There is something about a new year that inspires fresh starts, spurs excitement for the ambiguous and kicks off a quest for a better version of yourself. January 1 is called a temporal land marker, a date that naturally inspires us to turn over a new leaf, and it can be powerful. In 2019, losing weight or getting healthy continues to be the top resolution for Americans, but only 9.2 percent of us will achieve our goals. But don't feel defeated—there is still hope. Instead of just resolving to be fit and healthy, make a pivot in your fitness routine.
From boxing to barre, I have pivoted in my fitness to adjust for the things I wanted most out my body, health and life. A fitness pivot is taking what you love and what works in your current routine and making a purposeful shift in a related direction to challenge your body. Inspired by Jenny Blake's book, "Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One," her framework can be used to discover your next fitness move.
Naturally, you might look to do something very different to improve your fitness and health. Maybe in the offseason as a triathlete you are a swimmer and now you're thinking you should give goat yoga a try. Not so fast. To make a pivot, you have to start with your strengths. In fact, jumping into something that does not leverage your current strengths or likes can make you panic or feel overwhelmed. Use these four easy steps to navigate the start of your year with ease.
Step 1: Make a list of all the things you love about your fitness regimen today.
Your list should include all the things you enjoy, as well as your core strengthens (physical or mental). Ask yourself the following questions:
- What excites you the most?
- What muscle groups are you most proud of?
- What was the best workout you ever had? Why?
- If you could work out with any athlete in the world for one day, who would it be?
Once you answer these questions, circle the three things that are the most important to you. Those are the things you already have and should expand on.
- Strengthens: Strong quads, strong calves and a high VO2 Max
- Enjoyment: Riding with a group, going to new places and low impact on your body
Step 2: Do a bit of research and reach out to fit friends.
Look into fitness activities that leverage your strengths or incorporate some of the same elements you enjoy. The best way to do this is to reach out to your fitness network. As stated in "Pivot," it is important to look both at new opportunities rooted in your strengths, as well as ways to expand beyond your comfort zone.
- Based on strengths: Mountain biking, roller skating or soccer. Mountain biking might be a new terrain while soccer will still use your powerful legs in a team sport.
- Based on what you enjoy: Outdoor fitness bootcamp, trail running or tennis. The team dynamic in outdoor fitness can be fun while tennis would build a new skill set.
Step 3: Now that you know what you want to do, go give it a try!
Try no more than two to three different activities over a 30-day period. Be sure to give them a fair trial of four to seven days so you can see how your body responds. Find low risk activities for your wallet and your health. Most companies or groups offer tryout periods, and you can find deals on sites like Groupon or ClassPass. Keep in mind: In order to try new things, you must make room for them in your schedule.
- You buy a pair of roller blades and go skating twice a week to new neighborhoods with your dog. You get to enjoy the company of your pet and going new places with a low impact activity. You give this a try for three weeks.
- You find a Groupon for tennis lessons at your local recreational center. You meet new friends, buy secondhand equipment and commit to two times a week for lessons and a match on the weekends.
Step 4: Ready, set, launch!Hopefully through all of this you have found a new passion in life (or at least for the year). Who knows where it could lead? You might become a tennis fanatic and meet new friends in a fun and dynamic sport. At the end of the day, you are doing something you enjoy that improves your health and compliments your lifestyle.
Don't Make a Resolution
When it comes to health, it is easy to get wrapped up in a "new" diet that has been around for decades or an exercise cult sweeping the nation. In fact, you might already be fit and looking to improve your results, move past a plateau or just want to do something different. Either way, you have that itch to set up a new, big goal to challenge yourself. One of the reasons you got into triathlons was because one sport was not enough, and you were looking for a challenge, right? But before you jump on the resolution bandwagon, think again. Don't make a resolution, make a pivot.
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