Make 2015 the Year of Success

Fitness Resolutions: Make 2015 the Year of Success

If you’ve ever vowed to lose weight or get in shape, you know it’s easier said than done. While 40 percent of Americans make a New Year’s Resolution, only eight percent actually stick with it, according to a recent story on Forbes.com. These statistics aren’t entirely shocking. After all, we are creatures of habit, and changing a learned behavior is hard work. Not all hope is lost though. Fitdigits’s iCardio app allows you to review your fitness progress over time and gives you the boost of confidence needed to stay motivated. Along with this helpful tool, learn how to stick to your New Year’s resolution by avoiding these common mistakes:

A Vague and Unrealistic Resolution
The most common resolutions are to lose weight and get in shape. Such goals are vague and undefined and leave you with little direction. When defining your resolutions, be as specific as possible so you know exactly where you want to end up. For instance, instead of planning to “exercise more,” set a precise target like training for an upcoming 5K. While goals should be clear cut, you also need to be realistic. Unreasonable resolutions will lead to frustration and failure.

No Plan
Just like driving without a road map, attempting to reach a fitness goal without a plan will lead you in the wrong direction. That’s why it’s important to devise a plan with a series of concrete steps needed to change your behavior and reach your goal. Such steps may include joining a gym, signing up for personal training sessions, skipping Friday night happy hour, or waking up an hour earlier to run before work. Then write out the individual steps so you can cross each one off as you complete it and feel accomplished.

No Progress Tracking
If your goal is not measurable, you can’t track your degree of success, and visualizing your progress is essential for staying motivated. When devising your resolution plan, include specific numbers like a target running pace or fat loss percentage. Then review your progress and note achievements along the way. Tools like Fitdigits’s iCardio app monitor important health metrics like heart rate, pace, distance, calories and more to help you realize the improvements in your health and fitness, while boosting the confidence needed to stick to your resolution.

Burnout
Creating new habits takes time and dedication, and many people expect it to happen overnight. Though enthusiasm for reaching your goal is essential, changing your entire routine overnight will inevitably make you feel burned out. While limiting the number of drinks you consume on a night out with friends is important, completely disconnecting from your social circle and hitting the gym for three hours every day will make you feel alienated. Since it’s a lot easier to commit to a small-level change than a complete life overhaul, commit to a small change until it becomes a new habit, and move on from there so you don’t burn out.

He Said, We Said: How To Meet Your Fitness Goals

Meet Izzy Mandelbaum. Izzy, of Seinfeld fame, is definitely old school. He started as a personal trainer back when the only smart phone could be seen on Star Trek, and is still going strong today. Izzy means well, but his training regimen and advice are a bit… prehistoric. Regardless, he is opinionated and has a few tips on how to meet your fitness goals. We disagree with pretty much everything Izzy has to say, and wrote our opinions beneath his answers. Without further ado:

On Setting Goals

He said

Listen here jellybeans, you need to go big or go home. If you want to lose 5 pounds, double it and try to lose 10. Only some kind of Nancy would make a goal as low as 5 pounds. I except you to spend more time in the gym than a Hypochondriac spends in a CAT scan. If you can’t reach your goal, then your parents were right about you. You are a failure.

We said

Set realistic goals. Be true to yourself and set goals that can be attainable. The worst thing you can do is overextend yourself, and if you set a goal that is unrealistic, makes it that much easier to get discouraged and scrap it altogether. Start small, and if you reach your goal you can always set a new, more ambitious goal!

On Planning Your Workouts

He said

What do you mean “plan” a workout? Only thing you should plan on is me putting a size-10 boot directly to your rear end if you mention that sewage drain of an idea again. All you need is to go out there and work out until you feel like your body wil explode. Work out as hard as you can for about three hours and you should be fine.

We said

Create a detailed workout plan. You should plan ahead of time when you are going to work out, for how long, and what kind of workout (i.e. strength training, cardio, etc.). The worst thing to do is to go into a workout without a plan, because once the workout gets difficult it becomes that much easier to quit.

On Eating Habits

He said

Ignore all of those fancy-dancy nutritionists, I got the secret for you right here: eat protein and drink whiskey. The protein will help you build up your muscle mass and the whiskey will put some hair on your chest. I think Rosie O’Donnell has a more impressive chest-fro than those set of naked mole rats you call your pectorals.

We said

Get your eating habits under control. Without proper nutrition, your workouts might not see their full potential. Tailor your diet based on your health and fitness goals. We strongly suggest consulting a nutritionist or a (non-Mandelbaum) trainer to find out what kinds of food will best complement your workout regimen.

On Injuries

He said

Tell me this sailor, are you hurt or injured? Being hurt means a sore hammy after a hard run, while being injured means you snapped your femur in two like a wishbone. If you are hurt, rub some dirt on it and get back to working out. No pain, no gain. If you are injured, find yourself a wood plank to bite down on because I’m snapping that puppy back into place faster than you can say medical malpractice.

We said

If you just came back from a long layoff, take it easy if you are too sore or get a minor injury. Pushing through an early injury or soreness can lead to long term effects and ultimately become a roadblock in your quest for success. Don’t let short term gains get in the way of long term goals.

On Time Management

He said

So you are too busy for the Mandelbaum regimen. If that is the case, you must be some hot shot. Do you have to give God a memo before you go to sleep to make sure the world keeps spinning? If you can’t find 2 hours of your precious day to get your sweat on Mandelbaum style, then I better not see you in my gym.

We said

We understand you have a very busy life, but try to find any time you can to workout. Sometimes an intense 15 minute workout can be as good as an hour long workout. Tired? Then just try a nice, easy workout session for about 12-15 minutes. Something is better than nothing and keeps you in the habit of working out.

On Motivation

He said

Want some motivation? Take a look at me. I am 80 years old and have not missed a day of working out since J Edgar Hoover was prancing around Washington in a tube top and mini skirt. I can still curl twice my body weight at 80, and you are worried about finding ways to drag yourself into the gym? If you want more motivation, how about a knuckle sandwich with a side of your teeth?

I’m all the motivation you need!

We said

A great way to stay motivate is reward yourself for hitting milestones on the way to your goal. Had a personal best workout? Buy yourself a new outfit. Lost 3 pounds? Pamper yourself and get a massage. Too often we tend to bask in failure and ignore small victories. Remember to celebrate your success!

On Variety in Workouts

He said

I got three workouts and three workouts only. Squatting, Curling and Running. Anything else is just some new-age mumbo jumbo that is about as real as my fake hip. If you are getting bored with my workouts, then you can go take a long walk on a short pier.

We said

Mix things up! Doing the same thing over and over gets boring and your body will not adjust. This can lead to your body becoming stagnate and you will no longer find yourself making any progress. Try anything and everything, from kettle ball workouts to Boxing to Pilates.

On Being Perfect

He said

I do not tolerate anything less than perfection. If you fail once, I’m dropping you from my regimen. Your generation has gone soft. I once ran from France to Russia without having a single misstep. In the middle of winter. During WW2. I think even a butterfly-hunting toddler like you can make it through a year without messing up.

We said

You can’t be perfect! Try your best to do every workout and eat right, but if life gets in the way of your grand plan don’t get down in the dumps. Just make sure you make it to the next workout, or that the next meal is healthy. The worst thing you can do is let one misstep completely derail you from your goal.

On Recording Your Nutrition and Workouts

He said

What is with you people nowadays? What with your Face-googling and Twitts, you do not even rely on yourself to remember how many pounds you squat. If that wastebasket you call a brain is not smart enough to remember that you ate 12 raw eggs for breakfast, then I may have to grab a pillow, put it to your face, and put you out of your misery.

We said

The best way to make yourself accountable is to record your workouts and nutrition. You will find that if you make recording your nutrition and workouts a habit, it will always be in the back of your mind and you will be more aware of what good and bad meals and workouts are.

On Being Knowledgable

He said

The only information you need to know is what comes out of my two lips. I don’t want you polluting your head with all of that word-vomit people will spew at you. As far as training goes, I am the Shepard and you are my sheep. I am the sun and you are my planets.

We said

Arm yourself with as much information as possible. Consult a nutritionist, trainer, or anyone else who can help. It is liberating to not only know what you are doing, but why you are doing it. If you become educated about health and fitness, you can not only reach your goals but completely change your lifestyle!