Tips for nailing your health and fitness New Year’s resolutions

With the new year around the corner, many of us may be turning our minds to thoughts of New Year’s resolutions.

If doing more running or otherwise embarking on a healthy, active lifestyle is one of your goals for January, Brainsport’s staff have some advice on how to start the year off on the right foot.

Walk before you run

Commit to going for a brisk walk for at least 30 minutes, three times per week. Walking as part of your job or everyday life doesn’t count. This needs to be an extra, dedicated workout. Do that for at least a month before starting a run program. It doesn’t sound like much, but it will prepare your mind, lifestyle and body for the challenge of a run program. It will help you avoid the shin splints and scheduling challenges that plague new runners. If you’re already walking as a workout on a regular basis, good job! You’ll adapt quickly to a walk-run training program.
— Lis Schermann

Photo by Burst from Pexels.

Make or choose a schedule

Try to stick to a weekly or monthly schedule as much as possible. And remember to carry on with the schedule even if you miss a run and not to give up on it.
— Ali Bergeron

Find an accountability buddy

It is always our best intention to be active in the new year, but the biggest reason we do not is because we lack consistency. The best way to keep motivated and consistent is to find a buddy to run with or find a community to stay active with. During a pandemic that may seem a bit tricky, but Brainsport has a great virtual running community and a great presence on social media. We’re working on staying connected, but most importantly, staying safe during these unprecedented times.
— Jaclyn Edwards

Do something that makes you excited

Try some new running paths or trails or get together with a friend (in a physically distanced way). I have always found I am more excited and motivated to get out and run when I’m with other people.
— Alana Huntington

Photo by Polina Kova on Pexels.

Listen to your body

Getting an injury is not fun and can set you back from accomplishing your goals. To prevent injuries, make sure to listen to your body. If you need to walk or bike instead of run because of soreness, do that. If you need to take an extra day off, do that. If you feel great and feel like going harder, do that. Running success all comes down to the ability to listen to your body.
— Jaira Cross Child

Set goals for yourself

Focus on both short- and long-term goals. A short-term goal could be as simple as “I want to run five minutes without stopping” and a long-term goal could be “I want to complete a five-kilometre run while only walking once.” These goals should be personal to yourself and not be influenced by others. Once you obtain a short term goal, set another one.

Don’t be afraid to re-assess these goals every once in a while to determine if they are still possible.

Setting these goals will help you look to the future and give you something to work towards. I do similar goal setting with all of the athletes I coach. including high performance/Olympic hopeful athletes. With these athletes we have three types of goals (and athletes set a long-term and short-term goal for each:

1) Bronze goal: Something that should be easily obtainable
2) Silver goal: Something that you should be able to obtain with hard work and consistency
3) Gold goal: A nearly impossible goal; something that you can obtain if everything goes 100% correct. Do not feel disappointed if you cannot obtain this goal. This is something you want to strive for and should not be easy to get.

— Jamie Epp