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FITNESS FLASH - New Year, New You!

The ball has dropped, the toasts have been said, and well wishes exchanged—another year is upon us. According to the Los Angeles Times 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 20% of them follow through with the pledge. 

The biggest reason for these pitfalls is setting the bar for change too high.  Filled with excitement and cheer about the year that lies before us, people have a tendency to declare resolutions that are difficult to attain for even the most dedicated.

Fifty-one percent of resolutions are to exercise more and lose weight.  Vowing to lose more than 50 pounds, running a marathon or giving up smoking for good by 2013 are no small feats.  To increase your chances of success with your New Year’s Resolutions, try these strategies:

  • Define Your Goal—According to Shape Magazine, resolutions fail because they are too vague. Stating that you will lose 15 pounds by March 1st rather than you want to lose weight, or you will run 2 miles three days per week before work instead of you will up your mileage defines your goals, sets boundaries and deadlines and holds YOU accountable. By being specific, you turn your goal into something measureable.
  • Celebrate Along the Way—It takes an average of six weeks to make a new behavior a habit.  Even small changes are positive milestones along your journey. They also are motivators and help keep the big picture in sight.  Losing 25 pounds can seem daunting. Celebrating every five pounds lost, either with a healthy treat or a new piece of workout clothing, are rewards that remind us that we are a work in progress.
  • Get By with a Little Help from your Friends—Share your resolution with others; they can become your own personal cheerleader! They can also lend an ear when times get tough or join you for that fitness class when you’d prefer to pass it up. Striking up a conversation with another person at your gym can earn you a new buddy that will help you on your journey.
  • Plan Ahead for Slip-Ups—As hard as you work to stay on the straight and narrow, set backs are inevitable. The important thing is to accept them, and not allow them to throw you off track. Whether it’s hitting a plateau, or indulging in that mouth watering piece of cake that was calling your name, it is important to remember that it does not mean your resolution plan is foiled. It’s just a pause in your progress, not a reason to throw in the towel.

Here’s to a new year and resolutions made.  If you are looking for guidance with your wellness goals for 2012, allow the fitness staff at Stowe Mountain Lodge to assist you.  Our personal trainers and group fitness instructors’ expertise keep our guests on the right track.

Maria is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor at Stowe Mountain Lodge. To take advantage of Maria's expertise, check out the fitness schedule and join her for weekly classes.

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