If you’re like most Americans, you’re getting ready to announce to your friends and family that your New Year’s resolution is to go to the gym. And if you’re really like most Americans, you’ll stop going to the gym after a week or two.
It’s time to change that.
The reason so many people struggle with their physical goals year after year is because they try to go right into difficult workouts before they are even in gym-ready shape. You can’t just sit on the couch all year and bust out the newest high-intensity workout and expect results. Like anything else, you have to walk before you run. That’s why you should focus on minor weight loss, cutting calories, and getting in a little better shape first. That way you can actually last at the gym once you do make that leap.
Before you overdo it at the gym and feel discouraged, try cutting some calories and losing a few pounds first. Here are some activities you should focus on this year that will help you cut calories:
Swimming is actually the fourth most popular activity or sport in the United States. Not only is it fun and relaxing, but if done vigorously, it can significantly burn calories. If done properly, an hour in the pool can actually burn up to 650 calories. Consider having a custom pool installed on your property and dive in whenever you want to burn a few hundred calories.
Again, start slow, but biking, running, jogging, and even walking up steep hills can greatly boost your calorie burn. It’s going to be exhausting, however, especially the more you do it, but you’ll definitely enjoy the results. Plus, it’s still better than tiring yourself out at the gym. A 155-pound person running at a five-MPH pace can burn 373 calories every half hour at a 5% grade. That’s compared to 298 calories at the same speed on a flat surface. So find those hills and get up there!
That fun activity you used to do when you were younger is actually a highly taxing physical workout. Most people can’t consistently jump rope for more than a few minutes at a time, but if you can build up your cardio stamina, you’ll be able to burn plenty of calories doing this simple exercise.
Whether it’s swimming, jogging, jumping rope, or even just walking, it’s important to set realistic workout goals in the new year.