Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size

New Year's Resolution: Get Fit

Resolved to exercise and get in shape? Here's how to actually do it.
By
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature

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.

For the average person, a good fitness program consists of exercises that work out the whole body. A cardio workout improves the function and health of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Weight-bearing exercises enhance the function and health of the bones, muscles, joints, and connective tissues.

For the average person, a good fitness program consists of exercises that work out the whole body. A cardio work improves the function and health of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Weight-bearing exercises enhance the function and health of the bones, muscles, joints, and connective tissues.

Because bodies are living, breathing matter, they need to be stimulated in order to become more fit. This means exercise is ideally done just outside your comfort zone. "You're taking your body a little outside where it is, because it needs that challenge - that stimulus - to be able to improve," says Ross.

If that is basically what exercise is, then you as an average Joe or Jane should be able to "just do it," and be on your way to a healthy, well-toned body, right? Perhaps. But as many people know all too well, it's not that easy to start a fitness routine, particularly for the out-of-shape and the inconsistent. There's the workout to begin, and the diet to plan, too.

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

Wet feet on shower floor tile
Slideshow
Flat Abs
Slideshow
 
Build a Better Butt Slideshow
Slideshow
woman using ice pack
Quiz
 

man exercising
Article
7 most effective exercises
Interactive
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
Teen girl jogging
Article
Taylor Lautner
Article