January has come and gone and, for some people including myself, the excitement of sticking to New Year’s Resolutions has fizzled. You’ve probably already noticed the gyms are becoming less crowded as people give up on their fitness goals. So I’m partnering with the Black Women’s Health Imperative to keep you motivated and on track to improving your health in 2016.
Don’t give up!
Living an active lifestyle can change your life for the better. Several years ago, I lost nearly 50 pounds by eating healthier and following an exercise routine. While it took nearly 8 months to lose the weight, the hard work has paid off. Being in better shape helped me to build confidence, increased my energy levels and encouraged me to inspire others to become more fit.
Here are some tips that worked for me and can help you reach your fitness goals.
Set small goals – Take baby steps toward your bigger goal. For instance, if you want to lose 20 or more pounds, focus on dropping 1-2 pounds each week. Weigh yourself every Monday morning and track your progress. Pay attention to the small changes on the scale and keep moving in the right direction.
Partner Up – Find a gym buddy or running partner to hold you accountable for your fitness goals. You won’t want to disappoint a friend by being a no-show. Sign up to do a 5k with a group of friends. Set times to meet 2-3 times a week. Having someone to exercise with can provide encouragement and help time fly by. Signing up for a race can also help revive your workouts. It gives you something to look forward to.
Have Fun – Healthy is the new sexy! Imagine how great you’ll feel and look when you achieve your overall goal. Enjoy the journey by adding upbeat music to your workouts. You can also use your playlist as a fun way to do intervals on the treadmill. For example – pick an artist like Jay Z (or several artists), put your playlist on shuffle and every time that artist’s song comes on, increase your speed. Changing the tempo will help you burn more calories and mixing up the songs can spice up your workout.
Here are a few of my favorite “Get Hype” songs:
- 7/11 – Beyonce
- 1 Thing – Amerie
- Yoga – Janelle Monae
- Bang Bang – Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
Last but not least, reward yourself along the way. When you hit milestones such as losing 10 pounds or dropping a dress size – celebrate. Treat yourself to a massage, plan a weekend trip, get a new haircut. Do something in recognition of the hard work you are putting in. Stay focused on your goal, don’t look in another direction, but ahead!
Brie Jackson is an award-winning television journalist. She’s a marathon runner, former Division 1 college basketball player at the University of Maryland and advocate for women’s health. She is currently training to run the DC Rock & Roll marathon in March. You can follow her on Facebook at Brie Jackson or on Instagram as positivelybrie.