Whether you’re just getting started in the gym or a bona-fide professional, why not resolve to make 2018 a banner year for fitness. Become more active, join a gym, find a sport or recreational activity that is challenging and fun. You’ll end up looking and feeling better, your self-esteem will soar, and you’ll save a boat load of money on health-care expenses! Here are my suggestions for the best fitness resolutions for the New Year.
1) Pay closer attention to your nutrition. Never skip breakfast, it fuels every activity you do. Eat several smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, say every 2 to 3 hours. Maintain with each meal a 3-2-1 ratio of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. Don’t be afraid of carbohydrates. They are your friends because they fuel every workout and they are needed in order for protein to be utilized by the body.
2) If you need to lose weight, check with your doctor first. Avoid trendy weight loss supplements and radical crash diets. These are a particularly risky prospect if you are already taking meds, and especially if you have high blood pressure. Combine healthy eating habits with cardiovascular activity (aerobic) and weight training (anaerobic). When dieting it is not wise to lose more than 2 pounds per week, otherwise you may risk losing healthy muscle as well as fat. Never starve yourself, this will only lead to the body storing more fat, losing muscle, and ultimately your weight loss program will fail.
3) “Periodize” your training. This approach, first implemented by Joe Weider years ago for body-builders, is a simple way to break up your training into cycles. See the year ahead as a great big macro-cycle. Set goals and objectives. Write them down. Then break down the macro-cycle into meso-cycles, of say, three four month periods of time. Set goals for each of these and decide how you want to achieve each of them through your training and nutrition. For example, you may want to lose fat and trim down during the first 4 months of the year. Then you may want to build 5 pounds of muscle, put an inch on your chest and pump up arms for the summer months. Finally, you may want to focus upon building cardiovascular strength and endurance during the cooler months.
4) Be consistent with your training. Schedule your workouts, runs, tennis, swimming, or whatever, into your daily activities and stick to your regime. Bored with the gym where you train? Join another one, just make sure it’s close to where you live and/or work. Need a new workout program? Hire a personal trainer for a session or two and hit him/her up for advice.
There are literally limitless possibilities ahead for you in 2018. Here’s to a happy, healthy and wonderfully energetic New Year!