kicking off new year

The gyms are packed with people breaking a sweat. You see more people running in the streets. Your buddies can’t stop talking about the new training trend everyone should try. Yup – it’s the New Year’s resolutions in action. No surprise there, as it seems one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight and get healthier. More than a third of people making New Year’s resolutions refer to losing weight, exercising more or living healthier.

Although a lot of people seem very enthusiastic at the beginning of the year, the fact is that most of them fail to reach their goal and quit early. Some research states that only 8% of all New Years’ resolutions are achieved. (Forbes, 2013)

These are just several reasons why your New Year’s Resolution can end quicker than you have expected:

Breaking the barriers

You are determined to start the New Year healthier, but come week one things are looking harder as they seemed before. During these crazy, busy days, it is hard to find time to eat healthier, never mind talking about exercising or going to the gym. Commitment to our families, our friends, studies or work takes the better part of the day. Nobody said it was easy – there will be plenty of barriers along the way.

  • Lacking time? Try getting up earlier or having a 15 minute walk during your lunch break.

  • Gyms are expensive – you can find a lot of free exercise to do at home. Nobody charges for walking or running outside.

  • Family commitments – ask for their help in achieving your goals. A walk with friends or family sound much better, doesn't it?

  • Feeling lazy – are you actually a lazy person or has your attitude towards exercise and working out just changed?

 

Mind-set

You feel great physically, however the whole process is bringing you down. Try to think if you have committed yourself mentally and emotionally as well? A healthy mind-set is incremental when it comes to changing your behaviour! It might be hard to start with, but by motivating yourself and others, your mind-set will start to change for the better.

Inspiration will come if you truly believe in what you are doing – don’t doubt it! Lack of confidence is normal at the beginning as the whole experience could be scary. Push through and your confidence will increase with results.

Remember, you will only fail if you will let yourself fail. A healthy and hungry mind-set will keep you on track to reach your results.

Unrealistic Expectations

Our expectations can get the better of us some times. Especially when it comes to dropping bad habits, living healthier and trying to shed a couple of pounds. You have to pace yourself as this is not a sprint, but a marathon instead.

Healthy goal setting and reasonable expectations will only fuel your body and your mind to keep striving for more. Start small with a clear outline of what you want to achieve in the upcoming week or month. Keep the motivation going – even if you've managed 1 more rep, it is still an improvement from yesterday.

No Rest

So you are working hard in the gym every day, eating and living healthily but the results are not coming? Your body needs some well-deserved rest, as during the deep sleep phase it refuels, recovers and helps you feel refreshed the next morning.By running yourself into the ground without resting your body you are at risk of harming your health and becoming more prone to infections and viruses as your immune system weakens.

More so, not enough rest can lead to contact pain and injury.

Muscle Pain

Haven’t been to the gym or for a jog in a couple of months, but the eagerness within made you overdo it the first time back? Well say hello to your long lost friend – muscle pain. Usually post workout pain is attributed to delayed onset muscle soreness, otherwise known as DOMS. Although previously thought that the main cause of DOMS was the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles, now it is believed that the soreness occurs due to muscle tissue micro tearing.

Sadly, there are no scientifically proven ways to cure/treat the muscle soreness but it is commonly suggested to:

  • Stretch the muscles to relieve some of the pain and discomfort

  • Gentle massage can reduce muscle tightness and increase blood flow, which is incremental to a faster recovery.

  • Good nutrition can decrease the pain and improve your recovery process. Some researchers believe that ingesting a daily tablespoon of ginger and cinnamon can help fight the inflammation and speed up the recovery. Healthy fats are known to play a part in speeding up body recovery after a workout - try grabbing a handful of nuts or some tasty fish once in a while.

  • Stay hydrated, drink loads of water to help your body cope with the muscle soreness.

  • A warm soak can also relax the tension in the muscles and increase the blood circulation.

 

If the pain levels do not decrease in the upcoming days and it is hard to bear with it, seek help by speaking to your GP. If you do not take care of your body – you risk injuring yourself.

Injuries

Eagerness to get going and pushing yourself with intense workouts is a great start, however you have to remember not to overdo it.

Starting your New Year with a bang can be a good motivator, just remember that your body is not a machine and pushing it over the limit on a daily basis will have its consequences. Play it safe and take a day off once in a while, you will appreciate it in the long run.

If you are experiencing any discomfort or pain, take it easy. Don’t push yourself to battle through the pain as this often leads to serious injury.

Spend at least 5 minutes warming up before working out and don’t forget to give yourself some time to cool down and stretch after one.