January is a popular time for getting fit and losing weight. Many gyms run “New Year, New You” promotions to capitalize on this trend. However, research shows that as many as 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail within six weeks. As a veteran personal trainer, I believe this is because people often take on too much at once or lack true commitment to making meaningful changes. To increase your chances of success, it’s important to make resolutions you are truly passionate about and break big changes into smaller, more manageable chunks.
Instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in eight weeks, for example, commit to losing four pounds a month over the coming year. This approach is more sustainable and manageable. If you’re unsure about how to start the New Year on the right foot and make meaningful resolutions, I’ll share some ideas for fitness resolutions to make in 2024.
Exercise Resolutions for 2024:
1. Master Your Body Weight: Bodyweight or calisthenics training is often dismissed by exercisers who believe it’s only effective for beginners or for conditioning and fat loss. However, this is not the case. You can build muscle, strength, and power with calisthenics, even if you are already experienced. Mastery of your body weight improves athleticism, mobility, balance, and coordination. Additionally, bodyweight exercises can be done almost anywhere and at any time, making them the perfect excuse-free workout. Consider including a couple of bodyweight exercises in all your workouts, dedicating one training session a week to bodyweight training, or even ditching the weights altogether for a month or two.
2. Improve Your Flexibility: Stretching is as important as cardio and strength training. Tight muscles can reduce your range of motion, affect your posture, and increase your risk of injury. Despite its importance, many exercisers spend very little time stretching. If you struggle to touch your toes, squat below parallel, extend your arms overhead, pull your heel to your butt, or do deep dips, you likely need to work on your flexibility. Getting more flexible requires dedicated effort and daily stretching. Set aside 15-20 minutes a day for stretching, scheduling it at the same time every day to create a habit. Design a stretching routine based on your needs and goals, focusing on the muscles that are tightest. Consistent stretching over a year will greatly improve your flexibility and overall function.
3. Set Some Goals: Goal setting is crucial for exercising and eating right. Before starting your next workout or diet, take a moment to write down short and long-term goals for the coming year. Having a clear goal will help determine the appropriate workout plan and dietary approach. Measure and record your progress to stay motivated and make adjustments as needed. Once you reach a goal, set another one to keep yourself motivated and moving forward.
Nutrition Resolutions for 2024:
1. Eat Enough Protein Every Day: Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. Not consuming enough protein can hinder your progress in building muscle. It is also valuable for weight management and fat loss, as protein is satiating and boosts metabolism. While most exercisers know they need to consume protein, it’s important to ensure you are getting enough. Aim to include a source of protein in every meal and snack throughout the day.
These are just a few ideas for fitness and nutrition resolutions to make in 2024. Remember, it’s important to choose resolutions that resonate with you and to start with small, manageable changes. By setting realistic goals and making meaningful commitments, you can increase your chances of success and make lasting changes to your health and fitness.