It is time to achieve your New Year's resolutions.Did you make New Year's resolutions? Are you sticking to them? It is halfway through January and that's about the time when we start losing momentum on our New Year's fitness goals - by February they are usually completely obsolete, taken over by a busy schedule and Valentine's Day chocolates.
"In November and December - women, regardless of whether they're normally active or they aren't active at all -- aren't eating as well and don't have as much time to exercise because they've been focusing on things like family instead of themselves," says Jessica Sebor, editor-in-chief of Women's Running magazine. Luckily, she shared three tips to help you achieve your goal this year!
Step 1: Create a Fitness Goal You Can Achieve
Now that the holidays are in the rear view mirror Sebor suggests sitting down and asking yourself about the goals you've set and whether you've created a calendar to achieve them.
"The most important thing for a goal of any kind, whether it is a New Year's resolution or a birthday resolution, is that it should be objective, realistic and measurable," she shares.
Most importantly, she says to avoid creating generalized goals like, "I want to try running "or "I want to get fit," which don't offer enough structure. Instead she recommends a goal that is specific like, "I will run a 5K with my sister on March 13 and we will find a training plan that works for us," adding that "the more specific your goal is, the more likely you will be able to achieve it."
Step 2: Create the Foundations to Achieve Your Fitness Goal
The next step is to kick start your resolution with a training plan. "If you are starting to run, it is a great idea to put a race on the calendar like a 5K [approximately 3.1 miles] because then you can find a couch to 5K training plan [online]. The plan usually includes a calendar which reminds you which days you need to get outside or hit the treadmill.
Sebor suggests looking for a race that is walker-friendly, especially if you've never done a race before and you haven't been active all year. "Many of the beginning runners that we talk to, their biggest fear about a race is that they don't want to come in last. If you have a race where you know there will be walkers, then it takes that fear out of the equation."
Races like the Rock'N'Roll series, which are offered worldwide, are perfect races to get started with. Not only are they fun (you get to listen to live music during your race), they are also affordable, walker-friendly, and provide training plans for you to follow.
Step 3: Get the Right Gear
Next, it is important to go shopping and get the right gear. "For women, the most important items they should be willing to make an investment on are shoes and a sports bra. Those are the things you absolutely can't skimp on," she says. "It is important to get the right gear, because running is hard enough; the last thing you want to think about when you're out there and you're breathing hard is being uncomfortable because of the shirt you're wearing or the shoes you have on."
If you're new to exercise or running Sebor says to check out gear options online first and then head to a running store to get properly fitted, stressing that properly fitted gear will keep you injury-free and active all year long.
You've got the steps in front of you, now it is time to get out there and have a happy, healthy 2013. Good luck.