By Edward Mims
2019 has just begun, and it’s the traditional time to make resolutions for the rest of the year. Resolutions seem outdated and unachievable to many, because making an unfamiliar change for an entire year seems too big of a task. However, if you just have the right mindset, resolutions are more easily completed than you may think. Committing yourself for a whole year is too much of a mental burden. Instead, focus on completing the goal for one month, or even just a week. That way, the results are felt more immediately, and your achievement encourages you to continue the next week. For many, becoming more fit is always a long-term goal. By adapting daily exercise this coming year to be more efficient and effective, there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
While “working out” may bring to mind sweaty bodies running on the treadmill at the gym, getting enough daily exercise does not require leaving the house. Instead of spending money on gym memberships, home workouts do not cost a cent, and do not require any extra travel time. Streaming technology is becoming widespread, and access to them will only increase throughout this year. Services like ClassPass Live and Obe fitness provide live footage of workouts being streamed elsewhere, where anyone can follow along. Classes can be selected based on part of the body, including core, leg day, and upper body. They are quick and effective, lasting from 10 to 30 minutes long. Leaderboards with other people who are watching the class keep everyone motivated and in the zone.
There is no easy way to get fit, but there are ways to make your exercise more fulfilling in shorter amounts of time. More and more studies are showing that high intensity interval training can get similar or even better results than longer, lower intensity exercise. By compressing more work in a shorter period of time, the heart rate surges, and fat can be quickly burned. Shorter work out sessions also mean more time for other activities, so the path to getting fit doesn’t seem like as much of a burden. Furthermore, high intensity training can be combined with low-impact exercises such as yoga and pilates so that recovery time is lessened. These exercises also help the body to recover after strenuous activity, and leave it prepared to handle the next intense session.
Lastly, new technologies allow training sessions to be smarter. As technology continues to improve throughout this year, accurate access to heart rate, calories burned, and hydration will be more easily attained. Technologies include the Polar heart rate monitor, which tracks heart rate extremely accurately, or even the Apple watch and Fitbit, which have various features that can improve training sessions. Having more information about the exercise you are doing allows you to better plan what you will do the next session, and how improvement can be made. There are also programs and equipment that allow people to ride a bike when seeing the physical course on a tablet screen. This new perspective on exercise is a new direction that will be further pursued this year, and will help increased numbers of people to become more involved in maintaining their health.
Whatever strategy you choose, there is always a viable way to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle. Exercise does not always need to be a burden. Not only does it help you feel good, but doing it can also be fun! Working out with others always makes the time go by quicker, and a little friendly competition doesn’t hurt anybody. Good luck!