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The Body Blog: New Year’s Resolutions That Work

Now that the holidays are over and my jeans are extra tight from the cookies and cakes I stuffed in my face the past week (I know you’re feeling it to0, ladies!), it’s time to start thinking about how to improve (and drop the holiday weight) for the New Year.

Instead of making that vague “I’m gonna work out this year!” resolution that never works, why not take a more focused approach? Here are a few resolutions that will get you on track for actually fulfilling your fitness goals in 2009. My opinion: start small:

Start a Workout Program: If you don’t work out regularly, make it a point to do so. Join a gym (many have holiday specials still going on until Jan 1st!) and get into a routine where you hit the gym a few times a week. Don’t set an unrealistic goal (“I will run 10 miles, 4 days a week.”) – even if it’s just to start walking on a treadmill or taking a pilates class or two, you’ll never believe the difference it can make!

Increase Your Workout: If you’re a regular, every day worker-outer like myself, start increasing your daily dose of exercise. For example, I normally run 1.5 – 2 miles a day and do ab work for about 15 minutes. Starting this week, I am upping my workouts to at least 2.5 – 3 miles a day with increased stretching and core focus on my abs to get that six pack (wishful thinking!) by the summer.

Add Weights: A lot of people who work out think running on a treadmill or biking a few times a week is enough. It’s not. While cardio is the best way to burn calories, it leaves your body thin and lean, but not defined. Adding weights into your routine will tone your lean body and give you a nice, tailored and fit shape. Make an appointment with a trainer to set up a weight training program, or go to FitSugar.com to learn some fun workouts for toning that bod.

Add Classes: If you’re a cardio gal like myself, adding some strength or dance classes will up your workout regime and give you some new exciting ways to look forward to working out. Pilates and yoga are great for strength and toning, and dance classes (salsa, hip hop, Zumba, or even, pole dancing!) are great ways to get cardio on a different level. Bring your friends along to help them with their weight loss resolutions (and make it more fun for you).

Think Outside the Box: If you’re bored with your normal workout routine, take up a sport that will give you a new and fun way to workout. Have a bunch of girlfriends who want to all get fit? Start hiking on the weekends or playing softball with them; it’ll be a bonding experience, PLUS a workout!

By increasing your intensity, or starting a new workout plan, you’ll shed those holiday pounds in no time!

  • Kelly - UMassCOLLEGECANDY Writer