It's the beginning of the new year and people around the country look to accomplish their New Year's resolutions.
Lists include many different things and can vary from person to person, but exercising is one of the most common resolutions for people in the new year. According to the Statista Research Department, nearly 50% of resolution lists include losing weight or exercising more, the second most common resolution behind saving money.
Norman residents also commonly have exercising more on their resolution lists, according to several local gyms and fitness centers. Ben Hutchens, general manager and trainer of Downtown Fitness on 1610 W. Lindsay St., said the gym experiences an increase in gym memberships at the beginning of each new year.
“We always get new people who are setting these new year's resolutions because they want to make a change in their life style,” Hutchens said. “Some people set high expectations for themselves when it comes to exercising more or even making time to get to the gym.”
Gray Woodside, a local trainer who operates Rapid Revamps, has worked with people who are looking to achieve fitness goals at the beginning of the year.
“I've dealt with the influx of people at the first couple months of the year where people come in and they're excited and motivated but its usually short term," Woodside said. "Just because it's the new year doesn't mean you have to change your entire life style over night and if you do, you're likely setting yourself up for failure."
While some people are successful in obtaining their fitness-related resolution goals, some can struggle to maintain their goals or expectations. According to a 2015 report by U.S. News & World Report, 80% of resolutions are abandoned by the second week of February.
Shawn Magee, manager of the Norman Regional Health Club, said it's common for new gym-goers to struggle to maintain their new fitness goals, and there are often several reasons for this.
“Unfortunately, some people do abandon their resolutions,” Magee said. “These changes are difficult and if it's not a habit or something you're planning on keeping through the year, it's hard to keep up with. You didn't get out of shape in one day and you're not going to get back in shape in one day. That's why I don't like the world 'resolution.' I would describe it as a lifestyle change.
“There are also other reasons why some people drop their resolutions. It's cold this time of year and people want to be inside more, but when it warms up people want to be outside. Or sometimes things like work and family make it hard to consistently make time to go to the gym," he said.
However, there are ways to increase the chances of maintaining these resolutions, Hutchens said. Many local gyms stress the importance of setting realistic and achievable goals.
“In this era of social media, we all wish there was a miracle pill or simple solution. But a lot of it starts with in the kitchen and finding ways to improve your diet. My best advice is for people to know that there's no fast track to it. Look at your life, be accepting yourself and figure out the best ways to discipline yourself.”
Magee said a lot of problems for “resolutioners” is they don't pace themselves, which increases the chances of losing the motivation to follow through on their resolutions.
“Start gradual and make workouts harder as you adapt. I tell people you can always add more, but you can't take away if you've done too much. Be willing to adapt your schedule and don't put pressure on accomplishing your goals right away. We encourage sustained exercise over our lifetime. We're not focused on just the new year or a short-term period.”
Woodside said it can be as simple as adding new habits one at a time.
"Short-term goals that are attainable can help with momentum, then you can set more lofty goals in the long term and you can achieve those as you progress. The majority of my clients achieve their goals by taking baby steps. Habits can be as small as drinking a glass of water every morning for a week. Then the next week add another habit like going on a 10-minute walk. Build upon each habit and then by the end of the year, you have 15 new habits."
As local residents look to continue their resolutions, local fitness centers are encouraging residents to find ways to keep themselves motivated to accomplish their goals. Hutchens said it's important for people to find ways to help themselves to persevere.
“Be realistic, do your research and find a club that is community oriented. Develop a personal connection and accountability with trainers that will help you get you to where you want to be.”
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