Yes, You Can: Our 7 Top Fitness Tips for 2021
January 6, 2021
Feeling like that holiday turkey and mashed potatoes have permanently settled in your mid-section? Or maybe you’re feeling extra sluggish from being Zoom-bound for most of 2020? That’s understandable — but also fixable. To help get your workout mojo back on track, start with 7 of our best fitness tips for 2021 — and make this year one to celebrate for all the right reasons.
1: Begin with an attainable fitness goal.
Fitness tips come in all shapes and sizes, but one of the most powerful is arguably one of the simplest: Start with a manageable fitness goal. If working out is new to you (or an activity from your distant past), starting with an ambitious outcome, like, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds in two months,” can get overwhelming quickly. Instead, start with a process goal, like “I am going to bike for 30 minutes, three times a week.” Don’t worry about losing pounds and inches; just focus on being active.
2: Build on your success with incremental goal increases.
When you’re ready, step it up a notch with a progress goal, like “I am going to add a mile to my run every month for three months.” Make this goal inspiring but doable. Many professional athletes will tell you that making progress, regardless of pace, is what keeps them going when things get tough.
Finally, challenge yourself with an ultimate outcome goal — like losing that 10 pounds. When you have a process and a record of progress to lean on, attaining an outcome goal is well within reach.
3: Stick to a schedule.
With family, work, pets, and projects to contend with, eking out time for exercise can be a full-time job. But without enough time allocated to improve your fitness, you’re setting yourself up for certain failure. In short, one of the most important fitness tips you’ll find involves creating a fitness schedule: Set aside a few hours per week, every week, to work on your fitness. Sure, this may mean shifting things around a bit, giving up hours of web surfing, and maybe heading to bed a little later. But adding fitness to your schedule will actually increase your energy and allow you to get things done more efficiently.
4: Work out with a buddy.
Keep in mind that fitness can be fun – especially if you do it with someone else. To help keep you motivated, find someone who is also focused on improving their fitness and work on it together. Not only will having a workout partner make you more accountable, but you’ll be supporting someone else on their wellness journey, as well. And most importantly, it’ll be a whole lot more fun working through the hard parts together.
5: Tell people about your fitness journey.
This can feel a little awkward at first, but telling people about your fitness goals will get you over the finish line sooner. For one thing, it makes you more accountable — you wouldn’t want to have to tell your partner or best friend that you gave up on losing that last inch, are we right?
Second, your friends and colleagues are likely to cheer for your success. They can provide that additional bit of motivation when you need it most.
Third, you could be the inspiration others need to get started on their own fitness goals. It’s a win, win, win.
6: Track your progress.
Take a minute and create a simple record of what you’re doing and when. Use a notebook, spreadsheet, voice recorder, or app to record time, mileage, weight, prep, diet, feelings, or comments — whatever is most relevant. Not only will it help refine your goals and methods, but on those bad days when you feel like throwing in the towel, it’ll help remind you how far you’ve come already.
Some of our favorite apps include RunKeeper (running), Strava (cycling and running), and Fitbod (strength training). All three are available for iOS and Android, have free versions, and include enhanced versions for additional fees.
7: Stay motivated.
Yes, it’s easy to get discouraged, but prevent this from totally derailing your efforts by hanging affirmations where you workout, getting those wireless earbuds to use while on the treadmill, enlisting a friend to cheer you on, or all three.
And if you miss a day here or there, don’t let it push you off track. Just pick up where you left off and keep going — you’ll get there. And who knows, you may just discover a few additional fitness tips along the way.
Finally, make sure you’re cleared by an appropriate medical professional before starting any fitness program. Injuries not only sideline your momentum, but they tend to dampen enthusiasm for resuming workouts after recovery. Avoid these mishaps altogether by starting with a clean bill of health.