Below is a short list of strength and fitness hacks to help you not only increase your fitness levels, but also to help build fitness-related habits for this upcoming year.
- Measure and Record. This could be as simple as maintaining a notebook with your daily weight, or as complicated as a function-filled excel spreadsheet. Regardless, recording your successes (and even failures) helps you maintain your progress for the long-term. Avoiding measuring because your weight goes up, or your lifts goes down should not be an acceptable practice. This is needed to maintain motivation, and show you where your biggest opportunities lie. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Incorporate fitness periodically throughout your day – Not a gym rat? No problem. One of the tricks that I use is incorporating fitness into sedentary portions of my day. For example, promise yourself to complete 10-20 push-ups or sit-ups at every commercial break. Are you a gamer? Punish every loss or kill with a given number of body squats. The same can be done when watching sporting events. As a touchdown celebration, or a touchdown allowed “penalty” incorporate a certain fitness activity for your given sports-related trigger.
- Compete – This one may not be for everyone, but I have found my biggest motivator is always competition. If this is the same for you, find someone that is of similar fitness levels and has similar goals, and create fitness milestones which to race towards. If competition isn’t your motivator, try instead to partner with someone simply to keep you accountable to your goals.
- Join a league or start a physical hobby – A lot of people simply hate the idea for working out for working-out-sake. However, this excuse sometimes keeps them from doing anything physical at all. If this sounds like you, consider joining an adult sports team or finding a physically active hobby. Personally I use Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as my non-gym fitness outlet, but my friends enjoy basketball leagues, yoga, running clubs, etc. If you’re stumped for ideas…simply go to Groupon and look at their seemingly infinite number of discounted fitness group activities.
- Focus on one thing at a time – Trying to take on a new diet and a new fitness routine at the same time can be extremely overwhelming. I recommend focusing on only one when you first start crafting and undertaking your fitness goals. In all honesty, I would focus on diet over fitness when first starting. A poor diet will make even the most intense exercise regimen less effective. Focus on getting your diet inline, before you start taking on a fitness overhaul. This will minimize frustration, and increase the effectiveness of your future workouts. Remember, your fitness timelines are personal, and more importantly lifelong. Set yourself up for success, even if it takes a little longer than you’d like in the beginning.