2013 is the year you can keep that resolution

By Gina Traficant, B.S.

The New Year is always the perfect time for a fresh start in reinventing yourself. There is only one drawback. It is estimated that of the 40 percent of individuals who make a New Year’s resolution to get fit in 2013, only 20 percent will succeed and 33 percent quit within the first six weeks of the year.

These five workout tips will ensure you stay strong for the whole year and make a permanent lifestyle change.

Are you paying for a gym membership you never use?

If you started a new job or had a major lifestyle change, it’s time to rethink where you work out. Adam Gentz, owner of Strength Center Las Vegas, explains that if an individual has to drive more than 15 minutes to exercise, they’ll often skip the workout. “Time and money are extremely limited. Anyone purchasing a membership should look for a gym that is less than 15 minutes from where they live or work, as convenience drives everything. If travel time to and from the gym is convenient, then one will be more likely to stay consistent with their workouts and consistency leads to results,” Gentz said.

Do you need to clean up your eating habits?

Individuals are so focused on watching calories and fat grams that they neglect to consume the right kinds of foods. “Fresh fruits and vegetables contain valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber,” states Tara Gidus, R.D., former American Dietetic Association spokesperson. “Many ‘diet’ foods are great snacks, but too many snacks will add extra calories that are stored as fat.”

Las Vegas resident Nicole Berkowitz lost 50 pounds in 2012 when she started eating seasonal produce from Bountiful Baskets and local farmers markets. “It’s easier to eat healthy when I have fresh produce available, especially at work. When clients bring unhealthy snacks to the office, I give them to other building tenants so there’s no temptation when I have cravings. I also replaced soda with bottled water and unsweetened tea,” Berkowitz said.

The closer you move towards your goal weight, the cleaner your diet needs to be to continue seeing results.

Do you wear baggy, old sweats to the gym?

Nothing gives a fresh feel to working out then new workout clothes. When Lucy Activewear moved their store out of Las Vegas, Lucy lovers were heartbroken. But no more worries; REI is now carrying the super chic line. Any workout wear will do as long as it’s supportive and contains wicking material to wick away sweat, making exercise more comfortable. As for athletic shoes, Village Runner running expert Jon Griffin states, “Running shoes should be replaced every 300-500 miles or every six to nine months, whichever comes first—even if they’re only being used for walking or elliptical training. Unfortunately, I keep meeting people whose sneakers are several years old!”

Preventing foot and ankle injuries will increase exercise efficiency, driving one’s ability to get and stay fit.

Are you a weekend warrior?

According to Jessica Matthews, fitness expert for the American Council on Exercise, “Many individuals will begin a fitness program with unrealistic goals or they do too much too soon. It is important when beginning a program to acknowledge your present fitness level and to progress gradually over time.”

She adds, “Individuals often doubt their ability to make positive changes long term. Perceived lack of willpower, perceived lack of time and negative self-talk are barriers that individuals create internally. Positive self-talk, established support systems and altering one’s environment to encourage healthy behaviors can aid individuals reaching their health and fitness goals.”

Can you get out of your comfort zone?

TRX, weights, Barre, swimming, squash, kickboxing, spinning, Pilates; just where do you start? Try everything (at least once). Incorporating new workouts ignites exercise interest, works neglected muscles and burns additional calories. Fitness trainer and four-time women’s tri-fit competitor Dina Starr claims, “Everybody, no matter what age, is an athlete. Set a short-term goal to achieve something you have always wanted to do. Run a 5K, swim the two laps you’ve always wanted or make a decision to walk every night. Whatever it is, train like an athlete, eat like an athlete, sleep like an athlete, and watch your body and your life change right before your eyes.”

Fitness trainer Gina Traficant has earned her Bachelor of Science in sport and fitness management from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine, has been seen training on Discovery Health and FitTV, and has been the Women’s Health Expert on the Fox 5 “MORE” show for the past two years. She can be reached through her new Facebook or Twitter at GinasGym.