While the Fiscal Cliff has come and gone, there is another cliff on the horizon – the Fitness Cliff. With the start of the New Year, millions of Americans resolved to get back into shape but as February approaches, the countdown to the end of most of these New Year's Resolutions has begun. According to data issued from Gold's Gym, the leading authority on health and fitness, February 7th is the day New Year's Resolutions go astray – with gym check-ins beginning to steadily decline and members losing focus on their goals.
"We live in a world where every year, things get faster – from the way we work to the technology we use. But when it comes to New Year's Resolutions, transforming your body takes time and patience," said Dr. Belisa Vranich, author and renowned clinical psychologist. "As February rolls in, the frustration of not seeing the results they feel they have earned begins to reach its peak – leading to a decrease in motivation and ultimately a failure to keep their resolution."
Gold's Gym identified February 7th as the Fitness Cliff after studying check-in patterns at gym locations around the country over a three year period. Following the initial spike that occurs after January 1st, the company identified a gradual decline in check-ins beginning on January 30th, with the biggest drop occurring 38 days out on February 7th.
With the Fitness Cliff rapidly approaching, Gold's Gym teamed up with Dr. Vranich to create a list helping at-risk individuals identify the top five signs that their New Year's Resolution is waning. These signs include:
1. You suddenly find yourself too busy to get to the gym as often as when you first started your journey to get back in shape
2. You begin getting angry that the effort you are making to work out and eat healthy doesn't equal the results that you are seeing in the mirror
3. You find yourself less motivated, forgetting why you even made this goal in the first place
4. You slowly begin to ease back into old patterns – ordering that guilty pleasure you've been denying yourself and trading your time on the treadmill for time in front of the TV
5. You start arguing with yourself – saying that this change is not needed and that you will make a better effort next year
For people experiencing any of these signs and worried that they are headed off the Fitness Cliff, fitness expert and celebrity trainer Mike Ryan recommends the following five tips to getting back on track.
1. Add some "class" to your routine – Whether it's functional training like TRX or moving to the beat with a Zumba class, group exercise is a great way to inject some energy into a stale routine and will help you with your pledge to get back in shape
2. Upgrade your workout – From smartphone apps to tech toys like The Fitbit®, enlisting technology to keep you on track with your goals will add a whole new dimension to your workout, helping you pump up your fitness slump
3. Don't do it alone – Finding a workout buddy or a support group to cheer you on is one of the most effective ways to stick with your regimen. Not only does it help to share your journey with a friend, but it instills some friendly competition that will keep you focused on hitting your goal
4. Get off the scale – If you're relying on the number on the scale to keep you focused, stop right now – the number on the scale doesn't dictate your progress. Instead, ask your gym for a body assessment, which will pinpoint exactly where the state of your fitness currently lies
5. Enlist a trainer – Even if it's just for a few sessions, working with a certified personal trainer who can design a program that's tailored to your body is the greatest step you can make to transforming your body and reaching your goals
Statewide Wellness Coordinator
Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section
Division for Disease Control and Prevention Services
Texas Department of State Health Services
P.O. Box 149347, MC 1965
Austin, TX 78714-9347
(512) 458-7111 ext. 6161