LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For some the New Year means finally hitting the gym, but how do you keep that resolution? For starters, perhaps call it a goal versus a resolution.
“Goals are things you can achieve; resolutions you can dissolve,” said Jeff Howard, a Group Exercise Teacher at Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center in Louisville. Every year he asks those in his fitness classes for three goals.
“A lot of people just write down they want to just feel good when they look in the mirror or they want to feel good about themselves,” Howard said. “All they really have to do is be consistent,” he added.
The big question, what is the key to being consistent? Howard said he always finds that people say they want to go to the gym five days a week.
“But they are going from zero to hero,” Howard said. “That’s not going to be achievable.”
He recommends going to the gym two days a week if someone has been going zero days before, and one will see a difference.
“And then maybe in six weeks we’ll ask them to add another day,” Howard said. “You don’t want them to chew off more than they can actually do. You want them to be successful. So any kind of movement is good. Staying at home, even walking, is good,” Howard told Spectrum News 1.
Another key to being consistent is accountability.
“Whether it’s with a trainer, or with a friend, or with themselves, if they have that, writing it down, tracking is huge,” recommends Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center Personal Trainer, Jennifer DeGrella.
DeGrella also recommends trying everything at a gym to find out what one likes. That could be working with weights, cardio, taking a group exercise class, or swimming, to name a few activities. Both DeGrella and Howard said the key to continued exercise is enjoyment.
“And that’s why dance classes, going outside and playing sports, or whatever, movement is movement. As long as you move, the body is going to respond, and that’s the cool thing about it.” Howard said.
Another important aspect to sticking with the goal of going to the gym is location.
“See what will fit your lifestyle. It’s got to be close to your house or your work,” DeGrella recommends.
Timing can also help with consistency.
“Sometimes it’s better if people workout in the morning because then they get it done. If you put it off till the end of the day, like all of us, we get tired, and we don’t want to do it,” Howard said.
And when one is consistent with working out at the gym, or with any form of exercise, it’s not just the physical body that will change.
“Sleeping better, the stress is reduced,” DeGrella said. “There’s so many different aspects that it affects. Your emotional health is huge. You start to feel better.”