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New Year’s Resolutions usually represent a WILD over-reach and as a result they’re abandoned, often before they’re even started!

According to Ceri Hannan, National Product Development Manager at Virgin Active South Africa, 2018’s about to get a whole lot simpler. Just get real and set yourself some oh-so-easily attainable goals for the year ahead on the journey towards being a healthier person. Come on, just start with a few small steps and in 2019 you can take it up a notch with a more ambitious programme.

Hannan shares some pointers that’ll help you get stuck in:

Note your weight. Don’t panic, this is not a message telling you to lose weight. Just note it. Step on the scale once a month and keep a record. Clear awareness of where your weight is at, will help motivate you to exercise more.

Step count. Start recording your steps every day with a wearable fitness device. Once you start counting you won’t stop walking in the drive to reach the next 1,000 step level!  

Take the stairs. A simple daily measure is to ignore the lift or the escalator and burn some calories on a short climb. Take your time, rest on the way and know you have done yourself some good in the process. And especially don’t take the lift at your local health club unless you have a medical reason to do so – you are there to get some exercise after all!

Stretch it out. Staying flexible is a key factor in good health. The best way to achieve this is to go to regular yoga or pilates classes at your local health club, but it can be done at home. Reach up. Bend down. Twist around. Get a short daily routine going that gently extends your range of movement in every direction.

Build a core. This one you can do without even getting out of bed! Make a habit of flexing your stomach core muscles every morning while lying on your back. Pull your stomach in toward your spine to engage your transverse muscles and then lift your pelvis gently and then lower again. Do that 15 times every morning and you’ll be giving yourself a core that you can build on with a Virgin Active POUND or The Grid class.

Breathe deep. It seems rather basic but few of us breathe properly. Twice a day, focus entirely on your breathing for a couple of minutes. There’s a range of exercises you can do but the best is abdominal breathing where you take air in through your nose for two seconds and fill your stomach or diaphragm rather than your chest, and then breathe out slowly through the lips.