“Reverse Resolutions” You Should Make This Year
Take a counterintuitive approach to your healthy goals in 2013 for results that last.
Weight loss and fitness resolutions are popular because they don’t work—so people have to resolve to do them again every year. It’s time to stop the no-success cycle and try something new in 2013: If you really want to succeed, take what you think you should do, and do the exact opposite. These “reverse resolutions” do just that—turning traditional New Year’s pledges topsy-turvy, with expert- and science-backed reasons for choosing the road less traveled. Read on for five surprising promises that sound non-committal but will actually help you slim down and shape up for the long haul. (Related: If you're planning on making a major change in 2013, follow this advice from Jillian Michaels to stay on track and reach your goals in the New Year.
Everyone (well, almost everyone) who resolves to start hitting the gym falls off the wagon in a matter of months—according to one survey, up to 60 percent of new memberships go unused, and attendance is back to the regular fitness fanatics by February.
One potential explanation for the drop-off: injury. Many bodies that walk into the gym aren’t ready for the movements they’ll do there, says Aaron Brooks, a biomechanics expert and owner of Perfect Postures in Auburndale, MA. Before you begin a fitness program, it’s important to identify muscles weaknesses and imbalances and correct them before challenging your body with intense training.
Many common body imbalances can be difficult to spot—one hip higher than the other, a knee turned in, or a pelvis that’s tilted wrong—and they can result in injury or slow your progress at the gym. A guide like The Athletic Body in Balance can help you find weaknesses yourself, and perform corrective exercises at home, while an Functional Movement Screening-certified personal trainer can perform tests and prescribe similar moves (and monitor your progress) to help you get on track—ask at your gym if any trainers have the certification, or use this search tool to find one near you.
Within a matter of a few weeks, you’ll be ready to tackle the moves that will make you stronger and leaner this year, with less risk of injury and better patterns for increased results. Oh, and the gym will be less crowded by then, too.