Getting fit costs nothing - it’s up to you to get out there! Photo: Jenny Hill

Go go gadget!

By Geraldine Fitzgerald

Every January I buy a gadget that’s going to change my life; bring me Zen or melt a stone from my hips. By March, the gadget has migrated to the corner of my kitchen, where aspirational purchases go to die.

In the corner cupboard of doom, you’ll find two juicers, a steamer, a Nutribullet, an air fryer, a slow cooker and a yoghurt maker. The neighbouring drawer hosts four fitbits; a clock that plays a whale song, and a white noise machine. The tangle of leads coil like mating snakes.

Oh, but we’re so well intentioned at the start of every year. A recent survey by Curry’s show that over 85% of us make resolutions. Weight loss (39%) is the main reason most people will set a new year’s resolution, with 17% saying they want to eat healthier, 19% wanting to exercise more, and 7% saying they want to try and be less stressed. Most people start on the first Monday in January or the day they go back to work.

The survey says 64% of people said that they have invested or will invest in a smart watch or fitness tracker. 45% of people who already own one say they’ll upgrade their current model to try to achieve their fitness goals.

However, the same survey says that more than 50% of us give up after just a few weeks. The ‘life-changing’ gadgets that seduced us with notions of success lie dormant as we slump into the well-deepened ruts of poor habits.

Here’s the thing – we don’t need to buy anything to improve health. All we need is a real desire to be well and enough self-worth to enact and maintain positive changes. Baby steps to betterment are manageable and much gentler on the wallet.

According to one medical specialist, it is much more important to think of new ways to embrace fitness – not weight loss - and to start the New Year with a regime of simply becoming more active every day. This approach may or may not lead to a slimmer you in the process, but it will lead to a healthier you regardless.

Dr Noel McCaffrey, a Sports and Exercise specialist at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, says that “making the mistake of setting unrealistic targets is common. It is not at all surprising that these targets are not met, leading to disappointment and frustration and a return to last year's unhealthy lifestyle.”

He suggests that if people become more active, and get out a little more, the health benefits will be far reaching. What, like go for a walk or have a kickabout with the kids or take the dog for a trot along the beach? For free? Yes.

Regular activity is a major determinant of wellness, both physical and psychological. “It is really important to understand that this is something over which we ourselves have full control,” says Dr. McCaffrey, “allowing us to have a major influence on our own health”.

So just get moving, daily. Forget the numbers on the scales; forget the pretty promises of pricey gadgets and forget failure. All you need to succeed is yourself.