Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Set Goals That Fit the Bill; RUTH LYNCH on How Best to Keep Your New Year Fitness Resolutions

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Set Goals That Fit the Bill; RUTH LYNCH on How Best to Keep Your New Year Fitness Resolutions

Article excerpt

FOR many people, fitness goals will have been top of their list of New Year resolutions. In fact 38% of UK adults will vow to 'exercise more', with 33% saying they want to lose weight and 15% wanting to take a more proactive approach to health (according to CommRes).

But while resolutions are a great way to focus on what is important, come February, many are broken or forgotten. To avoid falling into that trap, here are some tips for making health and fitness-based commitments you can stick to.

START SMALL MAKING a series of small changes is much more sustainable than one massive, life-altering change - especially if you have family members who aren't on the journey with you. Get off the bus a stop early, take the stairs not the lift, walk or bike to work and school, order one less takeaway a week or take an exercise class after work. Starting small is especially important if you don't currently exercise or move much as a family.

PRIORITISE IT CAN be tempting to try to change every aspect of your life, or work on every area of your health and fitness at once, but if you set too many goals too soon you won't be able to commit 100% to each one.

SET ACTUAL GOALS need to be specific. Without a specific goal to aim for we often get lost along the way. It's one thing to say, 'we want to do more things as a family,' which is vague and easily forgotten, compared to, 'we want to enter a 5k as a family in March,' which gives you something very specific to aim and plan for.

BE REASONABLE YES, we all want to run 10 marathons by next week, but if you set your bar too high you'll feel what you want is unachievable, making you less likely to work towards it. As a rule you shouldn't set a goal by more than 5% of your current performance or ability.

INVOLVE EVERYONE If you want the family to be fitter, healthier and spend more time together, then you need to get their buy in. If you make, and enforce, plans on their behalf, you'll find that they resist what you're trying to achieve. However, sitting down and planning out what you all want to achieve and how to get there will mean you work together as a team - whether you have common goals or not. …

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