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The “Fitness Cliff”

When I first read the term, fitness cliff I assumed that the reference was to another cutting edge training program. After all, it is spring and time to think about getting in shape, preparing to shed layers of clothing and improved conditioning for outdoor activities. Naïve on my part. Gold’s Gym graphed member check-ins from January 2010-January 2013. On February 18th, 48 days after most of us vow to eat less and exercise more, attendance nose-dives and continues on a downward spiral with a few positive spikes near bathing suit season. Surprised?

So, what happened and why does it continue to be an ongoing pattern? Similar to the New Year’s resolutions that many of us have been wont to make with certainty, over 50% never get beyond January 31st in changing some behavior. Fewer than 20% of us follow through on a resolution to its conclusion and actually make the proposed change.

Reassess your goal: A closer look might help. According to fitness trainers, if you fixate on changing a specific body part and you don’t immediately see results like flat abs or thin thighs, your commitment is likely to wane. Instead, look at the bigger picture.

What’s important about being healthy? • Greater endurance/more energy • Improved mood • Increased strength • Sleep better • Participate in more activities • Develop greater discipline • Gain confidence • Clothing fit better • Diet changes • Exposure to more people/exercise buddy

Action: Focus on why exercise is a positive activity that has both long and short term benefits. It’s energizing and de-stressing and can also add a social component. When the “pay-off” is not necessarily immediate, your goals need to be approached in small steps with built-in rewards, like a massage or another spa treatment.

©Mweisner 2014

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