New Year’s resolutions work best with realistic goals


Health and wellness resolutions are popular with the New Year, but often fail before winter’s end. One way to keep those resolutions intact is to be modest instead of ambitious.

“A lot of times, what will happen is people will come in every day for a week, and say that was too much,” said Roger Hanafin, youth, teen and family program director at the Delaware Community Center YMCA. “They need to find a balance in their routine.”

The YMCA offers the “Right Start” program to its members.

“It’s designed specifically to help people set reasonable goals, and to avoid some of the pitfalls they’ve had in the past — injury, illness, or holiday — how are you going to manage to meet the goals you’ve set?” Hanafin said.

A resolution like losing 10 pounds in 2016 may be reasonable, but it may not be the best goal.

“Weight tends to be a pretty poor evaluation of overall wellness,” Hanafin said. “You can track other statistics than weight. We have a Body Mass Index measurement tool members can track, or how many repetitions or how long you went on the treadmill. When you start seeing successes, it kind of helps you realize this is working and I feel better.”

In addition, don’t get discouraged by setbacks.

“My goal is three days a week (of exercise), but some weeks, I might make two, and that’s OK,” Hanafin said. “It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t go the next week. Making it real to yourself is really important in the whole process.”

Hanafin said he thinks members who have been successful with their resolutions see the YMCA as more than a gym.

“They stop saying, ‘I have to go to the gym,’” he said. “They go, ‘I want to go to the Y and see my friends. They’re going to miss me if I’m not there.’ That’s why we provide so many programs that aren’t just fitness. It becomes more of a community feel than going to pump iron. I think that can get tiring for people after a while. What makes it enjoyable is the connections you make, and you feel like you belong to something.”

The Delaware YMCA, at 1121 S. Houk Road, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on New Year’s Day. For more information, visit or call 740-203-3051.

Fit Fam, a home studio and in-home personal training business geared to older adults that opened in May at 182½ N. Sandusky St., is typical of fitness facilities in that it has received more calls to sign up for their services in the new year.

“With older adults, a lot of them are seeing a physician at the end of the year,” said co-owner and trainer Dave Lewis. “I have a lot of people come because of low back pain. At least four of my people have fallen in the past year.”

Lewis said that the most important exercise for people 55 and older is strength training because it improves their bone density and prevents falls. Strength training includes a lot of lower-back and abdominal exercises, but Lewis said two of the simplest exercises are toe raises and getting up from a chair repeatedly. Those exercises help work the tiabilis anterior and quadriceps muscles, respectively.

“One lady said, ‘My goal is to stand up with my legs out of this chair without having to push with all my upper-body strength by Christmas,’” Lewis said. “When she started, she was afraid she’d fall down. I said, give me two months. She did the exercises faithfully, and got her legs back and is able to stand. You’d think she got a million dollars.”

For more information, visit or call 740-971-1966.

Personal trainer Dave Lewis guides a client with a stretching exercise. trainer Dave Lewis guides a client with a stretching exercise.

By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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