At the start of the New Year in 2016, we all said that this would be the year that we would get into shape and finally get back to the body that we actually wanted. I didn’t reach this point until February when I saw a picture of me that completely horrified me and had me convinced that I was heading in the wrong direction with my weight. So instead of crazy dieting, I decided that I wanted to get into shape by exercising more and eating just generally healthy food. That’s exactly what I did and I was a lot happier with my shape and it helped my overall wellbeing. But in the winter months, I started prioritising other things over exercising and it quickly fell out of my routine. I bet I wasn’t the only one too.
However, in 2017 I am determined to get fitness habits back into my everyday routine. I went for my first run of 2017 this week and was surprised by the terrible results. So that got me thinking about the harsh realities that we all face when we start getting into fitness again.
You will not be able to run the distance that you used to.
Sadly, you may have spent most of 2016 working up to your distance goal whether than was 10k or a whole marathon. Unfortunately, unless you are some kind of fitness superhuman, it’s seriously unlikely that you will be able to run the same distance that you did a few months ago. But that’s okay. Your body is not used to performing at this level anymore but you can work back up to it.
Your gym clothes may not be as flattering as they used to be.
When you start getting into shape, if you’re like me, I usually reward myself with some new gym clothes. Yet after a few months off, I didn’t look the same in these clothes as I did at§ the peak of my fitness which was a slightly demoralising start. But hey, this is where winter layers can be your best friend.
Getting motivation will be hard
Starting off, you’ll either go one of two ways. Either you will be like ‘YES, let’s do this!’ or it will be ‘I really can’t be arsed to go for that run but I know I should.’ I was definitely the second alternative. Motivation isn’t easy when you’re out of practice but scheduling days to exercise can really help.
Outdoor activity is HARD in winter months
My go-to fitness habit is running but in the winter months, it’s hard enough to breathe in these ice cold temperatures never mind pushing your body to its currently unfit limits. If you want to run outdoors, there is no solution to this. Except maybe a body warmer. Also, you’ll pretty much have to get used to running in the dark if you choose to run before or after work. It sucks, I know.
Looking at Insta fitness accounts will get you down
For a bit of extra motivation, many of us will follow fitness or healthy living accounts on Instagram so we can look at the perfect bodies of other individuals and say ‘I will look like that soon’. But after a few weeks of training, it can start to get you down, particularly if you feel like you’re not reaching your goals quickly enough. Seriously, unfollow these accounts. Everyone has a different body shape and will respond different to training. All progress is good progress and you don’t need to compare yourself to an insta-perfect body.
It will be worth it
With all that being said, exercise is so important and that’s why so many of us make the resolution to get better at it every year. Not only is it great for keeping your body toned and in shape, it’s also great for your mental health, it improves your bone health, reduces your risk of high blood pressure and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, to name a few benefits. It’s also pretty fun so it’s no surprise that many of us want to keep getting better at it.
How are you finding your exercise routines in 2017?