We tend to hear a lot about fitness when January rolls around. People are making resolutions to lead healthier lives, gyms are offering special membership deals to capitalize on resolution motivations, and you always seem to see a few more joggers and cyclists out and about. While this is all done in the right spirit, a lot of it tends to taper off pretty quickly. Many of us have a habit of setting unrealistic fitness goals on January 1st, and by February we’re back to the same old habits.
That’s not meant to be a bleak statement on motivation. Instead, it’s an indication that maybe you should shift your strategy! Instead of setting daily or weekly goals right off the bat, try to think of a whole new type of exercise or fitness initiative you might enjoy over the course of the year. For instance, instead of challenging yourself to run three miles a day, challenge yourself to run regular 5Ks, or run a half-marathon by summer. These are broader, more enjoyable goals that encourage day-to-day progress but give you time to figure out what works for you.
Keeping that in mind, here are just a few suggestions for fun new ways to exercise in 2017.
Run Those 5Ks
We already mentioned it, but we may as well begin with running, because it seems to be the first thing most people think about when it comes to fitness goals. The truth is, even if you happen to be out of shape by your standards, a 5K isn’t that demanding and tends to sound more daunting than it is. It’s a 3.12-mile run, which is something that can be worked up to in a matter of weeks or months, depending on your fitness level. What’s more, 5Ks actually tend to be fun! You can explore interesting running routes while doing them, and often you’ll have the chance to run for a cause, or run alongside friends and family. This site has some specific tips for how to train for a 5K, but the main takeaway is not to do too much too fast. Set up a reasonable, careful training schedule and stick to it, and you’ll see the progress that will get you to complete a 5K in no time.
Pick Up Tennis
It’s not uncommon to hear adults lamenting the fact that they never picked up tennis. It’s a wonderful cardiovascular activity, and it only requires one other person (or even a ball machine) to play. So why not make 2017 the year you finally pick up this sport as a new, healthy fitness hobby? It can be tricky to get started if you’re looking for a coach, but this tool demonstrates how you can narrow down the search to your own area, ability level, and other preferences. Finding the right coach is a little trickier, but you should be able to find options fairly easily, and then sift through them according to how well you work with each candidate. In no time you could be picking up a game that you’ll want to play a few mornings each week, and you could be developing a terrific new fitness habit.
Get In The Pool
Swimming, if you’re not used to it already, can seem extraordinarily difficult. That’s not to say you can’t stay afloat as long as you know how to swim, but if you’re not in the habit of swimming laps it can be tough. Getting your breathing patterns right takes some practice, so you shouldn’t be surprised if you take this advice, hop in the pool, and find yourself completely winded after a lap or two. It happens! But this is simply a matter of practice. And another point worth considering is that swimming for exercise has never been more enjoyable. This is because wearable tech has caught up to swimming, most notably through wireless, waterproof headphones and the Apple Watch Series 2. This write-up explains how a particular app can turn a smart watch into an advanced swim tracker, meaning you can now measure a water-based workout just as easily as a jog on a treadmill.
These are just a few ideas to consider. But in a more general sense, picking a whole new activity to engage in can be more effective (and more fun!) than setting arbitrary fitness goals in January.