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Health Team

Realistic goals, accountability key to fitness resolutions

Posted January 1

While January is always a big month for gyms, many who resolve to be more fit in the new year often lose track of those goals by early spring. 

Matt Takas knew the cycle well before January 2013, when he once again resolved to lose weight and get fit.

"I made the resolutions in the past, and much like everybody else, I never stuck with them," Takas said. 

Last year, however, Takas finally broke the trend of giving up on his resolutions. He stuck to his goals, even as the numbers in his fitness classes dwindled by spring. 

"Over time, one by one, I'd see them fall off," Takas said. "I said, 'well, I seem to be the only constant here.'"

Takas, who is in his late 30s, said he was finally ready to take responsibility for his own health. 

Sheri Sampson, Takas' stationary bike instructor at the Rex Wellness Center in Cary, said the best way to stick with a fitness resolution is to start with a trainer and develop a plan that includes realistic goals. 

"We really try to get people to start out slow and build gradually and be smart about it," Sampson said. "They're more likely to stick with it."

Being involved in classes also helps, Sampson said. 

"You build those relationship," she said. "People say, 'Hey, you weren't here on Monday.' They notice when you're not there."

Takas said finding the type of exercise that he liked also helped him stay committed. 

"I've lost probably about 30 to 35 pounds, and it's not impossible to do," he said. "It's my responsibility, you know, to take care of myself."

Fitness instructors also recommend using free fitness apps on their smartphones. They can help keep people accountable when trying to eat less and exercise more.

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