was once alive.

3. Food Prep

Nobody wants to spend hours cooking, so cook for 3 days at once.

If you set aside one hour on a Monday and Wednesday to cook your lunches for the next 3 days, you will be much more likely to stay on track.

Keep your meals as simple as you can, but this does not mean bland. Flavour your food with herbs and spices.

If you do not know what your next meal is, then the risk of you falling off track is huge. Try to remove processed foods, sugary foods, soft drinks, alcohol and take aways.

4. Pick Your Gym Wisely

Do not join the first gym you see.

Honestly, you do not need a gym to loss weight, body weight exercises at home can work well, but a gym will help your achieve your goals faster.

When picking a gym, make sure its somewhere you can definitely attend, at a minimum, three days per week.

Go visit the gym, look around, meet the trainers, ask them if they can help you achieve your goals and see if it is somewhere that you will feel comfortable.

If your don’t feel comfortable then realistically, its not sustainable.

5. Plan Out Your Week

Get a diary so you can plan out your week in advance. Start by writing down your work schedule and another meets or events you must attend.

Now you can clearly see your free time so slot in all your workouts for the week. Be precise with times so you know exactly when you are starting and finishing.

Be as organised as you possibly can. Fail to prepare, Prepare to fail.

6. Resistance Training

Whether you are training in a gym or at home, make sure you do some form of resistance training.

This can be with weights or body weight, exercises like: squats, push ups, lunges, etc. This will help boost your metabolism and in turn help you burn more body fat.

Try not to stick to walking and jogging, they are good but resistance training would be a brilliant addition to your training plan.

7. Not Enough Time?

There is 168 hours in every week, on average you work 40 hours, sleep 56 hours (8 hours a night) that’s a total of 96 hours.

What are you doing with the other 72 hours a week? Not having time to food prep and exercise is not an excuse.

• Micheál Dillon is a qualified personal training and owner of Kinetic Health and Fitness in Monavalley, Tralee. Click here for find out more

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