New Year Fitness Resolutions: 5 Myths

Ease-in-Boot-StillNew Year Fitness Resolutions often fail!

Many of today’s fitness programs are all about the quick sell and even quicker results. Many are based on dangerous fitness myths.

To success in fulfilling those New Year  Fitness Resolutions here are 5 fitness myths to steer away from:

New Year Fitness Resolutions: Myth #1: Pain Equals Gain

It is a popular misconception that only when you feel the pain are you gaining anything from your workout.

“The “no pain, no gain” mentality contributes to more injuries and more burnout than any other fitness factor, especially among my age group (baby boomers). It is wiser to exercise sustainably over a longer term, than to push yourself to the breaking point.

New Year Fitness Resolutions: Myth #2: A Taskmaster Equals the Best Teacher

Reality Exercise Shows that have recently become popular portray drill-sergeant-style trainers as being the most effective fitness mentors.

While leveraging fear and using intimidation techniques may mean instant short-term fitness results, they’re sending the wrong message about how to get and stay fit for a lifetime. Attainable short-term goals and positive reinforcement are more likely to create good fitness habits that are sustainable for life

New Year Fitness Resolutions: Myth #3: Pumping up the Volume Equals Pumping up Your Physique

It seems some fitness instructors think screaming louder and blasting the bass is motivational. It’s time to think again.

While high-decibel workouts might be temporarily motivational, over time these techniques become draining and stressful leading to faster fitness burnout. Look instead for uplifting music and gentle coaching in your workouts.

New Year Fitness Resolutions: Myth #4: Fitness Equals a Fight Against Your Body

Sales pitches that encourage “shaving off the pounds” and busting your abs or your butt have solidified the image of fitness as a battle against your body.

Fighting is not a sustainable activity or philosophy. Instead, think of partnering with your body. Meet it where it is at right now and provide the environment and tools to reveal your body’s best potential. When you take this approach you are setting yourself up for success every step of the way.

New Year Fitness Resolutions: Myth #5: Force Equals Fit

Today’s popular exercise routines promote pounding your body into shape. But ancient fitness modalities, such as Yoga and Tai Chi had it right.

Fitness is not about pumping the most iron or performing the most reps, it is about teaching your body how to move efficiently, using all of your muscles groups, and sustaining these movements over time. Exercise including strength training should be approached as a gradual lifetime process. This way, exercise becomes a pleasure not a chore and you have a much better chance in having your New Year Fitness Resolutions succeed.

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New Year New You: Top Ten Fitness Tips

new-year-s-resolution-take-charge-of-your-health-nowNew Year, New You; right? Well it is January again, and are you wondering if you can really stick with your New Year’s fitness resolutions? If getting in shape, and staying in shape is one of yours, it’s probably not the first time you’ve tried it. I’ve spent a lot of my career studying why fitness programs succeed or fail and developing methods to help people succeed. So, Happy New Year, here are my Top 10 Tips to help you ward off decrepitude.

New Year New You Top Ten Tips

•  Start slowly and go at your own pace. Staying in your comfort zone separates the pain from the gain. You’ll get the most benefit with the lowest risk of injury, especially if you’ve been inactive for some time.

•   Find the right kind of exercise for you. Choose activities you like or at least don’t hate. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as taking a brisk walk.

•   Pick a time of the day that is most convenient for you to exercise.  Try to stick with that schedule. Studies show that people who exercise at the same time every day are more likely to stick with it.

•  Before getting out of bed each day, take a moment to visualize yourself fit. Thinking of yourself as a fit person will help make it happen. Professional athletes do this daily.

•  Keep an exercise log. You’ll get a feeling of accomplishment when you stick to your program and will be able to chart your progress.

  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes with good support. Cotton is a breathable classic. But check out the super lightweight fabrics like cool-max that wick the sweat from your skin. When buying shoes, don’t feel weird about actually exercising in them in the store before plunking down the big bucks. I can’t tell you how many pairs of sneakers I have thrown against the wall before I learned this.

•   Exercise with a friend or family member. Supporting each other’s efforts helps keep you on track. One of my students loves to go mall walking with her friend in the early morning at speed and then coming back later for some retail therapy.

•   Music is a powerful motivator. Pick music you love that makes you want to move. There are fitness music companies that sell CDs with popular tunes played at specific beats per minute. They’ll tell you what speed works for particular types of exercise.

•   Consider professional guidance, especially if you’ve been inactive.  If you don’t want to join a gym or can’t afford a trainer, consider a beginner-level exercise video by a certified teacher so you’ll see the exercises demonstrated properly.

•   Set short-term, easily attainable goals, such as doing some form of exercise two or three days a week to start.  Change your goal when it becomes too easy.

It’s rare when anyone succeeds at anything right out of the gate. That’s why “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is a classic proverb. So if you fall off the wagon one day, just climb back on board the next. And remember you’re not a failure, you’re a success story in progress.

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