We’ve all been there – its 11pm on December 31st and you make a pact with your friend to join the local gym – “if we both go, we’ll definitely stick to it!”. Time and time again we use New Years to try and change our lifestyle for the better, but how many times has this become a distant memory by Easter. If this sounds familiar it might be worth spending a bit more time considering what has made it difficult to stick to your fitness resolution in the past and what could you do differently, what is going to work best for you.

For a lot of people, the answer could be a home gym. I have gone through the benefits of having a home gym in a previous blog, but it’s particularly worth highlighting the benefit of beating the January crowds. You can choose exactly what equipment you want to use and there’s no waiting around for your turn.

As we begin the festive season here are some useful tips on utilizing a home gym to kickstart the new year – let’s face it we could do with some light reading while watching the annual rerun of Die Hard.  

Your routine

If you find yourself getting bored quickly while exercising, it might be worth mixing it up. Try and challenge yourself during your work out – have a play with the buttons on your machine, try an incline or try short intervals of a higher speed. Ever tried a side gallop or skip on a treadmill? Ensure you reduce your speed and give it a go for thirty second intervals. No need to feel self-conscious in the comfort of your own home!

Try different targets, perhaps aim for a distance to achieve over a week on your exercise bike or set a side one workout a week to conquer a long hill climb. There are heaps of workouts available online for inspiration. Alternatively have a look at Peloton where you can partake in live or on demand workouts lead by an experienced PT (check out our Peloton blog here for more info).

With any workout make sure you are warming up and cooling down correctly. For a 30 minute workout you should be having at least a 5 minute period before and after and adjust this according to the intensity of the workout.

Your goals

Realistic goals are key to how exercising will make you feel psychologically. Its unhealthy to set far fetched goals – they will only end in disappointment…. or an injury! Identify your overall aim; this is going to be completely individual and subjective. It might be you want to lose X amount of weight by the same time the following year, or you have an event in mind you would like to see a change before. Write it down somewhere then research on how you can achieve your goal in a healthy, sustainable way or consult your GP for advice.

Once you have your aim, set yourself weekly or monthly goals that you can tick off along the way, figure out how you can fit them around your daily life. Write your weekly goals down, pin them up and when the day comes cross them out in big red pen – it will feel great and keep you well on track to achieve your main goal. Remember to not beat yourself up if you aren’t reaching your goals, it’s probably time to rethink and change them if they’re not proving achievable and that’s perfectly OK.

The big picture

Exercise is great but be sure to be looking after yourself more generally. Drink more water; water is the most vital nutrient. Drinking 8 glasses a day will help keep you energised, boost your metabolism and help keep your skin healthy. For many over Christmas and New Year, your alcohol consumption is likely to increase, so be extra conscious of your intake – keep an eye on that baileys to water ratio!

Eat well – albeit this is easier said than done. Enjoy yourself and indulge – but it’s all about balance. Before the umpteenth round of cheese and crackers, head out for a walk with the family if the weather permits. With hopefully a couple of days off work, it’s a great time to get outdoors with the family. Post Christmas/New Year try and figure out a healthy meal plan to go alongside your exercise regime.

Have a browse of our stock list if you are interested in starting or adding to your home gym ahead of the New Year or get in touch to speak to a member of the team directly.