Now that we’re we've hit the last day of January, our willpower, goal-based decisions, all of our milestones, and a slew of other decisions we make in the process are put to a number of tests.
The buzz and excitement of the holidays have worn off, and as we go back to the office, to our routine, families, to our inner and outer conflicts, and to many challenges that lie ahead, we need to see which of our resolutions will stand not just the test of time, but many other setbacks and obstacles. This is especially vital for those of us who want to make lifestyle changes that will lead us to be healthier, stronger, leaner, and ultimately happier, our fitness resolutions.
How do your gym plans pan out when your kids get the flu? Will you really have the energy to work out five times per week when you’re trying to run another support group so desperately needed in our community? What about meal-planning, cooking healthy meals for the days ahead, will you have the energy or the zeal after facing another biased decision at work?
Truth be told, the only fitness resolutions that are worth making are the ones that promise you increased happiness and health, and the ones that will not ruin, but only strengthen your professional and personal goals in the process. Here are a few fitness resolutions that will be worthy of your time and effort, and the ones that you can add to your schedule to support all other goals you might have for 2022.
Mental health and fitness come first
When it comes to fitness, most people limit their resolutions to the notion that includes only the physical form. Sure, it’s more than vital to provide our bodies with the nutrition they need, and it’s a great choice to kick-start a workout routine whenever we can. However, as someone who likely faces various forms of social stigma, conflict, and prejudice, you should also focus on your mental and emotional fitness, too. We should all do the same, in fact.
So, instead of defining your fitness journey based on calories and miles alone, make sure to focus on what brings you joy, makes you feel awesome in your own skin, and what gives you power. If yoga and meditation will bring you the physical and mental strength and resilience, go for it. In case powerlifting, salsa dancing, or martial arts are more up your alley for your spiritual and your physical fitness, once again, don’t hesitate. The point of being fit is feeling good, inside and out, and you should only stick to the kind of fitness goals that ensure your mental and emotional health, not just physical.
Balance your energy levels
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More often than not, the difference between hitting the gym or staying at home binge-watching Grace and Frankie can be how exhausted you are after your long day at the office. Before you completely forego your desire to stay on track with your fitness resolutions on any given Friday afternoon, you should design a plan to boost your energy and prevent those mood slumps.
For example, modern-day gym enthusiasts and athletes rely on supplements to do just that. One of the simplest ways to do that is to introduce a quality citrulline supplement to your pre-workout routine, so that your body can reap the rewards of this energy-enhancing ingredient (seek professional medical advice when starting a new supplement). It has the potential to increase blood flow to your brain and muscles alike, thus letting you focus on your workout better and improve your performance. When you’re feeling unsure about staying on course, this is one of the simplest ways to ensure you’ll stay in line with your fitness goals.
Set reasonable expectations
Reasonable in this case should be equalized with healthy. Although almost everyone can strive to have that lean and shredded physique, it doesn’t mean that it should be you, or that your health will benefit from it. Ultimately, letting go of body image stereotypes and societal expectations that survive even within the LGBTQ community should be your primary guiding principle: don’t condone to unrealistic and biased expectations, rather set your own standards.
That might mean shedding a few pounds, growing stronger through weight training, or simply taking up a dance class to be more agile and express yourself more freely. Just make sure that your goals are based on your needs only.
Be mindful of the maintenance phase
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Some people believe that beginnings are the toughest to get over, and that once you start with a fitness routine, all else will come easily. Alas, that is rarely the case. It’s later in the process that many people scale back, postpone, or completely abandon their fitness goals – because maintaining that healthy balance, physique, and confidence is far more difficult than it seems.
Now that you’re still early in the process, factor maintenance into your fitness plan for 2022. Focus on the ways you can sustain your motivation with a healthy reward system, and on the ways to sustain your enthusiasm by adding variety into your diet plan and your exercise routine. You can always get a gym buddy and increase competitiveness and support in one go!
Hopefully, your new year will be brimming with challenges that will drive you, not ruin your motivation or energy. More than ever, fitness should be in the service of your wellbeing, and you need to use your health resolutions to feel better in your own skin, grow your confidence, ditch shame, and look at yourself in the mirror with unparalleled pride.
EDITOR'S NOTE: WHENEVER CHANGING YOUR EXERCISE OR FITNESS REGIME, CONSULT A DOCTOR.