New Year, new activity goals 1 January 2014 Despite these good intentions, by the time that Easter is here, many people won’t actually be using their membership and will have swapped workouts for time sitting on the couch. If doing more exercise in 2014 is one of your New Year’s resolutions, then being realistic and specific about your fitness goals will help you to turn this resolution into a permanent lifestyle change. Here are some great tips to get you started: Get the OK from your doctor first If you haven’t done any exercise for a while, if you are over the age of 40, are overweight and/or if you have any complications from your diabetes, talking to your doctor before starting your new fitness regime is especially important. Your doctor may refer you on to an exercise physiologist who will be able to help you create a safe exercise routine if you have any complications or other chronic health conditions. Choose activities that you will enjoy Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or going for a jog. If you choose activities that you enjoy, you are more likely to make them a lifelong habit. Try walking groups, a team sport, different dancing classes or bowling. Remember that gardening and playtime with your children or grandchildren are also considered activity too. Adding variety in your activity routine will also fight boredom. Build up your routine slowly, especially if you haven’t done any exercise for a while If your long-term goal is to build up to 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week, you might aim to start with 20 minutes of exercise on three days of the week and build gradually as your fitness improves. Be realistic about your goals Many people are very ambitious when they start a new exercise routine and often set goals that are unrealistic for their lives, and give up completely when they get tired, sore, injured or busy. If you know that doing exercise every day is going to be difficult to do in the long-term, think about what will be easy for you to achieve. You are more likely to stick with a goal if you have been able to achieve it in the first place. Be specific about your goals If you are specific about your goals, you are more likely to achieve them. For example, instead of saying ‘I want to do more exercise’, a more specific exercise goal would be ‘I want to walk for 30 minutes on five mornings each week’. Invest in a good pair of runners Don’t waste your money on expensive exercise equipment or other gadgets â€“ a good pair of runners is all you really need. It doesn’t matter what type of activity you decide to do, protecting your feet from injury is one of the most important things to consider. Talk to your podiatrist about the best type of runners for your feet. Share your goals When you tell your family and friends about your intentions, you will have more support and you might even find a walking buddy. Now that you’ve got the tips in tow, get moving!