Start the New Year Off Strong by Getting Back Into Shape

The holidays are a time of hearty meals, family bonding and drink-heavy evenings. After this period of slight excess—mild indulgence, some might say—we often start the new year with “get in shape” at the top of our list of resolutions.

However, actually going through with it is another story. Here are our trips and ticks for getting you started and keeping you motivated!

Set realistic goals

Trying to do everything at once will discourage you faster than simply starting off slow. Insert exercise progressively into your routine and increase the time and intensity you dedicate to it, little by little.

Morale-boosting tip: give yourself small goals that are easy to achieve, such as walking to work or drinking one litre of water in the morning—it’ll help you stay motivated and keep you in the get-fit mindset.

Plan your schedule

It’s important to set aside time for exercise—if you don’t, other activities or obligations will quickly take its place. We recommend making your workout a morning thing, as fewer obligations will get in the way. Plus, if you’re the kind of person who always feels you don’t have time, this excuse will no longer hold water: morning workouts, in fact, give you more energy and productivity. At the end of the day, you will have accomplished more, and you will have done so in less time.

Check out our tips for integrating exercise into a packed schedule.

Hold yourself accountable

Show up! Whether it’s a workout partner, a sports watch, or an app that makes sure you’re up and working out, you should have someone—or something—to hold you accountable.

A fun way to do so is to partner up with a friend or family member with whom you can share a few laughs and motivate each other. Plus, a little friendly competition can go a long way to help you stay motivated and beat your personal bests.

Arm yourself against the cold

Winter in our lovely province is very enjoyable—when you have the right gear.

Being properly equipped means you won’t have an excuse to put exercise off to the next day. If you’re exercising outdoors, dress in layers and put synthetic fibres first (avoid cotton at all costs!).

Days when the temperature drops to -10°C, think about trying an indoor sport.

Try out a new sport

Are you starting to find your three-day-a-week gym routine boring? Sign up for a new sport or a group course. You can try out free classes to evaluate your level of interest for different sports. Seek out a new form of exercise that motivates you and makes you want to get out of the house. With a new sport or new class, you’ll meet people who share your interests as you get in shape. Having a sizeable network of active friends will go a long way to keeping you motivated.

If you’re looking for some ideas, check out the sports Marie-Claude Perron tested out in the #StayingFit webseries.

Finally, don’t feel guilty on days that you don’t stick to your routine. Guilt is counterproductive! Simply return to exercising after your break, and keep giving it the best you’ve got!