Every year we say we make the resolution to go to the gym, eat healthy and not eat that entire pizza we’ve been craving . . . with the ice cream for dessert.
But let’s be honest, how many of us stick to this resolution after the first couple of weeks?
Just because you weren’t able to stick to it in the past doesn’t mean this isn’t the year you finally fit into those jeans you stored in the corner of your closet, hoping to one day fit into them again.
But what are some of the ways to ensure it sticks this year?
Here are a few things to remember:
1. You need to have the right mentality going into it: if you don’t want to change, you’re going to come up with excuses to not go to the gym. Simple as that.
2. It’s a wake-up call: Sitting in bed, listening to the alarm go off but don’t want to get up? Just think of how great you’ll feel post-exercise. Plus, it’s been proven exercising in the morning jump-starts your metabolism, which keeps you burning calories all day long – and will help keep you away from junk food that will negate your workout. Not to mention it helps wake you up; who needs a coffee when you can jump on the elliptical for 20 minutes?
3. A healthier you: It’s not about becoming a size 0, but being healthy. That means a healthy diet – no, not the evil four letter word where you eat nothing but vegetables, but you also have protein, fruit, vegetables, carbs etc. There’s no point in exercising if you’re going to eat nothing but junk food.
4. Know you don’t have to go to the gym: Exercise doesn’t mean spending hours at a time at the gym. Going for a walk or run for 20 minutes three times a week is a great start. Mix that with your healthy diet and you’re on the right path. Not into walking or running? Sex is a great cardio workout too. Just sayin’.
5. Will help you study: When you exercise your brain gets more energy and oxygen, and exercise has been proven to actually boost your memory. You can use it as a way to procrastinate your studying, but it will also help you in the end.
6. Take away your stress: Remember that big test you’re worried about? Endorphins released when exercising and getting your mind off what is stressing you out are two great motivators.
7. You’ll be more confident: What better reason?
How to help make it happen:
1. Two words: workout playlist: “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith just won’t cut it when you’re lifting half your body weight over your head or on the 20th lap around the track, so you need to find the perfect playlist to help keep you going. Need some help? Look to 8tracks.com, Jango.com, Soundcloud.com or a friend with great taste in music.
2. Daily reminders: The beauty of the reminder app on your smartphone is that you can set a daily reminder to go to the gym, eat healthy, or just a motivational quote to keep you going. Take a few minutes, set up your reminders for the next few weeks, and let the motivation begin. Or maybe you’re a little more old school: put Post-its up around your room and in your notebooks. You can do it with fun colours!
3. Have a partner in crime: What better way to be motivated than have someone right next to you pushing you to do better? Bring your boyfriend, girlfriend or best friend and set a plan you both have to carry out.
4. Set a plan: There are a ton of people who have no idea what they’re doing when they go to the gym for the first time – and to be honest, it can be quite intimidating. But if you go in with a plan it will help take away some of that stress and will help get the ultimate results you are working toward. Plan what you are going to do on which days, and plan what you are going to do on said days. Nothing is sexier than someone with a plan . . . okay, that’s not entirely true, but it doesn’t hurt.
5. Have fun: What’s the point of doing it if you’re not enjoying it? There isn’t one. So don’t see a workout, but find a way to do it to make it enjoyable.
Don’t forget, campus has a great nutritionist on hand for all us students who can help with your meal and exercise plan. Utilize them! They’re a valuable resource.
Happy workouts, everyone. May the gym be ever in your favour.