Mirka Loiselle/THE VARSITY

Now that it is the end of January, many of us will have realized that the resolutions we made in the lazy haze of the holidays aren’t exactly coming to fruition: the chances of someone following through with their New Year’s resolution for an entire year is slim. The most commonly broken resolution is losing weight. At U of T it’s easy to fall into a routine of going to class, studying, eating out, and staying up late — conditions that aren’t exactly conducive to keeping up a health-related resolution.

If you’re serious about improving your health and bettering yourself for next year, while still maintaining a steady GPA, here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most of your 2016:   

1) Join a fitness class

It’s okay to step out of your comfort zone by joining a new club or fitness class to change up your workout routine. U of T’s athletic facilities offer different types of classes like: kickboxing, yoga, Zumba, pilates, and many more. Changing up the traditional free weight and cardio machine workouts can also help your body resist plateauing, and if you take a Zumba class, you may even dance away with some new moves to show-off the next time you go out.

2) Hire a personal trainer

If you’re excited about working out but the thought of going into the gym without knowing what to do sounds about as appealing as cutting your own arm off, then U of T’s personal training services can help. U of T athletic services offer one-on-one sessions with personal trainers who are certified, and usually U of T students. Their job is to help you develop a workout routine that suits your personal needs and goals. They will also show you how to use the different machines in the weight room, guide you through cardio exercises, and give you pointers on eating better, and help you adjust to a healthier lifestyle.   

3) Say no to junk food

Probably the biggest hindrance to your weight loss and fitness goal is your diet, so cutting back on buying fast food is crucial. Although this is probably one of the hardest changes to make, eating healthier doesn’t have to constitute a complete dietary overhaul. Try packing a lunch or a few snacks that will come in handy when you have a long day on campus. Start off with once or twice a week, and work your way up to packing a lunch daily. Invest in a good quality water bottle and take it everywhere; this will help you cut back on sodas and juices, plus you can make use of U of T’s hydration stations. 

4) Set goals 

There’s a difference between a resolution and a goal. Resolutions are more generic — for example, lose weight or become fitter — whereas goals are smaller milestones you can set in order to fulfill your resolution. Achieving small goals makes your resolution more attainable, because seeing regular progress can be the best form of encouragement. It can also be helpful to keep track of your progress by using a fitness app or journal; writing down your progress will get you that much closer to achieving your goals. Talking about your future goals with people that are close to you can also help you keep them.

5) Buy workout clothes

A trick that works especially well for broke university students is investing in workout clothes. For most university students, money is scarce and OSAP is cruel, so the thought of wasting money is sickening. Buying workout clothes will motivate you to go to the gym — not because you’ll look good, but because you don’t want to waste the money you spent on those Lululemon or Nike leggings. A good workout apparel starter-kit includes: running shoes, thick socks, leggings, and a T-shirt.   

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