KEARNEY — Once the ball drops in Times Square, newbies flood gyms across the country with hopes of making good on their resolutions.

Crowds thin in February, and by March, the well-intended exercisers have dropped their resolve to be more fit in the New Year.

Sound familiar?

It doesn't have to, according to Bill Bauer, a personal trainer at the CHI Health Good Samaritan Wellness Center. A college football and track coach for 32 years before moving back to Kearney in 2012, Bauer has spent most of his life helping others achieve their fitness goals.

“Improving and maintaining your physical fitness isn’t rocket science. It’s simple, but unfortunately, not easy. I guarantee, however, it’ll be one of the most rewarding things you do for yourself and your loved ones,” said Bauer. “The key is starting slowly, having the discipline to keep going and eventually increase the intensity of your workouts.

“Having a workout partner or trainer always helps with motivation,” he added. “Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. You can do it.”

Choose a realistic goal of exercise time each day. You’re more likely to accomplish a goal such as exercising 30 minutes, three days a week. And you may find yourself going above and beyond what you had in mind — which is a great feeling.

Small goals also have the potential for growth up to 30 minutes of exercise four days a week, five days a week, 45 minutes, and so on.

Encouraging yourself also can boost your motivation to do more. Did you take the stairs instead of the elevator? Did you choose a parking spot farther from the door then you normally would have? Did you walk three miles while shopping?

In the same manner, allow yourself to fail.

Sometimes our bodies are just too tired to exercise. It’s OK to skip your workout if you’re ill, aren't hydrated, haven't eaten or didn’t get much sleep.

Exercising when your body is fatigued actually may put you at risk for injury.

Exercise doesn’t have to be running on a treadmill or lifting weights. It can be whatever you want it to be, as long as you are moving and your heart rate is elevated.

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