There's something about the end of the year and the beginning of the next that makes us assess where we're at. And of course, retailers are only too happy to jump on board and help you on your quest! Fitness equipment is an obvious winner in the Christmas/ New Year market. I doubt if anyone is one hundred percent happy with their shape, health and fitness, and what could be simpler than getting a rowing machine, exercise bike, elliptical trainer or treadmill for the home to achieve your fitness goals.
Or could it?
It's easy to make the commitment to buy a bit of kit with the idea that, come the end of the festive season, you'll be on it an hour a day and burning away all of those extra calories you've consumed - perhaps even a few more treats in the knowledge you'll be starting your new fitness regime shortly.
But, it's no surprise that the second hand market for fitness equipment is full of great bargains of 'barely used' models come February and March. Just check out eBay and see for yourself - behind each one for sale is a failed resolution, not to mention someone who's out of pocket.
So how can you ensure your good intentions don't fall at the first hurdle? Here's my advice. First of all, why wait until after the seasonal celebrations? If you're going to get a good deal in the Black Friday or Christmas sales, why not put it to good use straight away! The longer you put off starting a program, the more chance you may never get started.
You don't have to throw yourself into a tough training program immediately. You could use the first few days of your holiday to get acquainted with your machine. Use a few light practise sessions to check your technique - many an injury is caused by poor technique on a rowing machine that puts an end to a fitness regime before it's even started!
Start to think about your goals. What do you want to achieve? Set yourself achievable steps that you can get some satisfaction in ticking off as you pass your goals (you can read more about setting goals here.)
The biggest reason most people fail to maintain a fitness program is... boredom. So many do the same thing, day in, day out and don't see results - it's not surprising they give up. To achieve your goals you have to be both patient and imaginative.
Patient to see the results - it can take up to three to four weeks before you really start to notice a difference.
Imaginative to prevent boredom. You have to mix it up to keep you coming back to your rower. Variation is the key to staying motivated. Many believe all you do with a rowing machine is sit on it and row. But think again! There are many different types of rowing workouts (this link will show you just how many, plus a few examples.).
But then you can also get clever to spice things up a little. Have a look at a few of my ideas here, and perhaps come up with some of your own.
So there it is, the perfect combination for sticking to your training, is seeing results and looking forward to your next workout. Couldn't be easier huh :0)
Roy Palmer is an athletics coach, teacher of The Alexander Technique and a rowing fanatic.