New Year's Fitness Resolutions
Starting The New Year The
Resolutions You Can Keep
I always know when the New Year comes around. The gyms fill up.
My classes fill up with faces I've never seen before. Earnest faces.
Grimaces as they try to keep up with the "Regulars". Grins and whoops
when they "get it right", and groans when they realize that those rubber-tubing
gadgets with handles are downright difficult to stretch!
Some of those new faces stay and become part of the "Regulars", but
all too many of them will show up for a few classes, and never be seen
again. It's "New Year's Resolution" time, and somehow, many of those
resolutions get broken. It doesn't have to be that way, though.
You can start the New Year with a New Exercise program, and make it one
you'll stick with. Here's how.
Get a Fitness Assessment done by a Certified Personal Trainer before
you ever decide on an exercise program. Often, people just starting
out will look for classes which appear fun and somewhat fancy, without
considering their own ability to keep up with the level of the class.
And, while we instructors try to make it possible for the majority of our
participants to follow us, it is just downright impossible to teach a class
both at an "Advanced Step" and a "Beginning Step" level simultaneously.
(Well, maybe Larry or Denise can, but I left my water-walking shoes in
my other suit! :-) Anyhow, as I know from personal experience
as a Major Klutz, getting into an Advanced class as a Beginner can be downright
Most gyms and Wellness Centers have many levels of classes. Try
to choose those which are do-able by you, right from the git-go.
Nobody likes to fail, and if you're tripping over your feet in the back
of the class, while everyone else seems to be floating around on clouds,
it can get pretty disheartening. So don't get discouraged!
If you have problems with one level of class, move down one until you find
a class you can learn in a reasonable amount of time. Then stay with
that class until you feel that you're ready to advance to the next level,
because you are one of the "cloud-floaters" in the class!
Everybody wants results, of course. You sweat and strain, body
all achin' and racked with pain (well, a decent lactic-acid burn, anyhow),
and whaddya get? Dunno. Your bodyfat doesn't seem to drop right
off. Hey! It's been two whole weeks now! When'm
I gonna see some results, hmmmmm?
If you are a beginner to exercise, or even a casual exerciser, jumping
into a more-active regimen is not going to instantly take those thighs
or that gut down to size. Usually, it will take anywhere from six
to eight weeks to see any visible improvement, at all. But that improvement
will come; you only have to give it time! Remember that it
took a long while to get that excess on, and it's not going to come off
Remember that Fitness Assessment? Here's where you start using
it again. At about six weeks, get another one done, and you will
most likely be pleasantly amazed, if you've kept up your workouts and watched
your diet a bit. Now, you will have a real set of benchmarks to work
from. You'll see what you are actually capable of, and get some idea
of how long it will actually take to reach your fitness goals. But
if your expectations are based on wishing instead of a knowledge of what
you can really do, you may be very discouraged, and give up way too soon.
Don't fall into that trap!
This is a tough one for some of us. We want those results, just like
in the prior section, and we're ready to push it to the limit to get 'em!
Well, you should put a good deal of effort into your program, but there
are limits which you shouldn't exceed, or you could easily put yourself
right back out of that same program. How? Injury, perhaps,
or over-fatigue to the point that you simply don't want to continue.
Again, wanting those Results, and pushing yourself too hard to attain them
I sometimes wish I could just grab those durn "Info-Mercial" people
with the Magickal Exercise Machines, and their Magick Potion Instant Diet
Pills, and just shake 'em 'til their teeth rattled, for lying to you folks.
To hear them talk, all you have to do is buy their stuff, get on it or
swallow it a bit, and, voila! The Perfect Body is Yours, Virtually
Overnight, With No Work!! Then, when you find out it ain't true,
some of you go to the opposite end of the pendulum-swing, and push it to
the point that you just burn out!
Moderation, But Tough Moderation
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That's the ticket to real success in exercise and diet. Cut yourself
some slack, but not too much slack. Work out hard, but not so hard
you don't want to continue. Eat less food, but not so much less that
you feel deprived, or even starve yourself. I've said it hundreds
of times, but it is none the less true for re-telling: Find exercise
to do which is fun for you; exercise which you will want to continue
because it is fun! Eat a diet which you can enjoy, which provides
proper amounts of the nutrients you need for good health -- just don't
eat so much of it that you un-do all your good exercise work!
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