From The Straits Times    |

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Many of us will have made a healthy lifestyle one of our main resolutions for the new year, but sticking to the plan for the rest of 2018 can be a challenge. 

As we head into the middle of January our motivation might already we wearing off, so here we round up some expert tips on how to stay focused with your new fitness regime for a healthier new you.


Make your workout a priority

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“People need to make their health a priority just as much as going to work is a priority, or checking emails is a priority,” says personal trainer Dalton Wong, whose clients include stars such as Jennifer Lawrence, “You need to make some time for your workout and start by just turning up. Also breaking it down into smaller chunks will make this easier.”

“But it’s actually when you are the busiest that you need to make time to work out the most — your body needs it and in fact will respond even more,” he adds.


Do little and often

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Joshua Lee, a certified personal trainer and the president of Elite Heat, a student organization dedicated to training for obstacle races like Tough Mudder, advises scheduling a daily exercise break of just 10 to 15 minutes to help make it more achievable. “Do that, and you’re going to achieve way more than going to the gym once or twice a week,” he says.

He also adds that if you find it difficult to make it to the gym, the pool, or a studio class, then try doing a little exercise when you can, such as doing a set of pull-ups every time you get up to use the bathroom, or push-ups during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV program. You could also drive your car less, walk more, and take the stairs instead of the elevator.



Be in in the moment

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In his book “Sound Mind, Sound Body,” celebrity trainer David Kirsch advises readers to stay in the moment during their workout, saying that “This is the time of day you dedicate to your wellness. Make every moment of those five-minute exercise circuits count. When you physically leave the office, mentally leave the office behind. Turn off your cell phone. Workout time is not time to socialize, catch up on your soap operas or Google Chat with your friends.”

“To make the most out of your workouts, stay focused, engage your brain, and visualize the body you were meant to have. Want it, will it, make it happen.


Find your ‘why’

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Kirsch says that, “Before you take your first step, ask yourself the ‘what, why, and for whom’ of your routine. What do you hope to accomplish? Why are you doing this, and for whom?” adding that, “make sure you are doing this for yourself and not someone else.”

After you’ve found your “why,” Lee advises finding a physical activity you like and going with that to get you moving. “By engaging in activities you actually enjoy,” Lee said, “you’ll have a better chance of building consistency and doing it long term as opposed to losing interest.”



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According to Lee, high intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a strong alternative to steady-state cardio. If you don’t have access to equipment, like an elliptical machine, try HIIT sprints. “High intensity interval training is very useful if you can’t commit an hour or more to exercise,” he said. “If crafted and planned well, you’ll reap the same benefits as steady cardio-and possibly more.”

Celebrity fitness trainer and author of “Ultimate Family Wellness,” David Kirsch agrees, “Doing the same ‘45 minutes on the elliptical’ is neither productive nor interesting. Our bodies are very clever and need to be tricked by mixing up the routine a little.”