There’s No Need To Wait For The New Year To Make A Resolution

Almost half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and exercise and weight loss is always at the top of the list. That’s no surprise, considering that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, and less than half get the recommend amount of exercise needed to stay healthy.

But a future plan to exercise can be used as an excuse to curl up in a ball of blankets and hibernate through the holidays, which could explain why some folks go into the new year with a little added heft. A 2000 study of 195 Americans found that people who were already overweight or obese gained an average of five pounds in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and that for all who gained holiday weight, these extra pounds made up more than half of the total weight they gained that year.

That’s why if you already know you need to exercise more — the government recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity per week with at least two strength training sessions — there’s no better time than the present to make a resolution about it, experts say.

Dr. Christine Whelan, a thought leader for AARP’s Life Reimagined program and a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says it’s a “good psychological trick” to mark a new beginning on a special date — say, your birthday, the new year or even just Monday morning. However, we’ve got to be careful that we’re not using this future date to justify delaying a life change.

“If you’re saying, ‘I will lose weight in the New Year’ as a way to allow yourself to binge during the holidays, think of what small step you can take right now — Dec. 1, perhaps —> Read More