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Why January 1st May Be The Worst Time To Start Your New Workout Routine

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What I say may not apply to everyone but I think it’s safe to say it applies to the vast majority of new gym goers who make it their mission to begin their big lifestyle change on January 1st. Of course the New Years Resolution is usually preceded by Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years parties centered around food that isn’t so friendly towards the waistline.

1. It’s the cool social thing to do, a herd mentality. Unfortunately, for most new years resolutioners…the herd drops off after about a month. The freshness wears off and then self motivation is required. If you’re not truly ready yourself and simply following the herd you are setting yourself up for failure and frustration. You must be honest with yourself.

2. Big large gyms will be insanely crowded throughout January. After a holiday binge, so many people make it their mission to start the new year right with their fitness routine. This means tons of people at the gym who don’t belong there just yet. People talking on their cell phones, people not cleaning up after themselves, people chatting by all the equipment you’re wanting to use, personal trainers harassing you for business, lines for the cardio equipment. If this is your first experience with a big gym, it more than likely will not be an enjoyable one. Of course, with a private 1 on 1 personal training studio you wouldn’t run into any of these problems :)….

3. Exciting water weight drop! There is no problem with dropping water. BUT, most people who start the new year with the goal of losing weight probably gained a few pounds over the holidays. There is quite a lot of sodium in these holiday foods, in restaurant foods, in deli meat, etc…Sodium causes water retention. Usually with the start of the year once diets improve a bit the scale would probably drop at an exciting pace for a few weeks combined with your new increased activity. What happens when you only drop 1lb or if you don’t drop any weight at all on February 1st after being accustomed to losing 3-5? With this demotivate you and cause you to fall off the wagon along with the excited herd that started January 1st?

4. New Year Discounts. So many fitness promotions in January, so many coupons. Realistically speaking, unless you really soak up some information at a rapid rate from a fitness professional and apply to your day to day life instantaneously…It will be hard to create lasting habits in a single month. Training is typically a long term investment in yourself. There are steps in maintaining a healthy diet and fitness routine, to improving will power, etc and it’s truly not a quick fix. There simply isn’t enough time in one month to absorb and apply the many principles of improvement that an experienced trainer or dietitian can provide.

Do your research and find something you can afford for the long term, ask what services they provide. If you need help with your diet try and find a boot camp or 1 on 1 trainer that also helps with food. DO NOT hire a $100/hr personal trainer who is running a 90% discount for new clients when you know you do not want to invest that money one the promotion runs out. Create a budget and find a match. If boot camps are within your budget or group training, understand it’s not as good as 1 on 1 training but its something that keeps you with a professional long term. It will be more beneficial to you in the long run.

5. More on following the herd… What I like most about fitness personally, is I have 100% control. I control what I eat, I control when I workout and I control if I cheat myself out of both things. I am responsible solely for my failure or successes, NOBODY ELSE. If you start out following the trend, you may find something you enjoy and stick with it or if you’re honest with yourself you may simply not be ready to start. Losing weight/gaining weight can both be a struggle, it can be mentally challenging.

If losing weight you may have to limit the amount of times you eat out, you may have to completely re-arrange your schedule to fit workouts in, you may have to wake up an hour earlier and go to bed two hours earlier. If you’re trying to gain weight you may have to eat even though you’re completely stuffed. If these things sound easy to apply….coming from someone who thoroughly enjoys working out and eating well, it’s not.

You must ask yourself why you are in the position you’re in and why you’re wanting to start a workout routine. What are you willing to change to make it happen? What are you willing to sacrifice to make it happen? If you think adding 3-30 minute cardio sessions a week is going to provide you with a fitness models body…it doesn’t work that way. Don’t follow the herd and just be honest with your goals and set realistic expectations. Don’t set yourself up for failure before you’re ready. Why is it you want to start this journey? Is it because your truly want to or is it because 5 people at the office have been talking about it while bulking up during the holidays? When you have honest answers to those questions…then you’re probably ready.

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About the Author:

Taylor Carpenter is a nationally Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Taylor was featured as a fitness expert in the first publication of NASM’s “The Fitness Edge”.

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