Just give it a try!
WE’VE all heard it – and we’ve probably all said it – ‘New year, new me’. And everyone’s thinking the same thing. This will be the year we realise we have a hidden talent for long distance running. Or, this is the year the kids will suddenly develop the ability to pick up after themselves and do as they’re told.
But the reality is, 2019 is simply a new number on the calendar. You don’t need to transform yourself into a new person in order to make a success of this new year.
Instead of setting yourself impossible challenges to ‘become’ someone, or ‘something’ new, why not set yourself a challenge to try something new?
Give something fun and new a go and improve your health in 2019, suggests fitness expert RUTH LYNCH
PUT ‘EM UP
THE idea of boxing may not appeal to everyone, but it’s one of the best workouts you can do, no matter what your age or level of ability.
It’s a whole-body workout, gets the heart pumping and builds flexibility and stamina, all while improving your core strength and balance.
With glamorous celebrities such as Gigi Hadid and Ellie Goulding crediting the exercise for their sculpted physiques, you probably don’t need much more encouragement to give it a go. The full-body workout will help whip you into shape and help you target any problem areas.
And with Tyson Fury’s spectacular return to the ring in 2018, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get the kids involved either. There are plenty of kids’ clubs around – whether it’s boxing or another form of martial art – which will not only help with their fitness, but with their discipline and confidence too.
Boxing for fitness doesn’t have to take place in a ring, there are dozens of variations which are non-contact. Boxercise, Box Fit and Box HIIT classes all incorporate boxing skills and moves without actual physical contact.
And let’s not forget the huge satisfaction which comes with throwing a punch – whether it’s at a bag or mitt, or into mid-air – which will be sure to help unwind and combat family, life and work stress.
IF you get bored of one thing easily, or you’ve done your fair share of 10ks but don’t like the idea of increasing your distance, then a duathlon could be a great challenge for you and your family.
A duathlon is a multi-sport event where you run, cycle, and then run again. The distances for each leg vary depending on the race.
It’s not a new discipline, but it is becoming more and more popular and is hotly tipped as being the exercise of choice for 2019.
With plenty of entry-level races and clubs for all abilities, multisport events are something the whole family can get involved in.
Getting active together means you’re more likely to keep it up and having you exercising with them sets a good example to the kids.
There are more than a hundred duathlons set to take place in 2019, with many incorporating junior events. If a bit of variety will help concentrate your fitness goals, or you’re looking for a fun challenge the family can work towards together, then a duathlon could be perfect.
If you don’t fancy something as intense as a duathlon, walking, running or getting out on your bikes are great ways to get the whole family’s hearts pumping while enjoying some time together.
EXERCISE classes aren’t exactly a new thing, but they have seen a resurgence in recent years, with more and more people recognising the advantage of getting fit among their peers.
Peer pressure is a great motivator to keep going to classes and inserts a bit of healthy competition during sessions.
Whether it’s been 10 years since you last put on a pair of trainers, or you religiously attend your local gym, mixing it up and taking part in new/different classes will work wonders for your health.
A single cardio class a week will get your heart pumping and burn off excess calories, while adding in a step, strength or HIIT class into your usual fitness routine will help you achieve an all body workout.
NEW YEAR BOOST
THE new year is also great time to take advantage of your kids’ energy. Whether this is a run around the block, a short HIIT session in the park or a bike ride you can tire them out and reach your weekly fitness goals each week in one go.
If your kids were given a fitness tracker, scooter or new bike at Christmas, then incorporate their new toy into a family fitness session. Fitness trackers are a great example of turning fitness into a game.
A new year’s resolution is a great way to set yourself a challenge, but over-promising or setting yourself unachievable targets won’t do you any favours.
So, let your new year’s promise be to get healthy in a way you and your family can maintain, take the opportunity to see what’s happening around you, and find a new way to keep the wonderful person you already are interested.
■ Ruth Lynch is Head of Fitness, Health & Communities at Life Leisure sports trust, lifeleisure.net
Boxing is a fantastic whole-body workout for any age
Peer pressure in a gym class will keep you focussed on your goals. Or, left, why not make the most of those Christmas presents and get out for a family bike ride?