Weather works against new year’s resolutions

Published 6:17 pm Sunday, January 7, 2018


The New Year’s resolution was set in stone: lose weight, exercise. That is, until extreme weather rolled in the very first week of January, leaving budding fitness buffs and dieters holed up — away from the bitter cold, but well within reach of the temptations in the pantry.

It would seem that nature sabotaged the best of intentions. Given the circumstances, some may feel they never had a chance at success. But they would be wrong, according to local fitness experts.

“Day one of the new year is page one of 365 pages,” said Travis Rogerson, an exercise specialist with Vidant Wellness Center in Washington. “Just because the first week is a failure, doesn’t mean the rest of year can’t be successful.”

“Tomorrow’s a new day. Start it tomorrow,” said Amy Thomas, owner of Fitness Unlimited. “You’re not going to be perfect. You’ve got to set a new goal every day.”

For Rogerson, it’s all about lifestyle changes — and a lifetime of habits don’t change overnight. Being able to weather a setback and forge forward is the key to making lasting changes to eating and exercising habits.

“There’s going to be bumps in the road. It’s not going to be a light switch-type change. There’s going to speed bumps and hurdles like these snow days,” Rogerson said. “It’s a lifetime battle to some. It’s about making those positive lifetime choices. Just know some of these folks have been making these poor choices for their entire lives, so don’t let a week of weakness be your downfall.”

So how to fulfill those resolutions when it’s too cold to take a walk or run, it’s not safe to drive to the gym and there’s still a cache of holiday treats in the house? Thomas said it’s all about awareness.

“You got to be conscious. Personally, there were chips on my counter yesterday, I put them under the counter because I didn’t want to eat them,” Thomas said. “Honestly, my biggest thing is being conscious about it. That conscious effort of not laying on the couch all day or when you’re eating those chips, just saying, ‘Stop. Put them down.’”

Both fitness experts recommended rather than settling into the couch to watch TV, get up and get moving — inside or outside.
“I would encourage them to just try to minimize their seated time. Don’t just be a couch potato; get up and move around. If you can get outside, do it in small amounts,” Rogerson said. “Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean we have to be inactive and sluggish.”

“Inside the house, just walk around a little more. My kids did burpees — we did burpees inside,” Thomas said. “Just turn on some music and move. … We played Jenga. I know that’s not moving, but it’s using the brain, and it keeps your hands busy.”

Rogerson suggested using the internet as a resource if someone is a little lost as to how to exercise at home without treadmills, weights or group fitness classes.

“Search for beginner body-weight exercises to get started, and you’ll find hundreds and hundreds of options … Holds like plank keep those muscles engaged to keep them active when not moving are so easy to find,” Rogerson said.

Like exercise, diets are a lifestyle change. Rogerson suggests make those decisions at the grocery store.

“The diet portion is so huge when folks are wanting weight loss and don’t have their diet in check. When it’s this cold outside, it’s not easy to do. You go right to the snack drawers,” Rogerson said. “You win those battles at the grocery store — you don’t buy a lot of junk and bring it into the house, so it’s not readily available.”

Regardless of focus, exercise, eating or both, experts say that every day is a new starting point and resolutions can be revived.

“Think about it, regroup and start again tomorrow,” Thomas said. “It’s about the journey, not the destination.”