Abu Dhabi: The New Year’s resolution to lose weight in 2019 was the easy part. The real work however is to have a long term plan that you commit to throughout the year to achieve your goals say fitness experts, and this includes making big personal changes that extend beyond simply going to the gym everyday.
“People who want to lose weight and get into shape need to first understand that things will not happen overnight, there isn’t some magical moment that happens on January 1. The change is gradual and takes time, it’s not a sudden thing,” said Basheer Jadallah, a personal trainer, who cautioned against looking for quick fixes.
“There needs to be a good preparation ahead of time, a good place to start would be to seek knowledge on the subject or reach out to certified professionals to put you on the right track. A nutritionist would help in making sure you are eating for a better health and a certified personal trainer would help in avoiding injuries,” he added.
“And most importantly there needs to be personal changes, if people don’t make the needed adjustments, for example when it comes to their diet then nothing is going to really change. So there has to a holistic approach and an overall lifestyle change,” he explained.
Jadallah explained that going to the gym would only form a small part of getting into shape with several other factors also playing their part.
“Going to the gym and exercising is good, but this exercise whether it’s for 1-2 hours is only a small portion of losing weight and staying healthy. Studies show that exercise is an addition to a healthy foundation, which also includes nutrition and continuous movement and activity.
“Put a reminder on your phone to walk around every 30 minutes if you have a desk job and try to go for 30 minutes walks in the evening or the morning. Even take your calls while walking instead of just sitting down,” he added, giving simple examples of how people can remain active during the day.
30minutes of walks in the morning or evening everyday is good for you
“Being active goes hand-in-hand with your exercises, and so it’s much more than just going to the gym and then sitting for eight hours on a desk while working, you can’t just operate on that system,” he said.
Jadallah also said that having the right frame of mind and motivation is also crucial.
“They have to really ask themselves why they are doing this, there has to be a real reason to why they are making this decision, and if there isn’t one other than just for the sake of making it a New Year’s resolution then it won’t really work.
“There needs to be the motivation and drive and then all the other things like going to the gym, staying active and eating healthy will follow,” he added.
Lee Harisson, another personal trainer and the founder of Roar Fitness Bootcamp in Abu Dhabi, said that making exercise fun rather than a daily monotonous grind would help people stick to their goals.
“People have to find something enjoyable, the training and workouts should be fun and something you can look forward to. Getting into shape doesn’t require you having to go the gym, you can do a lot of outdoor exercises like walking, running, cycling and swimming.
“The weather right now is also perfect for outdoor activities, people can go out to the parks or other nice green locations for their exercise instead of having to be stuck indoors working out,” he said.
“It’s also always good to mix things up as well to keep things fresh. At the bootcamp we do a lot of different types of activities and we even hold competitions to keep the people motivated.”
Working out with other people, whether in a group or with a friend, can also be a big help, he added.
“Training with people in a group can help, at our bootcamps a lot of the participants enjoy the community and social feel, and so they keep coming back because they like that aspect of it.
“They don’t feel like they’re training even though they are getting into good shape and working hard, and it’s because they’re around other people having a good time together.”
Five ways to achieve your goals
1. Write down your goals, it helps reaffirm them
2. Start small, take one step at a time
3. Keep at it daily
4. Talk to a lot of people about it, as their constant enquiries will keep you on track
5. It’s okay to miss a target, but don’t make it a habit