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2017: The year of the gym rat

IMG_83642016 is finally over, and you’re looking at this new year as an opportunity for growth, change and a fresh start.  It’s almost as if we are hitting the reset button on life and it’s a great time to evaluate our personal goals.

The question of physical health and fitness, and what it means to us individually, often comes with self-reflection.  Everyone’s personal fitness journey varies due to scheduling, ability and motivations for switching it up.  But sometimes, this resolution seems daunting by day three and you just can’t find that push to make it to the gym, or you realize that green smoothies really just aren’t your thing.

If your motivation to stick to that resolution wavers, or even drops off the deep end, it’s totally normal. Don’t let the stress of school or work allow you to lose sight of that first new goal you’ve set for yourself.  Below is a list of things to help keep you on track in your new (or continued) fitness journey.

Write reminders or pep talks on post-it notes and put them around your room.

Doing this helps you read snippets of motivation that will put the gym, or some form of exercise, on your mind for after class. You can even write out a routine you may want to complete so you’re prepared with a workout and won’t spend time trying to make something up.

IMG_8341Get plenty of rest.

It’s tough to go through your full day of stressful assignments and classes on empty and it’s even more difficult to go the extra mile (maybe even literally) in your workout routine. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that people ages 18-25 should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep.

Grab a large, re-useable water bottle.

Hydration is key in leading an active life. Having water with you wherever you go may be the push for you to stay hydrated all day.  Several studies have shown that drinking large amounts of water helps people maintain their weight better than those who don’t.  It also helps to reduce headaches and kidney problems, and allows your heart to work more efficiently for your body.

Have a workout buddy.

Socializing is something us humans need, regardless of the time and place. So, why not make that time and place at the gym or on a long walk around campus?  If you have a friend who you enjoy spending time with, invite them to workout with you. Having a support system to keep you on track with your goals is important for long term changes in your fitness journey.  Plus, having a buddy makes working out more enjoyable and feel less like “work.”

Pignata likes to work out at the Fitness Center on campus. (Marisa Tangeman)
Pignata likes to work out at the Fitness Center on campus. (Marisa Tangeman)

Follow social media accounts centered around healthy lifestyles.

We all spend plenty of time on Facebook and Instagram during the day, so why not follow some inspirational fitness pages to kick up that motivation? If you’re scrolling through social media and see exercises being performed, you’re going to be more likely to execute those moves yourself, and with proper form.  Here are a few inspirational fitness Instagram accounts: @jessikneeland, @jaycardiello and @nataliejillfit.

Hopefully these tips will help you out and 2017 will be your year to find healthy lifestyle changes that fit just right. Remember to stay positive and to try your best. Good luck.