How to Approach your New Year’s Fitness Resolution
Holiday bingeing often brings new or renewed post-holiday vows for improved health and workout commitments in January.
At the Jewish Community Center (JCC) at 16801 Baxter Rd., Fitness Manager Bernie Suddarth says not much is necessary for exercise besides comfortable shoes, socks, shorts and a top. Other necessary items will be determined by your workout which will be determined by your fitness goals.
He says the first step in starting or re-starting a fitness program should be talking with a fitness professional and developing a fitness map. Most gyms offer the service free to members.
A fitness map defines personal goals, strategies, and realistic outcomes, and reduces discouragement, frustration, and ultimately quitting a workout regime because results and time frames are unrealistic.
At Blue Ocean Fitness (17065 Baxter Road), Owner and Fitness Coach John Farkas says “a program that’s specific to each individual isn’t going to provide the desired outcome tomorrow, but it is going to speed up the process.”
Farkas says that while most healthy folks can have a successful fitness workout at home with just inexpensive resistance bands (large rubber bands that work various muscle groups) the programs usually fail for the same reason as people with in-home gyms: there’s little accountability and encouragement. As a result, commitment eventually wanes.
Gyms can fill those needs, both experts say.
Blue Ocean Fitness is a small storefront space in a retail and office center. Because “everyone knows your name,” Farkas says members are likely to get a call to encourage them to return to the gym if they miss too many days.
The large JCC is a place where you may run into a neighbor, friend, co-worker, or family member, Suddarth says, and enjoy socializing as well as a workout. “It really is a community center.”
Both Farkas and Suddarth say they don’t personally use a lot of specialized equipment for fitness but do have favorite workout items.
Farkas enjoys using TRX bands. Like resistance bands on steroids, the heavy-duty bands suspended from metal beams support his entire weight when he leans back. The combined back and up movement works a variety of muscle groups.
Suddarth says his gym bag is “loaded” because he does weight lifting. But, as part of his normal fitness he likes using yoga tune-up balls–solid rubber balls for massaging muscles that get overused during sedentary activities like working at a desk. To “wake up” and gently stretch underused muscles, he uses a variety of different size resistance bands.
One thing both experts say is often overlooked but is the most important thing to pack in a workout bag is an inexpensive bottle of water.
Farkas says most people don’t get enough water throughout the day, so they’re already dehydrated before a workout. He suggests drinking about a half-gallon of water every day to stay adequately hydrated.