New Year, New You: Getting Fit

Caption should say: Getting Fit is the No. 1 New Year's Resolution fail.

Getting Fit is the No. 1 New Year’s Resolution fail.

Happy New Year Cape Cod! Welcome to 2016. How are you doing with those New Year’s resolutions?

For many people their 2016 mission is to get in shape, or get back into shape. Hitting the gym is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions in the United States. However it is also one of the most unsuccessful as well. According to, the No. 1 most commonly broken New Year’s resolution was ‘Lose Weight and Get Fit.’

It seems that once the novelty of hitting the gym wears off, the wannabe hard bodies find it difficult to find the motivation to keep going back – especially if the results are not immediately noticeable.

According to a 2014 research study, it takes an average of 66 days for a change in behavior to become automatic. In some subjects, it took as long as eight months. So how do you create a fitness plan for 2016 that you can stick to?

First off, keep your goals specific, easy, and manageable. Do not think you can go from a sedentary lifestyle to competing in an IronMan Triathlon in six months. This is simply not feasible. Setting unrealistic goals is the fast lane to failure.

Think about what you can realistically achieve in the short term. Do you want to have more energy to keep up with your kids? Do you want to have more endurance for a job where you are on your feet a lot? Do you want to increase your flexibility to make everyday life more enjoyable? These are all goals that can be achieved.

After setting your realistic goal, it’s time to choose a gym. Luckily there are many on the Cape, Islands, and Southeastern Massachusetts that are highly reputable with staff that will work hard to help you achieve your fitness goals. Most reputable trainers will usually ask you the same question at your first session: Why are you here? This should be your reason and yours alone. Not because someone has nagged you into it.

Once you have started going to the gym, keep things simple and manageable. Choosing to use a trainer can help, especially at the beginning, to get instruction on simple exercises and cardio workouts. (Many gyms will offer a free consultation with a trainer when you join.) Once you are there, don’t try to compete with the guy doing biceps curls with 50 pound dumbbells. Your only competition should be with the person looking back at you in the mirror.
If you do get hurt, or are sore, or tired, listen to your body. It is OK to rest as long as you stay motivated. If you fall, get back up. It is not a failure until you give up.

Lastly, and most importantly, make it fun! Getting into shape does not have to be a grueling torture session every time you go. If lifting weights is not appealing or if running miles on the treadmill gives you nightmares, there are alternatives.

Many local gyms have classes, some of which are included in the membership. Things like yoga, pilates, zumba and spinning are led by qualified instructors who get you in shape in a group setting and also keep it fun. Doing these sorts of classes is a great way to build relationships and support systems which can help make any fitness goal less daunting.

It is 2016, if your resolution is to get fit go for it! The hardest part of starting a fitness program is the first step, once you get going you will feel better, look better, and be ready to enjoy another amazing year on Cape Cod. Good luck!

To win $500 towards making your New Year’s Resolution a reality, click here!

– By Christopher Setterlund

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