New year, new you, right? Well actually, there's nothing wrong with the you you already are, but if you'd love to push your limits further and achieve some fitness goals you've only dreamed about, then we're all for that.
Not only is working out a physical battle, but it's a mental one too. Here are our top tips for ensuring you achieve your goals and stay motivated:
Know what your goals are
Figure out what you want to achieve in any given time period and stick to it. Make sure your goals are attainable, otherwise you'll feel demoralised when you don't hit them. If it helps, make short-term goals to begin with, like running 5k, planning a weekly workout, lifting a certain weight or even just joining a gym. Be honest with yourself and get ready to work!
Make specific plans
Dedicate time each week to make your goals a reality. If you know you don't hold yourself accountable for missed gym sessions or at-home runs, join a class to give you a specific plan and time slot to stick to. If life gets in the way and you miss a workout, don't beat yourself up, just move on and figure out when you're next going to smash it out of the park.
Getting up in the dark to hit the gym before work can be utterly soul-destroying, but there are some things you can do to make it easier. Prepping your workout clothes and fitness accessories before bed, having your protein shake ready in the fridge and your water bottle full are just a few of them. Similarly, take your gym gear to work with you if you're planning on an evening session and head to the gym straight after work. Then, when you get home, you can just chill. Do you have enough sets of leggings and sports bras for all the workouts you're planning? Don't give yourself an excuse to miss it because you're behind on laundry!
Most of all, achieving your goals should be enjoyable. You're making a change for your health and all those happy hormones will feel great, so don't get bogged down in the grit of it all. Join a class you know you'll love, start a team sport and you could even recruit a friend to both chat to and to be a little healthy competition.
Now you've got all the mental fuel to get going, here are some fitness accessories you'll definitely need to achieve your goals:
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Your fitness health haul
1. Aluminium-free deodorant
Aluminium has been found to temporarily plug your sweat glands and can also absorb into your body, so before you get your sweat on, arm yourself with one of the growing range of aluminium-free versions which will keep you fresh and keep you cooler.
2. Pong-proof gym bag
You can be stylish without the stench of sweaty trainers wafting from your bag. We love this one from Amazon which is durable, has a big capacity and comes with a drawstring bag to put all your smelly stuff in.
3. Stylish sports bottle
Because turning up to class with single use plastic is a no-go, grab yourself an eco-friendly water bottle. Stylish brand S'well is our go-to when it comes to gorgeous but effective water bottles.
4. Protein powder
Investing in a complete protein powder will not only help keep your hunger pangs at bay, but will help you build lean muscle and feel energised enough to have a kickass workout. This Form Performance Protein comes in some delicious flavours too, so it'll stop you from reaching for that chocolate bar at 4pm.
5. Post-workout recovery set
With your new found motivation comes a feeling you might not be accustomed to: aching. Make sure you invest in a foam roller to give your muscles a good massage after every session and stretch. This set has multiple tools you can use for the ultimate recovery.
6. Body composition scales
Simply weighing yourself won't give you an accurate idea of your fitness levels, so go pro with a set of body scan scales that will tell you everything from your body fat percentage, visceral fat levels, total body water content and metabolic age.
7. BCAA drinks
These are the latest buzzword in the workout world. It stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids, which are basically the magic three which help you maintain muscle. Taking a BCAA drink before, during or after you exercise will help the proteins rebuild your muscle and help you work out harder for longer.
8. Wireless headphones
Wireless is definitely the way forward when it comes to exercising. Nobody wants to get wires caught on the cross trainer or have them flapping around while running. These headphones from Mifo are comfortable in the ear and give you a great sound without blocking out what's around you - perfect for runners who want to be safe while they're out and about. They're waterproof (you can even swim in them) and charge using a super cool case.