Don't wait until 2020 rolls around on Wednesday, set your new year's goals now.
Your goal might be to maintain a level of fitness you have achieved in previous years or to make changes to your current lifestyle habits.
Here are some suggestions which could help get you on your way:
Join a gym. Becoming a gym member can add a level of accountability to improving your health and fitness because once you are paying a weekly or monthly fee you more than likely will want to get the most out of your investment. It is also a good starting point if you are not sure where to start. Picking a gym that is right for you can be the hardest part. Fitness Australia (fitnessaustralia.com.au) suggest the following questions when searching for a new gym:
- Are you a Fitness Australia member? Fitness Australia business members and registered trainers are up to date with the latest industry standards and training techniques.
- Could you please take me on a tour? You want to know what you are getting before you commit. What classes do they offer and what facilities do they have. Most will offer a free trial as well, so ask about that.
- Do you carry out a pre-exercise screening with new clients? This is a tool which helps professionals understand your current physical condition and health factors.
- How much does membership cost? Find out all of the fees involved and if there are any cancellation policies.
Start slow. If you do not feel ready to join a gym, you can start by trying to do 15 minutes each day of exercise. This could be to walk around your block a couple of times. Try to build it up over time to 30 minutes each day.
Meal planning. Making nutritional changes to improve your health is a common goal for many when the new year begins. University of Newcastle professor Clare Collins, a nutrition expert, offered some suggestions to Newcastle Herald readers last year which included improving your food planning skills. She said cutting down on the number of times you shop and being well prepared before you do them by writing a list can help.
parkrun. If you have decided you want to become a runner or improve your running in 2020 then parkrun is a great place to start. parkruns are free, five-kilometre events held every Saturday at 8am at various locations around the globe. There you will find support and encouragement and will likely hear stories of people who could not run at all when they first started. You can find a parkrun near you through parkrun.com.au.
Events. Entering an event means you have something to train towards. This can keep motivation high. Coming up in our region in the new year are running events, such as NewRun, triathlons, swimming events like the Across the Harbour Swim and annual Nobbys To Newcastle Ocean Swim, trail runs and adventure races.
Joining forces with others or making family time physical activity time are other ways to get yourself and those around you moving. Try to make it fun so everyone gets enjoyment as well as the health benefits.
Upcoming Fitness Events
New Year's Day parkrun, around the region, January 1: Some parkruns are holding an extra event on New Year's Day. Check parkrun.com.au to find out more.
Nobbys To Newcastle Ocean Swim, January 25: A two-kilometre ocean swim from under Nobbys Lighthouse to Newcastle Beach.
Across the Harbour Swim, Newcastle harbour, January 26: Choose between the 700-metre single crossing or 1.4km double crossing of the harbour.
Sparke Helmore Newcastle City Triathlon, Newcastle Foreshore, February 23: For the novice to the experienced there are three courses of varying distances to choose from.
Summer Sessions Week #5
The Christmas to new year period is the maintenance period.
Keep moving to balance out your holiday habits. Add a warm-up and cool-down. The workout part of this session should take around 30 minutes.
Part 1: 10 minutes cardio. This could be running, cycling, rowing or a mixture of all three if you are at the gym. It could be swimming at the baths or pool and could also be intervals or fartlek, such as walk 20 seconds, jog 20 seconds, run hard/sprint 20sec.
Part 2: 3-5 x [10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 box jumps/step ups, 10 pull-ups/rows, 10 burpees/lunges, run 200 metres, rest 30-60 seconds]
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Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer and mother of three.