New year, new fitness goals. What does that look like to you?

Weight loss is always a big motivating factor for many people, but with the COVID pandemic still raging on, how about focusing on long-term fitness ideals to help your body be its strongest self yet?

Here are a few ideas to get you going.

Healthy heart

Maintaining a healthy heart is one of the best ways to boost your overall health. It goes without saying that smoking, excess salt and sugar, and fatty foods are not your BFFs in this goal. From an exercise point of view, focus on a winning mix of aerobics and strength training.

Try this combo every other day: a brisk 30-minute walk followed by 20 minutes of weight-lifting. Choose the weights that you’re most comfortable with, and you can start with hand-held weights.

Build flexibility

Keeping your body flexible is a key factor in staying injury-free. Stretching workouts like Pilates and yoga help your body to grow stronger, improves stability and balance and gives you a greater range of motion.

Start your day with 15 minutes of stretching exercises and poses, and slowly work your way up to more complex and interesting workouts that incorporate stretching. A big bonus of flexibility exercises is that you’re improving your balance and building endurance – leading to fewer injuries when doing other workouts.

Work out smarter, not harder

Leave the “no pain, no gain” ethos behind this year and focus on smart moves for maximum rewards. Many of us simply don’t have the time (especially now that we’re working remotely) to slot in an hour for an exercise session.

No need! Chunk up that time into manageable 10-15-minute sessions. Example: get out of your chair every 30 minutes and walk up and down the stairs for 10 minutes. Scatter this workout time throughout your work day and you’ll find it easier to work out smarter.

Think outside the box

The gym box, we mean. What’s an exercise that you’ve always wanted to try? Have you been itching to give hip-hop dancing or Zumba a whirl? Now you can. Make this a year of trying new workouts and you don’t even need to find a class.

Simply go online and scour YouTube for free classes and workouts. Easy and doable at home.


Sitting is the new smoking, that is, it’s super-unhealthy to sit for more than 60 minutes at a time. Ideally, you should be getting up and walking around every half an hour or so. Why not think about investing in a standing desk? Passive exercise and work productivity all at once.


This article is for informational purposes only. Always check with your doctor or medical practitioner about any health concerns, before embarking on any fitness or nutrition programme, and usage of any medication.