5 ways to stick with your New Year's fitness resolutions

Many people make fitness-related New Year's resolutions, only to see them fall by the wayside. It's why gyms are packed in January, but back to normal by April.

RELATED: Yes, you can actually enjoy the holidays without gaining lbs. Here’s how

How can you keep the momentum going throughout the year to achieve your goal of better health and/or weight loss?

These five tips will help you stick to your New Year's fitness resolutions:

Make one change at a time

It's easy to start off the New Year full of energy and grand plans, but starting small will give you a greater chance of success, according to the Mayo Clinic. Instead of planning an unrealistic workout schedule, aim for three days a week. Rather than swearing off all your favorite unhealthy treats, vow to limit them to a day or two a week.

As you succeed with smaller steps, these habits will soon become a routine that you can build on as you add new goals.

Don't go it alone

CNN cites a study that showed social interaction makes people more likely to work out. Instead of going it alone, sign up for a fitness class, join a local running club, walk with a friend during lunch or hire a personal trainer. The social aspect will help keep you going, and you'll be less likely to bail on your plans to exercise.

Even if you don't have people to work out with, a virtual fitness community like those you can create with a FitBit can help you keep on track.

RELATED: 5 epic New Year's Eve destinations that aren't New York 

Make it fun

Exercise doesn't have to be drudgery, positive psychology researcher Michelle Gielan told WebMD. Find a way to get fit that also lets you have fun, such as a dance class or other type of exercise that makes you feel happy. If you don't dread it, you'll be more likely to keep going.

Keep a food diary

Losing weight is a popular New Year's resolution. While no one strategy works for everyone, a food diary can be a helpful part of your success. Otherwise, it's easy to underestimate just how much you're eating, forgetting about that vending machine candy bar at work or the snack you had while watching TV.

One study found that people who kept a food diary lost more pounds than people who didn't, according to Business Insider. Consistency was key, whether you keep a printed diary or use an app to help.

Don't be too hard on yourself

It's unrealistic to think that you'll be perfect as you strive to attain your exercise or healthy eating goals, the American Psychological Association says.

Accept that you're going to have some ups and downs, and realize that what's important is getting back on track. Otherwise, a missed workout or two can derail you for the rest of the year.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Health

PARENTING WITH DR. RAMEY: Talking with your kids about anxiety

Kevin Love, NBA superstar with the Cleveland Cavaliers, recently announced he’s been battling a debilitating health problem for some time. Love has a mental disorder. I hope there will be a time when such a revelation gets no more or less attention than a diagnosis of diabetes or cystic fibrosis. We have a long way to go before that occurs. His...
D.L. STEWART: Perfumers are cashing in on the sweet smell of nothing

The fickle fads of fashion never fail to mystify me. Untucked shirts for men? Partially untucked blouses for women? Unshaven cheeks for men? Pricy jeans that appear to have been run through a shredder for women? T-shirts and sneakers that sell for hundreds of dollars? And now I have a new puzzle: unscented perfume for women and men. As The New York...
Coupon deals of the week
Coupon deals of the week

Coupon availability and coupon values may vary within different regions or neighborhoods. Colgate Mouthwash This week at Rite-Aid, Colgate mouthwash is on sale for $4.99. Use the $1 off one Colgate mouthwash coupon found in most of today’s SmartSource inserts. Look inside your Rite-Aid ad insert and you may also find a store coupon good for $2...
Time running out to grab Girl Scout Cookies in Springfield
Time running out to grab Girl Scout Cookies in Springfield

Heads up, Springfield cookie lovers. If you’ve been holding out on grabbing your favorite Girl Scout Cookies for the year, you might be about to miss out. The Girl Scouts of Western Ohio have announced the annual cookie selling season will end on Sunday, March 25. Cookie Pros from across the region have been selling the treats since the beginning...
7 dog hacks for pet parents in the city
7 dog hacks for pet parents in the city

Owning a dog can be extremely rewarding, but if you're a pet parent who lives in the heart of a city or in an apartment, you might face a few extra challenges. From a lack of yard space to nearby neighbors who can easily hear your dog barking, you may need to make some adjustments for the good of your lifestyle and your neighbors. Try these seven hacks...
More Stories