Fit to be Tried
Experts offer tips on how to
keep your resolution to exercise
Saturday, January 05, 2013 4:00 AM
In January, many people resolve to lose weight, exercise more or just live healthier lives.
Anytime Fitness trainer Emily Adams works with Steve Stewart at the gym earlier this week. Many gyms see an increase in memberships in January as new year’s resolutions are made to get into shape. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
Within a few weeks, however, many fall back into their old habits.
"When people don't see results in the first week, they think something is wrong," said Tom Runnebohm, owner of Anytime Fitness in Madison.
This, according to Runnebohm, can discourage people and result in a relapse into their old lifestyle.
Runnebohm suggests beginning an exercise regiment by setting small, attainable goals first, followed up with hard work and persistence.
"If you do it once, it's easier to do it twice. Then maybe a month down the road you notice that you feel better and you look better.
"Everybody has ups and downs, just get back on the horse. The hardest part is setting foot back in the gym," Runnebohm said.
Fit for the King owner J.D. Traylor suggests a similar approach that includes setting reasonable and measurable goals to start. He also said that people who join classes, come to his gym with a friend or add a social component to their workout tend to be more successful than those who don't.
"It helps when you see other people struggling with the same thing and that you're not the only one out there," he said. "You're not the only warrior in the battle."
Traylor said to be successful, you have to stay motivated and keep your desire to change in mind.
"If new year's resolutions starts that for you, it's good, but it can't be something that lasts for a few weeks. It can't just be a resolution," Traylor said. "Don't let the fire burn out after two or three weeks."
Heather Foy, the wellness coordinator at King's Daughters' Health, said that it is important to keep your health in front of you at all times.
"For the average person out there, they know they need to eat healthier and they need to spend more calories to find success in weight loss. And in return, they're going to lessen the risk for cancer, lessen the risk for heart disease and lessen the risk for diabetes," she said.
While Foy is a fan of new year's resolutions, she said there's no need to wait for a special occasion to change bad habits.
"If somebody's not ready to set one Jan. 1, then by gosh set it Feb. 1. The sooner the better."
Foy recommended that anyone with pre-existing conditions consult their physician before beginning any kind of strenuous workout routine. Regular check-ups with a physician can be a vital part to success.
"Most insurance companies have finally woken up and they realize what I've been preaching for years, that it costs less to prevent disease than it does to treat it," she said. "As we feel OK and think we're healthy, we often blow that (regular check-up) off."
Foy said that too often it takes a "wake-up call" for someone to realize they need a lifestyle change.
"It takes an elephant sitting on your chest and a trip to the (emergency room) to get concerned," she said. "We let the 10 pounds turn into 20 turn into 30. We let a borderline blood pressure become ignored because it's not 140 over 90. We may not even realize we've got a borderline cholesterol level. Then, all of a sudden, we put the big picture together."