- National YMCA survey finds more than half of American adults say outside support can help keep their 2015 resolutions
Each year, millions of Americans resolve to get in better shape and become healthier versions of themselves. According to a recent national YMCA survey of more than 1,000 adults, less than a quarter of respondents kept their resolution in 2014. An overwhelming 71 percent said they tried but fell short, and 40 percent confessed that they made it through only a couple of weeks or months.
However, there’s hope for the coming year. One-third of survey respondents who plan to make a resolution in 2015 believe they’ll stick to it and reach their goals, with more than half believing that encouragement from others will keep them committed.
“Finding a supportive community like the Y can be beneficial in keeping resolutions on track, because our organization is so much more than a nonprofit gym,” said Linda Daly, CEO of The Family YMCA. “It’s a community of supportive neighbors that offers more health, more hope and more opportunity for the New Year and years to come.”
“A positive outlook doesn’t always translate to action without setting manageable goals and leaning on the support of health and wellness communities,” said Melanie Chapman, Wellness Director for the Y. Chapman offers six tips that the Y recommends to help make a healthy New Year’s resolution stick:
Start small. Set attainable resolutions. For example, if your goal is to exercise more frequently in the New Year, don’t schedule seven days a week at the gym. Start with a reasonable three days a week. If you’d like to eat healthier, try replacing desserts with other foods you enjoy, such as fruit or yogurt.
Take it one step at a time. Making a New Year’s resolution doesn’t require you to reassess every little detail of your life. Replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones takes time, so don’t become overwhelmed. Work to change one behavior at a time, and then go from there.
Choose a facility that focuses on a holistic approach to health. When it comes to adding healthy behaviors – like working out – to your lifestyle, finding a facility that keeps you motivated is critical to maintaining your exercise routine. Before committing to a membership, take a tour of local facilities to find the best fit for you. Your facility should be welcoming and offer free wellness orientations, coaching and overall support by nationally certified fitness staff. Ask if childcare is offered as many parents find it helpful when making time to exercise. Your facility should not be just a gym, but a community organization that offers more health, more hope and more opportunity.
Establish a little friendly competition. More than half of the Y survey respondents felt a little “healthy competition” when friends encouraged them to be even more committed to keeping their New Year’s resolutions. Share your experiences with support groups – friends, family, fellow workout class members or close colleagues. Talking about your struggles and successes will make your goals more obtainable and less intimidating.
Set New Year’s goals with someone you love. It’s easier to stick to your resolutions if you have a partner working toward similar goals. More than three-fourths of survey respondents indicated that they would set the same resolution for a member of their immediate family. Team up with a family member to set your 2015 goals, and establish a game plan that is dedicated to achieving them.
Have fun with it. There are so many ways to get your heart rate pumping that there is no reason to be bored or unhappy with your exercise routine. At the Y, we have seniors shaking it to oldies hits in SilverSneakers, other members cycling indoors in our version of Spinning, and many people who love the calming and strengthening effects of yoga. It’s about finding an activity you love so that you will look forward to exercise.
For additional tips, January membership specials, or to learn more about how to get involved with the Y, please call 662-3100, visit www.laymca.org, or come by the Y for a free tour and day pass.
About The Family YMCA: The Y was founded in 1955 in Los Alamos and is dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities. The Y is a charitable organization that works to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. In 2013, the Y provided $120,000 in financial assistance to 215 individuals. The Y’s mission is to engage in partnerships in our communities to promote healthy life choices and to support community well-being and pressing social issues – from childhood obesity to graduation rates. For more information on the programs provided by the Y, please visit: www.laymca.org.