The new year—and in this case, the new decade—is the perfect time to start fresh in your fitness routine. But according to research from the running and cycling app Strava, January 19th has been dubbed “quitter’s day,” because that’s the day people are most likely to give up on their fitness-related New Year’s resolutions.
It makes sense. What might have seemed manageable when you had all of that January 1st energy can feel impossible two weeks later once the reality of dragging yourself to the gym in the cold kicks in. But fear not: We’ve got a program that will help you stick to those fitness resolutions not only for the entire month of January, but for the rest of 2020 and beyond.
It takes 28 days to form a habit, and this four-week plan sets you up to do exactly that by giving you simple challenges that work with whatever exercise style (and schedule) you prefer. The goal isn’t to lose weight or to work out more, but rather to help you get excited about movement and mix things up a bit. To start things off, you’ll take a fitness test that will establish your baseline so you can set your goals. Then, each day will present a new activity in the strength, cardio, or recovery departments to help you reach them.
The program officially starts on January 5th, which should give you a few days to get everything you’ll need in order. In the meantime, sign up for our weekly newsletter* (using the box below) to get each week’s tasks delivered to your inbox, sync the challenges to your calendar, and be sure to subscribe to Well+Good’s YouTube channel to follow along with our weekly workouts. Happy new year and best of luck—you’ve got this.
Day 1: Take a fitness test and set your goals
When it comes to starting any new fitness routine, the most important thing to do is figure out where, exactly, you’re starting from. The best way to do this, according to Le Sweat founder Charlee Atkins, is to put yourself through a fitness test. She suggests clocking and recording the below bodyweight exercises:
- How long does it take you to run a mile?
- How many squats can you do in one minute?
- How many pushups can you do in one minute?
- How long can you hold a plank?
Write these down, and use your results to inform your goals. Do you want to shorten your mile time? Add in more squat reps? Hold your plank for longer? It’s up to you.
Day 2: Get moving with Trainer of the Month Club
Whether you’re a runner or yogi, an early bird or evening workout warrior, you’ve likely got your preferred sweat style and schedule. But each Monday, we’d love for you to try the week’s new Trainer of the Month Club (TOTMC) workout, led by Body by Simone founder Simone de la Rue. Just once a week, we’ll all do the same workout together (oh hi, accountability buddies!)—plus, trying new fitness styles is the easiest way to push past an exercise plateau. “Variability is one of the most important things you can incorporate into your training routine. By implementing different kinds of workouts and types of activity into your schedule, you can improve both performance and recovery,” Jeff Brannigan, the program director of Stretch*d, previously told Well+Good.