A new year is almost here, and many will be making resolutions concerning physical fitness.
Here are a few dos and don'ts to consider while pondering the totality of the fitness-oriented resolution.
Do: Take an honest assessment of your current health and fitness level.
Don't: Be embarrassed by what the assessment says. Remember, the first assessment is merely a starting point. For the most part, you earned every bit of that assessment. You can be irritated or mad about it but not embarrassed.
Do: Set a multilayered goal and make a plan to reach each step.
Don't: Make the goal difficult to achieve. Challenging is good. Difficult adds too much unneeded stress.
Do: Make the goal something that brings you happiness or exhilaration EVERY TIME you use it, wear it, see it, play with it, drive it or ride it.
Don't: Make the goal about aesthetics. I've said it before and probably will say it another 500 times: If I asked 100 people, 50 might say you look amazing while the other 50 wouldn't be as kind. So, based on those results, what have you gained after reaching a goal that's predicated on aesthetics?
Do: Create an incredible playlist. You're about to enhance your life! You should have a sweet soundtrack for it!
Don't: Add Michael Buble to that list. He's great, but your workouts will be a tad bit more high-intensity.
Do: Set up at least two sessions with a fitness professional. The first will be for assessment purposes. The second will be so the professional can demonstrate the proper way to perform the required exercises.
Don't: Team up with the first trainer you run into.
Do: Research potential trainers and ask them for references. If at a big box gym, take a few weeks and observe how the trainer operates.
Don't: Get wooed by the sexy trainer or the amazingly athletic one. Your fitness is about your body and what you can do. It's not about them.
Do: Drink more water.
Don't: Think that coffee, tea and sports drinks count as water.
Do: Find a workout partner.
Don't: Find that partner at Team BALCO or Team Biogenesis of America.
Do: Stick to the plan.
Don't: Alter the plan simply because things aren't happening fast enough in the beginning.
Remember, you spent a long time getting in this condition. You were incredibly patient with it, too, making sure you did everything possible to get to where you are. The reverse should be the same, right?
Bryant is an author and international lecturer who holds several national training certifications. His fitness tips appear biweekly in Health and Wellness.