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HEALTH&WELLNESS: Physician offers tips on setting exercise goals

SNELLVILLE — An Emory Eastside Medical Center family practice physician has a tip for sticking to New Year's physical activity resolutions: START.

START is an acronym for specific, time, allow, reward and track. Dr. Saghar Navid said vague ideas of exercise rarely lead to success.

"Be specific about what you plan to do," Navid said. "People are apt to say they will exercise more but they are more likely to be successful when they are specific about exactly what they plan to do."

Navid said whether your goal is to walk, jog or bicycle a certain number of days each week, scheduling is key.

"Write it on your to-do list and keep it somewhere you are sure to see," she said.

While consistency is important, Navid said falling off track momentarily is no reason to throw in the towel. Whether work responsibilities, sickness or bad weather are to blame, Navid said the key is to pick yourself up and get right back after it.

Meeting incremental fitness goals is important and should be rewarded, Navid said. Whether it's a new nail polish or a new tool, treat yourself to something for your accomplishment.

Lastly, she recommends tracking your progress by keeping a log of your activities including how much time you spend exercising and how you felt before and after.

"You'll be amazed at what you will be able to do in six months or a year from now," Navid said.