GET ACTIVE: Fitness success in the new year

Stronger, thinner, healthier – for many people a new you in the new year is the goal. Still, while New Year’s resolutions are easy to make, they can be difficult to achieve.

“The new year is a great time to set big goals, but you have to be careful not to overcommit and be realistic about what you can accomplish,” said Lindsey Deck of Space Three. “Don’t go from not working out to setting a goal to work out seven days a week because it’s likely not going to be attainable long term. Start small and build on your progress as the year progresses.”

How can people make healthy and attainable New Year’s resolutions? There is no single answer but answering a few questions might be a good place to start.

Getting started

“With life so fast-paced, we need simple solutions that turn into lifestyle habits that can be taken anywhere,” said holistic health coach Michelle Daniel “It just takes some intention, dedication, and consistency.”

As a nurse, mother, wife, fitness instructor and owner of The Lifestyle Technique, Daniel knows firsthand about being busy. She encourages people to consider the following when making their health goals in the new year.

* Is this simple and can I see living this way as a lifestyle? Figuring out what works best for you and within your life is key.

* Can I sustain this without feeling overwhelmed and defeated?

* Is this something that I can duplicate in my family life? Leading by example is much better than giving advice.

* Am I leaving enough time for self-care, to slow down and enjoy the present moment?

“Try not to focus on what you are losing, but what you have to gain,” she said.

Get support

While you have individual goals, going solo might not be the best way to go.

“Find an accountability partner and/or group – you don’t have to do it alone,” Deck said. “Having someone to encourage and motivate and push you is so important for most people’s success and long-term achievement of goals.”

In fact, support can come in a group fitness class or by recruiting a buddy for daily neighborhood walks. It can also include a healthcare provider, particularly if you haven’t been exercising recently.

“The last thing we want to do in the spirit of improving our health and well-being is to do the opposite – cause injury or a possible health issue due to a high-risk activity or one of the many fad diet programs that flood social media outlets,” said Dennis Hale, owner of Hale Yeah Health and Fitness. “Get a physical, inform your health practitioner about what you plan to embark on and, at the very least, get a list of activities or programs they recommend you avoid.”

Have fun

“Have the max amount of enjoyment and fun you can possibly get out of your health and fitness goals,” Hale said. “Find activities that you love. Don’t have any activities that you love currently? All that means to me is that you haven’t been looking hard enough.”

From indoor classes like Pilates and yoga to outdoor adventures like hiking and cycling, fitness options are plentiful.

“I have found sports/activities in my 40s and even now in my 50s that I absolutely love, and I even have a list that I can’t wait to try,” Hale said.

Hale suggests incorporating exercises that allow you to do those activities to the best of your ability while minimizing the chance of potential overuse injuries.

“Who doesn’t like doing things they love well?”

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