SOURCE: GlobalFit

GlobalFit

December 28, 2011 11:18 ET

3 Smarter Tips to Achieve Your New Year's Resolution

GlobalFit Offers Upbeat Alternatives to Conventional Wisdom

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - Dec 28, 2011) - Every January, you hear lots of tips on how to keep your New Year's fitness resolution. Unfortunately, many people find that this 'conventional wisdom' fails to keep them on track. This year, GlobalFit suggests an alternative: Positive Wisdom.

"A positive approach can make all the difference," says Molly Napolitano, Senior Health and Fitness Expert for GlobalFit, the leading provider of physical activity programs for American businesses. "So much standard fitness advice is based on negative assumptions about how unpleasant exercise will be."

To help you maintain your resolve and see results this time, Napolitano offers these three positive alternatives to the conventional wisdom:

Conventional Wisdom: Set clear, specific goals.
Positive Wisdom:
Set a plan of action.
"Don't focus on what you want in the future," Napolitano urges, "focus on what you can do right now to get what you want. You'll do much better to tell yourself 'I'm going to work out every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday' rather than 'I'm going to lose 20 pounds.'"

Research backs that up. Psychologists at the Free University of Berlin found that people were more likely to stick with an exercise program past the first two weeks if they had an "implementation intention" (how you'll achieve) rather than a "goal intention" (what you'll achieve).

Why it's positive: Instead of dwelling on perceived shortcomings (the weight that you want to lose, how long it takes to lose it), wrap your mind around what you can -- and will -- do to set things right.

Conventional Wisdom: Do what you enjoy.
Positive Wisdom:
Learn to love new things.
It makes sense that if you like an activity, you'll do it more readily. But social psychologists have found the reverse can also be true: if you do something long enough, you'll come to like it.

"I understand why people think the treadmill will be boring," Napolitano empathizes, "but once you start being active regularly, you find there's so much to love about it!" She notes that just one vigorous workout can relieve stress, increase energy, and release mood-boosting hormones in the body. "And after a long day, it's fun to turn off your brain and just be physical for a while!"

Why it's positive: If you want to adopt new habits for your health or appearance, then why not embrace that newness? Napolitano suggests that you try new things -- even if you think you won't like them -- and then give them a chance to change your mind.

Conventional Wisdom: Use the buddy system.
Positive Wisdom:
Feel good about flying solo.
"Of course, a workout buddy makes it easier," Napolitano observes. For a gym newbie, a friend can lessen any initial intimidation, and a personal trainer can teach important techniques for safety and results. "Early on, that's fine. But sooner or later, every bird has to leave the nest."

Why? A 2007 study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that those who depend on another to exercise have low self-confidence in their ability to do it alone. "What happens if your friend moves far away or you can no longer afford a trainer?" she asks.

Why it's positive: "I've heard so many people say mean things about themselves for being out of shape," Napolitano says, "even people who'd be kind and encouraging to friends in the same shape! When you act as your own workout buddy, you have to learn to be just as supportive with yourself as you are with your friends."

Ultimately, Napolitano believes, staying positive can make all the difference. "To achieve your fitness goals, you have to believe that you can. Just have fun, and make it happen."

About GlobalFit
With 70 million eligible employees/insured persons in North America, GlobalFit is the leading provider of physical activity programs for American businesses. Since 1992, GlobalFit has been known for its network of gyms; today its signature offering is Destination: You, a corporate program helping employees build healthier lifestyles. GlobalFit also provides convenient, affordable options in its Virtual Nutrition Coach and "Healthy Changes," which is a menu of one-on-one health programs. Visit www.globalfit.com for more information.

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