Tens of thousands of walkers and runners kicked off the New Year by participating in Commitment Day 5K walk/run events across more than 25 cities. The launch of the Commitment Day movement revolutionized the age-old resolution, with participants simultaneously declaring their commitment to live healthy, active lives. Keeping those well intentioned commitments is what’s most important says Life Time – The Healthy Way of Life Company (NYSE: LTM). “New Year’s resolutions haven’t proven to have staying power for countless individuals,” said Jeff Zwiefel, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Life Time Fitness. “This year, we’ve set out to change the game by asking people to make a commitment, which is more focused, unique to the individual and drives personal responsibility. Making a genuine commitment is the key to success.” To help people get off the roller coaster of failed resolutions and succeed in their commitments, Life Time offers these tips to get your fitness, nutrition and healthy way of life program on a long-term, sustainable path:
- Make a genuine commitment, not an externally influenced resolution. Driven by an oversaturation of resolution advice from the media, we tend to make resolutions, but in most cases struggle to keep up with our goals and end up unsuccessful. This year, forget making a resolution and instead, make a commitment that will demonstrate progress and keep you motivated. Commitments start with the individual, are more personal, genuine and lasting. Personal accountability is key.
- Get tested. Find out how YOUR body responds to food and exercise. Just because something worked for your neighbor, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for you. Everyone burns fat differently, and losing weight is not as easy as calories in, calories out. Your commitment should start by evaluating your health from the inside out. Take a metabolic assessment to learn how efficiently your body burns fat for energy, your aerobic threshold and your VO2 max, or try a range of assessments including the Stress and Resilience Test, Male and Female Sex Hormone Test, Core Health and Food Allergy Profile.
- Eat more. You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight. Commit to eating real food, not food-like imposters. Being able to name every ingredient on your plate is a huge step in the right direction. When you eat clean, you can actually consume more food than unhealthy options that contain trans-fats, artificial preservatives, hormones and antibiotics, bleached flour and artificial colors. If your great-grandparents didn’t eat it, you probably shouldn’t either.
- Buddy up. When it comes to succeeding in your commitments, there is strength in numbers. Grab a buddy, find a group fitness class or join a TEAM program to help you with training, accountability and motivation. A personal trainer also can be an excellent resource to help determine appropriate goals and educate you throughout your exercise or nutrition program.
- Start moving and don’t stop. Eliminate excuses that prevent the start of your commitment. People make time for the things that are important to them and your commitment should be no different. Remember to invest in yourself – it pays dividends for you and others around you. Find an activity you love to do and use it as time to de-stress, have fun, AND achieve your goals.
- It’s a journey, not a destination. Determine what you want to accomplish and set a series of challenging, but achievable milestones along the way. Don't place too much pressure on yourself by attempting to do too much too soon, only to end up experiencing frustration and failure. Be realistic and track your progress along the way. Participants in the Jan. 1 Commitment Day received a Commitment Journal, perfect for tracking workouts, nutrition and progression towards goals.