8 Small Tweaks That Will Actually Make 2016 Your Fittest Year Ever
On January 1, you were sure once your hangover wore off you'd be able to accomplish every fitness goal you set for yourself the night before.
You'd work out six days a week, and this will definitely be the year you get six pack abs.
Oh, and about that marathon you signed for — piece of cake!
But once your alarm actually went off at 6 am on January 2 and you had to drag yourself out of bed for your morning run in 20 degree weather, that marathon you were so excited about probably didn't seem quite as attainable.
And just like that, you gave up.
Considering 25 percent of Americans give up on their New Year's resolutions one week into the year, it's safe to say most of us have been there.
Our advice? Start small. And on the eve of 2017, you may find you're a whole lot fitter.
Here are eight simple ways to have a fitter year.
Run twice a week.
If running isn't your thing, we don't blame you. Running is tough.
But hear us out: Running three miles just twice a week is enough to reap tons of benefits like lower risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke, not to mention it helps you maintain a healthy weight
So if you run a 10-minute mile, that's only 30 minutes of running twice a week.
Just do it.
Work out during commercial breaks.
There's no shame in watching TV, especially during the cold winter months when spending time outside isn't exactly ideal.
And luckily, watching TV can be a great opportunity to get some exercise.
Whether it's your favorite weekly show or a Netflix marathon, use commercials or breaks between episodes to flex your muscles.
See how many pushups you can do, hold a plank or strike a few yoga poses.
The options are endless!
Strategically place exercise equipment around your house.
Dumb bells on your coffee table? Check. Free weights next the your fridge? Check.
If you strategically scatter workout equipment throughout your apartment or house, you're more likely to absentmindedly pick it up and use it.
A few bicep curls here and there might not seem like much, but sometimes slow and steady progress is the way to go.
If you take us up on this one, make sure to pick a good color scheme.
After all, your workout equipment will be part of your home decor.
Hold a plank for one minute.
Forget crunches — plank pose is one of the best ways to strengthen and tone your core.
There's a reason planking is so effective, though: It's really freaking hard.
But you can do anything for one minute if you ask us, so try holding a plank (either on your palms or forearms) for just one minute, four days a week.
Your core will thank you.
Download a fitness app.
Tackling fitness on your own can be challenging, and it's not always easy to coordinate workout schedules with friends. So why not download an app that will do a lot of the work for you?
Find a workout you're obsessed with.
Maybe the reason you have such a hard time working out is that you haven't found the right workout just yet.
If you dread barre class or can't stand pilates, chances are it's not exercise you hate — it's those specific workouts.
Instead of dragging yourself to the same grueling workout every week, invest in a program like ClassPass that lets you sample different fitness classes at a low price point.
Even if your workout of choice turns out to be 30 minutes of walking every day, that's a lot better than nothing.
Choose a different parking spot.
Whether it's a quick stop at CVS or a day-long trip to the mall, it can be tempting to park as close to the store entrance as possible.
Stop doing that.
Not only will parking be less of a headache, but you'll get a little extra exercise every time you do it.
Do yoga for 10 minutes before bed.
While going to a yoga class three to four times a week is ideal, it's rare that anyone actually has the time or energy — not to mention money — for that.
But going just once a week will leave you calmer, boost your mood, aid your immune system, prevent disease and make you stronger and more flexible.
In even better news, you can get some of those benefits by practicing at home.
Research has shown that doing yoga at home for just 10 minutes every day is enough to improve your practice, help you sleep better, strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis.
Doesn't sound too bad, right?
Best of luck on your 2016 fitness endeavors. Cheers!
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