Resolved to Get Fit This Year? An Experts Offers Tips
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Resolved to Get Fit This Year? An Experts Offers Tips

Is that New Year’s resolution to improve your fitness already looking less likely?

It can be tough to know where to start, said Benedikte Western, a research fellow at the University of Agder in Norway.

“It takes time to develop new habits, but if you’re motivated, it is certainly not impossible,” Western said in a university news release.

“As time goes on, your new lifestyle will become more ingrained as a habit and a natural part of your everyday life,” Western added. “You’ll discover strategies that work for you and gain experience in overcoming obstacles.”

She offers a set of recommendations to help folks turn intention into action.

1. Assess what you want out of exercise.

exercise intervention
exercise intervention

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Some people might want to be in better shape so they can play with their kids or go on a hike with friends. Others might want to reduce stress or improve their sleep.

“Start by outlining the pros and cons you perceive in adopting a more active lifestyle. This will empower you with better control over the situation before you commence,” Western said.

2. Find exercise you enjoy.

a woman exercising in a gym
a woman exercising in a gym

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It will be easier to stick to a workout plan that includes activities suited for you, Western said.

Take into account your level of motivation, the time you have to spare and the equipment you have on hand.

3. Set SMART goals.

scale weight diet exercise
scale weight diet exercise

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A person’s exercise goals should follow the SMART acronym: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

For example, set a specific goal of regularly running two or three miles, playing racquetball twice a week or going on a daily half-hour walk.

4. Don’t overdo it at first.

vocabulary of exercise
vocabulary of exercise

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Try to stay focused on a couple of specific goals rather than attempting a wholesale shake-up of your habits, Western said.

People who try to exercise five times a week, quit smoking, go to bed early and eat more vegetables might find themselves overwhelmed if they tackle those goals all at once.

5. Reward yourself.

exercise weights
exercise weights

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Track your progress, and set rewards for meeting specific goals, Western said.

“Tracking your workouts and progress can be a smart move. That way, it becomes a bit harder to slack off,” Western said. “If having a reward to look forward to when you achieve a goal motivates you, there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as the reward doesn’t compromise your objective.”

6. Source and more information

two older man shakig hands after exercise
two older man shakig hands after exercise

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