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If exercising more tops your resolution list, here’s how to make it happen.

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Most people know exercise is a great way to keep your body healthy. Regular physical activity helps prevent illness and makes it easier to maintain or lose weight. Being physically active may also decrease stress, boost your mood and strengthen your immune system.

Losing weight and exercising more are two of the most popular New Year’s resolutions made—and broken—each year. If this is the year you’re determined to get fitter and improve your overall health, it’s important to find a way to not only start a fitness routine, but to stick with your commitment to moving more over the long run.

The key to long-term fitness success is to set achievable goals and to find ways to make exercising enjoyable so you’ll want to keep doing it. Of course, before you get started on any new fitness activity, you should also talk with your doctor.

Here are 5 tips that can help you keep your fitness resolution this year:

      1. Set realistic goals. Your goals should be specific, measurable and achievable. For example, vow to go to the gym twice a week for 30 minutes rather than just saying you’ll “go more” or sign up for a 5K that’s two months away so you have something to train for.
      2. Find a fitness buddy. When you work out with like-minded individuals, you are more likely to stay committed to your fitness goals. Ask a friend or family member to exercise with you or join a group or class that meets on a regular basis.
      3. Mark your calendar. Schedule fitness on your calendar like you would any other appointment. It will help you and others respect your “fitness time” as an important part of your day so you plan activities around it rather than having other commitments take priority over your workout time.
      4. Choose fun activities. Exercise should be fun. Get involved in activities you know you already enjoy doing or make this the year you try something new. If you like to compete, sign up for a race. If you like to dance, enroll in some dance lessons or join a zumba class.
      5. Track your progress. Use a fitness app or journal to track what you do, whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned fitness enthusiast. Tracking time spent, goals met or other achievements can give you the motivation to keep going.

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Date Last Reviewed: October 18, 2021

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS

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