Fitness goals for the new year? Here’s how to crush them.

BY CASEY MANN, News + Record Staff
Posted 1/9/19

The arrival of a new year means that about half of all adults have make resolutions – many of them fitness-related – but only about 10 percent will actually keep them.

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Fitness goals for the new year? Here’s how to crush them.

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The arrival of a new year means that about half of all adults have make resolutions – many of them fitness-related – but only about 10 percent will actually keep them.

Christina Fisher, owner of Zone Fitness and Tan in Siler City, notes a key element for maintaining your fitness goals is to understand your motivation level.

“If you’re a highly motivated person, you’re going to go a get that membership to a gym, develop a workout schedule, and stick to it,” Fisher said. “You don’t need to work out with a partner or a personal trainer.”

One published survey showed that the three most common resolutions were health-related: dieting or eat healthier (71 percent), exercising more (65 percent), and losing weight.

Fisher said not everyone creates a major fitness goal when the calendar turns to January. Some motivated folks may just want to feel better, have more energy, and maybe drop 15 or 20 pounds.

“In that case, exercise classes would help improve your motivation because you are with people,” she said. “You should come when the gym is busy—typically weekday evening, early in the week.”

Fisher also suggests a somewhat motivated person may want to bring a friend to come with you to the gym. For Fisher, the energy of others with common goals will often help a somewhat motivated person maintain their motivation.

Then, she said, there are those who have low to no motivation. It may be someone who has been to the doctor several times this year and is told they needed to make major changes for the sake of their physical health. Maybe they have to walk 30 minutes a day, maybe they are on several medications, but still really don’t want to do it.

Fisher notes that low or no motivation folks tend to have the biggest complaints about the gym atmosphere – the people, the smells, the time.

“This person would need to get a personal trainer, to get that one-on-one help,” she said. “Identifying your motivation, your core motivation, what is at the center of yourself, is the key. For me, I’m a mom, I have a kid, I live in the country, I own a gym, and I want to be around for as long as I can.”

Sarah Wright, Wellness Director with the Chatham County YMCA, suggests starting small.

“Set a small achievable goal and develop a well-rounded fitness routine,” Wright said. “A lot of time people will focus on one big aspect of wellness and it can be really tough to achieve. Sometimes this can lead to injury, less weight loss, or even boredom with your workout, which makes is less likely to stick to your workout.”

The YMCA provides group fitness classes, small group training and personal training. The YMCA also encourages total family involvement.

“Not only do we have options for adults but rising sixth graders can enjoy working out at the Y with their families,” Wright said. “We want our members in rising grades sixth through eighth to make the most of their time at the Y and a middle school orientation is a great way to connect and learn how to properly use our fitness equipment.”

To help their members maintain their fitness routine to meet their goals, the YMCA has a program called “Eight weeks to a better you.” The program allows members to earn rewards for coming to the YMCA at least twice a week.

“We know it’s hard to develop healthy habits,” Fisher said. “In fact studies show it takes eight weeks to develop a great routine that sticks.”

Whether it’s joining a gym, programs at the Chatham YMCA, or simply walking and enjoying Chatham County’s natural areas, parks, and small towns, Chathamites can achieve their health goals for 2019. Understanding your motivation, setting reasonable goals, and reinforcing positive steps will all help you keep your New Year’s fitness resolution.

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