Fit and Fine by Kamal Singh CSCS: Resolutions for the new year

Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself this new year. Start small and be practical when it comes to your fitness goals you’re setting
It’s better to start with long walks at a challenging pace 3-5 days in a week than jump in feet first on a HIIT cardio routine (Shutterstock)
It’s better to start with long walks at a challenging pace 3-5 days in a week than jump in feet first on a HIIT cardio routine (Shutterstock)
Published on Jan 08, 2022 10:58 PM IST
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ByKamal Singh CSCS

It’s that time of the year again when people make long lists of all things they would like to achieve in the new year. But invariably barely a month into the year, resolutions fall by the wayside. Then the next year rolls around and the process begins afresh. Most people are not able to break this cycle of making and then not following through with their resolutions.

I do not think that people are so weak that they cannot follow through on their desire for improving their lives. Since this is a column about fitness, let me enumerate a few reasons how people trip themselves up while making lists concerning their fitness goals:

•Not starting small: All of us are in a mad rush these days. But making changes are not easy. Starting small is easier to handle than doing it all at the same time. For example, better to remove sugary drinks than try and totally remove all sugar from your food. Easier to resolve to limit alcohol intake once a week than stop drinking completely!

•Choosing the harder option: Opting for high intensity interval training sounds exciting rather than going for a long walk or easy run. HIIT is in fashion these days but if you are not reasonably fit, HIIT can be an unpleasant experience for the newbie. Not too many people will persist with any exercise regimen which makes them nauseous or light headed. Better to start with long walks at a challenging pace 3-5 days in a week than jump in feet first on a HIIT cardio routine.

•Diffused focus: Trying to lose fat, gain muscle, run a marathon while wanting to get a six pack. The reader might laugh at this but I have seen this too many times to just laugh it off. Focus on one or two things at one time. So, wanting to lose fat and gain muscle for a newbie is a good goal to strive for. The marathon race can come much later.

Do one of the following - join a gym to weight train, do yoga, go for fast paced walks/slow jog (Shutterstock)
Do one of the following - join a gym to weight train, do yoga, go for fast paced walks/slow jog (Shutterstock)

•Small to big: It is pointless aiming to finish a marathon which 42 kms when you have not run a 5 km race. Participating in a 5 km can be a goal which can be easily achieved in 6 weeks. From there focus on the 10 km, half marathon and then finally the full marathon. Falling in love with the process is a good way to achieve any goal especially if you want to run a marathon. Trying to do too much too soon leads to frustration, injuries and finally giving up on the goal.

The new improved resolution list for 2022

Keeping the above points in mind, let me help you create a list which has achievable goals:

1.Add one food item: Do any one of the following - eat more protein in every meal, drink more water through the day, add ghee to your meals.

2.Add one exercise: Do one of the following - join a gym to weight train, do yoga, go for fast paced walks/slow jogs. Do this 3-5 times a week.

3.Add one recovery element: Do one of the following – get 7-8 hours of sleep at night, cut down on screen time after 7pm, learn to meditate.

4.Remove/reduce any of the following: Aerated drinks, sugary juices, sugar filled breakfast cereals.

The above list should be easy to follow through. Do the above consistently over the next year, no wait do the above consistently for the next thr months and see the results.

Consistency, more consistency and much more consistency

I am letting you in to a secret – anything done with “boring” consistency brings results. The results enthuse the person to continue on that path. And then suddenly those goals which seemed so far away and out of grasp have been achieved. May be the resolution for 2022 should be not to look for “hacks” but adopt discipline and a desire to enjoy the process. Now go and do it….

Kamal Singh is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist who has been coaching for 15 years

From HT Brunch, January 9, 2022

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022