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New Year’s Resolutions and how to stay fit whilst working an office based job

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Now that the holiday season has passed, most of us who have overindulged on the mulled wine or had one too many helpings of turkey and stuffing set our sights on the next big thing, New Year’s resolutions.

Every year around this time nearly every person that you come across will have some sort of idea about how to better themselves in the year to come, whether it be kicking an addiction, cutting back on bad habits, trying something new or probably just improving themselves in some way. One of the most common resolutions is the good old going to the gym more, or losing that last bit of extra weight, maybe just living a healthier lifestyle.

For everybody that works in an office, we know how difficult sticking to this particular resolution can be. An abundance of sweets and chocolates, constant grazing and a reliance on caffeine and nicotine to help make it through the day all get jumbled up into one big bowl of unhealthy living. Add that to the early starts and late finishes, stressful days and evening traffic, the last thing on most people’s mind is then leaving the warmth and comfort of home and crawling to the gym to sweat and ache.

However, there are a few things that can help;

1. Routine, Routine, Routine

It may sound like common sense, but getting into a good routine is notoriously difficult. Sticking to an established routine is only slightly easier.
Set meal times whilst in the office can help stave off those cravings, knowing when your next proper meal is coming will allow you to focus on other things and will keep your hands from straying towards that box of chocolates midway through the afternoon.

Healthier eating. Go on to any health or fitness site or look in any magazine and you will find the old adage of “diet is 90% of the battle”. So get in to a routine of once or twice a week, forgoing the grease filled sandwiches from the local shop or the Big Mac meal from Mcdonalds and commit to either buying a healthier meal or making one yourself. A chicken salad or substituting bread for a wrap are easy and cheap ways to achieve this, add in a couple of pieces of fruit and the battle is half won.

Know which days you will train and which days you will take off. Again sounds like common sense but if you know that a post work pint on a Friday is a regular occurrence, then scheduling a gym session for the same day is probably not wise. Missing a session and telling yourself you will make it up later is a slippery slope back to the sofa.

2. Find yourself a gym buddy

If you, like me, struggle with motivation and making it to the gym on your own, grab a friend or colleague, even your 70 year old nan will do and make plans to attend the gym together. Having that added pressure of committing to a session and being accountable to someone else will help you take those first steps away from the fridge and towards the door. Another plus to having a gym buddy, even the most placid people will find a competitive edge, you will push yourself 10x harder, hit one more rep or run 100 meters further and in turn will see more results when training with partner. This is not for everyone as some people prefer solitude whilst training but for the motivationally challenged, this is a good way to help start that routine.

3. Set realistic, achievable goals

Unrealistic, unachievable goals lead to many of us giving up, deciding that they are out of reach so there is no point putting yourself through the effort to only fail anyway. Set yourself a number of stepping stones that lead you on the path towards the big goal. Weekly or monthly targets that can be tracked will give you the sense of achievement, knowing that you are progressing will in turn make you strive towards bigger and better things.

This could be things like having one chocolate instead of three, running an extra half mile in your warm up each week, turning down the 5th brew of the afternoon. Little steps will eventually turn into big progress and looking back, many people will be surprised at just how far they have come.

This piece is just my thoughts and insights gained through my personal experiences, everybody is different and will find their own ways to hopefully achieve whatever goals they set themselves.

To anyone setting themselves New Year’s resolutions I wish you good luck and that 2016 will be the year that we can all see them through to completion, whatever they may be. Happy New Year! 
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