January 4, 2023, by brzbs1
Five key points for achieving fitness goals in 2023
Are you ready to reach your new health and fitness goals over the next 12 months, or continue the fantastic progress you made last year? Whatever the answer, even if you haven’t decided on your aims for 2023, ensuring that you are completing five 30-minute activities a week fulfils the NHS recommended amount of exercise, and will make you feel more energized throughout the day.
Exercising frequently will not only improve your physical health, but your energy levels and reduce mental exhaustion. This in turn will help with maintaining good mental health, which can be key as we head towards a busy exam period in January. During the Coronavirus pandemic, we put together five of the top mental health benefits to exercising regularly and these are equally as relevant today.
However, as many of us know, developing and maintaining a consistent exercise routine can be difficult, especially when balancing different priorities. With that in mind, we’ve highlighted five key things that you can do to help you on your fitness journey.
- Understand what you want to achieve
One key thing to note before designing your fitness plan for 2023 is to know that everybody is different and the key thing is to focus on you. Everyone is on their own path and may be at different stages, so what may work for them may not be right for you. Simply take a step back and ask yourself what you want to achieve this year and set yourself a few key goals.
Try to ensure that your goals are SMART, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. For example, your goal could be to increase your 5k running time, or to perform a full push up. Be realistic with your targets; don’t aim to increase your back squat by 20kg if you don’t have any weights at home. A target will give you a reason to exercise, and hopefully provide you with the motivation you may need to make a start.
- Commit to your routine
The benefits of having a routine are not new – it helps to provide structure, stability, and familiarity to help increase productivity. You don’t need to have a regimented set physical exercise programme that you have to follow six days per week, because that’s not for everyone. However, having a realistic blueprint for yourself helps build the foundation of consistent commitment to fitness. Once you know what you want to achieve, plan yourself a flexible weekly routine of exercises, workouts or targets that you’d like to tick off throughout the week.
Whether you prefer written diaries, whiteboards or the calendar app, having visual reminders can be highly motivating. Even if we don’t quite manage to do as much as originally planned, it provides a sense of self-accountability. We are setting the foundation to progress and build, no matter what challenges come our way.
- Track your progress
By tracking your progress, you give yourself a better picture of your improvements, seeing those improvements will encourage you to keep going as you know your time is not wasted. Tracking progress can also keep you accountable for your actions. Miss a few days training and you could notice that when you track your next workout you may not perform as well as in a previous session. For example, timing your runs with the aim of seeing improvements in your times. For certain exercises such as push-ups, it’s also worthwhile filming your efforts to see how your technique and depth improve as you work on increasing your strength through the movement.
At the University of Nottingham you can track your activity with our Moves+ app and see how your energy increases as you get active, as well as win prizes because whether you’re walking to lectures, swimming in the pool, going for a run, or cycling to campus you can earn points through the University of Nottingham Moves+ app. Once you’ve collected enough points, you’ll be able to redeem them for some fantastic rewards.
- Take a wider view of your health and fitness
Alongside committing to your fitness routine, there are many other key aspects to keep in mind. Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is highly beneficial when combined with an exercise routine, but is key to maintaining good general health. You can find guidance on nutrition from the University of Nottingham here. Keeping hydrated even when you haven’t been exercising is also crucial, and we advise that you aim to drink 2 litres of water a day where possible. It’s also key to note that drinking high levels of caffeine can add to dehydration levels. Finally, ensuring that you are able to maintain a solid sleeping pattern of a good quality of sleep can help boost your motivation and energy.
- Find/develop your support network
Spending your gym time surrounded by dedicated, like-minded individuals can help provide support as well as new workout ideas to push you further in pursuit of your aims and keep you on track. It also helps to keep the enjoyment of exercise high, and none more so than with one of our exercise classes. Group fitness is a great way to help motivate yourself and others to dig deeper and push harder in workouts with guidance from our instructor team. Alternatively if you are a regular in the gym but are struggling to find the energy or time to plan a workout, attend a class and let our instructors do it for you!
All of our fitness instructors are regularly on hand to provide support when you are exercising in our fitness suites, and can assist with any queries you have about using our gyms and getting the best out of your workouts. Many also offer personal training options that can assist in developing a tailored fitness programme just for you and your goals.
At University of Nottingham Sport, there are many avenues for you to #FindYourActive and achieve however big or small your aims are. If you aren’t already a Sport and Fitness Member and are looking to get into a gym routine, why not try our 14-Day Fitness Pass which is currently available for just £20, and provides access to our fantastic facilities!
Discover how you can #FindYourActive in 2023 at University of Nottingham Sport with all that we have on offer here.
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