Are you already planning on setting yourself some well-intentioned but potentially hard to achieve goals this month?

Is the only exercise you’ve managed in the last two months ten minutes on the dancefloor or is the aftertaste of all those Christmas treats is turning into something that feels like heartburn tinged with guilt?

Weeks of indulgence paired with an onslaught of “New Year, New You” messaging everywhere you look means it’s only natural to think the answer to all your problems is a punishing New Year resolution – which may or may not include extreme cardio and vegetable juice penance.

Well, it’s not – the festive season is meant to be fun, so give yourself a break.

It’s well documented that in the quest for quick results many people set themselves completely unrealistic goals in January, only to end up ditching the good intentions in less than two weeks, making them feel even worse about themselves than when they started.

This year, why not break the mould and set yourself realistic, long-term goals and ease yourself into a sustainable fitness routine that you can maintain all year round?

According to the social fitness network, Strava, 92% of people who set themselves the goal of an event are still active 10 months later. Kick-start your 2019 with a 10K walk or run.

The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k is taking place on 26th May 2019. Which gives you plenty of time to get up to speed whether you want to walk, jog or run it.

This year’s event will feature a new and improved route, taking in some of Birmingham’s most popular landmarks; such as Colmore Row, Victoria Square and The Jewellery Quarter.

If you’re inspired to improve your health and fitness for the long term sign up today at greatrun.org/Birmingham.

To get you on your way when the winter weather is making it less than enticing to go outside, we’ve put together some top tips to get you started:

  1. Different route, same great feeling
    During the darker mornings and nights, make sure you look for well-lit public areas that have wide pavements and will not be too busy to stop you completing a hassle-free run.
  2. Wrap up and warm up
    On colder days it’s important to ‘layer up’ and if you’re running in the dark wear bright colours so that you are safe and visible. You need to be seen.
  3. Power lunch
    To break up your working day, why not try and get out for a run at lunchtime while it’s guaranteed to be light? Planning a run at work can be tricky but if shower facilities are available it can be a great way to breaking up the day and release some endorphins.
  4. Weekend wake up
    View your weekend run as a real treat, plan your route to be off-road where possible. Forest trails on cold still mornings are always beautiful, even in winter.
  5. Get help along the way
    If you need a gentle push to reach your fitness goals, then participate in a Great Run Local event in Birmingham. Held at three locations, these FREE, weekly, running events of either 2k or 5k distances, organised by local volunteers. These friendly runs are designed to encourage participation from all levels ranging from absolute beginners and families to more experienced regular runners.