Well, how about it. Do you have your “Stock” New Year’s Eve Resolutions set up on auto-dial on your smartphone? If you're like almost half of all adults, you have a New Year's resolution, ready to go once that ball drops on that big party night to close out the year. But once the champagne is finished off and the empty bottle is nose end into that bucket, it's hard to make that pledge stick. A week into the New Year, just 77 percent of all resolution-makers are still on track, and after six months, only about 40 percent will have stayed the course, according to University of Pennsylvania research. But that also means that 60% have failed!
Why is maintaining resolutions so tough? Researchers have identified several culprits, such as setting a goal that's too vague or having unrealistic expectations, like losing 30 pounds by March 1st. Or getting that 6 pack before the sun even tops out in the summer sky. But perhaps the biggest challenge is turning your wishes into immediate action, then keeping with it. "It's easy to change your attitude but difficult to change your behavior," explains Christine Whelan, Ph.D., clinical professor in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. "If you're committed to it, however, you can make a new habit or behavior permanent." But this takes a commitment by you!
So, for now, we are going to concentrate on your setting a manageable goal for you to work towards. And know what, you can do this. And when you conquered that goal, you set another one, then another one. So maybe you can go from being a “Couch Potato” to running a triathlon right out of the gate, but depending on the shape you’re in, you could go from couch to 5-10K if you commit to working at it. And that is really all its going to take on your part…Commitment!
First, when you set a goal be realistic about it! You’d be surprised at just how many people suffer from unnecessary injuries because they went about their exercising the wrong way of pushed themselves too hard without proper warming up, stretching or just over-doing the exercise expectations. The golden rule of thumb that can keep you away from your training and thus make it easier for you to just plain quit on your New Year’s Eve goal is the “Rule of “Toos” Too Much… Too Fast!
Data on injury rates among novice exercisers, which include: Runners, Strength Training, Swimmers, even those who start out walking/jogging, suggest that ramping up training volume too quickly is a surefire way to get injured. Injury leads to discouragement, which leads to dropping out. The first event you choose shouldn’t be a marathon or an Ironman. Take time to build your overall fitness regimen up and you’ll find that your body will be able to handle the newfound stress you’re putting on it!
Everyone likes to socialize, right? Well having a workout buddy can provide you with a great incentive to stay the course as you start out on your New Year’s path to a fitter you. After all, if you talked a buddy or two into working out a couple of times each week, whether it be in the gym or going for an early morning run before work or grad school. It’s going to be a little bit harder for you to shrug off the exercise routine, cause if you do, you're going to be letting your exercise buddies down and vice versa. That’s why working out with someone is a great motivator to follow through with your commitment of regular exercise.
Now along with having your buddies right alongside you as you go through your paces. You should also be monitoring just what, how long and at what stress levels you’re exercising. After all. The whole goal of this is to get your body in a better physical state. In order to do this you need to monitor your progress and in this way, you can be sure you’re going to meet that goal you set. The one way to do this is by using an Activity Monitor, or SmartWatch. One that fits the bill in our books is the Garmin Vivomove HR Hybrid SmartWatch You not only get at a glance stats on how well you're doing from an easy to view touch screen but it also monitors your heart rate and stress levels. So you know within seconds just how your body is performing and what you need to do to get yourself to that new goal and then another one beyond that!
Smile: This can’t be stressed enough! If exercise is fun, you’ll be more compliant and ready to push your body that much further than if you were just grunting through the exercise. Evidence suggests that exercise enjoyment and program adherence are strongly linked. The more fun an activity, the more likely people are to participate and go that extra distance. Fun simply means you’re smiling when you’re moving, so make sure that’s the case!
Finally, if you want to be sporting that slimmer, toned figure by next New Year’s Eve, the keyword is Commit! That little jingle, “If you commit, you won’t quit” should be a t-shirt that everyone who makes fitness their New Year’s resolution wear starting on January 1!
So, how about it? Are YOU ready to “Commit” to embrace your New Year’s Resolution this year? Or will you still be sitting on that couch eating chips while you’re watching the “Winter Olympics this year in February?
The choice is up to you!
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