Getting real with fitness resolutions

Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:16pm EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - New Year's resolutions: We make them, we break them, we make them again.

So it's no surprise that "Get Fit" tops many of the same lists year after year.

Fitness experts say if you're serious about shaping up this time, start by trading in your impossible dreams for some attainable goals.

"People will say, "I'm going to lose 30 pounds,' when 10 pounds would be more doable. They'll say, "I'm going to exercise every day,' when three times a week may be more likely," said Shawn Talbott, spokesperson for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

The researcher and program developer, advises people to set realistic expectations.

"Compliance is the big sexy thing in fitness research: How do we get people to comply with their program?"

He suggests seeking out that sweet spot of balance between too much exercise and too little.

"Not so little that there are no benefits, and not so much that you can't do it."   Continued...

<p>Clients work out on machines at the Bally Total Fitness facility in Arvada, Colorado June 15, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking</p>