With the new year now in full swing, many people are hitting the gym harder than ever to jump start their New Year’s resolutions.
Their resolution may be to run a 5K in the summer or to have a six pack by bikini season, but unfortunately, many of these types of resolutions are easier said than done. For some, putting the effort into achieving their goal is easy… for the first few weeks. They might begin to find themselves going to the gym less, or straying from their new-and-improved healthy diet. Whatever their plan may be, they just can’t seem to stay on the horse.
In my line of work, I have noticed that when an individual views exercise as a chore that needs to get done instead of a leisure activity that they enjoy doing, it becomes easier and easier to allow the new healthy habits slip. So, it is essential when starting a new regimen like exercising more or eating better that the steps an individual takes to attain the goal are realistic and, more importantly, it’s something that they truly enjoy doing.
Falling in love with fitness isn’t always easy. It is a love filled with trial and error — with the freedom of knowing if you don’t love something, you don’t have to stick with that thing. If your resolution is to work out more, then just getting to a gym is the first step. The next step is finding an exercise program you actually enjoy. Trying out several group fitness classes is an easy way to start to find your fitness passion. If working out in a group setting isn’t appealing to you, perhaps a change of scenery is necessary. Try a few laps in the pool or try a blood-pumping weight workout in the weight room. Maybe hopping on a treadmill or elliptical would better suit you. The beauty of it is it’s OK not to like something, and knowing you can come back the next day to try something new makes you more likely to stick with your goal of working out more.
Perhaps your resolution is to eat healthier. Making changes to your diet is always easier by making gradual progressions. Completely cutting out your favorite food will generally always end in bingeing later. Likewise, choosing new foods you actually like will help make the transition easier. If you know you don’t like carrots but read somewhere about how good they are for you, do a little research and find a snack that has similar health benefits that you might actually like to try.
Changing your lifestyle isn’t meant to be easy, but with the right tools, it can be as easy as falling in love.
Information provided by Chelsea Harris, Wellness and Fitness Coordinator, Boone County Family YMCA, 608 Carroll St., Boone, 515-432-5925, www.dmymca.org.