The New Year is one of the best times to make fitness a priority—that’s no secret. If you’re human like the rest of us, you already know that it’s time to start getting serious about your health and well-being (especially after those Turkey feasts, holiday treats, and late nights drinking champagne).
As always, knowing isn’t quite the same as doing.
You may have the vague idea that you should incorporate exercise into your future. But to help you get down to the specifics, we’re here to let you in on the five best fitness goals to try in the New Year.
#1 Hit Your Daily Step Count
Incorporating low-intensity, daily movement into your routine is a great way to look and feel better in the New Year. Generally speaking, 10,000 steps a day is recommended for people who want to lead healthy, active lifestyles. That number can sound like a lot, but you can hit your target with ease by following the tips below:
- Choose the farthest parking spot at the grocery store
- Give your dog an extra walk (they’ll get in better shape, too!)
- Always take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Do a lap around your home or office once every hour
Helpful hint: If you don’t have a fitness tracker, don’t worry. iPhones have a built-in step tracker in the Health App.
#2 Go the Distance
Setting tangible goals can help you track your progress and get stronger, especially when it comes to running. Whether you already have a few 10Ks under your belt or you’re brand new to running, adding distance to your runs each week can help you get marathon-ready by the end of next year.
As you increase your distance, be sure to pay attention to your feet! Running is a high-intensity, high-impact activity, so having the right shoes is crucial to protecting your feet, knees, and joints. Your shoes need to go the distance just as much as you do, meaning you should invest in a good pair
A trip to your local running store can help you select everything from optimal shoes for sprinting to the best shoes for marathon running (hey, you might make it there sooner than you think!).
#3 Exercise Your Mind and Body
Fitness is about more than how toned your muscles are, how many reps you can do, or how many times you go to the gym every week. While these metrics are important (for some people), the mental aspect of fitness is important to prioritize.
Making your goals dependent on numbers or appearances can make working out stressful and even unhealthy, so try focusing on how fitness makes you feel. If your ultimate goal is to feel great, you’ll not only be more motivated to reach your goal, but you’ll also enjoy the journey.
Incorporating yoga, mindful stretching, and even meditation into your exercise routine are all ways to focus on your body and mind as you shape up in the New Year.
#4 Don’t Wait to Start Weight Training
Have you been putting off getting into a weightlifting routine? Getting started can be intimidating, but the New Year is a great time to finally take the plunge; a lot of people will be right there in the beginner-boat with you. Consider using these resources to help you get going:
- Personal training sessions (many gyms offer one free session)
- YouTube videos
- 30-day social media challenges
- Friends and family—you always need a spotter!
Get Ready to Ring in a New You!
We could go on and on about the benefits of setting (and sticking to) a few key fitness goals. But instead of boring you with facts about how great you’re going to look and feel, let’s focus on how proud you should be for taking such positive steps. Get ready to make this your happiest, healthiest, most fit year yet!