We're all too familiar with the common New Year's phenomenon: As you watch the ball drop, you vow to maintain a twenty foot distance from all carbs and dedicate the rest of your life to the treadmill. But by the first week of January, your pasta cravings are becoming hard to ignore and you skip more than a few days at the gym. By the middle of the month, you indulge in bagels on a daily basis and your sneakers have collected dust. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? According to Psychology Today, the top two most common New Year's resolutions are to lose weight and exercise more often. It's no surprise that these lofty, vague goals are often unmet by the end of the year, which can easily make you feel like a failure. Rather than setting yourself up for potential disappointment, start 2012 off on the right foot by making a healthy New Year's resolution that you can actually keep.
Here are seven suggestions for realistic, attainable resolutions that you might actually enjoy keeping:
Resolution #1: Try a new class.
Who should try it: Have you always wanted to learn to kickbox? Are you interested in trying out that hot yoga class your friends are all raving about? Sign up for a new class if you're ready to shake up your exercise routine or would benefit from the social aspect of a group class.
How to keep it: Enroll in the class and mark it on your calendar to remind yourself to go back week after week. Once it becomes part of your routine, it's easy to work up the motivation to hit the gym. As an added bonus, a class is a great way to meet new people. (Feeling shy on the first day? Enlist a friend to work out with you.
Resolution #2: Aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Who should try it: Everyone! Your mom was right when she told you to eat your veggies. According to the Center for Disease Control, you need two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables per day.
How to keep it: Grab-and-go fruits like apples and bananas make great snacks because they don't require any preparation, aren't messy, and don't need to be refrigerated, so keep a few in your dorm room. In the dining hall, head to the salad bar. Opt for dark, leafy greens instead of iceberg lettuce (which is composed of mostly water and doesn't have many nutrients) and fill up on a variety of vegetables.
Resolution #3: Exercise even when you're not at the gym.
Who should try it: Pressed for time? This resolution is for you.
How to keep it: You can burn calories and tone your muscles without going to the gym. Rather than riding the escalator or elevator, take the stairs. Instead of taking the closest parking spot, park farther away and walk. Click here for more ways to fit exercise into your day!