It’s January after one of the hardest years most of us will have ever experienced and here you are thinking about getting fit. For that, we commend you. Whether you’re a Mudder-to-be, a returning fan, or have no intention of getting muddy (although we hope we can change that) we have tips, training programs, and more about getting healthy and fit. Many people will roll their eyes at the health and fitness moment that sweeps so many of us up every January. But we don’t. Every year we’re blown away by the wave of hope and motivation in these early weeks of the year.
Your slate is clean and a new beginning looms, but before you jump straight into workouts five days a week and meal planning, take a moment to set your expectations, get realistic about what’s to come and learn the truth about getting fit. Because getting fit isn’t just a change for January, it’s a lifestyle change that if done right, will last forever.
The Truth About Getting Fit
1. It’s Going to Be Hard
Yes we might be stating the obvious but no not everyone gets this. Some people think that the initial difficulty and discomfort of exercise will be replaced by nirvana once they get fit enough. This just isn’t the case. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a casual exerciser or a dedicated athlete – exercise is work. Working out will always raise your heart rate, make you breathless, get muscles burning and sweat pouring (if you’re doing it right). It may get easier with time as your fitness improves and you will hopefully benefit from the dopamine and endorphins that are released when we exercise BUT it will never be easy.
2. It Won’t Happen Overnight
If ‘getting fit’ is your New Year’s resolution then listen up. Your good intentions are just that and they won’t be anything else unless you commit to consistency. A workout here and there does not a healthy Mudder make. The sad thing about exercise (other than the previous point) is that once you stop or slow down you will lose your fitness rapidly.
But all is not lost. We know that one of the hardest parts of any fitness journey is consistency but there are lots of ways to make you sticking to your new routines more likely. For example, don’t just set a goal like ‘get fit’ because its vagueness makes it easy to fail. Smaller more easily defined goals are easier to meet and when you do smash them you’ll be motivated to keep going. Having something to work towards can also help, may we suggest Tough Mudder?
3. You’ve Got to Nail The Basics
You’ve planned your workouts, read every article there is on getting fit and you’re ready to start the work. Not so fast. If you want to see results (whether that’s fitness or weight loss or strength) you need to be starting from the best place possible. That means getting plenty of sleep, eating properly and hydrating right.
According to sleep researchers, the average American is not living a lifestyle that coincides with healthy sleep patterns. Additionally, “recent reports indicate that nearly 30% of American adults report an average of 6 or less hours of sleep per night.” If this sounds familiar it’s something you’ll need to tackle as part of your fitness journey because being tired will push you to eat more sugar and skip out on those all important workout sessions. For reference, an adult should be getting seven to nine hours per night.
We don’t think we need to remind you that exercise without a healthy, balanced diet isn’t going to get you very far. But just in case, it’s important to remember that eating the right food will help your body repair after workouts, give you the energy you need to train and reduce the chance of injuries. Head over to our nutrition page for tips, recipes and advice.
Finally, the all important H20. When you start exercising regularly you need to keep hydrated, making sure you replace what’s lost through sweating. Staying hydrated won’t just keep you feeling good but it will reduce the pressure on your heart and improve your circulation.
Looking for some motivation? Sign up for our first 5K to be completed in the new year or challenge yourself to a bigger milestone goal. The only thing that stands between you and your goals is yourself.