with Heather Hawk

Healthy Planet Fitness Writer

New Year’s Fitness Resolutions

Happy New Year!  It’s 2012 and once again the time has come to define your resolutions for the next 12 months.  Each year millions of people vow to lose weight and start creating a healthier lifestyle.  Yet each year many of those people are side-tracked from their healthier destination.  Let’s make 2012 different. I want you to stick with your fitness resolutions and achieve your health and fitness goals…and I’m going to help!

The first step in the resolution process is to set your long term goals.  These are the goals you want to achieve by December of this year.  Once you have determined your long term goals you must then break them down into short term goals based on 8 to 12 week periods.  For example, perhaps your long term goal is to lose 40 pounds this year.  Then we would break that down into a short term goal to lose 10 pounds every 12 weeks.

Short term goals help you maintain your focus and your motivation.  They give you check points throughout the year to celebrate your achievements and to re-evaluate your regimen if needed.

The next step is to determine a path for achieving your goals.  Continuing with the example above, to reach your goal of losing the initial 10 pounds you might choose to begin strength training 2 to 3 days a week in January.  Then perhaps in February we are going to add cardio as well.  The key is to start simple and continue to build on the base.

The most common mistake people make with a fitness resolution is attempting to make too many changes at one time that are difficult to sustain.  You must be honest with yourself about your current lifestyle.  How much time will you really devote to fitness?

Which activities will you really stick with?  These are important questions to consider.  If you are not working out currently then it is unrealistic to think you will train consistently for 5 days a week.  Instead, strive to workout 2 to 3 days a week initially.  Once you have accomplished that small goal for a few weeks then add to the routine.

A wonderful plan for a healthier lifestyle and a healthier you is to make one fitness change a week and one nutrition change a week…again keeping them small and realistic.  These 2 changes a week quickly add up to 8 in a month. Small changes can lead to big results.  If you happen to “fall off the fitness wagon,” don’t punish yourself or give up completely.  Instead, simply jump back into action!  Health and fitness are not a quick fix but rather a way of life.

Got a fitness or health question? E-mail Heather at info@hawkonhealth.com.