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Make fitness work for you in the new year

Published: Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 11:29 a.m. CDT

It’s that time of the year again — January, when you and other enthusiastic people eagerly join health clubs, participate in fitness classes or begin working out with a personal trainer. You are committed and motivated. You’re also a little anxious because you remember that last year you had the best of intentions but relapsed in spite of them.

How can you make this January the start of a lasting exercise program? Follow the tips below to help get you on your way to initiating an exercise program that hopefully will lead to permanent lifestyle changes.

Go for the goals 

What do you hope to accomplish with an exercise program? Making a plan will focus your efforts. When setting goals, it’s important to put them in writing. Written goals will help you track your progress, make your accomplishments more obvious and identify problem areas that need more attention. 

Find somebody to lean on 

When you make changes, even the most beloved friends and family members may feel you are imposing on them. If you can identify the people who will support you, their encouragement will make it easier for you to stick to your new behaviors. This nurturing will help you maintain your commitment even during periods of stress.

Start slow

Be careful not to let your enthusiasm get the best of you and overdo your newfound motivation to work out. The biggest deal breaker in developing lifelong exercise habits is starting out too fast. Take your time, give your body a chance to get stronger and fitter bit by bit. Going too hard at first will only lead to sore muscles, tired bodies and discouragement. Consult with a fitness trainer to help get yourself on the right track.

The Newton Y has a variety of exercise options and trainers designed and equipped to help you get the most out of your new commitment to fitness. Call (641) 792-4006 for more information.

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