Sunday, January 1, 2017

Three Keys to Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions.

I've been in the health and fitness industry for over 23 years and I've seen many people get excited about their New Year's Resolutions only to be disappointed a few months later.  Here are three keys to successfully keeping your New Years Resolutions.

Set Realistic Goals.  I've seen people with good intentions set unrealistic goals, and when they don't achieve them, they become disheartened and give-up.  If you know you can only make it to the gym three days a week, don't set yourself up for failure by making a resolution to go five day a week.  Consistency in achieving your goal of working out three days per week makes for positive reinforcement that you can keep your New Year's Resolutions.

The same goes for weight loss.  Most likely you didn't go to bed with a 32 inch waist, and wake-up the next morning with a 40 inch waist.  You gradually gained the weight over a long period of time, and it's unrealistic to think that you're going to lose all that weight in a short period of time, and if you do, it's probably unhealthy in the long-run.  A realistic weight loss goal, if that's your resolution is about one pound of weight per week.

Stay The Course When Results Slow. As I previously mentioned, you found yourself in the kind of shape you are now gradually, and consequently it will take some time to reach your goals.  Even if you start to see results quickly, you can be assured your progress will slow down at some point.  This is when you have to focus on your goals and stay the course.  Your body has internal set-points that it has to re-adjust as you start to reach your goals, especially as you lose weight.  I've found that losing weight follows a stair step process; you lose some weight, then you hit a plateau before you start to lose weight again.

Balanced Diet, Strength Training, and Aerobic Exercise.  These three activities are the foundation for getting and staying healthy and fit.  A balanced diet is over 75 percent of the battle of losing weight and getting fit.  No amount of exercise can compensate for a poor diet.  Strength training is crucial to keeping your muscles healthy and strong.  I recommend 2 to 3 strength training sessions each week in which you work all your major muscle groups.  Aerobic exercise keeps your heart and lungs strong, and helps in burning body fat.  I recommend 5 to 6 days of 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week.  Combine these three activities consistently and you will see great long-term results which will motivate you to keep your New Year's Resolutions.