At least when it comes to exercise.
I don’t really believe in New Year Resolutions. If we really want to do something, there’s no need to wait until 1st January. Or use it as an excuse to delay doing it. If you think about it, it’s actually more constructive to adopt a New Month Resolution or New Week Resolution instead. That would cut down the procrastination to a great extent. Of course, the best would be New Day Resolution, even better if Day refers to Today, not Tomorrow, or worse, Forever Tomorrow.
But New Year Resolutions are more fun and novel because it’s just once a year, feeding into grander dreams of what we can achieve in 365 days. Who doesn’t dream of being better people, in better situations, in better shape. New hopes, new beginnings. Hopes and dreams are fun. But that’s possibly because we can do our hoping and dreaming while our asses are still in bed or on the sofa. It’s actually having to put in the effort come 1st January and the weeks and months after that it progressively ceases to be less and less fun.
So I’ve been thinking, the reason why my New Year Resolutions to exercise regularly crumbles soon after is sore muscles. Yes, when we work out after not doing it for weeks or months, naturally our joints and muscles become all sore the following day as they seek to recover from the sudden workout they had suddenly been subjected to. Depending on how strenuous the workout is, we might take days to recover.
So what usually happens year after year is, after only the second or third workout, I finally can’t take it anymore and have to take a break for a few days. And then find that I can’t fully get back into the previous momentum. This affects the will to exercise which gradually peters off, with more and more breaks in between, until by March or so I’m back to square one.
So, my strategy is simply to start now in early December. Get all the soreness out of the way, so that come 1st January, I’ll be all up and running. That’s the idea, anyway. Which I may or may have not thought of while my ass was still in bed or on the sofa.
So what’s my New Year Resolution with regards to exercising regularly? Oh, only about 30 minutes or so, 5 to 6 days a week. Nothing too ambitious to cut down the chance of burning out. A mix of dumbbells for resistance training, and cardio.
For cardio, I want to incorporate the following video I came across on YouTube by an instructor called Rowan Row. I tried it yesterday (a Monday = New Week Resolution!) only to discover how out of shape I’ve become. The 10-minute routine is simple to follow: 10 simple exercises, each 45 seconds long followed by 15 seconds of rest. I found that I can’t do some (like the half-burpees, the third exercise) for the whole 45 seconds. It’s too hard.
Never mind, though. I simply do what I can for now, 30 seconds, with a view to build up my stamina over the next few weeks to do the whole 45 seconds. I also modify some exercises to suit my current fitness level. For example, for now I don’t go low on the lunges, the seventh exercise, so I don’t over-exert and hurt my knees.
So that’s another great reason to start our New Year Resolution early. Get the kinks all sorted out, get our joints and muscles acquainted to the routines we want to do. Get used to the time of day we’ve set to exercise, especially if it’s early morning. Settle all these and other things to be mentally and physically ready.
Come 1st January, we’d already be doing it with comfortable confidence, instead of just starting out. Best of luck to all of us, especially me! I’ll be needing it 🙂