Sticking With Your Resolutions

So you've made a New Year's resolution to get into better shape. Congratulations! The hard part, you'll find, isn't so much starting a new program but sticking with it. Here are some tips for long-term success. First, get a checkup with your doctor and discuss your fitness goals. Then choose an activity or activities that you enjoy. Whether that's jogging, swimming laps or cross-country skiing, experts say you're much more likely to keep working and improving with a program tailored to your personal tastes.

You'll also want to create a support network of friends and family members that you can exercise with and depend on to help you stay motivated. Write down what you expect to accomplish with your training and track your long- and short-term successes. You'll find that referring back to where you've been and how far you've come can be a great motivator for future goal setting.

The Bigger Picture: Any fitness program should include the basic elements of warm-up, resistance, cardio and cool down. A personal trainer can help you plan your workouts in much greater detail, but studies have shown that you'll burn more calories if you perform cardiovascular training after weight training. One more thing: Eating a sensible diet should be an essential component of any fitness program. We recommend a healthy balance of whole foods with vitamin, mineral and protein supplements to fill in nutritional gaps.
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