January resolutions: Get off the couch, get moving
Don’t lose your way: Tips to get going – and stay going – all the way into spring
Try to get your exercise done early – it stops the excuses which often appear later in the day. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Even with the best intentions we can all struggle to stay committed to our new year fitness resolutions. By this third week of January, many of us are feeling guilty about our lack of progress. The initial enthusiasm may be waning and we risk falling back into old habits.
Stop feeling guilty about missing training sessions or your high targets and instead make some simple changes for the rest of the month and avoid ending up back on the couch.
Focus on weekly goals
Make a realistic plan
Hold back on intensity
Build up gradually
Measure success in minutes
Focus on enjoyment
Choose to enjoy exercise and change your attitude to a positive one. Exercise and movement is something you are lucky enough to be able to do, not something you have to do.
Do it for someone else
Offer to walk someone’s dog, agree to accompany a beginner on their training session, set up a lunchtime walking group at work or agree to meet a friend for a run.
When you are accountable to someone else, you make more of an effort. You just do it and waste less time procrastinating and inventing excuses.
Go out early
You are starting your day as a success and can avoid looking at the weather all day, putting off your exercise and inventing excuses.
The year is long
Train yourself this month to just get up and get out and leave the excuses at home. There is plenty of time later in the year to build on your fitness. Start small and start simple but just get started this January.
Mary Jennings is founder and running coach with ForgetTheGym.ie. Mary trains beginners and marathoners and everyone in between to enjoy running and stay injury free. Mary is also the creator of the Irish Times Get Running programmes.