Today is what is referred to as “Quitter’s Day” or “Blue Monday”. This is when you will be most likely to give up on your New Year fitness resolutions.
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Why? Because the third Monday of the month (January 17th 2022) 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. Throw in the COVID-19 pandemic and this is probably the most miserable day in years!
A couple of years back Strava sifted through their data and found that the date coincides with when we are most likely to give up on our New Year health goals. They looked at over 800 million global activities, collectively covering some 8 billion miles. The day they pinpointed actually falls pretty much on Blue Monday.
Other research has shown that 80% of us will not make it past mid-February before going back to the unhealthy old ways. Ultimately, only 10% will succeed.
So it is clear. Most of us will fail to keep our 2022 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 is 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. Unfortunately that is not so easy currently. So you might opt for on on-online course such as Apple’s fitness service or Wondercise. Just keeping in touch via platforms such as Strava helps with motivation.
Despite all the challenges to do with the pandemic, many of us are managing to stay active. According Garmin, the number of recorded activities through Garmin Connect in 2021 was the biggest on record. Users reported 37% more walks than in the previous year. Trail-running, hiking, swimming, yoga and pilates also saw large increases. The more variety in your exercise program, the better.
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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