Opinion: Set realistic challenges in drive for fitness

Dance-based cardiovascular workout is just one of many different fitness regimes that are on offer today.
Dance-based cardiovascular workout is just one of many different fitness regimes that are on offer today.

January is one of the most popular times for people to get more active after the excesses of the Christmas holidays.

As the manager of Everyone Active’s Fitness at Scarborough Sports Centre I have devised some tips on achieving your fitness goals to help you stay engaged in physical activity all year long and sustaining a healthy lifestyle.

Be realistic about what you can achieve

Be realistic about your goals and you’re more likely to achieve them. This may mean setting yourself slightly smaller goals, but you can reap the rewards once you’ve met them, rather than feeling disheartened because you’ve set yourself an impossible task.

Share your plan with a friend or family member

You’re much more likely to stick to your plan if you’ve shared it with someone else. Tell your friends or family members that you’re trying to improve your fitness levels or lose a bit of weight and they’re bound to be supportive. This will create an extra feeling of motivation because you are now accountable to others.

Set yourself measurable goals

Rather than saying “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get fit”, say “I want to lose a certain amount of weight within the next six weeks”. Is there a particular item of clothing you’d love to be able to fit into again? Would you like to be able to run 5km without stopping? Having key milestones to measure your progress against will help to keep you on track.

Find something you enjoy

Many people join a gym in January with the best of intentions, but then they lose motivation because they’re not enjoying it. If you don’t enjoy running, you will find it hard to spend hours on the treadmill. Luckily, there are so many different activities on offer, so find one that you really enjoy. Whether it’s group cycling, swimming or a dance-based cardiovascular workout, remember, everyone’s different and there is something for everyone. What one person enjoys might be another person’s worst nightmare.

Don’t give up because you’ve had a small setback

It happens to the best of us. Perhaps we snooze our alarm when we planned to go to the gym before work, or we overindulge when we go out to eat. Rather than feeling like a failure and giving up, remind yourself that you’re only human. One bad day doesn’t mean you can’t have a great week.

Everyone Active currently manages four leisure centres on behalf of Scarborough Borough Council, please visit www.everyoneactive.com for more information.