Improved Health & Fitness in the New Year

By Carol Hollenbeck

Today it seems as though few people can keep a commitment. Fewer people are committing to marriage, and many people jump from job to job searching for a better position or more money not wanting to work their way up the ladder. Rare is the person who stays at a job for 20 years or more.

Part of the problem could be the digital era we live in where people want instant gratification and results. We have become impatient en masse.

This noncommittal behavior could be why it is so hard for many people to keep their New Year resolutions.

This year rather than making resolutions look at it another way. It’s a new beginning to a positive change in your life. Instead of making a goal to lose 15 pounds, live day to day trying to exercise and eat healthier every day. Each day think about what you can do to improve your general health over the next 24 hours. Maybe take a long walk, watch less TV, stand more during the day, eat fruit or unsalted nuts for snacks, or pack a healthy lunch rather than dining out. Then implement these small changes on a daily basis.

After a few weeks you’ll get used to some of these changes as they become routine. You will have permanent healthy lifestyle habits and, as a result, probably getting stronger and losing weight without that as your main focus. Now you can try setting reasonable goals to fine-tune your program or get specific results. Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds or walk 2 miles without resting. Break it up into chunks with short-term goals. This will help you keep focused and work toward the long-term goal.

Reward yourself or acknowledge when you meet the short-term goals. It should be easier for you to stay committed since you have incorporated exercise and eating healthy into your daily routine.

Carol Hollenbeck is a physical therapist in St. Pete Beach and owns Fit For Life Fitness Center. (727) 367-0075 or