How to improve your fitness in 2021
After a month of excess and too much time on the sofa, you can often feel sluggish and will probably have piled on the pounds too. The best way to start feeling and looking better in the New Year is to get active. While it’s hard to start, once you start exercising, you’ll love how it makes you feel, your energy will increase and you’ll lose fat and improve your body shape and definition.
We always advise our clients to integrate exercise into their weight loss journey. By combining calorie control, healthy eating and exercise they get the best results. The endorphins produced when we exercise make us feel better too and being stronger and fitter allows us to lead fuller and better lives. Let’s get fitter and healthier in 2021!
There are many different ways to get fit, depending on your time, commitment and health. Here are a few to choose from, or to combine.
Integrating exercise into your daily routine
Getting fitter doesn’t necessarily mean you have to “workout”. Anything that makes you move makes a difference and the more you move the better you feel and the more likely you are to start exercising in a more formal way. Here are some ideas –
- Think whether any of the journeys you make by car could be done by foot or bike. If you have a short drive to drop the kids at school or to get to work and you can change that to walking or cycling this will make a huge difference to the amount of exercise you’re doing each day and will also cut down the amount of fuel you’ll use
- If you have to drive, park further away and encourage yourself to walk
- Use the stairs rather than the lift
- Establish a routine to go for a walk or bike ride with the family every weekend
- Walk for 15 minutes in your lunch break
Keep yourself on track by logging your activity level on our printable activity chart and strive to do more each week. Follow our exercise flow chart to build up in a safe way and achieve your fitness goals.
Work out at home
If time or money is tight, or you don’t like to exercise in front of people, there are loads of great ways to workout at home. You need very little equipment and can follow videos or programmes on YouTube or Instagram, or simply follow a set of exercises each day. If you have an exercise mat and dumbbells that’s great, but you can also make do with bottles of water, or tins of beans and a towel, so there’s no excuse.
We have put together some workouts that you can do easily at home using everyday household items which you can download free of charge on our website. Check out the exercise at home section of our website for tips and advice and to download our guide.
Join a gym or fitness class
Many people sign up to go to the gym in January, but don’t succeed in making it a habit to go regularly. Don’t fall into this trap. Make a plan of how often you’ll go to the gym each week, when and how long for. Then speak to the team at the gym and ask for advice on workouts depending on your goals, or get a personal trainer to help set some routines you can follow so you don’t get bored. If you find it hard to motivate yourself at the gym, a fitness class is a great idea. Go with a friend to encourage you to keep at it and find a class that you enjoy. You can often try the first class for free, so experiment with a few different options before you commit.
Join a sports team
If you need the element of competition to motivate yourself to exercise, then joining a sports team could be a good option for you. Whether it’s football, netball, basketball, volleyball or water-polo, choose something you enjoy and you’ll meet likeminded people, train a few times a week and often get a chance to play matches. Once you’re into a sport, you will probably want to incorporate more fitness training into your life so you can perform better, so it’s a great motivator.
Set yourself a fitness challenge
A great way to motivate yourself is to set yourself a fitness challenge. There are many great challenges on Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube where you follow videos or instructions over a 30-day period. There are squat challenges, those that focus on abs and butts, or full body options, so search around and find one that you get along with.
If you’re ready for something more, how about signing up for a race or a fitness event? This gives you a target to train for, whether you’re just starting and want to challenge yourself to do a 5K, or if you want to a train to run a marathon. Just make sure you’ve given yourself enough time to get in shape for the challenge and that you check with your doctor if you are overweight or have any health conditions.
5K and 10k Races – If you’re new to running, or you don’t have long to train, start with a 5k or 10k race. You should be able to train for a 5K in 4-8 weeks if you’re committed and run regularly. Take it slow and steady and build up to avoid injury. Here are some 5K training tips for beginners
Half Marathons – As the name suggests this is half the distance of a marathon, which is around 21 kilometres. It is possible to train for a half marathon in three months, but it takes a lot of commitment, so we like the five month training plan from halfmarathons.net as a more gradual way to reach your goal.
Triathlon – Training for a triathlon is good as it keeps you interested and boosts your overall fitness by having three disciplines – swimming, cycling and running. There are some triathlons which allow competitors to choose their distances, such as the one in Seville, where you can start at the most basic level of a 350 meter swim, an 11 kilometre bike ride and a 3 kilometre run and work your way up. Check out the list of Triathlons in Spain and choose which one you’d like to do.
IRONMAN 70.3 – This is a half IRONMAN and comprises of a 70.3 mile triathlon which includes a 1.2 mile swim a 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run. This is a hard race, but a popular one, which is open to amateurs and there are a number of training plans for first time participants such as the 20 week training plan from triathlete.com. There are seven taking place in Spain this year, if you really want to set yourself a challenge IRONMAN Spain races
We wish you the best of luck with getting fit in 2020. Let’s make this a healthier and fitter year for us all.