Attending parties, cheering your favorite football team, dancing and watching the ball drop in New York City are tried and true practices at the conclusion of every year. Another practice that comes along at the end of the year is the sometimes-dreaded New Year’s Resolution.
Many people include losing weight, starting an exercise program or dieting in their resolutions. The team at Harbin Clinic Vitality Fitness offers some suggestions on how to formulate and keep some realistic health and fitness resolutions.
“I think one of the biggest things is to have realistic goals. It’s great to dream big, but don’t set your resolution so big that you can’t actually get there,” Gladys Mixon says. “Work toward a goal and try to figure out what you need to prepare yourself to succeed.”
Often times, people set lofty goals they fail to reach. If they fail, they end up becoming discouraged.
“You really need to set small goals and work to achieve those,” Brian Price, an exercise physiologist, says. “As you achieve those smaller goals, it will help you gain confidence and momentum to keep going.”
Along with making realistic resolutions, it’s also important to have a way to remind yourself about those goals.
“I think it really helps if people write down those realistic resolutions and place them somewhere very visible as a reminder of what they are working for,” Harbin Clinic dietitian Marcy Pugliese says. “This can really help with motivation.”
Diet and Weight Loss
We are often flooded with claims of huge weight-loss gains by reality television shows and commercials, and that can lead to some unrealistic expectations.
“Don’t buy into all the advertisements and the reality TV shows,” Price says. “You can lose five to six pounds early on but that’s usually just water weight. It takes hard work, diet and exercise to really lose weight.”
Dieting isn’t easy and many people have trouble cutting out or cutting down on some of their favorite foods.
“In a lot of ways portion control may be better than certain diets, because you’re still getting to eat certain foods but not as much as you normally would,” Susan Lavigne, an exercise physiologist, says. “That way you’re not denying yourself a food you like.”
Another trick trainers point out is to cut soda and sweet tea from your diet and replace those drinks with water. While exercise remains a key factor to losing weight, healthy eating is just as important.
“Diet is a major part of any weight-loss plan. Many people will start exercising and want to lose weight but don’t want to talk about their diet,” Price says.
“Getting to a healthy weight is a balance of healthy eating and exercising,” Pugliese says. “These two must go hand in hand to get results.”
Find Motivation and Ignore Excuses
After setting a fitness or weight-loss goal, people sometimes find getting and staying motivated difficult.
“My favorite pair of blue jeans is my motivating factor. When they don’t fit, I’m not happy,” Melissa Campbell, the S.C.I Wellness Champion, says. “A lot of people find every excuse not to work out. A lot of companies have wellness plans and incentives, and you need to take advantage of them.”
As far as finding ways to overcome excuses to not get to the gym or exercise, there are plenty of strategies to combat that.
“Half the battle is getting to the gym or the track,” Price says. “One trick is to keep an extra pair of socks, workout clothes or a gym bag at the office or the car so if you forget to bring them one day, you still have clothes and can’t use that as an excuse not to exercise.”
If you’re looking to formulate some realistic resolutions or just find a great place to exercise get in touch with the professional staff at Harbin Clinic Vitality Fitness at 706.290.2334