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New Year’s Fitness Resolutions: This is the Year You Get in Shape!

Holly Smith

By: Holly Smith, M.D. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

New Year's fitness resolutions

The new year is upon us, and with a year like 2020, it couldn’t come fast enough! Have you made your New Year's fitness resolutions?

For many busy dads out there, a new year means new health and fitness goals.

Being in shape not only means setting an example for your family, but also getting that great looking physique you have always dreamed of.

Unfortunately, a lot of guys out there set unattainable goals, or try to do too much too fast.

This more often than not leads to burn out, injuries, and giving up on your goals before you even get started.

So now is the time to set New Year’s fitness resolutions that you can actually follow.

Just like all health goals, this isn’t about a short term fix, or going “all or nothing.”

If you really want to get into the best shape of your life, you need sustainable workouts and goals.

After all, this is more about a lifestyle change than a quick fix solution.

The Fit Father Project has helped thousands of dads achieve their fitness goals by using smart and effective workouts and exercises.

Make it your best year yet with these New Year's fitness resolutions — 7 sustainable fitness, workout, and exercise goals!

Does your diet and nutrition need a little help too? Try these New Year's health resolutions!

30 day fitness kickstart

Here’s How Busy Guys 40+ Are Finally Losing Weight…

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If you’re in your 40s, 50s, & 60s, you need to eat and exercise differently to lose weight & actually keep it off…

Your New Year's Fitness Resolutions

Stay Active Every Day — Even Without Formal Workouts

There may be some days you can’t get to the gym or fit in workout, and that’s OK!

Whether you had a long day, or you are just exhausted from work, we all need rest days at some point!

But that doesn’t mean you need to be completely sedentary.

Even just doing a little bit of physical activity will keep your mind on track with your fitness goals.

Your normal day to day activities will still burn calories. Unfortunately, many people are stuck in sedentary jobs.

Studies done in the US have found that over the last 50 years energy expenditure at work has decreased by more than 100 calories a day due to sedentary jobs.

That means finding any way to burn a few extra calories can play a big role in improving your health.

A short walk after lunch or dinner, taking the stairs at work, or even just some stretching before bed will help keep your body engaged in the fitness process.

When your mind is turned on to fitness, this will keep you motivated to get back to your tougher workouts the next day.

This video compares formal workouts vs daily movement. Find out which one is more important!

 

Make Fitness a Priority

A lot of guys find it easy to fit in a workout at the beginning of the new year when their resolutions are fresh in their minds.

However, these lofty aspirations often start to dwindle as the months move forward.

When life gets busy, the easiest thing to do is skip a workout and blame it on being too busy.

Of course, there will be days where you are completely slammed with other responsibilities, but it’s important to get back into your fitness routine as soon as you can.

This will help you avoid getting stuck in a cycle of being lax with your workout goals.

In order to see any progress in your fitness, you have to stay accountable to your workout and health habits.

Even when you have small hiccups in your routine, it is important to get back to work so that you don’t lose the strength and endurance gains you have already achieved.

It can help by starting with an attainable goal, like working out just three hours a week.

The Physical Activity Guidelines from the American Heart Association recommends that adults do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity a week, or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.

So you can start on the low end of this range and still see great health benefits.

Your health should be treated as a top priority, not just as a background activity.

Being in top shape is not just about looking great, but living a high quality of life with your family for years to come.

Vary Your Workouts

The New Year is a great time to add some variety to your workout routines and try out new fitness programs.

This will also help if you find yourself stuck in a workout rut.

Going to the gym and doing the same workouts day in and day out can make exercise seem like a chore.

But joining a new class or trying a new form of exercise can reinvigorate you.

Trying something like yoga or a HIIT class will introduce you to new moves that will make working out fun again.

Different exercises will also force you to work different muscle groups and challenge your aerobic fitness.

Not only does varying your workouts make exercise more enjoyable, it also helps reduce injury by not overworking the same muscles every day.

Learn how to set up a home workout schedule that works for YOU!

 

Choose Activities You Enjoy!

A lot of guys start to dread the thought of working out because they think this means spending hours on an elliptical or treadmill.

But there are so many different ways to add exercise to your day.

So choose activities that you actually enjoy so that you will be motivated to continue to reach your fitness goals.

If you don’t like running, guess what? You don’t have to run!

You can try a boot camp class or design your own high-intensity intervals. The choices are endless!

You can switch up your workouts on a daily basis so that you remain engaged and excited to exercise on a consistent basis.

Add HIIT Workouts To Your Routine

There are tons of workouts that can improve both your cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength that you can do in as a little as 20 to 30 minutes.

You can do shorter HIIT workouts and still get similar fitness benefits to longer endurance activities.

A study from the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism showed that two minutes of sprint intervals produced similar post exercise oxygen consumption compared to 30 minutes of continuous running at a lower intensity.

Not only will these workouts not take hours to perform, but they will fly by as you move from one move to the next.

This also means you don’t have to spend tons of time running mindlessly on a treadmill to get great aerobic benefits.

Plus, you may be more apt to not skip a workout if you know that you will be done in a shorter amount of time.

If you are looking for a high octane workout to jump start your New Year, try this HIIT workout at home or at your gym.

New Year's HIIT Workout

For each exercise, perform the movement with as many reps as possible for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

Burpees

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Squat down and place your hands on the floor.
  • Kick back into a push-up position.
  • Do one push-up.
  • Jump your legs back to a squat and jump up, throwing your hands above your head.
  • Land and repeat.

Squat Jumps

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hinge at the hips to push your butt back and lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Explode off the floor and jump as high as you can.
  • Allow your knees to bend 45 degrees when you land, and then immediately drop back down into a squat, and jump again.

Mountain Climbers

  • Start in a push-up position.
  • Bring your right knee forward under your chest, then return the leg back.
  • Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward.
  • Keep switching legs and begin to pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in place in a plank position.

Push-Ups

  • Start in a plank position, with your shoulders over your wrists and legs out behind you.
  • Contract your abdominal muscles and keep your back straight.
  • As you lower and exhale, bend your elbows outward to the sides.
  • If you cannot do these on your feet you can start on your knees.
  • Eventually, you will be able to perform the standard push-ups as your strength increases.

After completing this circuit, rest for a full minute. Then repeat 2 more times though.

This HIIT bodyweight workout for fat loss can be done from inside your home with NO equipment!

 

Build Power With Plyometrics

Along with HIIT workouts, plyometric exercises should be a staple in a well-rounded fitness program.

Even if you suffer from joint pain, you can modify plyometric moves to still enjoy all of the benefits these workouts offer.

Plyometric training involves explosive compound movements that are typically done with just your bodyweight or very light weights.

Exercises include moves like plyometric pushups, box jumps, and jump lunges.

The goal is to train for maximum force production in the smallest period of time, so reps are kept low and the intensity and effort are high, similar to HIIT workouts.

Plyometric training focuses on increasing the strength and efficiency of the fast-twitch fibers.

This will carry over to all of your other workouts through gains in speed and strength.

For example, a study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that a combination of squat and plyometric training provided a significant increase to hip and thigh power production, resulting in a greater increase to vertical jumping ability than could be achieved from training solely with one program or the other.

During plyometric movements, you are trying to perform each movement as explosively as possible, which normally means leaving the ground.

However, you can modify how high you jump based on your current fitness level and underlying knee or joint limitations.

You can dedicate one of your workout days to doing strictly plyometrics, or you can add plyo exercises into your other routines.

Try out this great combo HIIT-Plyo routine if you are looking to improve your strength and power this New Year.

New Year's Fit Dads Plyo Workout

Perform 30 seconds of each move. Rest 30 seconds between each exercise. Repeat the circuit 2-3 times, resting for one minute between each set. Add this workout to your regular routine or use it as a stand alone workout.

Frog Squat Jump

  • Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width, toes turned slightly out.
  • Drop into a deep squat, hands touching the floor.
  • Then explode up and jump forward.
  • Land softly, and  then quickly jump back to the starting position.
  • Continue jumping forward and back, touching your hands to the ground each time.

Plyometric Push-Ups

  • Start in a plank position with wrists directly under the shoulders, body in a straight line from head to toe.
  • Lower your chest to the floor and then push up explosively so that your hands leave the floor for a second, and then land softly.

Tuck Jump

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and hips back, as if you were just beginning a squat.
  • Then jump up while bringing your knees to your chest.
  • Land softly on toes in the starting position.
  • Immediately jump back up, resting as little as possible between jumps.

180 Jump Squats

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and begin to lower your body into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Jump up while turning your body 180 degrees mid-air, so that you land facing in the opposite direction.
  • Immediately lower into your squat again, and jump and turn in the opposite direction, so you land in starting position.
  • Repeat as quickly as possible.

Broad Jumps

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and begin to lower the body into a squat.
  • Jump up as high as you can forward, and focus on landing softly on your feet.
  • Immediately return to the quarter-squat position and repeat.

Here are our favorite plyometric exercises for beginners and plyometric workout at-home options.

 

Keep Track Of Your Progress

If you are exercising on a regular basis it helps to keep track of how you are improving along the way.

Make it part of your New Year's fitness resolutions to keep a journal to monitor your progress.

And remember, this doesn’t just have to be about keeping track of your weight.

If you have set a weight loss goal, monitoring the scale seems like the obvious thing to do.

But again, there is much more health and weight loss than just that number.

If you are gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time, your weight may stay the same or increase slightly even if you are actually healthier.

This can be discouraging to see and can cause you to lose motivation.

This is where you can track things like body fat percentage.

Your body composition is an important determinant of health

You should also track the amount of weight or reps you are doing during resistance workouts to monitor your strength gains.

During cardio workouts, monitoring your heart rate during similar workouts will allow you to see how your endurance is improving over time.

All of these things will keep you motivated as you see how much you are progressing over time.

See the program 26,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these...

see the fit father program

Make Short Term Goals

It’s great to set the bar high with your New Year's fitness resolutions, but sometimes your long term goal may seem unattainable.

By setting some short term goals along the way you will feel more motivated as you reach these smaller milestones.

For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds, set a goal to lose one pound a week.

Or if you are looking to take 5 minutes off of your 5K time, start by taking 30 seconds off at a time.

As you reach these short-term goals this will increase your motivation to keep moving towards your long-term goal.

Building long-term healthy habits is the key to staying committed to working out and losing weight.

 

New Year, New Fit Dads

2021 is finally here, and it couldn’t have come fast enough.

With all of the craziness of 2020, there is no doubt that dads everywhere are looking to achieve some lofty fitness goals.

By starting with attainable, and sustainable, New Year's fitness resolutions, you will be able to stay accountable to your fitness all year long — and not just the first few weeks of January!

Holly Smith

Holly Smith M.D. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Holly is board-certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly is a keen runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast. She has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, Olympic distance triathlons, half marathons, and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on New Year's fitness resolutions.

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