New Year's Resolution: Get Fit

Resolved to exercise and get in shape? Here's how to actually do it.

By Dulce Zamora
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD

You needed neither that second serving nor the extra round of drinks. Yet you indulged. Aren't the holidays about good times with loved ones, great food, and merrymaking? Anyway, beginning Jan. 1, you will eat healthier and work out. Starting then, you will get fit. This will be your New Year's resolution. Life will be better after December.

Sound familiar? It should if you're one of the millions of people who find themselves unsatisfied with their excess body weight or sluggish physical condition at the turn of the calendar.

In fact, about a third of New Year's resolvers make weight loss their primary goal, and about 15% aim to begin an exercise program, suggests a small study John C. Norcross, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Scranton, Pa.

If you're nodding your head and thinking, "Yup, I'm one of those people," take heart. Your objective is a noble one, and, if accomplished, will surely do wonders for your health.

Take note, however, that your dream of a leaner, fitter body may take time, especially if you've stuffed yourself one too many times or if you haven't been physically active in a while.

Yet exercise does not have to be an all-consuming and excruciating endeavor either. "There's a connection between exercise and pain, discomfort, and soreness. We watch Gatorade commercials and we see athletes whose eyeballs are sweating because they're working out so hard. People think that's what exercise is supposed to be," says Jonathan Ross, ACE, NSCA, a personal trainer in Bowie, Md. He says such high-intensity workouts are done only by a very small percentage of the population.