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Raise your hand if you kicked off the year by committing to get in shape or lose weight… Now, keep it up if you’re still sticking with it. Statistics show that more than half of those who make New Year’s resolutions have abandoned them by June, but here are a few tips and tricks from fitness and nutrition pros to help you keep your healthy momentum going.
Make the commitment to yourself.
“Self-care” is trending for 2018—and this includes fitness. In addition to the calorie-burning and muscle-strengthening, you get from regular exercise, the post-workout release of endorphins benefits your mood as well. If finding time to get to the gym is a challenge, Seattle-based Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, MS, RDN, CSO and Arivale coach, Ginger Hultin, has a suggestion: “Schedule fitness such as gym time, classes or even walks on your calendar like you would any other meeting or event.”
Try the buddy system.
A workout partner can help you get to the gym—and help you work harder once you’re there. According to Hultin, “Studies show that choosing a workout partner who you perceive to be a better performer than you could increase your workout time and intensity by as much as 200 percent.”
Start and end your workout right.
Don’t underestimate the importance of warming up, cooling down and stretching. “Dynamic movements, also called movement preparation, increase circulation, elevate muscle temperature, kick your energy sources into high gear and prepare the body for physical activity,” explains Hultin. “Cool-down movements help bring elevated heart rate and muscle expenditure back to normal, and stretching helps reduce risk of injury and keep you in optimal alignment.”
Monitor your activity.
Extra motivation can be as close as your wrist, and a fitness tracker like an Apple Watch or FitBit can help you set and achieve your goals. “Today’s trackers not only count your steps, monitor your heart and measure your quality of sleep, but they also remind you to move when you’ve been inactive. They also come in sleek, fashionable designs so you can wear them beyond the gym and into a night out, in case you want to count how many steps were completed dancing to “Despacito” with your girlfriends,” says Janet Jones, creator of Vixen Workout.
Give group classes a try.
Boredom is one of the top reasons women and men abandon their fitness routines, but group classes are a great way to keep things interesting. There are so many types to try you’re bound to find one you love, and you’re less likely to be intimidated when trying something new. Jones explains, “Even if you show up to a class not knowing anyone, chances are that someone will show you the ropes and encourage you along the way. Plus, you have the energy of the others