5 Tips to Make Your Fitness Resolution Last
Weight loss is one of the top New Year’s resolutions for Americans. But how can we make that resolution last long past January? Exercise physiologists at the OhioHealth Grant Health and Fitness Center say the key is setting an attainable goal. For example, instead of saying you want to lose 50 pounds, set a goal to lose 10.And after you reach that goal, set a goal to lose the next 10.
"A good way to get started is to set goals, realistic goals to your life. You want to make your goals small, realistic. Don’t go over your head. You want to make goals you know that you can meet," says exercise physiologist Abby Timblin.
"The best way to get started is to get with a professional who can lead you in the right direction or start small with walking and getting yourself moving every day," says exercise physiologist Katie Fry.
Planning ahead goes a long way in achieving weight loss goals.
"They need to be focusing on planning their meals, making sure they’re getting their vegetables, protein, their workouts, all that stuff. Not just the number on the scale," says Timblin.
Writing down what you eat and what exercises you do will help, too.
"It helps you monitor and keep track of – say you have to work a lot one week – how much did it really take a hit on your eating habits and exercise vs. your normal week. It also helps keep you accountable throughout the whole thing," says Fry.
"Using MyFitnessPal and looking at everything the past couple weeks and saying 'this is what’s been going on and this is what’s been staying consistent, what can I change or tweak,'” says Timblin.
Another tip is to set an additional long range goal, like running a 5K or half marathon. Weight loss can be a by-product of the healthy habits that come with race training. "It absolutely helps to have a goal other than weight loss because it gives you something else to focus on rather than just the numbers on the scale. You can focus instead on is your running time getting faster or are you moving up in the weights you’re lifting," says Fry.
And finally, it’s important to realize that no one is perfect. You’ll have slip ups and plateaus. The key is to stay the course and get back on track as soon as you can.
"We all mess up, none of us are perfect. You start over, you start the week over and you make those goals again. Realize that yep, I made a mistake and you can move on from that mistake. You can jump back on the wagon and get started again," says Timblin.