Reviving your fitness resolution

February 2, 2016

IMAGE_STORY_Health_fitness_student_primerNew Year’s fitness resolution got you down? Get back up with these 4 tips

Just like the glow of the holiday season, the crowds at gyms everywhere are starting to fade away. Remember those life changes you resolved to make a few weeks ago? Maybe it was to lose weight or get more exercise—two of the top five most declared new year’s resolutions. If you’re finding them difficult to keep, you’re not alone.

“Very rarely do we see people actually complete their goals and it’s not that they don’t have great intentions, but they don’t have the tools, the knowledge or the background of how to go about it appropriately,” explains Dave Kato, assistant professor in the Bachelor of Physical Education Transfer program.

That doesn’t mean you have to fail. Here are four ways to breathe new life into your fitness resolutions.
 1. Have a goal that is uniquely yours

The first thing you need to do is pinpoint your fitness goal.

Like sitting down with an advisor to figure out what your academic goals are, your fitness goals are much the same. Is it to lose 20 pounds, run a marathon or build muscle? Find out what you want and do the research.

If your physical fitness goals are set too high, you could be setting yourself up to fail and making it harder for you to develop good habits.

If you need help, Sport and Wellness offers a variety of fitness assessments and training programs.

2. Be realistic about your genetics

It’s easy to confuse body image with fitness. Spending three hours in the gym every day won’t turn you into the hottest new celebrity on Instagram. Your genetics—and fitness goals—will be different than everyone else’s. Recognize what you can change and what you can’t.

“So often we forget about the ‘intangibles,’ the health-related benefits of being physically active,” says Dave. People may overlook that their blood pressure has gone down, that they can climb the stairs without becoming short of breath, or that they’ve lost body fat—and instead focus on the stress-inducing number on the scale.

3. Find a training partner

Maybe it’s a personal trainer, friend or coworker, but sometimes all you need to get up and go is a commitment.

“That sense of responsibility comes back to you in terms of a health-related benefit because you had somebody else to help you along,” says Dave, “and they made that same commitment to you.”

Neither person may be chomping at the bit to hop on the treadmill or jump in the pool, but if you’re in it for another person, you’re more likely to show up and do the work.

4. You have to do it yourself

You can’t outsource your health. Like any other goal, if fitness is yours, it’s yours alone. If you want to jog more, it’s up to you to make time. If you want to begin resistance training, it’s up to you to start lifting weights.

Just beware doing too much too soon. “Like baby steps, you have to crawl before you walk and walk before you run,” says Dave.

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