Is your fitness plan feeling stale these days? Chances are you made firm New Years resolutions to get back in the gym, but as we enter the third month of 2022, most of us are slacking on our health goals. In fact, recent studies have found that nearly 80% of most resolutions fail and are simply forgotten by mid-February because they lack specificity, are unrealistic, or feel like punishment.
If you’re ready to get "back on track" and finally develop a plan that you’ll enjoy sticking to, keep reading. We've grilled five fitness experts to share their top tips on reviving your fitness routine to help you find the motivation to get your sweat consistently on.
Feel Empowered Through Dance
She suggests finding a workout that speaks to you culturally. "For me, my motivation is Soca music. It makes you feel joyful, liberating and it captures the essence of life. Music is the most intrinsic way to get you moving and feeling uplifted. On a deeper level, motivation must come from knowing what your goals are," says Watkins. Music-based fitness programs help to heal and empower through movement so that you can feel confident and energized.
Pro tip: Give yourself grace! Not every day is going to be your best day, and some of your best workouts aren't going to be pretty. Give yourself the grace you deserve.
Invest in Equipment That Gives You Options
Deja Riley, the daughter of famed New Jack Swing producer Teddy Riley, could have pursued a career in music; instead, she's a trainer for MIRROR home gym and a Lululemon ambassador where she serves on their advisory board as an inclusion, diversity, equity, and action (IDEA) representative. After almost a decade in the professional dance industry (performing for Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Trey Songz, and Beyoncé), she began her fitness journey to become a certified personal trainer and a group fitness instructor.
Although dancing was her first love, Riley encourages everyone to try cardio boxing. Like dance, it's a full-body workout, so you're working out every muscle, and you even get some self-defense knowledge. "The power stance alone builds confidence and self-esteem," says Riley. She likes the MIRROR because it offers a variety of classes including boxing, yoga, dance cardio and Tai Chi. "This way, you can try something new until you fall in love and find what fuels your mind, body, and soul. Much like dating, you may have several different suitors until you find that one workout that you just can't live without," she adds.
Pro tip: Fitness should be fun, but it's also not a "one-size-fits-all" lifestyle. Venture out and try new ways to move your body. Whether it's boxing and dance or yoga and running, be in constant pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
Take It Outside the Gym and Turn It Up
Amoila Cesar is a Hollywood-based Strength and Conditioning Coach whose clients include Grammy Award-winning artist 2 Chainz and NBA all-star Julius Randle. Now the Beachbody Super Trainer is sharing tips from his popular in-home fitness programs which allow his clients train in a way that helps avoid injury while creating those gains. His unique combination of total-body resistance training, cardio, and restorative mobility workouts work to optimize each training day without being exhausting.
"For the past year, I've taken my workouts outdoors and enjoyed changing up my routine. Staying indoors, you'd be doing yourself a disservice. You'll miss out on fresh air, sunshine and accompanying vitamin D and the physical and mental benefits of spending quality time outdoors," shares Cesar. "I began to cross-train and combine workouts with some "playtime" at my favorite parks. It's a chance to learn a new skill and explore my movement capacity. It's fun, and I encourage you to find your fun. For me, I like picking up a basketball and shooting in between bouts working with a jump rope and resistance bands, reminiscing on my adolescent years."
Pro tip: Athletes often get into extreme positions without injury because they practice moving their bodies in a range of ways. The best athletes in the world participated in multiple sports growing up. This is the missing part of a lot of workouts. Go to the park and play! Don't count reps or sets; just play and explore the different ways you can explore your body.
Break It Down
The world-acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's program actually offers actual classes for real people, both virtual and in-studio. Karen Arceneaux, Ailey Extension fitness instructor, advises us to mix in strength-training exercises with dance moves for fun and challenging total body workouts! Her popular Zumba class is for movers of all experience levels.
For increasing muscle growth and decreasing body fat, switch up the tempo. Try some of the same exercises you've been performing, incorporating “Time Under Tension” (TUT), which is the amount of time a muscle is under tension during an exercise. "It's tough. However, I think taking the time to focus on how the muscles are working during an exercise, maintaining proper alignment and correct form, can help with reducing the risk of injury," explains Arceneaux. "You only have one body. Be mindful in how you care for it physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually," says Arceneaux.
Pro tip: With any switch up, you never want to overload the body with too many variables. Barbell Squats that may have been performed at regular tempo would change to Body Weight Squats with TUT.
Bring It to the Metaverse
Former Olympic Decathlete, Mike Smith, co-creator of the Klocked 3D fitness app—an immersive fitness experience that allows you to run in the real world and use your steps to power your avatar to complete races and competitions set on virtual courses—wants you to add ‘virtual’ workouts to your regimen in 2022.
Virtual workouts provide fresh content daily, including new visuals, music and movement to keep you on your toes. Klocked is just one of the many VR-based workouts that are growing in popularity for those who like to constantly switch up their routine. Dedicated fitness apps, such as Holodia and FitXR, also offer a playful "gamified" approach push you to be so immersed with the visuals and excitement of the game that you’ll get a surprising amount of exercise in without realizing it. VR headsets like Supernatural even feature famous guest coaches, such as Tiffany Haddish, who meet you face to face in the metaverse to cheer you on.
Pro tip: One way to stick to your workout plan is by visualizing what a successful outcome is for your goal. Doing so will enable you to develop a game plan and be motivated to keep moving when things get tough.