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  • Writer's pictureJacqui Grant

Fitness -New Beginnings: A Personal Trainer’s Perspective

Connect and Grow Magazine - Edition 5 January 2024

This Month, Viviene is sharing about how personal trainers approach the new year with exercise.

As we bid farewell to another year and welcome in the New Year, in all those resolutions that all of your set, it is very common for a fitness-related goal to be in there somewhere; the question is, where to begin?


The start of a new year is the opportunity to begin afresh, forget about what happened in 2023, let’s reset, wipe the slate clean, and this year, we are going to reach those fitness goals that we’ve been trying to achieve for the last 5-10 years.....aren’t we?

As a personal trainer, I believe the key to achieving success in this area is embracing new beginnings, but it has to be a sustainable exercise regime!


In this article, I will discuss the importance of setting realistic goals, creating a well-rounded workout plan, engaging a professional if that is within your budget, or looking at some of the alternative plans online.  It’s all about cultivating a positive mindset to kickstart your fitness & wellness journey into the New Year.




 Setting Realistic Goals



When it comes to exercise, setting realistic goals is crucial; instead of aiming (which is not possible) for drastic changes overnight, it is essential to establish targets that align with your current fitness level, lifestyle and time constraints.  Start by assessing your strengths, weaknesses and areas you wish to improve.  Whether you want to release weight, build muscle, improve flexibility, enhance cardiovascular endurance or perhaps a mix of these options, setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals will help you to stay focused and motivated.

And do remember, progress takes time, so be patient with yourself and celebrate victories along the way.  Keeping a gratitude diary while embracing the new may prove worthwhile, too 🙂.


 Creating a Well-Rounded Workout Plan

A well-rounded workout plan encompasses all the components of fitness, i.e. cardiovascular exercise, strength training, flexibility and balance. Incorporating these different elements into your routine will prevent boredom and provide comprehensive benefits for your overall health and well-being.

To extrapolate out...


1.    Cardiovascular Exercise:

Engaging in activities such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing, aerobics to improve heart health, burn calories and boost endurance. 


Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio exercises every week (aim to spread this out over 5-6 days, not all at once!)

2.   Strength Training:

Incorporating resistance training into your routine is essential for building lean muscle mass, increasing metabolism and improving overall strength.


 You will benefit by including exercises that target the major muscle group, called compound exercise.  These include (but are not limited to just these - be creative and see what you can come up with!) squats, lunges, push-ups and rows.


  Aim for two to three strength training sessions per week, allowing for proper rest and recovery between sessions.

3.   Flexibility and Balance:

Anything that involves stretching out your muscles and holding the stretch for 15 seconds or more makes a difference to muscle recovery after a workout - aim for half an hour of stretching your major muscle groups. Or, if you prefer, try yoga or Pilates. These exercises will enhance flexibility, improve posture and reduce the risk of injuries.  Additionally, incorporating exercises that challenge your balance, such as single-leg standing or yoga poses, can help stability and prevent falls.


Cultivating a Positive Mindset:

The main key to maintaining positive and long-term exercise habits is cultivating a positive mindset.  Here are a few strategies to help you stay motivated and committed to your fitness journey:


Please focus on the process: Rather than fixating solely on the end result, focus on the process itself.  Embrace the daily habits, small victories and lifestyle changes that contribute to your overall well-being. By enjoying the journey, you will find greater fulfilment and sustainability in your exercise routine.


Find Joy in Movement: Engage in activities that bring you joy and make you feel alive.  Whether it’s dancing, swimming, playing a sport, hiking or anything involving movement, incorporating activities that you genuinely enjoy will make exercise more enjoyable and increase the likelihood of sticking to this new routine.


Seek Support: Surround yourself with friends, family or a fitness community that ‘has your back’.  Having a workout buddy or hiring a personal trainer can provide accountability, motivation, and guidance throughout your fitness journey.



In summary of what I have discussed in this article, a New Year’s beginning is the perfect opportunity to create personal growth and positive change.  By setting yourself realistic goals, creating a well-thought-out workout plan, and cultivating a positive mindset, you will be well on your way to achieving your fitness aspirations,


Remember, consistency and patience are key.


Stay dedicated, celebrate small victories and, most importantly, enjoy the process. 


Here’s to a very healthy and active 2024 and beyond!


Written by Vivienne Derwent



Personal Trainer & Clinical Nutritionist

(C) 2024 Break Free Consultancy

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