Fitness Tips
For The New Year

The time to make that New Year's resolution to exercise more is fast approaching. Upping your fitness ante, however, can be one of the hardest resolutions to put into action. How can you make your New Year's get-active goals stick? Here are four tips and tricks to make exercise a year long commitment.

Woman with scale and calendar

Make mini-New Year's fitness resolutions

Instead of just resolving to "exercise more," make mini-New Year's resolutions that will keep you committed to regular exercise.

New Year's resolution #1: Make time for you

The problem: Taking care of yourself on a daily basis – if you don't already maintain a fitness routine – can be challenging. From daycare to meetings or just catching up with friends, it can often feel like "you" don't really fit into the equation of "your" day.

The solution: Start making yourself a priority. Let people around you know that you're hoping to make a big fitness change in your life and ask them for their support. See if your friends can help you with a few day-to-day tasks -- or even exercise with you. Get your husband to clean up the dishes so you can head off to the gym or outside for a walk. By sticking to your "I need me time" plan, you'll be more likely to keep an exercise schedule.

New Year's resolution #2: Write it down

The problem: You want to lose weight and tone your muscles, but haven't set any concrete targets and you're not sure how to go about achieving your fitness goals.

The solution: Studies show people who write things down – from what they eat to how they feel before, during and after exercise – are more likely to stick to a new healthy living plan. So, before you start any routine, go to your local bookstore and buy a journal to track your fitness goals (or keep one online). Include inspirational quotes in your fitness journal to inspire you to exercise whenever you feel like taking a day off (or feel too lazy to get off the couch). Doing this will help you feel more organized and in control of your fitness future.

New Year's resolution #3: Set realistic fitness goals

The problem: Your fitness goals are too lofty and could set you up for failure. For example, it's January and you want to run a half-marathon by March or you're hoping to lose 10 pounds in one month.

The solution: Talk to your doctor before starting any fitness regimen to help you set realistic fitness goals. Make an appointment with a qualified personal trainer who can assist you in breaking your larger New Year's resolutions into smaller more tangible fitness targets and tasks. This will keep you motivated and increase your odds of being successful. A medical or fitness professional can also help you plan for and overcome the inevitable hurdles that may hinder your workout schedule; for example, illness, injury, or family and work obligations.

New Year's resolution #4: Enlist your friends

The problem: You would rather go out with your friends for an après-a-bad-day-at-work drink than head to the gym.

The solution: Get your friends to hop on the fitness train with you. People are more likely to stick to a fitness regimen if they have someone to support them. While hiring a personal trainer works, a more cost-effective and emotionally significant way to do this is to work out with a friend. Not only will you be able to motivate each other to stick to your long-term plan, you'll also get to indulge in some quality bonding time.

These mini-New Year's fitness resolutions will make your ultimate goal to exercise more this year an achievable reality.

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