Strava, the social network for athletes, revealed today that January 19th 2020 is “Quitter’s Day”. This is when you will be most likely to give up on your New Year’s fitness resolutions.
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To reach this conclusion Strava looked at 822 million global activities, collectively covering some 8 billion miles. The day they pinpointed actually falls pretty close to Blue Monday. The third Monday of the month (January 20th) is claimed to be the most miserable day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Weather conditions, debt levels, time since Christmas, low motivational levels and other factors all contribute.
But back to New Year’s resolutions. Earlier research has shown that 80% will not make it past mid-February before going back to their old ways. Ultimately, only 10% will succeed.
So it’s is clear. Most of us will fail to keep our 2020 resolutions. But there are things you can do to boost your chances. Ways to avoid the “Ah, screw it!” mentality that leads to cancelled or unused gym memberships.
First off, if you’ve decided to walk more and shed those pounds this year an activity tracker can be a great motivator. There are more than ever to choose from and they’re rapidly coming down in price. Without some sort of quantifiable feedback, it’s difficult to know whether you’re making progress.
Rather that going out alone, for some people it might be better to work out with a friend or a group. When athletes exercise in groups, they tend to go further and those workouts last longer. Athletes who join a club are three times more active than non-club members . This is even more true for women. They are more likely than men to be motivated to exercise with other people due to safety fears.
The more variety in your exercise program, the better. Activities such as yoga, weight training and walking are becoming more popular. Walking has seen a 67% rise as a secondary activity amongst runners and cyclists during the year, yoga 74% and weight training 289%.
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Most important of all, set goals that are realistic. It’s important to listen to your body, your doctor and common sense, rather than blindly chasing targets. Your circumstances may change during the year so it’s much better to tweak your fitness targets than give up!
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