Data indicates that losing weight or getting in shape is the second most popular New Year’s resolution, following closely behind saving money. While you may have good intentions, it can be hard to follow through on a health-related goal throughout the entire year. Between demanding work and family life, social engagements, vacation, and stress, eating right and hitting the gym may not always be top of mind.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Arm yourself with some proven advice and aim to do your best most of the time and you’re likely to see the results you’re seeking.
Trust Scientific Evidence
Economists and psychologists conducted copious research to tap into the reasons why it’s so difficult to motivate yourself to get fit, to include what you can do to change your mindset.
Adopt the buddy system
There’s more to the buddy system than just partnering up with a friend for a run. Research shows that even receiving a motivating phone call from a friend every two weeks can increase your exercise level by up to an impressive 78 percent. Other benefits from the buddy system include: healthy competition, a more enjoyable experience, humbleness (watch that ego), and improved form and safety because you can look out for one another.
Consider workouts like therapy
If you’re going through a tough time like recovering from an addiction, exercise that promotes mental wellness like hiking in nature or taking yoga can be beneficial to your healing process. Yoga teaches you to focus only on the present moment; being able to let go of your worries and struggles with recovery, even briefly, can be the best medicine for you.
Sign Up For A Charitable Fitness Activity
Signing up for a charitable fitness event such as a marathon or walk works twofold. Not only do you have to stick to a training program for the big day, but because doing something for a good cause, you’re less likely to bail. If you really want to stay on top of your game, organize a race with your local school, church, or social organization for the charity of your choice.
Give yourself a "cheat" meal day
It’s unrealistic to think you’re going to be on point all the time — but studies show it’s better if you’re not. By giving yourself one cheat meal day a week, you can boost your metabolism due to an increase in leptin production. The ideal cheat day is high-protein, high-carb, low-fat, and alcohol-free — booze actually decreases leptin production. Note that for most of us, it’s only psychologically possible to stick to a diet 80 percent of the time.
You may find that a combination of tactics versus one approach is more effective for the long term. If you get off track, take time to reevaluate your routine. It may be helpful at this point to mix things up — not only to avoid discouragement, but also to challenge your body in a new way that may prove to be more effective.
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