After allowing yourself to indulge over the holidays, getting back on track with your fitness routine is always a top priority come January. But it’s easier said than done, so Starts at 60 spoke to Olympic athlete Eloise Wellings to find out her top tips.
Whether you need to lose just a few kilos or simply want to live a healthier lifestyle, you may have a better chance at long-term success if you follow these five simple tips to achieve your New Year’s fitness goals.
The most common New Year’s resolutions have to do with getting in shape, but according to Wellings, the majority of us revert to our old ways come February.
So, what’s the secret to sticking to your New Year’s fitness goals? Making exercise a normal part of your everyday life, she reckons.
“Whether it’s going for a walk first thing in the morning or finding a fitness buddy, exercise should be as much a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth,” Wellings says.
You’re more likely to be consistent and stick with something if you love what you do. Don’t know where to start? Wellings recommends trying out different activities, like brisk walking, bike riding, swimming, or even dancing.
“Remember, what suits others doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you,” she adds.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. If you’re just beginning to exercise, start by doing short bursts of exercise and gradually build up to the recommended amount. Remember, getting a little bit of physical activity is better than none.
“Research shows that short bursts of exercise are just as beneficial to your body as longer, more traditional workouts,” Wellings explains.
On top of regular exercise, eating a well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and getting at least eight hours sleep each night is super important, or else all your efforts will go to waste. A recent study published in The BMJ, found living a heathy lifestyle can help prevent chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and promote longevity.
Wellings reckons incorporating supplements into your daily diet is also a good idea.
“Studies have shown that supplementing your health regime with ubiquinol — the active form of Coenzyme Q10 — may help reduce the effects of stress and physical overexertion, inflammation caused by exercise and help muscles recover after exercise,” she explains.
You can also get ubiquinol through foods like broccoli, citrus fruits, nuts (such as pistachios, peanuts and sesame seeds), tuna, salmon, trout, pork, chicken and avocado.
Don’t forget to reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve done!
“Why not pay yourself $1 for every day you exercise?” Wellings suggests. “You could then use your reward money for a spa day or a restorative massage. You’ll return to exercise the next day with a renewed sense of purpose.”
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.