As the end of January approaches, the enthusiasm many of us felt for our New Year’s fitness goals has started to wane, and the realities are starting to set in.
So now is a good time to evaluate what’s working, what’s not, and refine your fitness plan.
Sports and fitness specialist and master trainer, Chris Slate works with people of all types, from celebrities to professional athletes, millennials, and baby boomers, to help them meet their fitness goals. Here are a few of his tips for staying on track.
A Good Plan
Make a plan that you feel solid about and honestly believe you can stick to.
If you’re too busy to make time for the gym, your plan may revolve around movements you can do in a few minutes at work or with lifestyle modifications like deciding not to take a cab a few times a week.
“Take those few minutes out of each and every day and do Poland Springs curls, do dips off of the seat, or throw the leg up on the desk and stretch your hamstrings out a little. If you’re in NYC, walk or take the stairs. Walk to and from the grocery store or the restaurant,” he said.
A good fitness plan is also flexible.
“Things are constantly changing. Life is happening, so you have to be able to make those adjustments,” he said.
It can be hard enough to drag our tired selves to the gym at the end of a long day, but slogging through negative emotions in addition can really stymie motivation.
Slate said he’s found that tapping into emotions is key for staying on track. Connecting with another human can give you a better handle on your emotions.
When he has clients come to a session feeling down, he says he makes a point to connect with them.
“It’s eye contact, or sometimes it’s a hug. Maybe it’s sitting down and talking about it,” he said.
Accountable & Connected
There’s no need to wait until you’re out of sorts to connect. For many of us, working with other people can be motivating and help hold us accountable to our goals, especially if exercising is not yet an established habit.
“It’s also important to have a support group or have a partner. If you’re trying to get back in the game, get a workout buddy or buddies because now you have that accountability factor. You don’t want to feel like you’re going to let somebody down if you don’t show up,” Slate said.
Social media can also help you stay connected. Slate said he uses Instagram and finds it good for useful tips and working with others.
“Create a fitness page on Instagram so you can get information from the followings and also there’s a level of accountability there,” he said.
No fitness or weight loss plan should ignore nutrition. Eating well will help keep your energy levels in balance, making any fitness goal much easier to achieve.
Slate, who is also licensed in fitness nutrition, advises keeping meals as clean and organic as possible.
“That means when we’re talking about meat, it should be hormone-free, no fillers, and as natural as possible. … When you’re out for dinner, be mindful of where you are because if you’re not careful, you may eat a lot of processed foods,” he said.
He also likes to go low-sugar by avoiding juice and soda.