Health is always important, but in January it can become a key area of our lives to improve as we work towards New Year resolutions. This may involve joining a gym, taking more walks or trying out a company team sport.

Unfortunately, it’s thought up to a third of people who aim to get fit in the New Year quit within the first month. However, in Sussex we’re lucky to have excellent facilities and a beautiful countryside to enjoy, which means we could improve the trend.

We get the top tips from Sussex based Bluecoat Sports so we’re more likely to stay fit for longer in 2017:

New Year

New Year

Start with small changes

It’s easy to be over zealous when you first begin a new routine, but it’s important to take it slow and build up to bigger exercise routines. Start with 20 minutes of light exercise to test your body’s capabilities and prepare it for more physical activity. You’ll find details of groups and sessions near you from East Sussex 1 Space. Also, try incorporating little changes into your daily routine; always take the stairs, avoid snacking and switch milky tea for herbal alternatives.

If you’re interested in improving your diet as you also work on your fitness, there are a lot of whole food and health stores in East Sussex where you can find healthier foods. Also research what foods to eat before and after which exercises so you can stay energised and refreshed; this will surely help you stay fit for longer.

Find appealing routes

If you like the great outdoors, turn your exercise into an event by exploring East Sussex with some great public walking routes. The South Downs is the perfect place to start and also a favourite for families. As the views at the Downs are exceptional, you can take your time and actually just enjoy yourself without realising how much you’re walking.

Heading to the coast and seeing the ocean is another great motivator if you love a good sea breeze. Walk the length of the Marina in Brighton or even scale to the top of Beachy Head. As you improve and start going on longer walks, remember to stay hydrated and take a healthy snack, such as nuts or berries, so you’re not tempted by junk food along the way.

Pick the right gym

Arguably, joining a gym is one of the best ways to keep yourself fit as it involves a financial investment and none of us like to throw away money. With this in mind, it’s good to know that not every gym works for every person, so take your time and find one where you’ll look forward to going. Generally, you’ll probably want somewhere nearby that offers a social element and classes to add onto your own routine.

As you first go, try to chat to people as and when you can to boost your confidence and find some familiar faces. When you’re ready, ask them about their routines and see if they have any tips to offer a new starter. When you’ve picked the right gym and the environment suits you, you may even enjoy it.

Be goal orientated

To keep yourself motivated with long term fitness, write down a list of your aims. If you’re feeling tired or have skipped a couple of sessions this will be your way back in; return to your list to refocus yourself. As you go on, you can also add accomplishments to the list, and as these build up, they’ll help to reaffirm the success you’re achieving.

If you feel lists really aren’t the best way to concentrate on your fitness, think about taking a photograph on your first day exercising, and then compare it to a new photograph at the end of every month. It will give you visual proof of the results and show you the benefits over time in a positive way (which you can also show-off with friends).

Get motivation from apps

You can’t always do it by yourself, and you might not have a family member, friend or even personal trainer to cheer you on. In these situations, turn to fitness apps. They monitor your heart rate, how many calories you’ve burnt and many other performance based indicators, all while giving you digital trophies and rewards.

FitBit is one of the best known apps, which also gives you little reminders when you need to up your game. In essence, these apps are motivational partners that help spur you on when you’re tired or having a bad day.

In 2017, if you’re planning to get fitter, keep your goals in sight and make it a fun experience by varying your gym routine with walks in the countryside. If you’re determined, you will succeed and have a healthier New Year.