The first of January is just like any other day of the year, so contrary to the whole idea of setting “New Year's Resolutions,” when it comes to setting and working towards new goals, it doesn’t really make any sense to wait for a turn in the calendar to get started. Why put something as important as your health and wellness on the backburner when you can start making improvements right now? We asked a few fitness professionals to explain why you absolutely shouldn't wait.
Vivian Eisenstadt MAPT, CPT, MSP, CEO is a personal trainer and Chief Physical Therapist at Vivie Therapy in Los Angeles says that if you continue to focus on health and fitness starting now and through the holiday season, you may be less likely to overeat and overindulge. She suggests setting goals that will help to keep you motivated right now so that your mindset will shift from worrying about whether you’re eating too much to keeping track of the good things, like exercising and eating healthily, that you are doing.
“One of the main reasons people start their New Year’s ‘resolution’ to lose weight is because they overindulge during the holidays,” says Eisenstadt. “If you start now, you won’t have more weight to take off after the holidays, but instead you'll be in a great place to continue a great habit you started in November.”
As certified national strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer, and Co-Founder of J2FIT Human Performance Mike Dewar points out, for many gyms, January is the most hectic and crowded time of the year. He recommends kick-starting or keeping up with your exercise habit now so that you’ll have already established a comfortable routine by the time the New Year comes around. He says this can be especially beneficial because you’ll enter the gym at a time when you're surrounded by members who have already adopted the mindset and principles of healthy living.
“By starting now you will challenge yourself immediately,” says Dewar. “You will have to learn how to deal with holiday parties, crazy schedules and cold mornings.” You might be thinking, “But that sounds really hard.” Sure, it won’t be easy, but Dewar says that learning the skills to overcome these obstacles now (instead of while dealing with the stress and pressure of the New Year) will help to build your confidence and motivation so that you’ll have already established healthy habits when most others are only just getting started.
If you set your goal and start working towards it now you’ll be ahead of the curve and can slowly ease into a new routine while still enjoying the holidays. “It takes 21 days to form a habit,” says Stephanie Dreyer, founder of VeegMama.com, a lifestyle blog sharing new approaches to healthy living through food, wellness and personal fulfillment. “Start now so that you are already in your groove by the time the New Year starts.”
Plain and simple: as mentioned earlier, there’s really no better time than right now to make your health a priority. There's no such thing as an 'idea time' to start because the best time to start is right now.
If you keep up with a consistent exercise routine starting now, any extra calories that you might consume over the holidays will take less of a toll on your waistline. “Setting up a new fitness routine and some healthy eating habits now will offset all of the holiday eating and partying that is bound to happen this time of year,” says Dreyer. “If you start now, you'll have less weight to lose and already be in a better place to continue your exercise plan by January.”
Use the fresh feeling of the New Year to set new and exciting goals that build upon what you’ve already accomplished. “If you start implementing small changes into your day or week now, you will have a big transformation in how you look and feel by the start of the year,” says Dreyer. “Which will propel you into bigger health and fitness goals come January.”
It’s a good idea to implement some healthy eating habits before being bombarded with endless amounts of decadent holiday treats so that you can practice moderation instead of treating the holiday season like a free-for-all.
“Your body doesn't know what a new year is nor does it care,” says Maurice Buchanan, owner of UGO1 Fitness. “It isn't going to magically get its act together or be ready to be healthy because the first of January popped up.” In other words, while it’s more convenient to say things like, “I’ll start on Monday,” in reality, there’s nothing special about the start of a new week, a new month or even a new year. January first is exactly like any other day, which means there’s really no reason that you shouldn’t start right now.