5 tips for setting bold fitness goals in 2018 | ParkRecord.com

5 tips for setting bold fitness goals in 2018

John F. Russell
Steamboat Pilot & Today

Graham Muir leads a pack of skiers up Mount Werner. His Manic Training organization brought nearly 90 athletes to the seventh-annual Cody's Challenge.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — This year when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, many people in Steamboat Springs will kick off the new year by setting bold goals.

"I'm a firm believer that short-term resolutions are a tough form of motivation," said local fitness expert Graham Muir, who owns Manic Training in Steamboat Springs. "The typical scenario is that people take on too much saying, 'I'm going to work out five days a week in the new year. I'm going to eat better. I’m not going to drink for a month.’"

But when those folks can't meet those expectations, Muir said they often get discouraged and never reach the goals they had set.

"A couple of key goals are enough to put you on the right path, and it does not have to be life-changing," Muir said. “As you think of what you want out of 2018, don't think New Year's resolution, think of life resolutions."

Dr. David Niedermeier of Steamboat Medical Group also recommends taking a more general approach to healthy resolutions.

"Focus on fitness, not weight," Niedermeier said. "Set goals of a certain duration or intensity or frequency of activity that are realistic and sustainable."

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He also insists that people don't need to wait for the new year to get started, and he believes a few basic lifestyle choices can have a significant impact in the upcoming year.

Marietta Roberts, a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor at Old Town Hot Springs, echoes Niedermeier’s emphasis on setting goals ahead of Jan. 1.

"It usually takes two to three weeks to change to a new habit, so why not start now," Roberts said.  "At the end of the day, there is nothing more important than your health and wellness. It doesn't have to be overwhelming. Small positive changes add up and can lead to success in meeting larger goals.

“Instead of saying you want to lose those extra holiday pounds, focus on making your health and wellness a priority,” Roberts suggested.

Start with what you eat

Niedermeier said it is important, especially this time of year, to be aware of what goes into your body. Avoid sweet drinks including sodas, sports drinks and more than small amounts of juice. It's also important to avoid foods with corn syrup and to steer away from processed foods in general.

"Food should come from farms, not factories," Neidermeier said. "You eat what is available. Make small daily choices easy by starting with healthy choices at the grocery store."

He suggests making large amounts of healthy food, so that there are leftovers, making it easy to find healthy choices when you open the refrigerator.

Make the right choice

Roberts said one of the biggest keys to success is finding the right exercise or activity. She suggests going to a spin class, working out with a personal trainer, going to a high energy Zumba class or trying yoga.

"It's important to know what type of exercise you are most likely to stick to," Roberts said. "Spend the last few weeks of the year discovering what types of exercise you like the best, determining a regimen that will keep you the most committed and having more fun while exercising."

Find a friend

Accountability is one of the biggest hurdles when it comes to meeting those bold New Year’s resolutions.

"Find a great training partner to hold you accountable on the days you don't want to show up," Muir said.

He said these types of relationships go both ways, and the understanding and responsibility of knowing there is another person depending on you can be a powerful force.

"Those days when they want to put their feet up after a hard day’s work will be your day to drag them out, and vice versa," Muir said. "I guarantee that one of your best days will be the day you wanted to hide under the covers."

"Nothing works better than a buddy system when it comes to weight loss or exercising," Roberts said. "Pick a buddy that will challenge you. Studies have shown burning more calories is easier when working out with a buddy.”

No more excuses

It's too cold, it's too early or there is not enough time in the day — Muir said he’s heard them all over the years.

"Excuses are all they are," he said. "No matter what you tell yourself, time is an incredibly precious commodity and using it wisely for your wellbeing is something that will always give big returns."

He suggests that people turn off the television, spend a little less time on the computer and get a good jacket to keep warm on the cold days. He said that sometimes taking care of yourself means finding time even if there doesn't seem to be any available.

Challenge yourself

A few years ago Muir decided he wanted to do Cody's Challenge but was the first to admit that he was an average skier at best. Muir reached out to the community around him, and by the time he took his place at the starting line of the event, he was surrounded by 30 friends who had also never done the event but thought it sounded like fun.

These days he suggests local events as a way of inspiring better health. He encourages people to find an event they have never done and started working toward that goal. 

"What today may seem like your Mount Everest may be the catalyst to greater things," Muir said. 

"Don't sell yourself short," Muir added. "If it does not scare you a little, it more than likely is not a big enough goal. If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. I find small, strong steps in the right direction will lead to better long-lasting results."

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.