It’s the season of New Year’s resolutions. Sadly, statistics suggest that fewer than 50 percent of resolutions survive for more than four months. Weight loss is the most common resolution, but most individuals who lose weight will gain it back and then some.
This sobering reality doesn’t have to be yours, however. You can be the author of a happy, healthy new year by taking charge of your fitness goals.
Here are six keys to success:
1. Have a plan: A goal without a plan is only wishful thinking. If you don’t have a roadmap, how do you get to your destination? A trainer can help with a plan and will motivate you and hold you accountable. This doesn’t mean you need to do three sessions per week with a trainer; it means you should have someone assess your overall fitness and help you develop four- to six-week programs. If you choose to do more frequent sessions with the trainers, you will have greater results, but the key is having a structured program and following through.
2. Keep it simple: You don’t need the fancy gadgets and exercise machines advertised on TV. For most of our fitness needs we can use what God gave us: our bodies. Combine a healthy dose of aerobic exercise and functional strength training with a healthful diet (proteins, vegetables, water).
3. Set realistic goals: Shedding 10 pounds in 10 days is not reality and will not stick. A better goal would be to lose 3 to 5 percent of body weight over the course of the year. The key to sustainable weight loss and overall health is long-term lifestyle changes. The results may be slower, but your success will be superior.
4. Find a partner: Whether a spouse, friend or colleague, a partner will help you through those difficult (lazy) times when you don’t feel up to working out.
5. Log your workouts and diet: A good trainer will have you do this, but if you choose to navigate your own roadmap be sure to log your workouts. There are excellent apps to help you with this process (try Withings Health Mate or Fitbit Force).
6. Have a positive attitude: Along the fitness road you will have peaks and valleys and many turns. Just like in life, nothing comes easy, but reaching your goals is rewarding once you go through the right process. The greatest obstacle to success occurs inside of us, not outside.
Good luck & good health!