As the calendar turned over to 2013 two weeks ago, people all around the world likely had intentions to hit the gym, watch what they eat, and get into a healthier daily routine.
While these yearly resolutions are great in theory, the reality is that the majority of folks who pack into gyms on January 2 vowing to shed some excess pounds or get those six-pack abs will have abandoned it by the end of the month.
If you’re one of those folks who have set goals to get healthier in 2013, and are already feeling the urge to throw in the towel, the Manitoban—with the help of some Bison athletes—have some tips to help keep you motivated and on track to meet your goals.
Reassess your goals if they feel too daunting
In my experience, when people set New Year’s resolutions they tend to set lofty, long-term goals that look good on paper, but are intimidating once you actually start working towards them.
For Bison basketball forward Caleb Noel, using Laker legend Kobe Bryant as his motivation to push harder in practice and when training is beneficial. Unfortunately for those of us who aren’t seasoned athletes, staying motivated might require setting realistic goals and ideals.
Sometimes it can be helpful to break up your overall goal into smaller challenges that are not necessarily easier to obtain, but provide you with better feedback on a shorter term. It’s the difference between working towards running a half marathon and working your way up from 5-km to 10-km to your overall goal. Setting secondary goals could be your key to staying motivated.
Know what you’re putting into your body
When there are fatty, salty temptations seemingly everywhere these days, eating a balanced diet and avoiding unhealthy options can feel next to impossible.
But, as Bison basketball guard Stephanie Gill says, knowing exactly what’s in the food you eat can help you make the right decision – especially when junk food is tempting you.
If you’ve got a smartphone, there are dozens of apps available that break down the calories, sugar, and salt contents of food, and can help you keep a balanced record of what you’re consuming on a daily basis. Knowledge is half the battle.
Technology is your friend
On the subject of smartphone apps, if your workout playlist just isn’t motivating you like it used to, it might be worth looking at some fitness apps that are out there. If you’re looking to start running more, there are a handful of apps that I’ve tested—available in both the iTunes and Google Play app stores—that can turn your workout into something you actually look forward to.
If you’re a rookie runner looking to improve your stamina, an app like “Couch-to-5K” ($1.99) could be the perfect tool to get you on the treadmills or out on the running paths. If you’re looking for a more interactive experience, there’s the ingenious “Zombies, Run!” series of apps (available for most types of smartphone).
What sets “Zombies” apart from other running apps is the inclusion of a dynamic story that unfolds as you run. While running with headphones in, occasionally your music will cut out as an audio vignette tells you your next objective or alerts you of zombies in your area. The sound of lurching zombies means you need to pick up your pace or you’re dead meat.
You might also find the variety of fitness-related subreddits on www.reddit.com to be helpful. From fitness to dietary plans, a quick search will uncover dozens of active communities filled with valuable information and motivating content that should help you stay on track with your goals.