By Lacey Severins – Refresh Contributing Writer
With January having just ended and the holiday highs all but faded away, many people are attempting to maintain their resolutions for a fitter, healthier new year by heading to the gym and working out.
But as February trudges along, a lapse or two in gym sessions, runs and or lifts can cause people to foray into their pre-2014 routines. Life gets in the way. There are children and jobs. Weather and exhaustion tend to dictate what we do and when we want to do it.
Often times, that means not doing any exercising at all, as a priority to you takes a back seat to others.
A shift away from change isn’t surprising really – but demoralizing. Many people want to stick firmly to their resolutions, but as the all-to-familiar adage tell us, “Old habits die hard.”
So how do you break those habits and stay on the righteous path of being “slim and trim,” “tight and right?”
I spoke with Brandon Monin, owner and performance director of One Up Sports Performance and Fitness, in Cheektowaga, who provided some helpful insight for a healthier, happier you in 2014.
“A lot of the New Year’s resolution people end up jumping right into working out, instead of easing into it and starting off slow,” he said. “This tends to cause soreness, aches, and pains that will ultimately discourage someone of training. It’s difficult to go from doing nothing to an intense training regimen. I tell everyone that getting in shape is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”
Instead of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, those hyped up on new workouts get blinded and thrown of course by impatience and a fundamental lack of knowledge on how to properly exercise to get their desired results.
“Everyone needs to have realistic expectations, specifically, how quickly it will take to obtain results. This can be avoided by doing something as simple as setting short-term and long-term goals,” Monin said.
“Short term could be consistently making it to the gym three or four days a week. Long term could be getting down to a certain body fat percentage or body weight. It takes a lot longer to get into shape than it does to get out of shape.”
When discussing factors that typically deter people from working out, Monin offered these suggestions to keep you going:
- If you are busy, “Circuit training or performing multiple exercise sets while limiting rest time is the best way to utilize a short amount of time. If you are using cardio equipment the best way to utilize your time is to add sprint intervals. An example would be sprint the last 15 seconds of every minute.
- Finding yourself on the road quite a bit? “Body weight exercises can be done anywhere like: push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks and berpies.”
- And for those who really are getting back into things, or just beginning to work out, “Sticking with the machines is a good way to start. Jumping right into free weights with no experience puts you at risk for injury, which will ultimately force you to quit working out. My suggestion for the true beginner is to work with an educated, nationally accredited, certified trainer that can help you get started.”
Perhaps the one core concept mentioned during our discussion that should resonate most with people is lifestyle change: understanding that healthy eating habits should combine with new exercise routines.
“Someone just starting out with an exercise and nutrition program should be making changes slowly. I find it’s the people that try and change all at once that do not stick with it. If eating healthy and exercising regularly is your goal, begin by gradually incorporating the two,” said Monin.
At the end of the day, week, month or year, incorporating exercise into your life is both mentally and physically fulfilling.
“Mentally, you will feel healthier, more energized, and happier with your appearance. Physically, working out will improve cardiovascular health, increase lean muscle tissue, lose body fat, and create a stronger, healthier you.”
So with that, start slow, maintain a consistent routine and keep yourself motivated – and in time, you will see the results you want to see.