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How to Make (and keep!) an Exercise Resolution

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  • Tip Bones

I've talked about resolutions before, but the number one question I hear again and again is about keeping goals for exercise. It seems that burnout after a few weeks of January is super common, so let's look at a few ways to help you stick to your fitness resolution in 2020.

1. Make a Goal

It's easy to get bogged down in the "I'll work out 5 times a week" rut. But that shouldn't really be the ultimate goal. It's cool when you consistently show up to the gym to work out, and that's a great way to show how you're taking steps toward your goal. But what IS your goal? Maybe it's weight loss, muscle building, or heart health. Maybe you're training for a marathon, or trying to get your cholesterol down. Pick a health and fitness goal that suits you, and remember to make it specific!

2. Know Your Limits

Not everyone can do everything at the gym. Fitness newbies may find it hard to do a lot at the beginning of their journey, and those with physical limitations may need different exercises. It's ok to not run 5 miles your first week, or lift 100 lbs, if you're not able to do it. If there's an exercise goal you'd like to achieve, like training for a deadlift competition or a marathon, you'll need to pace yourself as you gain strength and endurance. Keeping a log in which you write what you were able to do in your workout and how difficult it was will aid you in your pacing. Of course, you should also chat with your doctor about any concerns you might have, especially if you have any conditions that could be affected by a hard workout.

3. Put Less Pressure on Yourself

One way to guaranteed burnout is expecting perfection. There might be days that work or other obligations get in the way, or you aren't feeling well enough for your regularly scheduled gym session. That's okay! As long as you're making progress, you're fulfilling your obligation to yourself.

That said, it doesn't hurt to give yourself some ground rules. Schedule gym time when you're least likely to be interrupted, if possible. Eat well and sleep enough to stay healthy, and limit contact with sick people. Schedule rest days in your routine to help you recover, and vary your exercises from time to time to break up the monotony.

Happy New Year... you've got this!

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