January is officially over and as every year, I find that most of my friends (myself included) are pretty much already falling behind on their New Year’s resolutions.
The statistics say that year after year number one ranked NY’s resolution is to lose weight and/or introduce healthier eating. But only 9.2 % feels successful in achieving their resolution.
What are the most common reasons to neglect a healthy diet and exercise, something that is of key importance for our overall health?
Well if you’re used to eating food high in sugar/fats it would be harder opting daily for a salad with simple protein. If you’re accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle and want to start exercising, there a lot of things that factor in that are hard to overcome.
This is a list I compiled of most frequent reasons why people forego their exercise/diet regime:
Getting started with a new diet. When I say diet, I’m referring to adopting healthy lifelong habits (I’m strictly against fad diets). At the beginning people tend to be overly enthusiastic and put big restrictions on themselves. Following a healthy lifestyle is about modifications not restrictions. It’s about balance. Best way not to fail is to make a plan.
Where to start? The internet has millions of recipes uploaded daily and it can get hectic trying to pick which recipes are best for your goal. Your goals might vary, from losing body fat, building muscle or just staying fit. So before making any modifications – research thoroughly.
You don’t have time to work out. You might be a busy student, have a demanding job, or a frequent traveler. It is difficult to encompass a fitness routine into your already busy schedule.
No support system. It’s easy to have beginner’s motivation but to stick with your routine it takes serious effort and endurance.
Newbie in the gym. If you’re just starting to work out for the first time and don’t have the necessary funds to hire a personal trainer, it might feel daunting to walk into a gym that offers various exercising machines. Which exercises should you focus on? How many sets/reps should you do? Are you doing the exercises correctly?
This is not supposed to be a list of excuses. So how to overcome them?
Make a list, what are your priorities and what are you willing to sacrifice.
As many of you would agree, one of the biggest difficulties as a frequent traveler is being consistent with maintaining our key life habits. When you’re on a holiday or a business trip we tend to forget all about exercising. It’s either because the hotel doesn’t have a gym, you don’t want to spend an hour or two exercising when you could be sightseeing or not knowing the area and how safe it is to go for a run. Keeping in mind the challenges and how it’s not always an option to get outside and train, you need the possibility to train anywhere. At home, in a hotel, on the go.
Fortunately I’ve come across Freeletics app (Freeletics.com), while I was researching how to find the best solution for myself. I’ve been using it for something over two months and for me it turned out to be a great investment.
If it’s raining and you can’t do your bodyweight exercises (that often encompass light jogging) outside, you can switch to the 2×2 workouts. The 2×2 workouts as explained on their website is, “Same workouts. More flexible. Just as tough. 2×2 means you can train with only 2 by 2 meters of space. Workouts with exercises where you usually need distance are replaced with ones you can do on the spot. And runs replaced with exercises suited to you and your fitness level.“
Freeletics offers four apps: bodyweight freeletics, running freeletics, gym freeletics and a nutrition guide.
They do have free workouts but you have to pay to unlock the Coach version. They offer a subscription that lasts 3 months/34.99€; 6 months/59.99€ ; 12 months/79.99€ – and for that price you get three apps (bodyweight, gym and running), but for the nutrition guide you have to pay extra.
Even though I have all three apps, I’ve been solely using the bodyweight and running app. I relied on those apps because I don’t enjoy going to the gym and because it’s more time efficient for me to work out at home (no time lost in commuting). It’s based on high intensity workouts which proved to be very effective and what’s an important benefit for me, also very short. I spent half an hour to an hour working out five times a week.
How does the app work?
When you unlock your Coach version of Bodyweight Freeletics, first you put in some basic information about yourself (weight/height, date of birth). Next step asks you to rank your top three goals (gain strength, lose weight, improve endurance, general fitness, relieve stress), how many days per week are you willing to train with the Coach (you can adapt it weekly according to your schedule). And last thing is to grade at what fitness level do you think you are.
Coach generates a fitness test based on the info you’ve provided. After that brief work out (for which you need only a 2×2 space) – it provides you with your first week with workouts that are explained in great detail (video presentations).
Every 15 weeks you can redo the fitness test and get a new tailored plan for your next level.
One other thing that really stands out with Freeletics, is their community. They were able to build a community (they refer to themselves as ‘Free Athletes’) that is centered on a healthy lifestyle and encouragement – people organize groups within their local communities and do their freeletics workouts together.
People love this new workout regime and have shared hundreds if not thousands of their testimonies on Youtube and other social media channels.
App is beautifully designed
Exercises are explained in great detail (accompanied by videos)
It’s time efficient, duration of a work out can be from 15 min to an hour
It’s effective, I was surprised how quickly your body adapts and how fast I was able to see results
Online community is exceptionally welcoming and motivating
Their website is full of very well researched articles that provide you with input on how to improve your overall health
Budget friendly (with bodyweight and running no need for a gym membership)
It’s very intense so you need a strong will to succeed – but as soon as you see results (which will be soon) you won’t feel like throwing in the towel
Depending on where you live, Freeletics community might not be as big (my friend in Berlin has regular meet ups with her new freeletics pals) whilst I in Belgrade, rely on the online community for motivation