Time of year to set new goals


The Citizen (Gauteng) - - FRONT PAGE - Let­shego Zulu

A good idea might be to take up danc­ing, it tones the body and gives you flex­i­bil­ity.

New Year. New You. New Goals. We are two weeks into the New Year and many of us have new year’s res­o­lu­tions that we have just added to our daily sched­ules. Many of these res­o­lu­tions typ­i­cally have to do with eat­ing health­ier or ex­er­cis­ing more.

I gen­er­ally don’t be­lieve that we should be “start­ing over” at the be­gin­ning of each year when it comes to our health and fit­ness but the truth of the mat­ter is, the year-end slump hits many of us and we end up park­ing our healthy and ac­tive life­styles. So when the year be­gins we start scram­bling to the gym, hastily hit­ting the road for a run or two in an at­tempt to shed off any ex­tra weight gained over the fes­tive sea­son. This is also when many of us set the New Year’s res­o­lu­tions and half the time they have to do with look­ing bet­ter, feel­ing bet­ter, ex­er­cis­ing more, eat­ing health­ier and so on.

We all know that healthy eat­ing and reg­u­lar ex­er­cise should in fact be a life­style that is sea­son-less, but life has its ups and downs and that’s a given.

The trick is find­ing a way to pick your­self up and get mov­ing again. We of­ten need in­spi­ra­tion from oth­ers and that’s why I’m here to share with you some tips and tricks on kick start­ing your­self and get­ting on with your 2019 pro­gram. One thing is for sure, this year can­not be like last year so if you haven’t de­cided what your 2019 fit­ness pro­gramme looks like it’s time to level up, spice it up and kick it up a notch to avoid monotony.

First things first, there is so much va­ri­ety out there and with that be­ing said, you re­ally don’t have to force your­self to do some­thing that you don’t par­tic­u­larly en­joy. The truth is, if go­ing to the gym is not your thing and you force your­self to get a gym mem­ber­ship, a few weeks or months down the line it might start feel­ing like a chore and you give it up. Or the op­po­site might hap­pen and you fall in love with it and it be­comes your new thing. It’s a Catch-22 sit­u­a­tion.

My ad­vice to you be­fore you make any com­mit­ment to any par­tic­u­lar ac­tiv­ity is to ask your­self what spe­cific phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity or “move­ment” you par­tic­u­larly en­joy. For ex­am­ple, you might say “I’m not a sporty per­son at all and the only type of move­ment I en­joy is go­ing out for a night of danc­ing with my friends”. Well, therein lies your an­swer! Many peo­ple don’t re­alise that dance is an ac­tual sport and is very good for ton­ing and strength­en­ing mus­cles, burn­ing calo­ries and great for flex­i­bil­ity as well. This of course de­pends on what type of dance style you choose. So in this case my sug­ges­tion to you would be to sign up for a few les­sons and if you en­joy it sched­ule to at­tend two to three classes per week to achieve your weekly quota of re­com- mended ex­er­cise. Just a re­minder, the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion rec­om­mends a min­i­mum of five days of 30 min­utes of ex­er­cise per week for gen­eral health. That is only 2.5 hours per week, which I know is def­i­nitely achiev­able. My other tip for you is to sched­ule your train­ing ses­sions in your di­ary like you do with meet­ings. These are meet­ings with your­self, to im­prove your health. If you fal­ter with these meet­ings and don’t pri­ori­tise them, you are com­pro­mis­ing your­self. To avoid be­ing too harsh on you, think of it this way: If reg­u­lar ex­er­cise and healthy eat­ing keep you healthy and ev­ery­thing in your life works well, what do you think hap­pens when you don’t pri­ori­tise them? You could po­ten­tially com­pro­mise the func­tion of your en­tire value chain. You get sick and be­come un­able to func­tion op­ti­mally and there­fore ev­ery­thing else that you are li­able for re­ceives 50% or less of your full at­ten­tion and things fall apart. The trick is to keep it sim­ple. I’ll give you an ex­am­ple of my plan for the first part of this year. I’m train­ing for a marathon in June (which I have al­ready signed up for) and my sim­ple train­ing pro­gramme for the first two months is road run­ning on Mon­days, Wed­nes­days, Fri­days and strength and flex­i­bil­ity train­ing on Tues­days and Thurs­days. Sim­ple. Straight to the point and it’s all di­arised. If I can achieve any­thing over the week­ends, it’s a bonus for now.

So with that said, start off by de­cid­ing what your cho­sen ac­tiv­i­ties are, cre­ate a sim­ple train­ing sched­ule around them, set them as ap­point­ments in your di­ary and let’s get mov­ing!

Pic­tures: iStock

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