Turn Your New Year's Fitness Resolution into a Habit

Premier Health Now

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If your New Year’s resolution includes the phrases “exercise more” and “lose weight,” you are among the more than 25 percent of Americans who made resolutions that take aim at getting fit.

To boost the odds of achieving your goal, Premier Health Now talked with Joshua Ordway, MD, Franklin Family Practice, who counsels patients to take baby steps toward making fitness a regular activity.

“The most important thing is to make a plan for your exercise and then get into a habit of doing it,” Dr. Ordway says. “Make it easy — like walking for 10 minutes or doing five pushups — so that you do it consistently.”

Once your body and brain get used to the movement, you can start ramping up the intensity of your workouts.

“We want to change habits and make changes that are lifelong,” says Dr. Ordway, the 2008 Columbus Marathon champion and 2016 Louisiana Marathon champion who admits to drinking soda and eating desserts — but has been running nearly every day for the past 23 years.

To keep your fitness resolution from failing, make sure your exercise plan includes:

  • Friends: To hold you accountable
  • Fun: To make it enjoyable
  • Variety: To keep things interesting
  • Your children: To remove the opportunity for an excuse

Older children can work out with you. Infants and toddlers can be nearby in a playpen or swing.

“The goal shouldn’t be losing 10 pounds by a certain date,” Dr. Ordway says.

Why? Because life happens.

The focus should be on the long-term and not the day-to-day. “This is a week-to-week and month-to-month type of thing,” Dr. Ordway says.

Thankfully, exercise is a great equalizer.

If you cheat on your diet or skip a few workouts, that’s no reason to give up on fitness. “Your body can always tolerate more aerobic and strength training,” Dr. Ordway says. “You can always make up for a poor food choice or a period of inactivity with exercise.”

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.