Monday, March 18, 2013

Revisiting New Year's Resolutions

Go climb a rock!
How are your New Year's fitness-related resolutions going? In a 2002 study by the University of Scranton, 60% of those making resolutions were still going strong at the end of that January. Fifty percent were still going strong on April 1 of that year. 

Turns out (according to the survey of 159 participants) that those who called their goals "New Year's Resolutions" had a higher rate of success than those (123 participants) who didn't identify their goals in the same manner. Eighty-three percent of the later group stopped making progress by the end of January, and by late July, only 4% were still making progress. (Click here for source.)

If you are feeling the need to revisit your New Year's resolutions, consider the following:
  • Is your weight loss goal a reasonable one? Assuming that the magic number that you are aiming for is reasonable, are you allowing weight loss to occur at a reasonable rate of 1-2 pounds per week rather than expecting to lose "30 pounds in 30 days?" You want to live long enough to enjoy your weight loss, not endanger your health!
  • Don't get hung up on perfection. Those who achieve the reasonable fitness goals they set, consider it to be a lifetime journey, not a quick fix. Rather than feel discouraged by lapses, just resume your program. 
  • Have you chosen the best fitness activity for you? You may have thought after the Olympics that swimming would be a great way to get in shape. It could be, but if you don't enjoy it, drop it and try some other activity that will keep your interest.
  • If you are trying to lose weight, or maintain a loss, you can eat any food you want, you just have to watch the portion sizes. Denying yourself your favorite foods is a recipe for binge eating.
  • Incorporate variety into your fitness program. Cross training is good not only for working different muscles, it also provides variety and motivation. 
Bay Area hikers: If you are like me, you look for some variety in the trails you take so that you don't get in a rut. If you haven't already signed up for the East Bay Regional Park District's, "Trail Challenge," it's not too late (and it's free). I also suggest that you sometimes go solo, sometimes with a partner, and sometimes with a group.Speaking of groups, El Cerrito Trail Trekkers just came out with their spring hike schedule and here's an interesting hike coming up shortly:
Clapper Rail

Sunset-Moonrise Hike on the Bay Trail. "A two-hour, four-mile hike from Point Isabel to the Richmond Inner Harbor at Shimada Friendship Park. See creeks, a beach and clapper rail habitat. Trail is paved but bring flashlights. 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, 2013. Meet Tom Gehling at the Rydin Road entrance to Point Isabel Regional Park, Richmond, CA. 
Heavy rain cancels. Free." Info: Dave Weinstein, 510-524-1737. Mapquest directions, click here." 

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