Every year at this time we make new years resolutions with regard to every imaginable improvement to ourselves and our lifestyles, we resolve to drink and smoke less, improve our minds, get that new job or start that new business, spend less time at work and more time with our families and perhaps the most popular resolution- start exercising and getting into the kind of shape that people notice and makes you feel good about yourself, not to mention delaying future health problems and old age!
January is the time when the gym is flooded with what we regular trainers call the “wannabees”, the new years resolutionists.
They join the gym in their hundreds and the equipment becomes unusable as they attempt to find their way around and figure out how everything works, they arrive in their newly purchased, fashionable workout gear and squeaky clean trainers with little ides about where to start or what to do. Worse of all, they arrive armed with the latest copy of their favourite men's or women's magazine which contains yet another ludicrous workout that serves little purpose other than to fill the pages (they have to come up with a different training article for every issue don’t they?)
Thankfully all is not lost, and by mid February most have returned to the comfort of their couches with a different kind of six-pack and a pizza and we get our gyms back to “normal” and continue with our daily battle in the war against flab.
Most people who join a gym or start a workout program will not last the first three weeks- even the most enthusiastic- which is how the gyms make their money without having to expand their facilities. You pay for 6 months up front, disappear after 3 weeks and become their "perfect member". Failure? They couldn't even last one month on an exercise programme. Just 3 hours a week to spare at the most!
At some stage or another we all fall into a rut and let ourselves go and come up with all sorts of excuses as to why we don’t look after our bodies like “I’m too tired after working full time” (you wouldn’t be so tired if you were in better shape) or ”I don’t have anyone to take care of the kids” (most gyms have child care facilities and besides, you’ll be instilling a good habit in your children leading by example) and the the worst of all “I’m happy the way I am” (Yeah right, I'm sure you looked amazing in the changing room mirror shoehorning yourself into a size 16).
The truth of the matter is, the longer you leave it the tougher it gets to change it!
Forget New Year resolutions, just start, but remember as with most things in life, start sensibly and think long term. You don't need to go on a starvation diet and exercise twice a day. Get a feel for the exercises and get into a routine. Don't be too hard on yourself- like I said consistency over time is what gets results and that can't be achieved with silly fad diets and workouts.
There is no magic bullet but investing in your health, appearance and hence improving your self-esteem is the best present you can give to yourself and your loved ones.