Planning to incorporate 1,000 stomach crunches into a workout regimen or hit the gym seven days a week is a sure way to undermine a New Year's fitness resolution. According to Sarah Grunblatt, assistant director of fitness and wellness at the Reily Student Recreation Center, setting a goal that is incremental and realistic is the first step in keeping the fight against fat from becoming a flop.
"We live in a society of instant gratification, and people want to meet their goals within just a few weeks," says Grunblatt. "This is the best way to balloon back up to where you were and the reason why so many people are on a yo-yo cycle of diet, exercise, weight loss and weight gain."
The Reily Center on the uptown campus offers members several fitness options, including group exercise classes, personal trainers and specialty classes like yoga and Pilates. Grunblatt, however, says there are a few things to consider before heading to the gym.
The first is to set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (S.M.A.R.T). "People are much more likely to reach their overall goal when they have regular, small successes in goals along the journey," she says.
Next, display your goals where they can be seen daily. Calendars can take the guess work out of any exercise routine. Grunblatt suggests writing across the top of the calendar each day's exercise routine. "For example, on Mondays you could write 'biking,' on Tuesday you could write 'swimming,'" she says.
Finally, find someone who keeps you accountable. It could be a personal trainer, a friend or a family member, says Grunblatt. "Focus on adding a new, positive behavior to your life each month," says Grunblatt. "By the end of the year, you'll have 12 new healthy behaviors incorporated into your everyday life."