|While his fitness goal wasn't made as a New Year's resolution, Michael Dwyer knows all about making and sticking to one's goal. Since joining a local gym five months ago, Dwyer has gone down 40 pounds working at the centre three times per week and has just started attending boot camps. Raissa Tetanish - Amherst Daily News|
When asked on Dec. 29, 67 out of 139 online reader poll respondents said their resolution was to lose weight or improve his or her fitness.
In order to keep that resolution, the managers of one local fitness centre and the local YMCA say one of the main goals is to take baby steps and not setting yourself up for failure.
"You have to be ready for it," said Tynan Thacker, manager of health, fitness and recreation at the Cumberland YMCA. "A lot of people aren't really ready for it and those are the ones that drop out really quickly."
She says people making the resolution to join the gym or fitness centre to improve their fitness or lose weight need to keep in their minds it's a lifestyle change, something she says some people have a hard time accepting.
"Some people have a tendency to jump in with too much at the beginning. When they do that, they do too much too quickly and they wear themselves out. People need to pace themselves and take baby steps."
Brian Hargreaves, manager at Body Fit Health Centre, agrees with Thacker on taking it slow in the beginning.
"You don't want to set your goals too high and you don't have to go on a diet, but you do need to eat in moderation," Hargreaves said.
While both fitness managers say you should start off slowly at the gym, they recommend going at least a few times per week, working on different aspects.
"By working on a couple of different muscle groups each time you go to the gym, it discourages your muscles from always being sore," said Hargreaves.
Alongside eating in moderation and hitting the gym a few times every week, both Hargreaves and Thacker suggest buddying up for the workout, whether it's a friend from the get-go or one from the gym.
"People need the physical being of someone else to help keep them going. If you go to the gym instead of working out at home, you may meet someone with similar goals," explains Thacker. "It's harder to let someone else down than it is yourself."
Additional tips for keeping a resolution of attending a fitness centre:
- Mix things up - by switching your routine every two to three weeks, you can help alleviate boredom.
- Reward yourself - make one night a week cheat night where you can enjoy that chocolate cake or other delicacy, or even treat yourself to a spa day or facial once meeting a goal.
- Think of your workout as a doctor's or other appointment you wouldn't miss.
- Make sure you continue to eat - because you're burning calories, you need to replace those calories and then some, or your body will start taking it from your muscles.
- Have a trained professional set up a fitness program for your needs and goals.