Tuesday, December 31, 2013

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – With a New Year comes New Year’s resolutions. While some may not hold up, improving your health and fitness in 2014 is something you can maintain with a few helpful tips.

Most importantly, try to set reasonable and achievable goals, especially if this is your first time with a formal exercise program, said Doug Lentz, MS, CSCS*D, director of fitness and wellness at Results Therapy and Fitness, an affiliate of Summit Health.

Keep track of your progress, but realize not everything has to be perfect, and then reward yourself with something other than food, such as going to a movie, he said.

“You will have bumps in the road during your fitness quest. Do everything that you can to remove barriers to exercise. Attempt to make your exercise routines as convenient as possible,” he said. “Your motivation to exercise will be boosted when you chart and then see your improvements.”

It’s also equally important to not let past attempts or comparisons to others hold you back. Finding what works for you, such as joining a gym, going to group classes or walking with a pet, will help.

“Do not let previous bad experiences with exercise get in your way. This is a new beginning to a new and improved you,” Lentz said. “You are trying to improve your quality of life – period. How or what others may do does not affect you.”

Lentz offered ten tips to achieve successful health and fitness goals in 2014:

  1. Be realistic with your fitness goals.
  2. Keep track of your progress.
  3. Do not expect perfection.
  4. Make a commitment to exercise.
  5. Forget the past.
  6. Reward yourself with other things than food.
  7. Do not compare yourself to others.
  8. Enjoy your pursuits.
  9. Develop a support mechanism.
  10. Break it into manageable components.