The Resolution Solution

The New Year provides an excellent opportunity for us to inventory our lives, reflect on our wins and losses, and set new goals.  When it comes to making lasting improvements in our lives, sometimes good intentions just aren’t good enough.  The truth is that only 8 percent of us will actually keep our new years resolutions.  There are many things that side track us along the way, but here are some tips to turn some of the most common new years resolutions into healthy habits that will last into this year and beyond.

  1. Don’t “Lose Weight,” try to “Gain lean mass while increasing your fitness level!”

Losing weight is quite possibly the most common, and honestly one of the most difficult, resolutions.  The scale tells how much one weighs, but not how strong, fit or mobile one is.  The scale can also be misleading because it does not account for how much lean muscle you have gained!  Muscle gain is a desirable effect of a good fitness program and can certainly have a seemingly negative effect on the scale.

Forget the scale and focus on fitness outcomes, such as strength measures and endurance tests to measure your results.  If weight loss is your primary goal, try measuring your weight every 2 weeks or measure body mass composition instead.

  1. Don’t just “Get organized,” create a lifetime habit by scheduling “Daily Morning Movement Sessions!”

Finding time for a daily movement program is vital to sustained health.  Unfortunately, working out is one of the first things to go out the window when schedules get busy.  If this sounds familiar, try scheduling your workout time in the morning.  Evidence shows most people who regularly exercise perform their training in the morning before they start their day.

Life happens, and working out in the AM naturally removes some of the barriers to late day plans.  In addition, morning movement routines offer many other benefits that will help you have a successful day, including increasing concentration and improving mood!  Incorporating morning movement sessions will increase your fitness levels and have a positive effect on the rest of your day!

  1. “Enjoy life to the fullest” by finding a “FUNctional training routine.”

More than ever we are beginning to understand the connection of our mind and body.  A regular exercise program significantly reduces stress and depression while simultaneously boosting immunity and enhancing mood. However, all exercise is not created equal.

Some training techniques can be harmful to our bodies moving parts or too heavily focused on aesthetics.  Functional training includes integrated, multidimensional movement that requires stability and mobility through a range of motion.  Functional training isn’t a direct method but comes in many forms, including Tai Chi, TRX suspense training, and many other traditional exercises, including squats and lunges.  Your training should mimic the movement you perform in life.  Lastly, functional training should be FUN and enjoyable!  After all, why do something you don’t enjoy?

While in reality, each day represents a new beginning, the energy of new years resolutions can be used to change our health and wellness for the better.  This year, move away temporary resolutions and towards permanent solutions!  Gain lean mass, get moving early, and incorporate FUNctional training methods!

References:

Norcross JC1, Mrykalo MSBlagys MD.  Auld lang syne: success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year’s resolvers and nonresolvers. Clin Psychol. 2002 Apr;58(4):397-405.