8 best Fitness New Year's Resolution ideas to crush your exercise goals in 2022

From (socially distanced) group workouts to diet apps, here are our top pieces of advice to help you get back in shape for 2022

Woman working out while on lockdown. She is lifting a barbell with weights in her home gym, crouching
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fitness-related resolutions are typically the most common type of goals people set themselves as they head into a new year. This is probably because they’re concocted over the Christmas period when epic levels of cheese and wine have been consumed, the fondues are overflowing with guilt, and trouser waistbands are just about to pop.

But making a new year's resolution in a bid to change something you don’t like about your life before January is a cliche that often results in failure. This isn’t because the goals people set themselves are doomed to fail, but because they’re often too ambitious, unrealistic or vague, making them impossible to adhere to. That, and because we set them without preparing how we’re going to achieve them.

This is exactly why we’re hitting you with a list of ideas to help you get fit for 2022. In the hope that it will give you enough time to think through and plan how 2022 is going to be the beginning of a whole new you. Here are the best ideas to help you smash all your fitness-related new year's resolutions.

1. Invest in a some home fitness equipment

With the ever-growing concern of another January lockdown, there’s no better time to invest in a piece of home gym equipment that can offer up a workout experience akin to those you get in real-life fitness studios.

We can't recommend enough an investment in the more serious contenders in this space such as Peloton and Echelon, whose connected exercise bikes have been proven to deliver super smart and engaging workout experiences that aren’t far off the real McCoy.

Okay, this doesn’t exactly come cheap, but if you compare the price membership to a boutique studio or commercial gym can rack up over the course of a year, it’ll pretty much pay for itself.

Home weights such as dumbbells and kettlebells are cheaper and can help you tone up, too. For the diehard fitness crowd, we recommend getting a barbell, some weight plates and a weight bench

person meditating in a basketball court wearing a Fitbit

(Image credit: Fitbit)

2. Be more accountable with a wearable

A wearable is an essential bit of kit for any kind of workout, in our opinion. Not only can they help you keep on top of all your vitals - knowing how many calories you’re burning in various workouts - but they give you insights into the amount of effort you're exerting during exercise and compare previous workouts to ensure your fitness goals are on track.

If you’re more of an enthusiast, we can’t recommend Garmin’s Fenix lineup enough. Apple’s Watch series 7 is perfect for beginners, and if you’re somewhere in between, we love Polar's new Polar Grit X Pro, which offers up some impressive multisport fitness tracking capabilities without breaking the bank. For tracking everyday activities, you can't get anything better than the Fitbit Charge 5 at the moment.

Browse our best running watch, best fitness trackers and best Fitbits guides for more inspiration on what wearable to get next!

3. Try a new way of training

If you’ve hit the point where you feel your motivation and fitness levels are reaching a plateau, you may want to change the way you train, and the beginning of the new year is a perfect time to do this. 

“You could do this by simply setting yourself a goal to try a new form of training or exercise each week,” says Freeletics (opens in new tab) Training Specialist David Wiener (opens in new tab), “This could help you find your new favourite workout or exercise, give you all the motivation you were looking for, and allow you to change up your routine to keep your body guessing and progressing.”

Here is the best kettlebell workout, the best full-body workout and the best push-pull-legs exercise routine to get you started.

person eating a plate of healthy-looking food

(Image credit: Getty Images)

4. Take control of your nutrition with food diary apps

Have all the intentions to eat healthily but convenience sees you grabbing the first carb you lay your eyes on? It’s an all too familiar occurrence. But it happens often due to a lack of planning, and it’s this that can really get in the way of your health goals when it comes to mealtimes. Using simple meal prepping and food diary apps such as MyFitnessPal (opens in new tab) can help you by identifying where you're going wrong.

Simply pop the meals you've eaten throughout the day into the app and it will work out the calories against your daily target, calculated from your weight loss (or weight gain) goal. It's great for giving you a sense of which foods you regularly eat have high-calorie content and what foods don't, helping you to manage your weight and macronutrient intake over a longer period to form healthier habits over time.

5. Make use of CBD oils and moisturisers

Not something you’d usually class as an essential in attaining your fitness goals, but CBD is huge these days, and for good reason.

Recent studies have shown (opens in new tab) that CBD can help relieve delayed onset muscle soreness and exercise-induced muscle damage. This is because its healing properties are known to reduce muscle pain, bodily aches and inflammation – something we’ve found during regular use, anyway. It’s basically magic and no fitness-related new year’s resolution should go without it.

Some of our favourite brands include FourFive CBD Oil (opens in new tab), which is vegan and 100% natural, and PureSport’s CBD Muscle and Joint Balm (opens in new tab), which you apply directly to an area to get right to the problem.

6. Prepare for the sweat

Let’s face it, after a few weeks of debauchery you’re going to be sweating buckets two minutes into your first HIIT workout of 2022. Taking your sweaty gym clothes home with you post-workout is never pleasant, especially if you’re a super-sweater.

Recognising this, a number of brands have begun selling bags made especially for your stinking kit, also known as a “sweat bag”. This is a great purchase to make in preparation for an onslaught of exercise come January. One of our favourites is the La Pochette Sweat Bag (opens in new tab), an antibacterial and water-resistant zip bag for storing workout gear on the go.

Of course, you can always just get a decent gym bag (or cycling bag if you prefer to ride to the gym).

Three people exercising in a park

(Image credit: Getty Images)

7. Join a community of like-minded people

Motivating yourself to work out is half the battle, especially after a Christmas of binging. Finding yourself a community of like-minded people can be all you need to give you the encouragement and support to help achieve your new year’s fitness goals. 

“You are the product of your environment, so choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective,” advises James Dollah, Head of Brand and Head Coach of Puresport Fitness Club (opens in new tab). “Many gyms have recognised this and have built amazing communities of like-minded people that are passionate about health, fitness and wellbeing.” 

There are many benefits from joining a gym with a community like this – you are more likely to work harder in a group environment, not to mention accountability. For example, if you've booked into a class with a friend, you're less likely to cancel than if you were training in a gym by yourself.

person using the Hyperice Hypervolt massage gun on their neck

(Image credit: Hyperice)

8. Don’t forget about post-workout recovery 

Even if you feel you’ve already done a little too much resting over the festive period, post-workout recovery should remain at the top of your to-do list during the resurrection of your full-on fitness schedule come January.

Massage guns and foam rollers are excellent gadgets to ensure you can keep that promise to yourself. Not only do they promote recovery by reducing muscle soreness but they stimulate the body’s nerve receptors, which cause vasodilation in the skin and muscles to improve mobility.

Hyperice is one of our favourite brands in this space and has a great range of products to choose from, including the travel-sized and gym bag-friendly Hypervolt Go (opens in new tab), a portable percussion massage gun you can take with you on the go. Therabody also has many excellent massage devices including the Theragun mini that's equally as portable as the Hypervolt Go. 

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This feature is part of T3's Get Fit 2022 campaign. We’ll be bringing you a wealth of guides, features, deals and news to help you get healthy, fit and ready for anything the new year can throw at you. Whether you’re a newcomer to fitness or someone with a passion for it, we’ll bring you all the best workouts, diet advice and gear to set you on the right track.

Lee Bell is a freelance journalist & copywriter specialising in technology, health, grooming and how the latest innovations are shaking up the lifestyle space. From national newspapers to specialist-interest magazines and digital titles, Lee has written for some of the world’s most respected publications during his 11 years as a journalist.