It’s January and the new year has begun. Gyms everywhere are flooded with individuals devoted to their New Year’s fitness resolution. According to a U.S. News report, by early to mid-February the flood will recede with over 80% of folks falling off the path to success. Check out these tips for best ways to stay among the motivated 20% come February:
Let the Games Begin
Depending on the source, there are reports citing 250,000 to 320,000+ health and fitness apps at consumer’s fingertips today. Regardless of the exact number, that is more than enough choices to find a best-fit application. Gamification, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (such as a task) so as to encourage participation.”
The majority of health and fitness apps available stir up motivation through gamification by creating competitive activities and contests. Apps vary from automated and tracking from a mobile phone or wearable, such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch, to manual entry. Include an app in your fitness regimen to keep you trudging along the treadmill on less motivated days.
Need more accountability than a buzz on the wrist and a virtual competition? Try in-person, live gamification. In-person gamification can come in many forms. For example:
- Try an Orangetheory® fitness center: Orangetheory® provides personal training in a group setting, targeting optimal heart rate variation and cross-training. Coaches personalize exercise based on the individual’s fitness level and any aches, pains, or injury limitations, if present.
- Find a local adult recreational sports league (e.g., the YMCA)
- Join a Running Club
- Start a ‘Biggest Loser’ Weight Loss Challenge with a group of friends or co-workers
- Commit to a RallyFit 46 Challenge: The Rally Foundation is a nonprofit that empowers volunteers across the nation to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research. You can start a personal RallyFit 46 Challenge and commit 46 days of fitness for the 46 children who are diagnosed with cancer each school day. Check in daily on your road to 46 to update those who have donated. Talk about motivating! The FitRally website shares challenge ideas, such as 46-miles in 46 days and 4,600 steps per day for 46 days. What a great way to get fit, give back, and feel good!
- Buy a series pass to a yoga studio
Check-in with Reality
Be realistic planning out fitness goals and milestones. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting the bar too high! Focus on 1 to 2 goals maximum at a time. Set attainable measures and include a few immediate rewards for instant gratification along the way to your big goal to maintain motivation.
If you know your schedule will not allow a trip to the gym, don’t flush your money down the drain. There are other ways to get fit. Instead of sitting in your car or watching basketball or soccer practice, walk the perimeter of the park, field, or gym. Make an at-home fitness plan with expert-led videos and circuit training recommendations, or climb the stairs at work.
Big Picture Planning
Are you pursuing a fitness resolution to enhance your health and wellness? Fitness is just a small facet in optimizing your well-being. If overall healthy living is your goal, don’t forget to integrate nutrition into your daily lift.
Nutrition is a vital component for a full health and wellness regimen. A study published in 2014 demonstrated that while sales of healthy foods increased by almost 30% post-holiday, sales of not-so-healthy food remained elevated during weeks following the new year when compared to the holiday spike.1
The old adage “you are what you eat” has merit. Food is medicine that can nourish, heal, and revitalize our bodies. Likewise, filling up the tank with bad fuel can lead to a decrease in overall well-being, weakened immunity, and raise risk for chronic conditions and complications. Choose the right fuel to aid your fitness routine.
Consulting a health professional specializing in nutrition is a great way to make sure you are meeting nutritional demands and maintaining caloric balance to meet your goals. Nutrition experts also provide personalized snack and meal recommendation to keep meals tasty while not compromising your goals. Consider establishing a nutrition consultation from the comfort of your own home as a milestone on the pathway to your long-term fitness goal.
OptUP is a great tool in making small dietary changes to make your engine run better. Reading through a nutrition label often requires you to balance high sodium vs. high fiber, low sugar vs. high calories, and all the subtleties in between. OptUP is Kroger’s proprietary Nutrition Rating system, assigning easy to understand, 1-100 ratings to foods you eat and purchase every day, alongside product recommendations, to help you trade up to healthier items over time. The OptUP app is available for free download through Apple App Store and Google Play.
1Pope L, Hanks AS, Just DR, Wansink B. New Year's res-illusions: food shopping in the new year competes with healthy intentions. PLoS One. 2014;9(12):e110561. Published 2014 Dec 16. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110561
Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.