Use These Golden Rules From A PT To Make Your 2021 Healthier

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Whether you decided on a grab bag of New Year’s fitness resolutions, or just carried on with your routine, mid-January is often the point where motivation is hard to find. It’s cold, it’s dark, and this year the raging pandemic makes everything more stressful, as well as closing down gyms and limiting your outdoor time.

So we’re here to encourage you to look long-term with your fitness plans, and to take to heart one, some or all seven of these tips from David Wiener, training specialist at fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics.

Some of the tips relate to long-term training goals, while others are things you can do as a one-off now to set yourself up for 2021. You certainly don’t need to attempt all seven this year – any bit of advice you can take on board is only going to help you get healthier.

1. Try A New Way Of Training

If you have hit a point where you feel your motivation and fitness levels are reaching a plateau, you may want to change the way you train. The beginning of the new year is a great time to do this.

Try a new form of training or exercise each week. You never know – you may find your new favourite workout or exercise. Doing this will also allow you to change your routine, which helps to keep your body guessing and progressing.

2. Train More Consistently

Many of us struggle to train as consistently as we’d like. Probably the most common reason is that sometimes there is a distinct difference between what we want to do and what we have time to do. This can lead to feeling disheartened or disappointed, which may cause a break in training or even lead to you falling off the bandwagon. Should this happen, start again and ask yourself:

  • Does my planned weekly training fit with my schedule? If not, trim it down or rethink your priorities.
  • Is the time allocated for each training session realistic? Are there any other times during the week where you can put in a longer session, or times where scheduling a shorter session means you will be less likely to skip a workout?
  • What will I do if things change? It’s important to plan, but it’s just as important to be prepared to modify your plan if something unexpected happens. In that event, keep some elements consistent even if you’re not necessarily performing at your best or training as much as you would like.

3. Stretch Before Bed

Stretch Before Bed

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If you want something that is easy to achieve and will help make 2021 your fittest year yet, start stretching before bed. It will help relax your body before you go to sleep, help your body to become more flexible, and aid the recovery of your muscles.

4. Find Your Reason

Take some time to discover why you really want to get fitter. I think you should ask yourself why approximately five times to get down to your core belief. Once you know why you’re doing it, remind yourself about it regularly and just focus on getting the training done. It’s normal to feel unmotivated some days. However, knowing what drives you and keeps you going is effective.

5. Visualise Your Goal

The mind is a very powerful thing, and if you believe you can achieve something, you’re already halfway there. If you feel your motivation wavering, take a few minutes to think about your goal and how great you will feel once you achieve it. Doing this before a workout can also help you to push yourself that little bit harder.

If this is a new technique for you, the Freeletics app offers a range of free audio courses that can help you to find your motivation and visualise your goals.

6. Use Instant Gratification

If you are struggling to stay motivated during a workout, treat yourself to something afterwards for making it happen. Sometimes just thinking about the reward is enough to get you through a gruelling workout.

7. Try Journaling

Writing down your thoughts and ideas in a journal can help you to get organised and take your mind off things that can hamper you. If you’re not sure where to start, just begin with a to-do list or write down your daily goals. Journaling helps to give your life more structure, and checking the boxes gives you a feeling of achievement.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

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.