Preparing for Your Best Year of Fitness

If you’re getting ready to make New Year’s fitness resolutions, stop yourself. Instead, design a yearlong fitness plan to increase your chances of making effective lifestyle changes gradually.

Below are suggestions for creating an action plan for the first three months of the year.  Visit the Saint Peter’s Better Health Library for suggestions for the rest of the year.

Month-by-month plan

January. Set your goals. Take a look at your life. What's missing? What do you wish you could do? Consider investing in a few sessions with a personal trainer who will help point you in the right direction and help you get motivated.

February. Focus on fuel. Keep a daily log of what you eat and how you feel. As your body gets used to more activity, you'll naturally crave a lighter diet with less fat and sugar and more vegetables, fruits and grains. You'll need protein to build muscle. Make sure your daily intake meets your new demands. A nutritionist can help you to determine what you needs.

March. Check your progress. Look at what you've achieved so far and what's missing. Extreme tiredness, aches, and pains are signs that you're trying to do too much, too soon. If your progress has slowed down or stopped, change your routine to keep your body challenged. A physical therapist can help you learn to do exercises correctly, reducing the risk of injury.

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