Burke Cleland’s Five Top Fitness Tips for 2013

January 8, 2013 9:45 am / Posted in ,

1. Get Inspired

The first thing that anyone has to do to gain some fitness momentum in the new year is to truly get inspired.  The first stages in a new fitness program are always the most difficult, so you may have to dig deep to discover what your true motivation is in order to help you get through it.  I recently picked up a copy of Arnolds Schwarzenegger’s Biography “Total Recall”,  and it’s really helped me pick up the pace in my weight lifting program.  Everyone needs to dream a bit to get inspired. You may be dreaming of your upcoming Caribbean vacation or about being a good role model for your kids. It doesn’t matter what your motivation is, so long as it is honest and inspires you.

2. Slow Down

Before I opened up my private personal training studio, I sold hundreds of memberships for large commercial gyms.  Only 15% of the people who joined in January were still going in March.  If you have been inactive for over two months, start SLOWLY .  Set a goal to exercise five to six days per week for about 20 minutes at a time. I find my clients do better if they set a consistent time in each day to do a small workout rather than an hour routine two to three times per week. The idea is to establish a habit of exercise without burning yourself out.  You can gradually increase the length or intensity of your workouts as you progress.

3. Find a fitness buddy

You are more likely to succeed if you surround yourself with people who have the same goals and attitudes about fitness, so start spending more time with the people who can help you stay inspired and motivated.  Don’t necessarily pick your best friend because it might be too easy to slip into old bad habits together.  Try to aim to work out with your new fitness chum once a week.  That way you can help keep each other motivated, without becoming dependant on one another.

4.  Mindful Eating

Nothing will stand in the way of your fitness goals more than a bad diet.  Like fitness habits, diet habits need to be incorporated slowly into your lifestyle for them to stick.  Incorporate a new eating habit every other week, rather than trying to stick to a strict diet starting on January 2nd.  Start by choosing a habit that adds healthy food to your diet, rather than one that removes food.  For example, instead of promising to eliminate sweets, promise to eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day. Before you know it, you will have a list of new diet habits that will transform your body into a new one.

5. Weekly self check

If being fully committed to health and fitness were easy, I wouldn’t need to write articles offering  advice.  You will encounter emotional struggles, or stressful events that make you just want to skip your workout and go home and order pizza.  This is why every week, it’s important to do a self check. Evaluate what you’re doing right and what’s more of a struggle. Acknowledge your successes and identify your weaknesses.  You can do this with your workout partner or in a journal. Reviewing the highlights that you experience along your journey will help you wash out any negativity or doubts you might be having. It will help you stay on track and remind you of your true motivation to keep going.

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