Sticking to Your Exercise Resolutions in 2015

exercise_resolutions_headerWhenever I think about New Year's Resolutions, I can't help but picture the gym at the beginning of January: packed shoulder-to-shoulder full of eager folks, keen to stay on top of their health and wellness goals for the new year.

And then, what inevitably happens in February: a gym so quiet you might see a tumbleweed roll by.

It's not uncommon for people to get fired up about exercise early in the year, go a little bit too hard, and then drop it altogether when things get busy and they settle back into their old habits.

So how do you break the resolution cycle? 

One obvious answer is to move a little slower - be realistic about your exercise goals, and ease into a regimen that actually works for you. If you go from nothing to hitting the gym 5 days a week for an hour or more, chances are you're going to get sore, and get resentful, fast. Set yourself up to love your new exercise routine, not hate it. Do things you like at a pace that feels reasonable, then slowly build to more intensity.

Another way to hold to your resolution is to get really clear about why you're exercising. It's one thing to throw around catch phrases like "no pain, no gain!" and quite another to be deeply motivated based on the plethora of research about what exercise actually does for you. This article from BuiltLean is a great overview of the many (31, to be exact) benefits of sweating it out at least 3 times a week.

Finally, try having fun! Expand your definition of what it means to be active and play with your resolution: if you've resolved to work out 3 times a week, why not make one of those a night of dancing (while abstaining from alcohol, of course) or an hour-long hike? Getting fit doesn't have to mean doing the same thing, day in and day out. Mix it up to help stay committed!

The bottom line is that exercise is vital to our health, and a great thing to focus on this year - however it best works for you!