Have trouble keeping New Year’s resolutions? Fitness experts have some advice

Easy to make and even easier to break, New Year’s resolutions can be both motivating and daunting.

Losing weight, getting in shape, eating healthier and reducing stress are among the most common goals for those wishing to turn over a new leaf in the new year. According to the American Psychological Association, an estimated 90 percent of Americans make resolutions, but a study conducted by the University of Scranton found that around 80 percent fail to keep them.

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The APA has several tips to help increase your chances of success. Among them are starting small; changing one behavior at a time; talking about your goals and asking for support. And if you suffer a misstep, don’t give up and don’t beat yourself up.

If improved fitness is the goal, there are countless ways to achieve that objective. Hit the gym or hit the trails, paddle, pedal or try Pilates. It can take time to find the exercise routine that’s best for you. Perhaps 2020 is the time to find your passion.

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Local fitness experts weigh in on New Year’s Resolutions:

Dick Ferguson (Licensed massage therapist): Resolve to take life as it comes rather than anticipating too much and feeling the anxiety this produces. Stretch in the morning. Breathe deeply. Eat a little less. Smile a lot more.

Kelly Kingery (MetroParks outdoor recreation specialist): Hit the trails! There are lots of different trail distances for different age groups and ability levels that loop right back to where you start. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate or coffee and get some friends to see the wonderful winter scenery with you while walking off all those yummy holiday treats The land is covered in a soft blanket of snow making it easy to let your mind relax and your stress melt away as you watch the birds flit here and there and you simply breathe and enjoy. No snow? No problem, the walk is still relaxing and good for the mind and body.

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Rich Munn (TFIT Gym): First, set goals that are realistic and obtainable. Instead of saying "I want to lose weight," set a goal of losing five pounds in January. When that is obtained, set a goal of losing six pounds in February, and so on. Then, develop a plan that takes into account your time, family, work and money. Then work backwards from your goal date to timetable your plan. Then, and this is the challenge — stick with it! Be consistent and determined. There are no substitutes for hard work and perseverance. Lastly, get knowledgeable help. Of course I want everybody to hire a personal trainer even if it's for a short time span. Your friends are not going to hold you accountable. If you are paying someone money, you are going to show up.

Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp (Dayton Hikers): Make a New Year's Resolution to get exercise, explore nature and make new friends by hiking with the Dayton Hikers group. Keep your resolution attainable by pledging to yourself that you will attend three beginner hikes within two weeks. Bring a friend to help you stay accountable. You might find that hiking is for you. All hikes are free and led by experienced leaders. Sign up at www.daytonhikers.org

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Randy Ryberg (MetroParks outdoor recreation coordinator): Bicycling is a great way to exercise and the Miami Valley is home to the Nation's Largest Paved Trail Network, so there are lots of options to get out and bike. Join a cycling club such as Major Taylor Cycling Club of Dayton, Dayton Cycling Club or the Miami Valley Mountain Bike Association to meet new people who share your passion.

Debbie Stirsman (Inner Dance Yoga Center): You know that I think yoga practice is the greatest thing in the world! With my "Type A" personality, I am reminded every single day just how great it is for me and, in every class I teach, I see the myriad of positive ways the practice affects other people's lives. Practicing yoga is simple — stop, pay attention to right now, create some mindful movement in your body, breathe and you'll feel better.

Lynda Suda (2nd Street Market manager): Eat healthier. The 2nd Street Market has clean meats and dairy, as well as fresh produce — we will have Mile Creek every other Saturday in January and February as well as Dayton Urban Green and Homefull selling local produce as long as they can. There are also a lot of healthy prepared food options offered by vendors for people who want to grab a meal.

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