6 TIPS FOR TRULY COMMITTING TO FITNESS NOW
Remember that New Year’s resolution you made to really, truly, madly get in shape this year? The noble promise to yourself that you’d get off the couch, peel yourself away from binge-watching “Breaking Bad” and bravely blaze into the gym?
Trust me, we all have those heroic goals heading into the new year. And it’s never too late to turn the page and start a new chapter in wellness and fitness. The health benefits alone of regular exercise — reduced risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and certain forms of cancer — should get us all up and running. (Or walking.)
Let’s hit the reset button on 2016 and get back to those workout
goals. As the venerable folks at MyFitnessPal remind us, we need to forgive ourselves if we slip up. Because we will. Um … because we’re human.
As a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor as a nifty side hustle to my journalism career, I can — with authority — dole out these tips as you start or renew your workout regimen.
1.) MOST IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE YOUR BODY IS READY FOR A LITTLE SWEAT
If you haven’t exercised for some time and have health concerns, you may want to talk to your doctor before starting a new workout routine.
Sadly, I have seen too many people engage in insanely intense physical activity (daily) and then find themselves injured or burned out weeks later. Don’t be the weekend warrior.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you see your doctor before engaging in vigorous exercise if two or more of the following apply:
- You’re a man older than age 45 or a woman older than age 55.
- You have a family history of heart disease before age 55 in men and age 65 in women.
- You smoke or you quit smoking in the past six months.
- You haven’t exercised for at least 30 minutes, three days a week for three months or more.
- You’re overweight or obese.
- You have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
- You have impaired glucose tolerance, also called prediabetes.
Once you have clearance from the good doc…
2.) PICK AND ACTIVITY THAT YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE
as a way to tone and trim your body. If you hate tennis, then don’t take up tennis. It’s as simple as that. Zumba, Pilates, walking and Step aerobics are my go-to activities. If you’re a runner or walker, then check out https://runkeeper.com/search/fitness-classes/running/finish-a-race/half-marathon-plans. Best of all, load the free app onto your cellphone and you can keep track of your distance. If you have an iPhone 6 like me, then be sure to utilize the Health app that comes with the phone. Just be sure to keep your phone on you at all times to make sure every step you take is recorded on the dashboard. http://www.apple.com/ios/health/
3.) KNOW AND STAY TRUE TO YOUR FITNESS PERSONALITY
Not all of us, for example, may enjoy a class setting with 40 other people competing for the instructor’s attention, free weights or exercise mats. If you’re the solo type, then remember walking, cycling or running don’t require a teacher and can be done at your own pace.
Likewise, those of us who do prefer the social angle of a group setting can check out special offers gyms or fitness centers may offer. Your local YMCA is a great place to start. Groupon, too, often features special offers for group exercise classes. https://www.groupon.com/browse/dayton?category=health-and-fitness
Fitness comes with a steep price at times. The going rate for a one-on-one Pilates Reformer class, for instance, is about $45. I love, love, love Pilates, but I simply don’t want to spend that much money. I teach Pilates mat classes instead (my training was through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) at a local studio, where the owner also kindly lets me practice on the Reformer. Be inventive.
My friend Leah was out of shape, so she took a part-time job at the front desk of a local gym where one of the employee perks was a free membership.
Research what discounts your employer may give for gym memberships, too, and boldly take advantage.
4.) TRY DOING IT AT HOME
I am a firm believer in the at-home gym setting, too, without purchasing pricey epuipment that will probably just collect dust. Think of all those treadmills that end up as just another hanging spot for dirty clothes. I suggest creating a more practical environment with inexpensive tools like a stability ball (usually $20), some handheld weights and a yoga mat. Arm yourself with the best DVDs on the market http://www.collagevideo.com/, and you’re ready for a personalized gym experience at home.
5.) USE YOUR PHONE
Check out the free apps you can load onto your cellphone to keep you motivated. Sworkit (translation: simply work it) is a free app (iOS or Android) that lets you tailor cardio, strength training, yoga and stretching to your fitness level and time available. How cool is that? https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sworkit-workout-app-for-daily/id527219710?mt=8. And as I mentioned earlier, MyFitnessPal rocks in almost every category. https://www.myfitnesspal.com/
6.) GET THE GEAR YOU NEED
Make sure you have the proper shoes and, of course, some really cute workout clothes. The right shoes are essential for safety. This is one area in which you shouldn’t aim for the cheapest sneaker on the market. Visit a reputable athletics wear store and have the staff fit you with the proper shoe. Your tootsies will appreciate it. The cute clothes, however, don’t have to be pricey. Actress Kate Hudson has made women’s workout wear affordably chic and comfortable for all kinds of sports. http://style.fabletics.com/dms8159/?gclid=CNbtpqWww8oCFQMLaQodtsEOAg&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search_branded&utm_term=fabletics&utm_content=&utm_campaign=&mkwid=sj4gCB9ZL|pcrid|90994440400|pmt|e|pkw|fabletics|pdv|c|
This article was written by Suzette DeSart for The Daily Clutch.