Make a plan, stick to it to get more active in the new year

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All of us at the Carroll County Extension office hope you had a nice holiday. We are looking forward to seeing you back for another year of great programs and activities. Please stop by and check out what the New Year brings.

Did you make any new year’s resolutions to increase or start a physical activity program? Yes, it is easy to make a resolution to improve your physical activity, but sticking with it is the problem. 

Coming up with a plan is the first step. This is pretty easy. Chances are you have made plans to start a physical activity plan before and maybe didn’t stick with it. What can you do now to increase your chances of sticking with it? Here are some suggestions.

Think about and even write down “why” you want to become more physically active. Even though the start of a new year can drive people to become more physically active, you need to know “why you want to do it.”  Without a strong reason, it will be hard to stick with it. 

Some of the top motivators that people list are improved fitness, increased feelings of well being, improved energy, increased enjoyment of exercise, improved sleep, weight management and finally appearance.

These are good ideas to get you started. In any case, be sure you clearly understand what you want to do.

Be sure you enjoy it. Try out a few activities at our local fitness center. You may be surprised at the options available. You might like to make a habit to walk in one of our beautiful local parks.

Adding variety can keep you from getting bored with physical activity.  Even if you have chosen something you truly love, at some point you may be bored with it.

Take time to try something new, you might find another activity that you love.

Find a buddy to go with you.

With two people together you will help each other stay motivated to keep going.

You won’t want to let your buddy down.

Exercise even when you are feeling “too tired.”  Chances are good that you will feel even better after your physical activity than when you started. Maybe you will need to start a little slower than usual, but by the end you should feel much more energized. 

Doing physical activity in the morning is a good way to stay with it.

There are so many things happening during the day and waiting until later may cause you to run out of time.

By doing it in the morning there is nothing to get in the way. It is already done.

So let’s get started. Write down what you are doing now and what you can change.

Keep track of every activity you do. You may be surprised at how much easier it becomes as you see the progress you are making.

When you get tired and bored with your routine, think about the positives. Do you have a better outlook? Do your clothes fit better? Do you feel like you have more energy? All of these indicate you are making progress.

Starting a new physical activity routine is fairly easy; sticking with it is the hardest part.

Keep these tips in mind when you want to stop.  You can stay with it.


Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to gangotti@uky.edu.