New Year Plans: Just Keep Moving


New Year Plans: Just Keep Moving

My New Year’s goal isn’t to hit any massive mileage targets or to run every day in January. This year I’m keeping it simple with a mantra ‘Just keep moving’.

That movement might be a run (after all, I’m hoping to run a marathon this year), but equally it might be 20 mins of yoga or a walk around the reservoir. Because I know that even small amounts of movement can add up. While that half an hour walk or 20 mins in downward dog might not get me round a marathon, they’ll help improve my mood.

There’s a lot of pressure to start the year with a big challenge. But the best of intentions are hard to sustain if they aren’t realistic. Jumping into a new fitness regime that’s a lot more than you’re able to do right now isn’t just hard to maintain, it’s also potentially going to lead to an injury.

In my opinion, the adage “Start as you mean to go on” doesn’t work. I much prefer “Start where you are.”

If you’re currently doing zero exercise and your step count has barely registered much beyond a shuffle from the bedroom to the sofa the past few months, signing up to run an ultra-marathon next month isn’t going to be the best trajectory. Setting the intention to get outside every day and moving more is progress in the right direction and something that you can build on.

Once you’ve made the habit of getting outside for 30 mins every day, even for a gentle walk, you’ll probably start to see the benefits on your mood and energy levels. You might then find yourself walking a little faster or a little further, and maybe bursting into a jog.

It’s great to have goals, and maybe yours IS to run a marathon or a 10k or some sort of race that’s going to be a challenge for you. And you can absolutely aim for that. But there are two important things to remember.

One: choose something you really want to do – not just what other people are doing. If you’re dedicating your year to achieving something, it should be something you enjoy.

Two: give yourself a realistic timeframe to achieve your goal within. Exercise can help relieve stress, but if you put too much pressure on yourself, it can cause stress too.

The key to keeping moving is to find what you do and don’t like. And that will change over time. Cycling isn’t your bag? Try swimming. Don’t like yoga? What about hiking? I had a period of not wanting to get on my bike, so I didn’t force myself.

A few weeks ago I got on my bike to cycle to an appointment a few miles away, and I really enjoyed it. A break from the bike doing other things (swimming a bit and upping my running again) meant I came back to it fresh, and I finished my ride wanting to go out again for a long ride soon.

I might not be signing up for a 100-mile bike ride again, but the bike will definitely feature more in the ways I keep my body moving this year.

This blog is sponsored by Very. The Apple Watch Series 7 and Nike Hooded Jacket pictured were both provided by Very.

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