Base your fitness resolution on knowledge, not numbers
(NC ) — As the calendar flips to a new year and we wave goodbye to 2012, many Canadians will use the celebration to make a personal resolution and, hopefully, wave goodbye to old habits. When it comes to predicting the success of these personal promises, a 2012 study at the University of Scranton indicates this will be challenging for most Canadians. The study discovered the No. 1 resolution is to lose weight and/or make a healthy self-improvement. And, out of the 45 percent of people who make a New Year's resolution, only 8 percent will fully accomplish it—with 39 percent of people experiencing 'infrequent success'. But that doesn't mean you should return the workout clothes you received for Christmas or cancel the recently purchased gym membership. Greek philosopher Plato reminds us that “a good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers”. To increase the chance of triumph, three leading Canadian fitness experts share their 'knowledge' to help this year's resolutions become a success story, not a number. David Patchell-Evans, the Founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness, has 33 years' experience helping people achieve their fitness goals. With 750,000 members, GoodLife's enthusiastic founder has many tips, but the first one that comes to mind: “Get friends and family on-side with your resolution.” ”A 'workout buddy' serves many purposes when it comes to fitness motivation,” says Patchell-Evans. “They provide comfort for people who might be entering a fitness club for the first time, they're a great referee on the days when your motivation is wavering, and most importantly, they're your cheering section when you begin to see results.” For the 16 percent of Canadians who have already joined a gym or fitness club, their resolution may be to take their fitness routine to the next level. Rod Macdonald, the Vice President of canfitpro, the largest provider of education in the Canadian fitness industry, explains that one of the keys to success is enlisting professional help. “Increase your support group. Hire a personal trainer, let your favourite group exercise instructor know about your resolution, and tell as many friends about it as possible,” Macdonald says. Lisa Belanger, an exercise physiologist and doctoral candidate at the University of Alberta, says a third tip is to “make an emotional connection to your resolution. Keep reminding yourself the reasons for your actions to keep you going. For example, 'I am going to the gym to stay active and keep up with my grandchildren.' Or 'I'm eating more vegetables to avoid getting heart disease like my mother.'” Although it is unlikely Plato was referring to New Year's fitness resolutions, his statement offers perspective. Base your 'good decision' to become healthier on 'knowledge' rather than shying away because of intimidating 'numbers.' By taking realistic steps to reach your goal, you'll be more likely to accomplish your resolution and defy the odds.