“21” is a winner in fitness, too

If you go to a gym this week, chances are it will be filled with a lot more people than usual. Lots of others may tell you they plan to work out at home. Every year it’s the same thing, lots of people who are gung ho that this is the year they’re going to get fit.
But by February, many of them will have put their gym shoes away and be back on the couch.
Here are some tips to help you become one of the select few who are able to stick to your New Year’s Fitness Resolution this time:

Start slowly – One of the biggest mistakes people make when they try to start a fitness routine, or try to get back on track, is starting too fast.
It’s great that you want to try and be fit, but SLOW DOWN early on. Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint.
If you go out like gangbusters to start, chances are you’ll burn out quickly, get too sore and maybe even get injured.
Start slow, even if it means just walking and doing light stretching. Gradually increase what you do. Think about ways to be more fit even when it’s not “exercise time,” like taking the stairs instead of elevator, walking for short errands instead of drivingor or taking the bus.

Be Realistic – Know that it will be a tough process to start a fitness resolution and that there can be bumps along the way. Don’t set your goals too high and don’t be too hard on yourself if there are a few days you miss workouts or they don’t go so well.
The important thing is to try and make the next workout a good one.

Find exercises you enjoy – If you absolutely hate to run, then don’t. Try an elliptical machine, bike riding, walk instead or try swimming. Exercising has to be at least a little bit fun or you likely won’t do it.
Try to plan exercises you enjoy. Even things you might not at first think of as exercise can help, like dancing or going on a horseback ride. Anything to to get you up and moving around.

“21” is a winner in Fitness, too
– We all want “21” in Blackjack. Most studies show that it takes approximately 21 days to change a habit, too.
Get through the first three weeks of this year sticking to your fitness resolution and you’ll have a lot better chance of it sticking long-term.
But even if you have a bad day, several bad days or even if you get the flu or other adversity for a week, don’t give up. Get back at it when you can. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com