How Can I Get Fit For the New Year? Experts Weigh In

Posted by Seraine Page on Tue, Dec, 27, 2022

How can I get fit for the new year?Fit2023

 If that question has been weighing on your mind (especially after you go in for that third cup of eggnog…) you’re not alone. Exercise and eating healthier are popular choices for New Year’s resolutions.

Yet research indicates about 80% of people abandon their goals by February. If you’re determined to get in shape in the new year, it’s possible with some planning and resourcefulness.

For added inspiration, we got insights from 13 experts on how to crush your fitness goals in 2023.

Here’s how to get fit for the new year:

Get Past the Suffering

“One of the most difficult things about getting fit and staying fit is getting over the first several days of suffering. Sedentary people with fitness resolutions require a week or more of dedicated exercise to get past the painful and demoralizing start-up shock of a new fitness regimen.

One way to accomplish this is by attending a boot camp or immersive experience to get past the start-up pain and get to a place where the body starts to perform.  Even fun immersive experiences such as cycling or hiking trips will get you over the hump.”

 Steve Silberberg, wilderness guide at Fitpacking Fat Loss Backpacking Adventures

Create Daily Intentions That Lead to Daily Habits

“Once you decide who you want to be, you can get clear on what kinds of habits and daily tasks you have to do that will make becoming that person a reality. Using things like an intention-setting and daily planner, you can start organizing what you want for the month, week —  and down to the day — that directly relates to your becoming that new 2023 version of you.”

 — Angela Gentile, owner of Sweat Remix

 Start Small

“To stay regular with exercise, I recommend that clients start small – for example, 15-30 minutes, three times per week. Then, gradually expand upon the session time and number of sessions per week. It is unreasonable to believe a New Year’s resolution is enough to make someone committed to long-term, regular workouts.  Gradually expanding the routine, rather than going from zero to the final goal, will serve to enhance the level of commitment and help prevent injury. It is also important to be reminded often of the motivation (e.g., improved health, weight loss, appearance) for sticking to an exercise routine.”

Jenna Nocera, MA, MFT, CLSC, CPFT, founder of Formula For Excellence

Put Check-ins on Your Calendar

“When planning your yearly calendar, add check-ins every month or every quarter to remind yourself of your goal and keep yourself honest throughout the year. If you've made specific goals, add monthly checkpoints that you want to achieve each month to get to your larger goal by the end of the year.”

Jennifer Scherer, medical exercise specialist, certified personal trainer, and owner of Fredericksburg Fitness Studio

Figure Out What Motivates You

“Everyone has different motivations for wanting to get and stay fit — whether it's improving your health, looking good in a swimsuit, or simply feeling more energetic. Identify what drives you the most, and use that as a source of motivation to stick with your fitness routine.”

— Deniz Efe, founder of Fitness Equipped

Document Your Progress 

“A journal is a good space to write your goals. Document your whole journey and track your progress by recording the mini-goals you achieved along the way and the areas that require adjustments. Journaling can help maintain positive energy as you work towards your bigger goals.”

Dr. Sony Sherpa, holistic physician and writer at Nature's Rise

Related: Workout at Home With No Equipment With These 10 Exercises 

Choose Workouts You Like

“Of course, you need to combine workouts targeting different muscle groups. But, if you don’t like training with weights, choose exercises with your own weight. They are just as effective.”

— Olesia Stefanko, fitness program creator for the HitFit app

Cut Yourself a Break

“Give yourself some grace. If you miss a workout or have an off day, don't beat yourself up about it. Just get back on track and keep going.”

— Vivian Yu, gym owner, certified personal trainer & nutritionist at OneBody

Make it Easy

“Too often people start out way too hard. The workout intensity is too high and it’s not enjoyable. You want to make the activity as enjoyable as possible as exercise, especially in the beginning, is not necessarily “pleasant.” Do short, low-intensity workouts to start. This is important because it will help you feel successful. The most important part of habit building is showing up and in the beginning, we need to make it easy so we stick with it.”

 — Dr. Nathan Kadlecek, physical therapist, Kadalyst Wellness and Physical Therapy

Bring in Mindfulness

“Consider incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your fitness routine. Mindfulness can help you stick to a fitness routine by improving focus, concentration, and mental clarity, and by reducing stress and anxiety.  

When you are mindful, you are present and engaged in the moment, and you are able to focus on your breath, your body, and your surroundings. This can help you stay focused and motivated during your fitness activities, and can also help you stay calm and relaxed, even when faced with challenges or setbacks.”

— Brenda Peralta, registered dietician for FeastGood

Add a Cheat Meal

“The best advice to stay on top of a fitness routine is to allow yourself a cheat meal every week. You can be demotivated very quickly if you are too hard on yourself. You need to have one day when you can eat those carbs without feeling guilty about it. Also, it is proven that a cheat meal boosts metabolism. The benefit is that you will stay focused on your fitness when you know there is a day you can let yourself enjoy some fat. You can also keep a food diary with you or jot your meals down on your phone to stay focused and disciplined.”

 — Vidur Saini, certified health coach, fitness writer & editor at

Join Group Fitness Classes

“Group fitness classes take the stress away from being active on your own. It's a lot more fun when working out with a group as you get to build friendships, compete and motivate each other and also switch it up.”

— John Gardner, co-founder & CEO of Kickoff

Make it a Non-Negotiable

“Fitness routines are great because we rely on discipline, not motivation. Personally, I treat fitness as a non-negotiable meeting with myself, that is usually my only time off from everything else. Viewing this as your non-negotiable time with yourself is a very good way to see that it's a ritual and that you deserve that investment.”

 — Karisa Karmali, founder of Self-Love and Fitness™

A Few Final Tips to Get Fit in the New Year

If you’re feeling pumped up to tackle exercise with more vigor, that’s exciting! Just remember to take things slowly and listen to your body. The ability to move your body is a gift and is one that can easily be taken for granted.

A few final thoughts on getting in shape in 2023:

  • Starting small is key - Our experts had one thing they all expressed again and again. Going hardcore into a new workout routine is a quick way to injury and isn’t sustainable. Small changes are what add to your overall fitness.

  • Challenge yourself - If your new workout routine is getting stale, change things up. Use weights, or resistance bands, or increase your repetitions. Make a gym date with a friend at a boutique gym studio. Change things up for better results and to keep exercise exciting.

  • Fuel your body right - You may have “earned” that donut post-workout, but how good are you going to feel in a few hours? Think about the impact your food choices have on your body. You’ll start to think about how you feel versus going after cravings.

Getting fit is about listening to your body and challenging it. We don’t all have the same fitness journey. Find exercises you love — whether it’s yoga, dancing, kickboxing, outdoor biking, or something else — and do it as often as you can. You’ll find it becomes part of your habits and routine and you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.

How do you plan to get fit in the new year? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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