Be healthier this New Year


by Kelsey Hagelberg

Fitness goals for New Year’s resolutions can be achieved if small steps and time commitment are on the agenda.

“Two things that need to be planned are: realistic goals need to be set, and individuals need to exercise at their own comfortable pace,” said Mike Hadden, college athletic trainer.

A common problem when goal setting is having a complete list of changes that the person wants to see changed quickly. The best way to achieve a goal is to stick with as few as possible. The smaller the resolution the quicker it will be attained and the more powerful the individual will feel about accomplishing it.

When it is time to hit the gym, the best way to start is by setting a pace that fits your needs. Some find that it is nice to work out individually with music to push through that extra mile, whereas others need a group setting to get pumped up for the next repitition.

“If I know there is a group counting on me, then it helps motivate me to do my best,” said Cindy Tisdale, campus nurse.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that each form of exercise is beneficial. Workouts do not need to be limited to the gym setting. There are other ways which to incorporate physical activity into daily activities without going to the weight room.

“I like to be more active with outdoors activities such as cross-country skiing,” said Rita Audlehelm, director of student health services.

Adding simple activities throughout the day increases metabolic rate and will burn more calories. Expending extra energy equals weight loss.

A tip to follow when visiting the gym is that weight training is a good way to maintain fitness.

Since muscle burns fat, lifting weights at least three times a week is beneficial to weight loss. According to Athletic Trainer Mike Hadden, individuals will achieve optimum strength with more weight and less repetitions.

Another good source of weight loss is through the exertion of the cardiovascular system. This form of exercise is the most beneficial to burn belly fat. Short bursts of cardio are more powerful than long and slow ones.

“Experts say to shoot for a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio per day,” Tisdale said.

This does not mean that it needs to be accomplished in one time. Alternating between cardio and weight lifting is the best way to achieve those New Year’s fitness resolutions.

Don’t get caught up with the number on the scale. Instead, focus on how exercise makes you feel. Also, just because you treated yourself to a dessert, does not mean that all of your work has been wasted. Moderation is key when it comes to the overall health of the individual.