Setting realistic goals for keeping fit

Setting realistic goals for keeping fit

SA consumers embrace strength and functional training 2014 fitness trend 10 February 2014: With 2014 already in full swing, many individuals have committed to 2 New Year’s fitness resolutions, vowing to regularly visit the gym to beat the festive season bulge and essentially live a healthier lifestyle going forward.

According to the International Health, Racquet, and Sports Club Association, in January, gym memberships increase by 12% – in comparison to the 8% recorded throughout the year. According to Cipla Nutrition Ambassador and CrossFit trainer Alan Foulis, this decrease is a result of the many that lose the motivation to stick to their fitness goals all year round.

Foulis explains that people generally struggle to stick to their resolution because they set unrealistic goals that are often difficult to manage, resulting in the loss of motivation, giving up and effectively seeing their resolutions through.

“Individuals tend to want to achieve too much in a short space of time. They burn themselves out and end up giving up three weeks down the line because their bodies are exhausted, or in shock. They should rather set smaller, more achievable goals that will result in encouragement instead of frustration. For example, instead of trying to run 10km every day, start with 2.5km three times a week. This strategy will spur you on to achieve more results,” says Foulis.

He also suggests that following health trends in 2014 may mean the difference between quitting your health programme and achieving results. He says that the biggest trends this year in South Africa will be functional and strength training.

“There are more ways than ever before for people to have fun and simultaneously reach their fitness goals. Functional training, which includes exercise that imitates everyday movements like lifting a heavy box, jumping, rolling and walking up and down the stairs is gaining momentum, as people are getting bored with conventional training methods.

Similarly, strength training is also going to be a popular exercise trend this year due to the nature of the exercises and the variety that these routines offer.” Foulis predicts that outdoor training will also be very popular in 2014. . He suggests joining an outdoor boot camp or exercising at an outdoor gym in order to participate in this growing trend.

“Most cite boredom as a reason for giving up on training schedules. Using the treadmill or dumbbells every day, for example, can be uninspiring. Vary your exercises as much as possible and try learning a new exercise routine every week – exercising outdoors will help with this. Sticking to one type of exercise is not only boring but will hinder one’s progress because the body gets used to the exercise and may fail to show results.

“Maintaining a fitness regime takes discipline and determination, but it is achievable. Try making fitness activities part of your everyday routine so that it makes it easier for you to continue with the exercises throughout the year.”

He suggests joining a gym close to home or en-route to work, which does not require extremely early mornings or lengthy travelling distances.

“Good quality supplements are also important to consider because they improve performance and are good substitutes for any nutrients that might be missing in your everyday diet. A product such as Whey Protein assists with energy and is a good meal replacement for people on the go. Whey protein helps with weight management, immune support, bone health and general wellness.”

Foulis concludes that the most important part of fitness training and goal setting is having fun. “The only way to reach your goals and not join the thousands of individuals who break their New Year’s resolutions is if you enjoy an exercise regime and it doesn’t feel like work, but becomes part of your lifestyle.”Alan Foulis’ top tips to ensure you reach your fitness goals in 2014:

* Set small realistic and achievable goals that are easy to maintain;
* Fit your fitness schedule into your every day routine so that it doesn’t feel like work;
* Find a gym partner who will make you more accountable to the routine;
* Tell friends and family about your fitness goals and small achievements to keep motivated;
* Keep your exercise routine exciting by varying your workout schedule and learn a new routine very week;
* Take advantage of the summer weather and exercise outdoors or join an outdoor sports club;
* Have Fun!

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