COLORADO SPRINGS — It’s that time of the year again for New Year’s resolutions. A recent Statista survey found 52% of Americans are hoping to exercise more in the new year. 40% of Americans surveyed wanted to lose weight.
On average, only 9% of people achieve their New Year’s resolution. So, what can you do to be different?
I spoke with Bryan LaRose, the owner of Flex Gym and Fitness, for over 30 years. He tells me the biggest thing people can do to reach their fitness goals is to start small. He says you want to make sure you have a realistic routine.
“They haven’t been doing anything for a while and then they have this bug that they want to get in shape, and they tend to want to overdo it. When they need to just pace themselves when they’re going back to the gym. You can’t just go from nothing to 100%. It’s a matter of just slowly getting your muscles conditioned again,” said La Rose.
“A routine that they can realistically follow, I guess, would be my best thing because a lot of people are going out of their way to get started but they really can’t follow through with it. It has to be something where you say, 'Hey, I can make this work in the long term.'”
La Rose tells me the people at his gym often smile and show happiness. But that might not be a coincidence. You won't just gain muscle at the gym. You can also make mental health gains.
A Lancet Psychiatry study found that, on average, a person has 3.4 poor mental health days per month, but exercise can help. The study showed poor mental health days can be dropped by more than 40% if you exercise.
So how do you achieve your fitness goals and improve your mental health while doing it? I called several gyms throughout Colorado Springs and broke down their advice into four simple things.
Tips to reach your fitness goals:
- HAVE A REALISTIC ROUTINE
- Pick a schedule that works for you. Choose a place to work out that you'll actually go to, whether that be the gym or your home.
- START OFF SLOW
- Get your body conditioned first. Even if, in the past, you lifted heavy or shined as a track star, it's important to start small.
- DIAL IN ON YOUR NUTRITION
- What you eat and how you fuel your body directly impact your gym results and mood.
- PRACTICE PATIENCE
- If you slip up on your workouts or nutrition, give yourself grace and pick it up the next day.
However, if you still are not feeling motivated, gym experts say getting a trainer can go a long way. Each person has different goals, and a trainer can give you the special attention and motivation you need to achieve your goals.
Another thing you can do is journal your progress. This not only helps improve your mental health but can also help you see the big gains you make over the year.
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