Happy New Year! It is January and studios are getting busy! Most of the studio owners I know (including myself) spend November and December preparing to make January wonderful for you! I want to help you set some goals for the new year. As a personal trainer, this is a very exciting time of year for me because it’s my chance to encourage you to commit to your workouts which will bring a better quality of life for YOU! My goal is to take my clients to a place where they MUST workout; it becomes a lifestyle for them, not just a resolution. This Christmas I was very proud of my clients. They obviously wanted time off to be with their families, but when given the option to keep their private sessions or cancel them, almost all of them wanted to keep them and were willing to be scheduled at a time that worked for me. This is because they have been dedicated for the year (or many more) and know that a week off and can take them one step back. Don’t worry if you are new to fitness. Baby steps! I am here to help you along with any good and caring trainer you may seek for help! Below are a few tips! You can do it!
1. Log your workouts and log your food. This is at the top of my list. I have clients who use Fitness Pal or other devices and apps to help them keep track of their workouts. It simply does not work for me. I have to write with a pen and paper. Find what works for you and do it. You just have to do it and quit saying you are. You know that handful of m&m’s you tossed in your mouth this morning without thinking? You have to write it down. This will start making you think before you eat. Tracking how often you exercise will help keep you motivated. Especially when one mile becomes three miles or a 20 second plank becomes a one minute plank! There are several free apps that can help you log your information if you are more techy than me, I still haven’t updated my iphone to the new version.
2. Water Water Water! I believe you need to drink half of your body weight in water. Don’t drink your calories. Wine and beer should be limited. I have learned to drink one cup of coffee in the morning black. I really like it, but be careful for how many lattes you grab. I love a good latte, but they make me bloated. Sodas should be forbidden. They are POISON. You southerners need to limit your sweet tea! I drink a green smoothie almost every day, but I had to learn the hard way to limit the amount of fruit I put in mine. Too much fruit is too much sugar. Yep, there are apps to log your water intake as well! Check out the free Waterlogged app. Water Water Water!
3. Be Consistent. I have seen results at my studio that will make you step back and say, “Wow!” Let’s be honest, that would make all of us feel good! The folks that get the “oohs and aahs” are very consistent. One day each week is simply not enough. If you can only fit in one day each week, take a step back and see what you can do to add one more day. Double the effort! If you workout two times each week, double it! Give it a shot! You will feel better. No exercise program in the world works if you don’t do it consistently.
4. Cross-training is important. Strength training a minimum of three times per week. Pilates is my strength training. My studio has Pilates apparatus with different spring tension. I personally do not exercise with weights anymore, but that is an option. I also like to use my own bodyweight. Planks are wonderful for building full body strength and you can do it at home! I am convinced that to lose weight you must do some interval training. A basic idea here would be to walk two minutes, run two minutes, then jumping jacks for two minutes (repeating the sequence). Yoga is important for lengthening. I want to look feminine and fit, I do not want bulk so I stick to Pilates, yoga and TRX. I have recently added running back to my routine, but not long distances. One to three miles is good for me, and safer on my joints. I do have clients who run very long distances. It works for them, and I admire them for it.
5. Set realistic goals. No one is perfect. Don’t plan to run a 5K in one month if you never have! Make it a habit to walk 20 minutes each day until you can run 20 minutes each day. Soon enough you will be participating in that 5K! Don’t get discouraged when you cannot focus in a yoga class that is supposed to make you focused! It took me a long time to be able to focus. Now my mind craves the moments I receive in a yoga class where I can let the world go for an hour. Believe me, if I can do it anyone can!
5. Find an accountability partner! This should be someone with the same goals for a healthy lifestyle. Exercise together and send each other a quick text at night, “Did you meet your food goals today?” Keep it simple, but knowing that you will receive that question might make you think twice before stopping by Starbucks during your lunch break.
6. Make your fitness routine fit into your lifestyle. Not everyone can get to the gym. There was a time that I had a 4 year old, 3 year old and newborn at home. There was no way I was getting to the gym more than once per week, so I popped in videos. In fact, that’s how I found Pilates! Thank you Mary Winsor! Her infomercials convinced me to buy Pilates DVD’s for home. I did them consistently! Let’s face it, my form was probably terrible because I had no one to help me, but it was one step in the right direction!
7. Enjoy! Be sure to pick an activity that makes you happy. I personally do not know what activity in the world would bring more happiness than Pilates and yoga :0). If running makes you happy, then run! If walking makes you happy, then walk! Fine…if Zumba makes you happy, then Zumba! We offer a great cardio workout at Core Studio called PILOXING. It’s a mix of Pilates, dance and boxing. It is a tough workout, but it’s a lot of fun and really gets your heart rate up. Core Studio Instructor, Heather Moses, and myself were among the first instructors in North Carolina to be certified, but now you can find them all over the country. I am normally a purist when it comes to Pilates, but when your time is limited and you want to cross-train, I have to say it’s a great workout. TRX Suspension Training is also an amazing workout.
8. Figure out what time is your best. I have some clients who are their best early in the morning, and I have some who are much better in the evening. I am personally better an hour or two after I wake up. You should find the time that you have the most energy and schedule your fitness routine during that time of the day. Believe me, you will get better results.
9. Call in the Professionals! Especially if you are just getting started, a gym or studio can be overwhelming. There are professionals who can assess you to determine what types of exercise you need most. Depending on your daily activities, you may need to work more on agility, or you may need to work more on balance and stability. This will get you excited and improve your results. It’s not wrong to request just one session to make sure you connect with your trainer. At my studio, our staff has different personalities and fitness backgrounds, so we have found that while we are all great teachers, one may be a better fit for a particular person’s needs. Make sure your trainers have passion for what they do, make sure they understand form, and please make sure they are qualified. Do you want someone teaching your child geometry who never passed basic math? Just a question…
10. Eat organic and eat your veggies! I cannot say this enough! YOU HAVE TO EAT VEGETABLES! And…you need to eat from all colors of the rainbow. You will feel better and look better. The food you put into your body just as important as your fitness routine. I have one client who decided she would try a new vegetable each month. This has worked for her! She is now eating more than ever! Buy from your local farmers!
11. Have fun! Fitness should be something you look forward to! It may be tough some days and you will have to push yourself, but change your attitude from, “I have to workout!” to “I get to workout!” Be patient, and remember that even if you follow my tips there will be days you feel stronger than others. There will be ups and downs, but if you take your time the results will come. It does not happen overnight, but you will appreciate it so much more when it happens. Only you can make the decision to be healthy and fit! Stop looking into the mirror and saying you are fat, tell yourself you are beautiful, act on it, then believe it!
Here’s to a healthier you in 2014!
Healthy Please XOXO,