Did you make a New Year’s Resolution for 2017? According to Statistic Brain, 45% of us usually make at least one promise to ourselves at the start of every year. Here are the top-10 wishes for self-improvement:

1  Lose Weight
2  Getting Organized
3  Spend Less, Save More
4  Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5  Staying Fit and Healthy
6  Learn Something Exciting
7  Quit Smoking
8  Help Others in Their Dreams
9  Fall in Love
10 Spend More Time with Family

 

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that losing weight would be the most popular New Year’s resolution. (And if you experienced disappointment or pain, or tasted some bitterness in the year just passed, then perhaps you can be excused for having overindulged a bit on the sweet treats over the holidays!) My friend and physical therapist John Duffy wants to make sure weight loss occurs for all the right reasons:

Your “looks” should be low on the list of reasons for losing weight. On top should be: Improved health, less stress to back and joints, improved energy, less illness, reduced mortality, reduced food expenses, and reduced healthcare expenses.

 

Decreasing one’s calorie intake by eating less food — and eating food that is “real” and doesn’t come packaged in a bag or box as a processed food-product — is probably the best place to begin for those who want to drop weight (or maybe just maintain a healthy weight). If you like to eat (and really, who doesn’t?), changing what, where, when, and how you eat can improve your quality of life significantly. (If nothing else, real food simply tastes better.)

What also deserves consideration as an integral component in achieving a healthy weight is daily exercise — #5 in the list of New Year resolutions. Whether you exercise in the privacy of your own home or purchase a membership at a local fitness center, Duffy says you’ve got to commit. He’s got your back:

My tips to help those making a resolution tomorrow to begin exercising… one of the great things in life. We all know people START the process tomorrow and quickly drop out, so hopefully these will help some of you stick with it… all based on reasons I have seen people fail over the years…

1. Mentally convince yourself it’s part of your day… like brushing your teeth and putting on deodorant.
2. Start really light and easy so you are not miserably sore. Make that first day something simple… like a chest day… and do 12 sets, 3×10 each, at a light and easy weight. This way you’ll be done in 20 minutes and realize that working out doesn’t have to put a dent in your day
3. Wear ANYTHING… there are few instances where what is on your body actually makes a difference in your routine. I see lots of guys at the gym wearing $400 in Nike and UA clothes but still live with their parents.
4. Listen to music with ear buds… fewer people will talk to you and interrupt you. Avoid eye contact too.
5. If you don’t think you’ll really do it at home ( and I envy those who can) then join a gym… closer to home or on the way home from work will really help.
6. Don’t spend a lot of time “getting ready”… just throw some clothes on and get there… less hassle = sticking with it.
7. Hire a trainer, even for just one visit, to learn how to use all the machines. Many skip using a machine or trying an exercise because they are too embarrassed to ask someone.
8. Don’t worry about what people think about you… at least you are AT the gym.
9. Never hesitate to ask me anything about exercise, especially if it’s going to help you stick with the process.

Happy New Year to all of you. I’m going to the gym now.

 

 

(Image: GoComics.com)