1. New Year. New You.

    Every year on January 1st we are all given a fresh start. A new beginning. A clean slat to begin a new year. Many of us set New Years resolutions to help us achieve this and one of the most common of these is to lose weight and get more fit.  Forbes magazine approximated that over 40% of Americans set New Years goals while only 8% actually achieve them. Don’t let that be you!

    There are tons of ways to get active in and around your Neal Community to help you stay active and burn off those extra punds this year.

    Let’s start with giving some tips on how to set “SMART” goals.  What is a SMART goal? SMART stands for Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. So instead of saying “ I want to get in better shape this year,” apply those 5 items. “I want to join the gym, workout 3 times a week, and loose 3 pounds a month every month this year.” This allows you to track and hold yourself accountable.

    So now, how to get more active! First, let’s start with a few small changes that can make a big difference.

    Consider taking the stairs versus the elevator. The website HealthStatus says a person who weighs 160 pounds burns about nine calories during a minute of walking up a set of stairs. That might not seem like much, but let’s say you do this just two times everyday in 2014. That’s an extra 6,570 calories burned.

    Park in a spot a little further away from the store to force yourself to walk a longer distance. Again, small steps that can go a big way burning extra calories without even trying!

    Get moving during commercial breaks! Instead of sitting the entire time while watching your favorite TV show, consider moving around during the commercial breaks. The Chicago Tribune estimates that a one-hour show has approximately 20 minutes of commercial time. Use it to do some lighter exercises such as push-ups, marching in place, sit ups, or even squats. Or why not kill two birds with one stone and do some chores during the breaks? Loading the dishwasher, folding laundry, dusting, or vacuuming will keep you moving about (and keep your house clean!)

    But why stop there? Especially when you have so many opportunities to have fun while getting fit in your Neal Community! As a builder in Southwest Florida, all of our communities are not far from the beautiful white sandy beaches of the Gulf coast.  Walks on the beach, swimming, biking, paddle boarding, kayaking, and surfing are all options for the beach bum in you. Not to mention, we have a feeling you will love the view. Or consider going for a stroll within your community.  Challenge an opponent to a game of tennis. The mayoclinic notes that one-hour of play can result in burning 584 calories in a 160 pound person.

    If you live in one of our communities offering a kayak or canoe launch, start paddling! One hour can burn as many as 256 calories and is a great workout to tone those arms and back!

    When is the last time you challenged your kids to a game of one-on-one on the basketball court?  Considering you can burn a whopping 584 calories in just one hour, you might consider starting again, tonight!

    Our Grand Palm residents have fitness classes lead by instructors designed to challenge every level and burn unwanted calories. Check out the class schedule for when Water Aerobics take place. Also, be sure to join the walking and running group or the bicycle club!

    Hit the pavement on your bike as your explore your community and burn close to 300 calories in an hour.

    If you doubt your dedication to accomplishing your resolution, grab a buddy to keep you on track and accountable. Whatever you do, don’t give up! Think how happy you will be in a year when you reach your goal! You can do this!

    Here’s to a new you in the new year.