Central Ohioans dive into new year with new goals, challenges to reach them

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — For many, the new year brings new goals and resolutions.

For some, the month of January is the perfect time to commit.

10TV looked into some of the most popular New Year resolutions and the challenges central Ohioans have taken on this month.

Sara Stanley and her grandson have participated in all the hikes that are included in the two-month Columbus Metro Parks winter hike series, which promotes getting outside during a time when many may want to stay inside.

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“It doesn't matter who you are or what you do, this is a good thing to do for yourself,” Stanley said, after explaining to 10TV that the winter hikes help her keep up her walking skills when she golfs.

For some central Ohioans, the cold weather itself is the inspiration to get outside.

“We’ve been spoiled with pretty good weather so far but eventually that’s going to change and we need that positive peer pressure to keep all of us stepping out and moving,” said Eric Fruth, co-owner of Columbus Running Company.

The Columbus Running Company is challenging around 500 registered participants to hit the pavement for at least one mile each day this month to set the tone for the rest of the year, as part of their Inspire Columbus Winter Running Challenge.

“Being on a treadmill can sometimes feel like a hamster on a wheel,” Fruth said. “Getting outside we can really enjoy our city and our community and we can do this as a group and really share that moment, and that's just so much more rewarding.”

The end goal, Fruth explained, is ultimately to keep the goals up, even once the month is over.

“If we get to next January 1 and people can look back and say, 'Oh, I had four great weeks and then 11 months of nothing,' it didn't work,” he said. “So the plan is, get people moving and get them to really stick to that resolution beyond just the window of the challenge itself.”

Others use dietary challenges to ring in the New Year, such as clean eating or giving up alcohol for the month of January.

“Month-long challenges can be actually a really fun way to jump-start some better habits for the new year,” said Sally Kuzemchak, a registered dietitian and Real Mom Nutrition blogger, who believes a re-charge diet could benefit people looking to make a healthy change.

“I don’t see a problem with doing something like that every once in a while,” she said. “Maybe you come back from a vacation and you just feel like, ugh, so over-stuffed.”

While Kuzemchak urges anyone with a history of eating disorders to stay away from diets of any kind, as they could trigger those behaviors, she also cautions others experimenting with a month-long diet.

“The problem is, is when these month-long challenges eliminate a lot of your favorite foods, eliminate whole food groups or are so low in calorie, like a juice cleanse, like a detox diet, that you're hungry all the time,” she said. “So you may be able to lose weight and maintain those habits over the course of that challenge but once that challenge ends it's really hard to make those habits sustainable.”

Kuzemchak offers one easy suggestion to keep dieters from falling back into old habits. “I like to think about, instead of taking things out of the diet, I like to think about what you can put into the diet,” she said. “Because when you focus on what you can have, that feels better.”

More tips:

  • Keep a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter or on a desk to offer immediate relief when hungry.

  • Fill a pitcher of water and leave it on the kitchen counter or a desk with the intention of finishing it each day.

  • When eliminating foods to get to the bottom of irritation, eliminate one food at a time and track symptoms intently.

  • Eat enough nourishing foods to stay satisfied.

  • Make a big batch of food at the beginning of the week to sustain meals all week long.

Find more tips from Real Mom Nutrition, click here.