The Key to Exercise and Keeping your New Year’s Resolution


‘People in the Gym’ by Mike Fleming via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

January is full of people making resolutions that they ultimately will not keep.  One of the most popular resolutions you’ll notice is to eat healthily and exercise more often.  Usually about three weeks into January resolutions such as these begin to slip and before you know it they have disappeared completely.  The fact is that exercising, usually at the gym, just isn’t suited to everyone and for many it’s simply a monotonous chore.  Ask anyone at all and I’m sure that they will agree that the key to exercise is to find an activity that you love and which for you the exercise part is merely a bonus.

There are plenty of hobbies and activities out there waiting for you to pursue that have exercise as their by-product!  A friend of mine for example wanted to begin Badminton, not for the exercise, but they found that it was just a happy extra.  His concentration was never focussed on losing weight; rather it was on the sport and improving his game.  It’s this attitude that will give you the best chance of sticking to your new year’s resolutions.

If you’re not sure what to do or where to start, then there’s a few places you can go. Firstly if you work for a larger corporation it may be worth checking at work for any sports teams that are set up. I know two people who play sport through their companies, one playing friendly football and another playing volleyball. Alternatively, if you work for a small company like me, you can look to your local community.

Community sports centres will often have local sports teams who meet there and this usually includes both competitive and social teams. On occasion such premises will also offer paid courses for those looking to get into a specific sport and this will be with an experienced sports person who will work to get you up to speed. If you’re unable to find any facility to learn a sport at your local sports centre then another great option is to look to local schools and colleges. These usually have an adults evening prospectus and some that have the facilities to do so will provide sports coaching and tuition.

All of these points apply not just to sports, but also to other hobbies such as dance. You can learn to dance through evening or weekend classes hosted in your community or alternatively there are specialist dance studios located in some areas that have beginner nights / lessons. One of those that springs to mind is ‘Salsa!, a Salsa club located on Charing Cross Road in London. This venue is popular with dancers of all abilities and runs several beginner and intermediate classes. The best thing about Salsa!’s classes is that they are timed to start before the floors are opened to all dancers, meaning you can go on to practice what you learn on into the night!

By starting a hobby in this way you may find yourself not only achieving your new year’s resolutions, but starting a life-long hobby. In a few years you may find yourself a semi-professional squash player or shopping for an authentic Flamenco dress in the capital. The possibilities really are endless.