January is the perfect time for fresh starts. At the start of a new year, after the Christmas period, many of us look to the gym – with boosting our fitness one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions out there. It doesn’t have to be clichéd or doomed to fail though – as an international athlete, I’ve got a few tips and tricks on training, meaning your New Year’s Resolution will be worth making, not breaking this year!

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Keep it specific

If you’re looking ahead to the next 12 months, a vague resolution to ‘get fitter’ could probably be a bit daunting. The more specific your goal, the better – where it’s to run a 5k or do a 15-minute workout a day. Mine is to be able to do unassisted chin-ups by the end of 2019, as I’ve focussed on leg strength rather than arm strength over the years. With the Quad Series in January and the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 coming up this summer, better arm strength will help me on court as the game gets more and more physical.

Train with others

My tip for an exercise newbie, or someone returning to exercise, would be to find others to train with. Having that support network is great, and there will always be others in the same boat as you – especially at this time of year! Finding the time to exercise can also be tricky for new parents or those with long working hours, so even throwing on an exercise video to do in the living room can be great fun for those tight on time. Try recording your progress too; every step you make is a step towards your goal.

Step it up

Once you’ve got your group and your goals, it’s great to keep challenging yourself. When it comes to upgrading your exercise regime, I personally love working with coaches or trainers who really know their stuff and push me to be the best I can be. If this isn’t possible financially, I would recommend an exercise class. There are so many different types now, you’re bound to find one for you! Training regularly is also important – you could have one amazing session but it’s regular training that will get you results, and regular commitment to your training will mean it becomes part of your weekly routine.

Try netball!

Netball is a great way to keep fit. It’s so much fun, you rarely realise how hard you are exercising! I always think that if you’re having fun, you’re more likely to stick at your exercise plan. Netball uses all areas of the body and is a great cardio workout – but it also builds strong legs and bums, because of the jumping and changing of direction involved! You can find your nearest team on the England Netball website – since the England Roses’ success at the Commonwealth Games 130,700 women have started playing netball or playing more netball as a result – so join the buzz!

Vitality Netball World Cup 2019

The Vitality Netball World Cup is the world’s most prestigious netball competition and takes place from 12-21 July 2019 at the ACC Liverpool campus – home to BT Convention Centre, M&S Bank Arena and Exhibition Centre Liverpool. The tournament will feature the top 16 teams in the world, including the England Roses, at an exciting time of unprecedented growth for women’s sport and netball in the UK.

Jade Clarke is a Vitality Netball World Cup ambassador and is the most-capped player of the England Roses, playing netball for over 25 years. Jade has competed in four Commonwealth Games and was a member of the gold medal-winning squad at 2018’s tournament.

Tickets for the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 are now on sale here