As anyone who has ever tried to stick to a New Year’s resolution knows, motivation is a fickle beast. What seems like the most important thing in the world on 1st January can be a mere afterthought a couple of weeks later.
Or, it turns out, even earlier. Fitness app Strava has looked at the vast amount of data generated by its users and pinpointed the second Friday of January as the day most people are likely to give up on their New Year’s fitness goals. In 2018, that falls on the 12th January.
We get it. January is cold. And wet. Everyone gets a bit ill. The gyms are crammed full of people (until that second Friday at least). It’s pretty much the worst time to start a new health kick to be honest, but we all do it, so let’s forget about that and instead focus on ways to keep those fitness resolutions intact, because if you keep it up you’ll reap a multitude of benefits for your physical and mental health.
Fortunately Strava has dug into the data on this as well, and come up with five stats-backed tips for maintaining your motivation.
1. Exercise With Friends
Strava’s data shows that training with a pal leads to people being 22% more active, so if you know someone else whose motivation is wavering, start exercising together and you’ll both benefit.
2. Join A Club
This is basically just exercising with lots of friends once you get to know the people in your club, so it makes sense that it makes an even bigger difference. Strava stats show joining a club makes people 46% more active.
3. Set A Goal
Signing up for a race later in the year is a particularly smart way to keep yourself motivated. The Strava data shows that 92% of people who set a race goal in January were still exercising ten months later.
4. Train In The Morning
People who are regularly active tend to train before noon, according to Strava. Set tomorrow’s alarm an hour earlier right now and lay your kit out before your go to sleep.
5. Start Running Or Cycling For Your Commute
The best advice of all. Building exercise into your commute removes the excuse of having no time – in big cities, cycling or even running to work is often the fastest way to get there – and makes it part of your routine. You’ll probably find that it leads to more exercise outside your commute too. Strava says those who run or cycle to work are 43% more likely to be active at the weekend.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.