Ushering in a new year often means ushering in a slew of new year’s resolutions — get fit, lose weight, eat healthy. Sometimes getting started can be overwhelming. It’s a challenge to take on a ton of new habits at once, but just taking some baby steps in the right direction will lead to better health. Grimes has a ton of resources available for those who are interested in eating better and being more active, so here’s to your health!
For many people, the hard part when it comes to getting fit is just getting started. For a lot of us, we aren’t sure where to start and the whole process seems overwhelming, so it’s easier to just keep putting it off….and putting it off. Josh Young, manager at Snap Fitness, says he tells people to just get going and take it one step at a time.
“Someone who is completely brand new at exercising, I recommend that they try personal training for a couple sessions so we can do a customized workout,” he says. “If they’re just wandering around not sure what to do, they can get discouraged. So we want them to have a plan.”
At Snap Fitness, customers can take advantage of free weights and machines, but new customers are also entitled to a wellness consultation. The meeting allows people who are new to exercise an opportunity to get baseline readings on things like weight and body fat, and to set goals.
There are lots of workout programs out there, but trainers will tell you to look into an exercise routine that incorporates all three of the main components of fitness — cardiovascular conditioning, strength and flexibility.
It’s important to start out easy, and then work your way up as you can. If you come in every day and do the same exercises over and over for the same length of time, you’ll stop seeing results. Your body will get used to the level of exertion, so it’s important to mix in new things. It’s important not to expect immediate results, though, because it can take some time for the scale and body to reflect your effort.
Nicole Hill, owner of Farrell’s Extreme Body Shaping, a 10-week workout program plus opportunities to continue on through its FIT program, says there can be a perception that a workout program like Farrell’s isn’t for beginners. But she encourages anyone to give it a try.
“It’s nice because with our classes, we can modify things,” she says. “Our coaches and instructors do a great job. I don’t want to kill anyone those first two weeks if they’re new. We modify and show them form and technique and give them the tools to survive and be successful. A lot of people are like, ‘I can’t do a push-up.’ OK, we set realistic goals and we change them throughout those 10 weeks.”
Fitness programs like Farrell’s can be motivating since they are group-fitness oriented, which can be a great way to stay motivated since the energy in a class can be more motivating than working out alone.
Another thing to consider when choosing a workout program or facility is convenience. Make sure it’s close and it offers flexibility. Eliminate the excuses of having to drive too far to work out or not being able to find a class that fits into your schedule.
For many in Grimes, the answer to the convenience question has been answered with Jazzercise, a dance-centered aerobic workout offered multiple times per week at the Grimes Community Complex. They now offer 20 classes per week with six certified instructors.
“At Jazzercise, everyone can work at their own fitness level,” says instructor Kate Payne. “Jazzercise instructors provide cues, safety and technique tips, demonstrate both high and low impact options, and even show modifications for those that need them. Jazzercise is a powerful, motivating and fun total-body 60-minute workout.”
For Hill, she believes exercise is just a reality when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s a healthy way of living,” she says. “Start because you want to be healthy. If you’re on high blood pressure medication and other medications, maybe now you only have to give me $60 to stay healthy. Come if you want to set a good example for your kids. Exercise is just a part of your day. It’s a lifestyle change, and I want to incorporate it as just another thing to do.”
For those who have been exercising, moving to the next level can be a challenge. Think about duration of exercise, increase intensity, increase the amount of weight they’re lifting, add new variety, incorporate interval training, cross train or just add something new.
When it comes to staying motivated, it’s important to celebrate milestones. Find something you enjoy. You’re going to be more likely to stick with it if you like it.
After Farrell’s members are done with their first 10 weeks, they can continue with Farrell’s Infinite Transformation (FIT). FIT program coaches do mini challenges, like six- to eight-week challenges. Members can pay a cash fee and get cash prizes.
“It’s to keep them motivated and set new goals,” Hill says. “What I want is for Farrell’s to become your home gym. This is my 45 minutes, and I deserve that time for myself. They need that relief and check it at the door and break a good sweat and leave and feel good about themselves.”
Young says if people aren’t seeing results, it’s time to sit down with a professional and figure out why.
“It is specific to each person,” he says. “We have to sit down and figure out why they’ve plateaued. Maybe it’s their workout routine, maybe their heart rate, maybe nutrition. And we sit down and figure out what’s going on.”
Of course the best way to stay motivated is continuing to see those results, so that’s why Snap Fitness has started offering program design, nutrition counseling and personal training. The training will incorporate one on one, group and boot camp style training programs. Young and his staff promise to make sure that no one slips through the cracks who is trying hard to get more fit.
“We’ll do small things like contests and want to make it fun,” Young says. “But make sure you have a game plan and know what you’re doing. If you have a game plan when you walk in the front door — you do your workout and figure it out and be done. It’s about forward motion and forward progress.”
Renee Lehman started working out at Snap Fitness two years ago, and she says her motivation upon starting was to lose weight and feel better.
“Pretty much right away I started personal training,” she says. “I talked to Josh and I knew that if I didn’t, I would walk in there and not know how to use the machines. I’d walk on a treadmill, and I’d get bored and quit. I wanted to learn more and also get a routine down and have someone there for nutrition advice and they hold you accountable.”
Lehman recommends personal training to anyone. Some people think it can be a huge commitment, but Lehman just uses it when she needs to change up her routine, not all the time. That personal attention ensures that she’s doing the exercises correctly and has a plan. She’s thrilled that her hard work and efforts have paid off, and she’s now 60 pounds lighter.
Claire Sowder got started with Jazzercise after she realized that since graduating from college, she wasn’t really doing much exercise. As a former dancer, Jazzercise was appealing, and now she’s an instructor.
“Any program, if they even think about it, give it a try,” she encourages. “With Jazzercise, it takes at least seven classes depending on the experience level of the person to learn the steps and combinations and dance steps. It’s absolutely for anyone. I see people of all skill levels and ages and shapes.”
Karen King was one of those people who wasn’t sure she could do it, but she gave Jazzercise a try. She joined through the Forever Fit program that is offered once each year for those individuals who have not exercised in awhile and are ready to make a commitment to their health and fitness with a goal of losing inches or weight.
King says she wasn’t really doing much working out, other than walking regularly. But she was bored, and she wanted the dynamic of a group exercise class.
“I’m 58, and I think when you turn 50, the weight just comes,” she says. “My clothes were tight, and I felt icky. I wanted to lose about 15 pounds or so, and I ended up maintaining at about 20-25 and my clothes got baggy, and it worked.”
King says the social aspect of Jazzercise is what keeps her motivated, as well as maintaining her weight loss. She set a goal for herself in 2012 to attend 250 classes. She did it – 252, to be exact.
“I did it, and I feel good,” she says.