The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Editorial- Start new year fitness resolutions early

Katelyn+Needham%2FThe+Collegian
Katelyn Needham/The Collegian

Three of the highest-calorie holidays are gearing up to ruin the figures of dieters everywhere, followed by pledges to eat right and exercise every day.

Katelyn Needham/The Collegian
Katelyn Needham/The Collegian

New Year’s fitness resolutions tend to have the same shelf life as political promises and set people up for failure in their fitness goals. When people think of working out, they imagine running 10 miles before lifting huge weights and sprinting on a treadmill for an hour while a personal trainer shouts encouragement and blasts “Eye of the Tiger” over the gym speakers.

That isn’t where most people are physically when they make these resolutions. Aiming for these grand workout regimens is nice but not at all realistic. The stigma that workouts must be grand hourlong affairs acts as a barrier to the habit formation that keeps people working out and fit.

Thirty minutes on a stationary bike is enough to get started and is doable while watching Netflix or YouTube or listening to music. Doing these usually sedentary activities while moving and trying to keep one’s heart rate in a certain zone is a good way to ease into a fitness routine.

This slow immersion coupled with watching videos, listening to books or music leaves positive feelings about the location and activity being performed and makes it easier to plan on returning to the gym on a regular basis. Forming the habit of going even for just a little while will do more for health in the long run than one month of longer workouts followed by quitting until the next year.

Once in the habit of going to the gym, half the work is done. That 15 to 20 minutes of exercise each day is still 15 to 20 minutes more than one would get staying at home all day. From here, physical fitness is just a matter of time. As time goes on, one can choose to try more challenging exercises or perhaps take a class if the facility offers any.

However one chooses to start the journey toward physical fitness, the point is to do it with purpose. Starting as part of a holiday tradition doesn’t mean much come February and that discount yearlong gym membership has been gathering dust.

When people are truly committed to something, they shouldn’t need to wait around for a holiday or the right moment to start it because the right moment would be as soon as possible. After all, results don’t happen instantly, especially where the human body is concerned. The only immediate changes one may perceive after exercising are reduced stress, greater levels of alertness and mild soreness if partaking in strength training.

Results will appear gradually, coming faster or more slowly depending on how much time is put into the activity. Like all things worthwhile, it will take time to reach the desired level of fitness. Weight loss is the hot topic around a new year even though results would be better starting before October.

No one wants to be on a diet for the massive amounts of discount candy post-Halloween or make a fuss about what’s being served for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. But in a world of cheat days and invisible calories, the strong-willed will see their goals come to fruition sooner than others.

When performed with purpose, any endeavor is only a matter of time. Those who are serious about taking care of their bodies don’t need to wait until next year to start. There will never be a better time than now.

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