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Tips to push past 'Cliff Week' with your New Year's resolutions

By Jenniffer Michaelson | Posted - Feb 20th, 2014 @ 6:05pm

SALT LAKE CITY — It's that time of year when a New Year's resolutions to get in shape start falling by the wayside. In fact, this week in February is known as "Cliff Week."

The New Year has come and gone. You may be one of the millions of people that resolved to become healthy and fit in 2014. And as the days roll on, the motivation to keep going can be hard to come by.

“We tend to set those goals pretty high and unrealistic. That’s why it’s easy to fall off the bandwagon,” said Traci Heiner, supervisor in cardiac rehab at Intermountain Healthcare.

When coupling that with a side of frustration, if the scale stubbornly refuses to budge, it can often be the dumbbell that broke the camel's back, leading many to abandon their New Year's Resolutions by mid-February.

“If we're a little realistic with our goals, and we make one or two small changes a try to stick with that for a month of two at a time till we feel comfortable with it, then it’s much easier to stick to it,” Heiner said.

Heiner said it’s also helpful to avoid boredom with your exercise routine.

“Variety will really help. Maybe we're on the treadmill a little bit, maybe we're on the bike, at the pool, we take some of the classes — yoga, Zumba — mix it all up for a variety mentally,” Heiner said. “But physically, it’s also important because muscles are very specific to what we are doing. We're training the muscles in accordance to what the activity is.”

If people feel their goals are slipping farther away, Heiner said to remember that they cannot maintain a healthy body weight without exercise and diet.

To maintain a healthy body weight, Heiner recommends about an hour's worth of exercise, six days a week. She also suggests stretching for 5 to 10 minutes before and after a workout to increase flexibility and prevent injury.

“It’s just staying active and having fun with your activities that you're doing," Heiner said. "You'll feel good and your heart will feel good."

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