By Rachel Moss
New Year’s resolutions aren’t always easy to keep – and the idea of failing can put you off having a go in the first place. Instead, for 2020, HuffPost UK is looking at the good intentions we’ll try to focus on, from greener living and better money management to looking after our bodies and minds, with small achievable steps from the experts and inspiring tips from our readers.
We all know regular
Mindful Running Changed My Life – Here’s How You Can Do It Too
5. Make exercise a social event.
Using exercise as an excuse to catch up with friends is always better than riding solo – unless you’re training for an event, says Thorpe.
“Granted, you may lower the intensity of the workout because you’ll be having a natter, but a friend in the gym is one form of accountability which will ensure that you get out of bed for it in the morning,” he says. “And if gyms don’t suit you, try a class with a good social aspect. Plenty of small gyms or classes meet with their members for regular socials.”
Still unconvinced? Two HuffPost UK readers tells us how they learned to love exercise this year.
‘Create a mental picture of the healthier you’
Shiri Atsmon, 43, from London, runs a business called Helpful Kids and appointed her own daughter, Ella, 13, as her ‘personal trainer’ in 2019.
Ella rose to the challenge, pushing her mum to her limits with Pilates and dumbbell drills at home before the pair graduated onto running. “I started with five minutes and didn’t even manage to make it all the way to the park, but slowly increased the time spent. Now I run 20 minutes almost every day and can even run 5km on the weekends,” Shiri says.
“It’s Ella’s encouragement and training, and my wish to lead by example, that have led me to take on this wonderful new habit that I was longing for.”
Shiri’s top tip for getting into exercise into 2020: “Create a detailed mental picture of the healthier you – looking fab, feeling strong and vital, having a huge smile, wearing something you always wanted to wear, whatever works for you. Whenever you don’t feel like exercising, focus on that image and have her invite you for a workout.”
‘Schedule exercise as self-care, me time’
Mayameen Meftahi, 36, from Manchester, says her fitness level at the start of 2019 “was simply non existent”.
“I had no motivation, nor interest in fitness,” says the founder of the She Can Consultancy In 2018, Mayameen had waived her right to lifelong anonymity as a child sexual abuse survivor to share her story and help others. A friend then recommended exercise as a way to release her anxiety. “She booked me on a Rebounding class and reluctantly off I went,” explains Mayameen.
The class is a cross between aerobics and trampolining and despite her initial reluctance, Mayameen was soon sold. “It is a therapy and the physical and emotional benefits are huge,” she says. “There is nothing better than hitting that mini trampoline and getting rid of built up tension.”
Her top tip for enjoying exercise: “Schedule it as self-care, ‘me time’. That way, you will start to feel that it’s serving you, rather than a chore or challenge.”