It’s that time of year again: that moment when you look back at the last year and wonder to yourself “Did I take care of my body as well as I should have?” Well, you’re not alone in that thought. Establishing and maintaining a fitness regimen is arguably the most popular new year resolution in America, along with eating healthier and saving more money. However, it’s also one of the first resolutions to be left by the wayside after an initial few weeks of dedication.
Why is this the case? For one thing, it’s much easier said than done! Many people find themselves optimistic when setting goals for the new year, and why shouldn’t they be? Making a plan to better yourself both physically and mentally is a promising notion, but when it comes to actually doing the work, we’re often reminded just how difficult it can be. The secret to success in this regard is to start small, define your goals, and create a program that allows you to succeed incrementally. Here are some of the top ways to get in shape for 2020.
Get a Trainer
One of the most surefire ways to stay on top of your fitness routine is to hire a personal trainer. Nothing helps motivate you quite like a professional fitness coach, and their expertise can help maximize your workout efficiency, ensuring you meet your goals. The biggest downside to a personal trainer is the often hefty cost of hiring one: the national average cost of a personal trainer is between $40 and $70 per session.
For those seeking out a trainer who don’t necessarily need one-on-one instruction, group fitness classes are a more affordable alternative, and you may even make a friend or two!
Use Fitness Apps
For those of us not able or not willing to shell out the cash needed for a personal trainer, there’s an alternative: mobile fitness apps for your smartphone. These apps do everything from helping you count calories, to reminding you of your goals, to fitness tracking (including integration with external devices such as heart rate monitors).
If counting calories is your thing, consider a subscription with MyFitnessPal, a weight management app with with both a free version and a $9.99 per month premium version. If you’re a fan of FitBit, you may find the FitBit Coach app to be helpful at the same price.
Join a Gym
Gym memberships are a great way to get (or stay) in shape, as they offer a wide range of equipment and programs in a community setting. Although monthly membership rates can be expensive, many facilities offer basic packages for as low as $10 a month.
Some gyms offer supplemental services to sweeten the deal, such as massages, swimming pools, saunas, and discounts on protein bars, smoothies and other nutritious snacks. Gyms are also a great way to meet fellow fitness enthusiasts who can help you stay motivated and on track with your goals.
Sign Up for a Race
One of the best goals you can set for yourself is signing up for a race. For those new to running, a 5K or 10K can be quite manageable with minimal training. If you’re looking for a more intense experience, consider signing up for a half or full marathon—but be prepared for months of vigorous training! Running 26 miles is no joke and requires a consistent, incremental training routine. To make it fun, consider participating in a themed race such as a Zombie Run or Mud Run.
For the most demanding of fitness buffs, a triathlon—whereupon participants engage in running, swimming and cycling all in the same race—is just about as intense as you can get.
While this is more of a general lifestyle recommendation, getting outdoors is one of the best ways to naturally get more exercise and maintain fitness. Whether it be challenging yourself with one of Colorado’s 53 “fourteener” mountains or hitting the slopes at any one of dozens of Colorado ski resorts, there’s something for everyone in the most physically fit state in the country.
Colorado’s 300 sunny days a year, coupled with some of the best outdoor scenery in the country thanks to the beautiful Rockies, leave you with no excuse but to get out and about.
These are just a handful of ways you can stay on top of your fitness goals for 2020. The most important thing is to find something you enjoy doing, as this will be the number one motivator for you to persist in your fitness routine.