It is a predictable trend. Around the middle of every January, after Christmas excess has made way for virtuous new year’s resolutions, gyms and personal trainers see a spike in interest.

But the burst of activity often fades -“ keeping a fitness plan going all year is a much more challenging proposition.

Brendan Burt, a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in Darlinghurst, is all too familiar with the new year pattern, but says there are reliable ways to sustain an exercise routine.

There’s definitely more of an influx of people wanting to get fit after Christmas and New Year because of partying and eating and drinking and everyone starting to feel a bit sluggish, Burt says.

And also obviously the new year is a new beginning, so a lot of the time fitness is on people’s list of goals.

People who balance a challenging workout with realistic objectives are most likely to stick to their routine, according to Burt.

It depends on how people go about trying to get fit, whether or not they commit to it and set goals and treat it as a project or whether they just have a loose idea that they want to lose a bit of weight and then go at it without maybe the proper information, he says.

Start it as a short-term goal initially so that you’ve got something to work towards.

Make sure that the goal is realistic and measurable, so if it’s a drop in body fat or [if] you want an increase in muscle, put a number to it.

If you’re unaccustomed to exercise, it’s better that you start with small steps and slowly build up instead of going hell for leather and then getting either too sore or having an injury.

With Sydney saturated with exercise options, it is also a good idea to keep things varied and fun.

Pick something that you’re going to find enjoyable, because training can be also entertainment and leisure, it doesn’t have to be just hard work, Burt says.

As well as that, if you’re not highly motivated, pick someone to coach you.

Balancing regular exercise with the occasional rest period is just as important for motivation, according to Danny Morgan, who runs the Surry Hills Boxing studio.

It’s really good to have a break sometimes. There’s no way you can peak and be performing at a high level all year round, Morgan says.

A lot of motivation has to do with enjoying what you’re doing. If you hate what you’re doing, you’re definitely not going to be motivated to keep doing it.

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