23 steps for a fitter, healthier you in 2023 – that you can actually sustain

a man jogging with a dog on a lead

Ready for a healthier you? (Image: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

Seven weeks. No, it is not a prediction of the current Prime Minister’s position; that’s the average length of a New Year’s resolution.

However, to help you set new goals this past March, we have 23 steps you can take in 2023 to achieve a consistent, happier and healthier you.

Long-term change is difficult. It takes commitment and effort. Therefore, for change to be successful and sustainable, it must be gradual and workable.

Mandy Wong Oultram, award-winning personal trainer and nutrition coach at FlexFit, told Metro.co.uk: ‘My main aim is to help people enjoy exercise by showing how fitness can fit into their busy lifestyles.

‘I want you to be motivated to exercise and eat healthy beyond March when everyone else has broken their resolutions!

‘This is actually the last year that “fitness” is your New Year’s resolution!’

Ahead, we break down 23 hacks you can do now to be healthier next year.

Find out why you are

Motivation can be hard to muster, but even more so when you don’t know why you’re doing something.

The Oultram man agrees: ‘Look deep inside yourself to find out why you want to exercise more. Write it down and read it again when you feel unmotivated (because, yes, we all have off days!).’

Be realistic and stay consistent

It is said that it takes an average of 66 days to change a habit. Therefore, you will not change overnight, and it is unlikely to happen in January.

However, it can be more doable if you are realistic about seeking change and remain consistent in your approach

‘If you’re struggling to maintain momentum in the first month, try to stick with it, and you should find the lifestyle changes become easier by the end of the second month,’ advises Mandy.

A comp of a woman in mate

Try something new (Image: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

Set SMART goals

To stay focused and remind yourself

To stay focused and remind yourself of what you want to achieve, set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Without goals, there is no accountability, and measuring progress is difficult.

Create manageable goals

Mandy says you should aim for a target that has an eight out of ten chance.

“If your average daily steps are 5,000, instead of having a goal of 10,000 and not achieving it, set a goal of 6,000 and see how you will walk the extra steps easily,” he suggests.

List the benefits of being fit and healthy

By listing the benefits of being fit, you’ll create a personal reason to keep going. You will also have a reminder that you have too much time, and you can stick it somewhere you will see.

The Oultram man said: ‘The benefits of exercise are well documented, but this You list. Write down what is important to you.’

women do yoga

Be realistic with your goals (Image: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

List the consequences of not do things

By noting the risks or consequences of not changing your lifestyle, you will repeat yourself why. It is not there to scare you but it can encourage you when motivation is low.

Schedule your training

While some of us may like to wing it when it comes to fitness, the reality is that it is easy for life to get in the way of preventing us from working out. If you have a weekly schedule, it’s harder to avoid.

‘Put exercise in your diary around other commitments,’ Mandy suggests. ‘Plan when you’re least likely to leave the idea, such as in the morning.’

Don’t compare yourself

Don’t panic if your first gym class or exercise takes a while and everyone else seems fitter than you – fight your goals and goals, not anyone else’s.

Healthy competition is one thing, but unrealistic goals always lead to demotivation.

Take a small window of opportunity

Just because you don’t have full hours to work out doesn’t mean you can’t exercise; something is better than nothing.

Oultram agrees: You don’t need hours every day to exercise. 20 minutes of exercise three or four days a week is still important and beneficial.

‘To see a change, you just have to do more than you do now.’

Warming up before exercise (Image: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

Warming up before exercise (Image: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

Celebrate small wins

Sometimes small achievements count and can motivate you to keep going.

“Don’t underestimate the power of patting yourself on the back for the small steps you’ve taken,” says Mandy. ‘All progress, no matter how small, must be noted.’

Plan your training

The gym can be intimidating, and for some, it’s boring.

However, if you use it armed with exercises (complete with sets and reps), it will give you structure and motivation. Or, join the class to give directions.

Hire a personal trainer

Sometimes, we all need a boost or someone to encourage us to keep going. The right personal trainer will vary your exercises, improve your technique and encourage you to work at your optimal capacity.

Start strength training

No matter what age you are, strength training will benefit you if you do it right.

A new study shows that strength training can help you live longer. It also reduces the risk of osteoporosis, improves mood and confidence, improves metabolism and improves heart health.

Drink water

You know the benefits of drinking lots of water, so make it as easy as possible.

The Oultram people recommend taking your bottle with you wherever you go and adding a wedge of orange or lemon for extra flavor.

trx training

Strength training is key (Image: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

Make healthy eating more convenient

You can make healthy meals a part of your daily life by cooking and freezing portions or buying pre-made vegetables like carrot sticks that are quick and easy to use. Berries and frozen fruit are also useful for making quick and healthy smoothies.

Reduce alcohol intake

Boozing may be fun at the time, but alcohol has a detrimental effect on your training. It can cause dehydration because the kidneys produce more urine, and energy levels are affected, creating less glucose that makes us tired.

‘If you’re tired, you’re more likely to make bad food choices and not be able to train the next day,’ says Wong Oultram.

Eat high energy foods

Carbohydrates, including pasta, potatoes and rice, are important for providing exercise fuel and you need them if you exercise regularly.

Get enough quality sleep

The Oultram man says we should: ‘Sleep right to exercise and eat better the day after’.

He added that it is important to relax an hour before bed by reading books, listening to podcasts and limiting phone use..

the woman got up and stretched out of bed

Good rest is key (Image: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

Make a warm-up

It is easy to skip this part and crack with exercise but the warm-up literally warms the muscles ready for exercise, increases circulation and body temperature and gradually raises the heart rate.

If you’re stuck for ideas, Wong Oultram suggests: A good idea is to warm up with a lower-intensity version of the same movement you’ll be doing during your workout.’

Stretch next your training

A cool-down stretch is important.

‘Stretch when the muscles are warm and mobile,’ Mandy advises. ‘This will help your muscles recover and reduce soreness the next day.’

Practice with friends

If you take a class or workout with someone, you can keep each other accountable.

Create a playlist

meIf you’re exercising alone, a playlist of your favorite music can help boost your workout motivation, boost your mood and keep you going for longer.

As Wong Oultram says: ‘So your mind associates exercise with a good time!’

Try something new

You don’t have to run away just because your friends swear; decide what you like and try some new types of exercise.

There are so many options, and you never know, aerial hoops, indoor rock climbing or pole fit might be your choice.

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