Fitness Resolutions: How to develop a fitness plan that works for you

By Staff Sgt. Joe Thompson, 184th Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christine Groening

Research says that around 60 percent of the public use the beginning of a new year to try to make changes in our life. Unfortunately, only about 8 percent of those who make a New Year’s resolutions are successful in achieving them.

One of those positive but rarely successful changes is exercising and getting fit.

According to Peter Economy of Inc.com, the number two New Year’s resolution in a survey of 2,000 individuals is to exercise more.

Losing weight and getting fit is also listed as the top commonly broken New Year’s resolution by Time.com.

It is very clear that we have the desire to exercise and get fit. How do we take what is sure to be a New Year’s resolution among many in our team and implement a strategy that will ensure that we are successful?

According to Staff Sgt. Charles Dugnolle, public health noncommissioned officer in charge, 184th Medical Group, and an American College of Sports Medicine certified clinical exercise physiologist, it all starts with well laid out plans and achievable goals.

Many of us want to put on running shoes and immediately start logging miles or go straight to the weight room. An important thing to remember is that fitness is less about a New Year’s resolution and more about a change in lifestyle.

Unsplash photo by Eric Rothermell.

The first and one of the easiest changes you can make when implementing exercise into your life is opening your calendar.

“First and foremost is the planning and organization involved,” said Dugnolle. “Look at your calendar to see what days and times you have available. You have to create a set schedule.”

One of the things that causes many people to fall short is the tendency to change their exercise schedule to fit other parts of their life. Rather than moving exercise time elsewhere, it is usually pushed aside and forgotten.

Dugnolle recommends blocking out all of the time you are not available to see when fitness and exercise fits into your schedule. Once this is determined your exercise block needs to be treated with as much importance as the rest of your schedule.

Being mentally prepared for a change is also very important.

Brad Zomick of goskills.com recommends that you do the following when you are thinking about lifestyle changes:

  • Stay Positive
  • Try not to make big/quick changes
  • Change should be gradual
  • Build on smaller changes
  • Allow a little room for error

If you want to begin now, a good starting point for someone new to fitness is to plan for 2 days of 30 minutes of exercise per week.

Begin with body weight exercises like squats, lunges, and planks done with proper form to help you develop good habits and avoid injuries. Don’t overdo yourself and listen to how your body responds to the exercise you are doing.

Next week we will discuss the importance of having an accountability partner as you pursue your fitness and exercise goals.