SAN DIEGO -‘Tis the season to make New Year’s resolutions and the pros at the American Council on Exercise (ACE) offer these tips to help you stick to your plans for a healthier lifestyle:
DON’T FOCUS ON WEIGHT LOSS
There’s not much you can do about your genetics, and if you ain’t Kate Moss by now, you probably never will be. Don’t let your weight be the index of your success – concentrate on moderate exercise and a healthy, low-fat diet.
Specific goals are easier to stick to than vague resolutions like "I will exercise more." Make a specific plan of action such as "I will go to a step-aerobics class on Tuesday and Thursday, work out in the weight room on Monday and Friday."
FIND AN EXERCISE PARTNER WHO WILL MOTIVATE YOU
There’s one in every crowd…someone who’ll stand at your office door in their workout clothes panting for you to take a lunchtime walk with them. Find someone who has a routine already established and let them know they are going to be your exercise guru for the next six months. Knowing how good it makes them feel, most exercise enthusiasts will jump at the opportunity to help an ambivalent exerciser get started on a regular routine.
Be sure your action plan realistically fits into your lifestyle. Do you really have the energy to go out for that evening exercise class? Make changes as easy and convenient as possible.
Walk one day, go to the gym the next. Bring your kids to the park where they can play and you can take a brisk walk. Try a ballet or yoga class. Do something you enjoy and avoid an activity you don’t. Strive for consistency, but don’t over do it.
Hiring a certified personal trainer to develop a program that will help you accomplish your fitness goals will save you time, and is money well spent. Half a dozen sessions spread out over three months will allow your personal trainer to monitor your progression and make modifications as needed. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) offers free referrals to ACE-certified personal trainers anywhere in the country. Call (800) 825-3636 for the name of a trainer near you.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s "workout watchdog," ACE conducts university-based research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org.