‘New Year, new you’ is achievable with realistic goals

Brooke Thompson, 20, of Edinburg, uses a tricep extension machine recently at Anytime Fitness at 1025 S. Main St., Woodstock. A member of the gym for the last three years, she said the more she works out, the easier it is to make exercising a priority. Josette Keelor/Daily

Few times during the year inspire Americans toward change like the start of a new year does.

The idea of a clean slate on which plans for a prosperous and happy future might be drawn is exciting and energizing and exactly the sort of thinking area health and wellness experts advise when making healthy New Year’s resolutions.

The best resolutions spell the word smart, said Debbie Berg, a dietician with Valley Health’s Diabetes Management Program. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time frame appropriate.

For example, she said, exercise three times a week for 20 minutes, or specify what exercise they’re going to do.

It’s also important to ask yourself, “Is that a realistic time frame and is it achievable?” she said.

Brooke Thompson, 20, of Edinburg, uses a leg press at Anytime Fitness, 1025 S. Main St., Woodstock, where she's also a fitness instructor. Josette Keelor/Daily

Whether your resolution is to lose weight, refinish a roomful of furniture or save more money, it’s easy to give up on goals that don’t fit your lifestyle.

“I tell people, consider what their reward is going to be when they achieve it,” Berg said.

Then start small, and keep track of your progress so you can better see how much more achievable the goal becomes with each passing week or month.

Also prepare for setbacks before they happen by having a backup plan, she said. Things don’t always go as planned, but mishaps don’t have to derail a resolution.

“They need to know how important it is to achieve it and why it’s important and how confident they are that they can do it,” Berg said.

“And maybe get some guidance from somebody that’s done it before,” she later suggested.

Starting is the hardest part, said Edinburg resident Brooke Thompson, 20, a physical trainer at Anytime Fitness, 1025 S. Main St., Woodstock. A gym member for the last three years, she said making a habit of exercising keeps her coming back.

“The more you do it, the easier it is,” she said.

Manager Charles Denisar recommended the gym’s classes for those new to exercise because they mix cardio routines with resistance and weight training to provide a full workout.

Classes also suit various fitness levels and teach group members the proper way of exercising.

Included in the cost of membership is an evening Body Pump class that Denisar praised as “quite ingenious” for its weight training routines choreographed to music. The class runs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays.

Always a busy time at the gym, January is when new members join and old members return after recommitting themselves to their health goals.

New members can join for a $29.99, $5 off the usual monthly cost, for the life of the contract, said Denisar. One year of training for $140 includes personal training three days a week with gym membership, and a three-month training package without membership is $135.

Return members who refer a friend this month can enter to win a free year of membership.

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com