By Annika Carter
It’s that time of year again — time to make the infamous New Year’s Resolution and struggle through the early months of the new year half-heartedly trying to maintain a new and unfamiliar workout routine. Yet, despite our best efforts, only about eight percent of Americans are successful in maintaining their resolutions. Losing weight is hard, yes, but not so hard that only eight percent of us should be able to succeed! Diet fads promise that you will “lose 20 pounds in 20 days!” sucking people in, convincing them to spend hundreds on commercialized “weight loss programs” that are unidimensional. It is important to be mindful of what you are putting into your body. Many of these “miracle” weight loss programs are not very miraculous for your wellbeing. Each and every one of us is different and will require a different method to lose weight.
The secret to keeping with your resolution is to find a workout routine that does not stress you out and that you actually enjoy. If a workout is not fun to you, there is no incentive for you to keep up with the program. Hate the gym? Find something to do outside: walk the dog, hike, ride a bike. Bear Hollow Wildlife Trail, within Memorial Park, is within walking distance from the University of Georgia campus and is an excellent location for a short hike or a long cross-country run. Rock climbing is my secret to staying in shape. Active Climbing Gym is located just north of downtown and is an excellent indoor gym for training. Plus, Athens is within an hour drive from many outdoor rock climbing areas. If you want the gym experience but are bored of the gym, visit Memorial Park or one of UGA’s many grassy quads and do an outdoor body-weight workout. You can do crunches, pushups, squats, or use a bench for tricep dips, all without the equipment of a gym.
If you enjoy social outings, invite your friends to workout with you. Friends provide great support and motivation. Challenge each other to see who can run on the treadmill for longer, or who can do more bicep curls. Or if you want to try something new, take a fitness class. Ramsey offers a multitude of classes, from Zumba to kickboxing, all of which are guaranteed to make you break a sweat.
Many of us complain that we can’t work out because we “have no time.” There is always time to keep yourself healthy, though. To begin with, walk between classes instead of riding the bus. I have calculated I walk two to three miles every day during my class changes. Also, there are static exercises you can do in class that are unnoticeable. The most well-known: sucking in. In fact, wearing a tight-fitting top might help you subtly tone your core, as this will make you subconsciously suck in all day. Another strategy to fit workouts into a busy schedule is to work out while studying. Do crunches while reading a novel for literature, hold a plank while reading from a biology text book or do pushups while your friend quizzes you on flashcards. The options are endless!
So next time you try to make an excuse for why you didn’t do anything active during the day, think again. With these simple ways to stay active, you can maintain your New Year’s resolution all year.