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Happy New Year! Now for those exercise resolutions...

Do you have a treadmill in the corner of a room that you use as a coat rack? Has it been there for 1,2,3 years or more? Do you dust it once in a while? Your intentions were good, but the execution failed. That Peloton commercial has a great song! Maybe that will work! For some, yes, but will it work for you or will you feel like you are in Pelotaunt? Go ahead, watch the actual commercial (skip through the pre-commercials) and then the SNL version, Pelotaunt. For more laughs, Google "Treadmills for sale near me." Be ready to scroll. There are hundreds and hundreds of them for sale within a 10 mile radius of your home. I wonder why. An alternate, cheaper plan is to join a gym for a month and see if this is something you can do/want to do/will do. If yes, then keep going to the gym and/or buy the treadmill. If not, consider another path.

For 2024,

Establish a Goal: Determine what your fitness goals are. They could be related to improved balance, muscle building, cardiovascular endurance, or better, a combination. In January, television, streaming services, and the internet will bomb you with weight loss systems and products. Every single one of them has fine print that says "combined with exercise." Yes, you can lose weight without exercise, but being thin does not mean that you are fit. It means that you can buy smaller clothes. Is losing weight your only goal? If you need to lose weight or don't need to lose weight, an improved diet goes a long way toward your fitness goals. Consider how you plan to eat for the rest of your life. Here's a good place to start, with three recommendations.

Select a Workout Split: Decide how you want to break up your workouts throughout the week. Write them on the calendar hanging on the refrigerator. Even better, add them to your digital calendar and add the name of the exercise and how long you participated on that day. Add reminders in your calendar. Wear a fitness band or watch that reminds you every hour to move. Check off the reminders each day after you complete your exercise, along with the time devoted to that exercise. Pick 5 times during the week where you will complete at least one of the exercises. If you miss a day, exercise on a different day. When you don't feel well, skip the exercises until you feel better. There is no gain by exercising while you have the flu.

Choose Your Exercises: Select exercises that align with your goals and preferences. Maybe you want to walk a mile a day to start. Perhaps you need to keep it simple and practice chair yoga or chair tai chi. You can exercise alone, at a gym, with a video or with a friend or family member. If you have no idea where to start, you may be interested in a personal trainer. As your exercises become too easy, have a plan to step it up a notch. Tell your doctor what you plan to do. He or she knows about your back issue, that bad knee or your high blood pressure. Make it specific because doctors hear about exercise dreams from a lot of their patients and when we aren't looking, they roll their eyes. They've heard it before. Be the person that follows through.

Choose Your Sets and Reps: Decide how many sets and repetitions of each exercise you will do or how many miles you will walk.

Learn About Progression: Understand how to progressively increase the intensity of your workouts to continue making progress. This applies to lifting weights, learning karate or tai chi, participating in a physical therapy program, or even yoga. Ask the professional.

Get Started: Begin your fitness journey. One of the easiest parts of starting an exercise program is deciding to do it. The best way to build and maintain momentum is with action.

You can also use online resources to generate a workout plan tailored to your goals, preferences, schedule, and available equipment. Check with the local library. Many times they offer free exercise, dance, and martial arts introductory classes. Learn what you like and what you don't like.

Remember, consistency is key in any fitness plan. So, choose a plan that you enjoy and can stick with. Incorporate balance, core strength and cardio as you build your complete plan and don't forget about talking to your health care provider, one of the most important steps. Good luck with your fitness journey!


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