It’s been found that more than 80 percent of people fail at their New Year’s resolutions by February, once the luster of resolution season wears off, and only about eight percent stick with their resolutions throughout the full year. With motivation for ‘New Year, New You’ resolutions dwindling and February marking National Heart Month, Fitness Together, the largest one-on-one private, personal training franchise in the U.S., is encouraging Americans to take a proactive stance on their health.

As a Fitness Together owner and certified trainer, I have found that often times, people only really take their health into consideration after major life events like a heart attack, stroke, physical injury, or in an effort to make a New Year’s resolution. To live a long and healthy life, we must be proactive about exercise and fitness routines by introducing sustainable changes to our lifestyles and habits.

Regular exercise is scientifically proven to reduce the risks of heart disease and physical injuries. In fact, a recent study found that there is a connection between having a longer, healthier life and cardiorespiratory exercise. The study also found that not exercising may be worse for your health than smoking! Below are a few insights surrounding how proactive and regular exercise builds a foundation for a healthier life:

Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can put stress on the heart and body. It increases the risk of falling and is also a risk factor for heart disease. Exercise, along with a healthy diet, can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Exercise helps build and strengthen muscles. Combining cardiovascular and strength training is key for optimal health. Exercise not only helps maintain muscle mass, which naturally declines as we age, but also helps with agility and range of motion – both of which are essential to sustaining a high quality of life. Cardiovascular exercises consist of walking, running, swimming, biking – anything that elevates your heart rate. No matter your fitness level, these exercises help maintain heart health.

Exercise can lower blood pressure. Having high blood pressure is a major risk for heart disease. Exercise lowers blood pressure and slows down your heart rate. This Is true when you are at rest or exercising.

Exercise helps reduce stress. Stress is hard on the body and mind. Whether you’re a runner, weight lifter or enjoy yoga, you’re helping reduce your stress levels when you exercise, as these activities help the body release endorphins, which are natural mood lifters.

Exercise helps reduce inflammation. With regular exercise, inflammation decreases. This helps with the effects of heart disease. The key to realizing this benefit is to be consistent in your program. Thirty minutes of activity per day is better than an intense two-hour session once a week.

It is so important to take control of your health before it takes control of you. Know that you are not alone in the journey. There are resources including nutritionists and personal trainers everywhere who are on your side and ready to take action to enhance your health and overall well-being.

To achieve even greater results, you might consider booking a private training session at Fitness Together. There are currently over 140 convenient Fitness Together locations throughout the United States, including 44 in Massachusetts. Fitness Together utilizes a comprehensive approach that incorporates strength training, cardio and nutrition to maximize results and improve overall health. To learn more, please visit