The United States Registry of Exercise Professionals
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Three Ways Exercise Professionals Can Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

January 06, 2023

Did you make New Year’s resolutions this year? If so, you are not alone. Every year, two out of five Americans set New Year’s resolutions. This year, one out of two Americans who made New Year’s resolutions resolved to exercise more in 2023, according to the Statista Global Consumer Survey. In fact, exercising more was the number one resolution, followed closely by eating healthier at number two and losing weight at number three.

Those who make New Year’s resolutions know how difficult it can be to stick with them. Even with the best of intentions, changing behavior can be very challenging. A 2018 analysis of fitness app data found that Americans’ physical activity levels are up by 34% during the first week of January. However, the data also shows that people start abandoning their New Year’s resolutions to exercise more by the third Thursday in January. Only 9% of Americans are successful in keeping their resolutions, according to a 2016 study.

If you resolved to exercise more in 2023, working with an exercise professional can help you increase your chances of being part of the 9% who keep their resolutions for an entire year (or at least make it past the third Thursday in January). Exercise professionals are group exercise instructors, personal trainers, exercise physiologists, and strength and conditioning coaches. They work in facilities such as recreation centers, health clubs, and studios. They provide fitness instruction and coaching to individuals or groups of individuals.

Exercise professionals help people change their exercise behavior by providing:

  1. Social support. A 2016 review of 33 studies of exercise referral programs in the UK identified support from friends, family, peers and exercise professionals as critically important in helping make exercise a habit. In particular, program participants valued advice and encouragement from exercise professionals in helping build and maintain motivation to exercise.
  2. Goal setting. Exercise professionals help clients set goals that are more specific than simply to exercise more. For example, after working with a client to set a specific goal—“I will walk thirty minutes a day each weekday for two months so that I can participate in the Mother’s Day walk with my daughter”— they can help put an action plan in place to make that goal attainable.
  3. Accountability. Exercise professionals are accountability partners who help their clients keep their commitments to exercise more. They meet for scheduled sessions and put a plan in place for keeping clients on track between scheduled sessions.

Check out our registry to find a certified exercise professional near you.