More ways to keep your New Year's resolution

By ReminderNews Staff
Region - posted Mon., Jan. 7, 2013
- Contributed Photo

Getting excited to lose weight or build muscle to start 2013 off on a good note is on the minds of many, but without the right plan, very few will last the year with their new approach to life. In fact, statistics tell us that most will not last until the end of February. Cassanda Dilorenzo, personal trainer at Unique Fitness in Suffield, believes a good approach to improving your health is setting up a personalized workout plan. She said that the first step is to set realistic goals, noting if you jump in too quickly, the gung-ho attitude will burn out fast when results are not immediately noticed. It will take time to show improvement, but if you set personal goals throughout the month, and year, the results will be more noticeable.

Personal workouts should be formed based on capability and ability. Do not try something you are not comfortable with or something that will cause you to over-exert yourself. Set a goal to walk a mile in under 20 minutes in your first week, and slowly shave down the time week by week.

Dr. Sherry Kroll, an internist with Day Kimball Healthcare Center in Plainfield, recommends that people making New Year's resolutions make small changes, better choices, and start off slowly. “A lot of people make these huge resolutions and they never keep them,” Kroll said. “If people are thinking of dieting, eating healthier or trying to lose weight, just start with making better choices.” It doesn't have to be every choice. “People are really hard on themselves,” she said. “I tell people to give themselves a little bit of slack.” She also recommends starting slow with exercise resolutions. Start with walking and work your way up, she said. “Don't expect to go from a couch potato to a tri-athlete overnight.”

Melissa Ramos, a personal trainer who works at Anytime Fitness in Colchester, said people have to have a mindset of health and wellness so they will succeed all year. People make excuses and sabotage themselves, she said. “People know what they need to do to be healthy,” Ramos said. “They just don’t do it.”

People should spend more time listening to their bodies by reflecting and meditating, Ramos said. Many resolution-makers think there’s a gimmick that is going to help them, but there’s not. They need to learn to value themselves, she said.

“I say that’s the resolution people should make if they want to be healthy,” Ramos said. “'I am only going to do things to value and honor my body and my health this year.' If people say that one blanket statement, they don’t have to say, ‘I’m not going to eat this’ or ‘I’m not going to eat that,’ because that would involve not honoring your body.”

Roman Wright, a member service representative from Cardio Express at the Eastbrook Mall in Mansfield, said that dedication is the key to following through with a commitment to turn over a new leaf in the New Year. “When I see people come in here, it’s very inspirational for me to see people dedicating themselves to their health,” he said. “Dedication equals results.” Also important is focus, he said. “If your mind isn’t on something, you’re not going to achieve it,” said Wright.

In terms of maintaining motivation, Wright said that other people can be a big help. Staff members at a gym can help by offering encouragement and providing advice regarding proper exercise techniques. For similar reasons, utilizing a “buddy system” can be helpful.

Matthew Vail, owner of Body by Design in Stafford Springs, said that commitment to fitness yields the best results, and agrees that a “buddy system” can work. “One of the things to keeps people coming in is to work out with a friend or somebody else,” said Vail.

At Body by Design, senior citizens have their own specialized program. SilverSneakers classes are designed for seniors and taught according to their needs. The class accommodates different ability levels, with seniors able to use a chair or assistance if needed. "It's geared towards getting muscular strength - upper body and lower body - and extending that range of motion for seniors," said Vail. Senior citizens who are interested in learning more about SilverSneakers should visit

For some, a typical gym is not the answer. Many programs are offered through local Parks and Recreation departments. Bruce Dinnie, director of Parks and Rec. in Vernon, said they have many programs that are close to home, but offer variety. “We've been trying to increase our fitness programs for people of all ages and lifestyles,” Dinnie said.

For example, there is a new belly-dancing class for all abilities and a mood-managing Lifeforce Yoga class designed by author/expert Amy Winetraub, which has a unique twist on traditional yoga.

For kids, there's a Zumba-tomic class, which combines Zumba with modern hip-hop moves. Dodgeball is another great way to get exercise and blow off steam. Dinnie said Vernon doesn't currently offer adult dodgeball, but there are other programs in the area. “Get your co-worker or boss you're frustrated with and have them join,” Dinnie said. “Or, let them win, depending on the situation.”

Even if you are resolved to get fit, stay active and spend more time outdoors, cold winter weather often gets in the way. So what can you do to stay active when snow is falling? “Just walking through snow burns a ton of calories,” said Tracy Verrastro, director of recreation for the town of Bolton. Simply playing in the snow can be quite a workout. “Build a snowman. It's fun, and you'd be surprised how much work your body is doing,” Verrastro said. She also recommends snow-shoeing, and some town recreation departments rent or loan equipment.

Barbara Noe, store manager at L.L. Bean in South Windsor, said making activity a part of your lifestyle is important, and snow-shoeing is a great way to do that.

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