With the arrival of Jan. 1 comes an onslaught of health and exercise resolutions for the New Year, but by Feb. 1, those personal promises are often forgotten. We asked area fitness experts how you can start a new workout routine and stay committed throughout 2012.
CRAIG MARCACCI, personal trainer CM Fitness
▲ You have to develop the habit of working out: Try to devote just a minimal amount of time every day versus working out just three times a week. If you do something every day for 30 days, you’re much more likely to stick with it.
▲ Join a gym or sign up for a personal trainer. A financial commitment is very helpful motivation— people don’t cancel on me because they have to pay for the session either way.
▲ Set goals. Write down short-term, mediumrange, and long-term goals, rather than just one big, grandiose goal many months down the road. Put that list somewhere where you see it all the time.
▲ Create alternative exercise plans: Have a Plan A and Plan B workout, so if you don’t have time for the full-length Plan A, you can fit in Plan B.
▲ Start with simple and familiar movements and exercises. If you try too many new things at once, it can be overwhelming to your body.
ANGELA BROWN, physical therapist and personal trainer Fitness Design and Physical Therapy
▲ Ease into a new fitness routine to prevent injury. Start slow and make sure you have the correct form and technique; otherwise, your body will learn bad behaviors and you can hurt yourself.
▲ Switch it up. Don’t allow yourself to get in a physical and mental rut doing the same exercises every day.
▲ Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see physical results right away. If you’re one month into your new exercise plan and you haven’t lost any weight, focus on how you feel. You may not see the results yet, but you’ll feel healthier.
▲ Avoid trends in exercise and dieting. Instead, create permanent, healthy eating habits.
▲ Be realistic with your workout plan. If you start with six days a week, two hours a day, how long can you keep doing that? Decide what you can change now and maintain down the road.
CHRISTY FERRARI, personal trainer and fitness instructor
▲ Find a type of exercise you love. Whether it’s cycling or lifting weights, if you have a workout that you enjoy doing, you’ll keep at it.
▲ Try several different workouts to see what works for you. Take a few fitness classes—Zumba, spinning, fit camp, etc.—and go from there.
▲ Use the New Year to get back on track. If you’ve gotten a little out of shape, remind yourself how good you felt before and use that as motivation.
▲ Find a workout partner. If you exercise with a friend, you’ll have someone to hold you accountable and get you to the gym each day.
▲ Beware of pushing yourself too hard. It may lead to injury, and then you’ll be away from the gym for awhile and it’ll be more difficult to start up again.