If talking up our plans to get fit were an athletic activity, most of us would be in sick shape. But when it comes to actually making our fitness goals a reality, lots of little things—bad weather here, a work trip there—can cause our commitment to quickly fall apart. “People who succeed at resolutions have contingency plans for roadblocks,” explains John Norcross, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Scranton and the author of “Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions.” Tired of letting excuses stand in the way of nabbing that healthier, fitter body? Here, eight solutions to common fitness resolution roadblocks.
“It’s too cold/snowy/stormy to go to the gym.”
Go online. Having a couple fitness-friendly apps at the ready ensures you’ll always be ready to work out. Some to look for: Nike Training Club, which offers free workouts with rewards—in the form of new workouts by celebrity trainers—being issued the more you use it. Pocket Yoga ($2.99) offers guided yoga sessions, along with an illustrated guide to poses. And CoachClub, an online fitness program, creates a customized workout with streamed classes available online.
“I can’t afford an expensive gym membership.”
There are plenty of ways to cut costs and still have access to amazing fitness classes. First, check daily deal sites like LivingSocial.com for offers to boot camps, yoga classes and other offerings in your area. Second, see what local athletic stores have to offer. For example, the national chains Athleta and Lululemon have complimentary in-store yoga classes, running clubs and other offerings.
“I don’t have time.”
You don’t need to log hours at the gym to improve your health and keep weight gain at bay. More and more research has found that when it comes to working out, a little goes a long way. In fact, a study from the University of Copenhagen found that half an hour of exercise may be as beneficial for weight loss as an hour-long sweat session. Focusing on short, intense workouts will help keep you trim without taking up all your time.
“I feel self-conscious.”
If you went on a date wearing a dress that was similar to the one you wore to the ninth grade dance, you’d probably feel a little weird and dated, right? Well, that’s basically the equivalent of what you’re doing if you hit the gym wearing the same droopy shorts and oversize t-shirt you shoved in your locker after P.E. in junior high school.
New workout clothes flatter your body, wick away sweat so you stay dry and are cute enough to wear on an errand run. The key is to find ones that fit your particular body shape. For example, Hourglass shapes can rock halter-style tops and cropped capri pants with rouching, while Circle shapes look good sporting loosely-draped tops paired with colorful, fitted leggings that show off their slim gams.
“I’m bored with my exercise routine.”
If the thought of doing your usual workout routine gives you a serious case of the blahs, it’s time to switch things up. Your best move? Try a new class, such as SurfSet at Crunch gyms where core work is done on a surfboard-like contraption on springs, or Animal Flow at Equinox, where you spend the class moving through a challenging, body weight-based routine inspired by the way animals move in the wild. If it sounds like recess, that’s the point. “Our brains are wired to seek pleasure,” notes Norcross. “When we do something that’s fun and that we enjoy and look forward to, we’ll want to go back.”
“I can’t get motivated.”
“Research has found that people who succeed at resolutions have a few things in common—they tend to have a support network,” says Norcross. A friend who’s also into fitness is key—you’ll be less likely to flake on hitting the gym when you know she’s holding a bike for you at spin class. Another option: Try a virtual trainer. Wello.co is a new fitness service that sets you up with a certified trainer via a live, two-way web cam. Sessions begin at $19 for 30 minutes or $35 for 60 minutes, and trainers will work with you to set up a workout plan for the days you’re not meeting online.
Another tactic that people who succeed at resolutions have in common? They have a fitness routine in place. If your workout habits have been haphazard in the past, consider trying a virtual coaching program like PEAR. This mobile app coaches you through your iPhone, giving you a specific workout to follow and eliminating the need for you to always come up with your own workout plan.
“I have little ones at home and don’t want to get a babysitter.”
Mom and baby fitness classes, ranging from baby boot camp to yoga and Pilates are popping up around the country. Bringing a whole new meaning to “baby weight,” these classes often have you incorporating your infant into key exercises. Search for classes near you, such as Mommy and Me Fitness and Stroller Strides or look for “Mommy and Me” fitness videos on YouTube.
“I travel too much.”
In the past, working out at a hotel meant hoping you could snag a spot at the one rusty treadmill in the so-called “fitness center.” Nowadays, an increasing number of hotels are making exercise amenities just as essential as Wifi. Kimpton hotels offer on-demand fitness videos. Sheraton hotels offer a workout in a bag, complete with a mat, resistance bands and workout cards that offer circuit suggestions. And Westin hotels offer in-room video workouts and allow you to rent New Balance gear, eliminating the need to shove your sneakers into your over-stuffed suitcase.
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