Keep your resolution going through 2016

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Around 25 per cent of us will have given up on our New Year resolutions after just a week.

If 2016 is the year you have decided to get fit, a former Royal Marine and fitness expert cautions against rushing out and buying expensive gym membership, but instead setting realistic fitness goals.

British Military Fitness instructor, Tom Frearson said there are five good ways to help make your fitness resolutions stick.”

Firstly, set ‘SMART’ goals. “Break down each resolution to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound, so instead of saying ‘I want to get fit’, you could say ‘I will improve my fitness by working out three times a week including one group fitness class, and will keep track of my fitness levels to ensure I am staying on track. In three months time I hope to run a 5km race’.

“Making smart goals means that you will become more accountable for your progress and be clearer about what you want to accomplish.”

Then surround yourself with like-minded people. “Research has proven that those starting an exercise regime alone have a general dropout rate of about 43 per cent, but for those who train in a group environment it is around the 7 per cent mark. Surrounding yourself with people who have similar goals can also help you stay motivated.”

If you have struggled with fitness in the past, Tom said it may be that you haven’t found the right type of exercise for you. “A wise man once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. If you hated the gym last January, why would this year be any different? If you have always wanted to try yoga or an outdoor fitness class, now is the perfect time to do it.”

Mix it up. “Often, people have the perception that keeping fit is an unpleasant chore. It doesn’t have to be this way, making fitness part of your social life and leisure time ensures you don’t get bored and are more likely to stick to your goals. Try a team fitness activity or sport, sign up for an obstacle course event with friends or go on a weekend walk or cycle to make fitness more fun.

And finally Tom said it is important to give yourself a break. “The number one reason that most people fail in their New Years resolutions is they go in too hard – living off turkey breasts and kale and working out seven days a week is a sure fire way to send you nose diving straight back into the biscuit tin. Ensure you are building regular rest days into your workout schedule and treating yourself now and again. Some find that eating well 80 per cent of the time and allowing 20 per cent for treats helps, whereas others will go for a full blown ‘cheat day’. Whatever you do, ensure you are being balanced.


British Military Fitness was founded in 1999 by Major Robin Cope and Serjeant Harry Sowerby as an alternative form of group fitness training.

The aim of BMF is to get people of all fitness abilities training outdoors in parks with military trained instructors.

All BMF instructors have military experience and are also qualified fitness instructors.

There are four BMF groups in Leeds which hold sessions for all abilities.

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