Healthy Byte: The Fitness Cliff

What New Year’s resolution? (Photo: Getty Images)

The start of a new workout plan starts with a burst of energy: You hit the gym thinking, “Yeah, I got this! Bring it!” But after a few weeks, the initial excitement starts to fizzle. Be honest: Have you even thought about your New Year’s resolution lately?

Turns out, there’s a specific day when this waning motivation starts to happen. Today, Feb. 10, is the day gym check-ins begin to steadily decline — known as the “fitness cliff” — according to an analysis of check-in data from corporate Gold’s Gym locations across the United States.

There are a few reasons motivation starts to wane in February. “People think of ‘motivation’ as a strategy, but really it’s an emotional state,” explains Jessi Kneeland, certified personal trainer and founder of Remodel Fitness. And since motivation is an emotion, ultimately it’s a fleeting feeling, she says.

“Motivation tends to be high around New Year’s, because people get filled with hope and excitement and visions of ‘a new me!’ They ride that emotional state until it ends, which is … usually right about now,” Kneeland tells Yahoo Health.

In addition, a visible change in your body takes time. It’s easy to think “this isn’t working” and quit. “Most of us don’t structure exercise to fold into the habit cycle of our psychology,” Emmett Williams, president of the heart-rate-tracking system MYZONE, tells Yahoo Health. “We don’t reward ourselves quickly enough, and the payoff — weight loss in three months, lower blood pressure in six months — is just too far away for it to be motivating,” Williams says.

So how do you keep from falling off the fitness cliff? “Today is the day when you have the choice to make it or break it,” strength expert Holly Perkins, CSCS, creator of The GLUTES Project, tells Yahoo Health. “The difference between success and failure here is simply action,” she says. “Don’t think about it, just go to the gym. Don’t negotiate, just do your workout!”

If the “just do it” philosophy still isn’t enough to get you moving today, tomorrow, and all month long, bookmark these tips from five top fitness experts.

How to Avoid the Fitness Cliff and Stay Motivated to Work Out

The expert: Nick Tumminello, CPT, strength expert and author of Building Muscle and Performance

The advice:

  • Be honest with yourself. Most people start off doing too much because they’re so motivated, but it’s unrealistic and unsustainable. For example, if you hate getting up early and are the type of person who hits snooze until they absolutely have to get up, it’s unrealistic to say “I’ll get up two hours early to work out and shower.” You’re setting yourself up for failure. Instead, look at your history of behavior and find what’s most realistic — not necessarily what you’d like to do or what you think is ideal.
  • Do something that you like. We all know exercise is medicine, but we don’t like to take medicine when it doesn’t taste good. If you like weight machines, use machines. If you hate machines, don’t use machines. Make the medicine taste good.

The expert: Jessi Kneeland, certified personal trainer and founder of Remodel Fitness

The advice:

  • Acknowledge that motivation is an emotional state and thus, by definition, a fleeting plan. Have compassion for yourself when you run out of motivation. It was nice, but it was never meant to last, so don’t let yourself feel guilt or shame when it’s gone.
  • Put into place a real plan by looking at your goals and working backward to break it into daily tasks. For example, if your goal was to be able to run three miles nonstop, instead of running whenever you’re motivated, work out how long it would take you to build up to your goal if you consistently run three days a week.
  • Be generous with your plan; make it easier than you think you need. Set yourself up to experience tiny victory after tiny victory. Feeling like a success will help you stay in a long-term state of motivation.

The expert: Mike Ryan, Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute expert trainer

The advice:

  • Add some “class” to your routine. Whether it’s functional training like TRX or moving to the beat with a Zumba class, group exercise is a great way to inject some energy into a stale routine and will help you with your pledge to get back in shape.
  • Enlist a trainer. Even if it’s just for a few sessions, working with a certified personal trainer who can design a program that’s tailored to your body is the big step to transforming your body and reaching your goals

The expert: Adam Rosante, celebrity trainer and author of The 30-Second Body

The advice:

  • Find a deeper reason to work out. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a hot body, but your impulse to sit on the couch and binge watch a season of Empire is going to overrun your six-pack fantasies. Ask yourself why it’s important to work out. Once you have an answer, ask why again. Repeat that five times and you’ll come up with something truly impactful. Now you have real ammo to help you get your butt up and moving.
  • Take a single step. Most people fail at their fitness goals because they try to overhaul everything at once. It’s just not sustainable. You wind up burning out and quitting completely. Take a second to evaluate your plan and focus on just one thing. Those small daily steps are what add up to massive change.
  • Just freaking do it. Sometimes the best strategies in the world fail to motivate us. Here’s where you need to force yourself to do something, however small. Ten bodyweight squats. A few jumping jacks. Whatever. You’ll find that this simple act ignites the desire for more movement.

The expert: Harley Pasternak, celebrity trainer and nutritionist, author of 5 Pounds: The Breakthrough 5-Day Plan to Jump-Start Rapid Weight Loss and Never Gain It Back

The Advice:

  • Make your goals actionable. Think: Walk 10,000 steps a day, sleep at least seven hours a night. Don’t make it about a dress size or a weight.

  • Set empirical (number-based) goals so that you can actually count them and push yourself to hit that number. For example, eat protein five times a day, unplug for at least 20 minutes, or do at least five minutes of strength exercises each day.

Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig

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Healthy Byte: 8-Minute Workout ANYWHERE!

This 8-minute workout is broken down into 16 different 30-second intervals — including moves to warm you up and cool you down some. For each interval, you can take it as hard or as easy as you want. If you want to make it a true HIIT session, then really push yourself to do as many reps as you can of each move per interval. If you’re wanting to take it easier (say, you’re doing this over your lunch break and don’t have access to a shower), then take your intensity down a notch. It’s up to you! No matter how fast you do it, you’ll be working your entire body — and getting strength and cardio work in at the same time. Plus, we think it’s totally fun. And, only 8 minutes, so totally doable!

1. March in place. Think about what you want to get out of this workout today.

2. Jog in place. Think about why you’re doing this workout today.

3. Jumping jacks. Be sure to reach all the way up and touch your hands overhead.

4. Squats. If you need a refresher on proper squat form, read this. And if squats are too easy, try jump squats.

5. Mountain climbers. Really try to get your feet up and near your hands.

6. Plank on your hands. Oh, the fun is just getting started in plank.

7. Side plank to the right. If you need to drop down to a knee, that’s totally cool.

8. Side plank to the left. Again, feel free to modify down to that knee.

9. Reverse plank. Keep those hips lifted! Almost done with the planks, we swear.

10. Plank on your forearms. If you need a break, come into down dog, and then get right back in it as soon as you can.

11. Dance party. After all of those planks, you deserve a 30-second impromptu dance party, don’t ya think?

12. Forward lunges. Don’t let that knee go past your front toe for proper alignment.

13. Jumping lunges. If these are too intense, try backward lunges.

14. Burpees. You’re in the home stretch! After this, we start cooling down. So give this one your all!

15. Left to right side touches. Bring that heart rate down. Think about what you got out of your workout today.

16. Big inhales and exhales as you reach your arms over ahead and back down again. Think about your why again. And then feel really freakin’ proud of yourself.

Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig