With another year having unfolded, most of us are making our way towards achieving our new years' resolutions, and among them are most likely a handful of new year fitness goals. Yet, it's common knowledge that health and fitness-related goals for the new year are the ones that people give up the earliest.
This beginner's guide to fitness will help you prioritize your health and encourage you to stay focused on your workout goals for the new year.
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Step 1 - Set achievable goals
When it comes to setting new year fitness goals, it should start with the goal itself. Ensure you set a realistic goal that you can achieve. That means, aim high, but not too high, where you change your entire body composition within three months of your routine. Instead, take stock of where you are at present and gradually improve your strength and fitness through regular training measures.
It's common to face adversity in the form of boredom, frustration and lack of motivation on the road to your fitness goal. This is why it's essential to clarify why you are trying to achieve this goal. Set goals that are small, and then build your momentum as you go. The backbone of goal setting lies in habit formation. Once you instill a habit of working out daily, you won't be giving it up so easily.
Step 2 - Have a detailed action plan
First and foremost, define your goal. Is it to gain muscle, lose some weight, tone or increase stamina. Defining your goals helps to come up with the right action plan.
For instance, if your goal is to lose weight and you haven't been exercising regularly, don't aim for weight lifting or extreme workout measures in your first week. Begin with some low-intensity cardio to get your body moving. Walk for at least 30 minutes a day and build a routine around it so that you can be disciplined with your workout regimen.
Try working out at the same time every day. This will help to establish a routine and thereby help with habit formation.
Step 3 - Make it enjoyable
Working out shouldn't feel like a chore. To make working out a long-lasting habit, it is important to make it enjoyable. It should be a part of your day that you look forward to even when you're not having the best of days.
So, mix things up by adding a variety of activities into your workout routine. This way, it won't feel redundant and boring. If you have a favorite sport, you can add that to your schedule so that you engage in the sport twice a week in place of the regular workout. What's important is to find a way to make it fun.
Step 4 - Incorporate adequate recovery measures
Muscle recovery after workouts is as important as setting a fail-proof workout regimen for the new year. To ensure your new year fitness goal stays within reach, you must take measures to help your body recover fast. Not only will this help prevent injuries, but it will also keep you from skipping workouts due to muscle pain and soreness.
Hydration is essential after breaking a sweat. To improve muscle flexibility, build strength, and prevent muscle cramping and soreness, ensure to replenish your fluid levels. Incorporate electrolytes such as potassium and sodium into your post-workout liquids to speed up muscle recovery.
Cooling down is one of the best ways to recover from a workout as it enables your heart rate to return to normal gradually. It also helps to encourage blood circulation and promote leg muscle recovery by preventing soreness and relieving the built-up stress in your muscles.
Consider incorporating a 5 to 10-minute stretching session to help your muscles cool down faster after your workout.
Take a rest day from working out
If you're constantly wondering, 'why do my legs hurt when I exercise' you may be overdoing it. If you engage in strenuous workouts, it's essential to allow your body to recover and rejuvenate itself. This can take place only during the periods of rest that you provide your body.
Your muscles require adequate rest in order to repair themselves after the wear and tear that takes place during a workout. Therefore, to reap all the benefits of your workouts, ensure you provide your body with adequate rest and sleep.
Compression wraps are a great way to encourage post-workout recovery. The SPRYNG calf compression wraps are great at increasing blood circulation in your legs, which helps to speed up your recovery process. These portable and untethered calf muscle recovery tools require only 15 minutes of wear time to give your sore and achy legs the relief they need post-workout.
If you consistently experience pain and soreness after exercise, read our guide on alleviating post-workout muscle soreness here.