New Year’s fitness resolutions are so common that trainers and health professionals prepare for an influx of clients every January.
Katina Rice, a licensed Zumba instructor, says that of the multitude of newbies that will flock to her classes in the next several weeks, only some will fulfill their resolutions, while others won’t. The difference, she says, depends on devotion.
“We’ve got ladies that started in January and they stuck with it and have lost weight, but not only did they lose weight, but they feel better about themselves; they have more energy; they are more confident,” she said.
Rice said pacing oneself and patience are key. Don’t expect weight loss overnight, she warns, as it takes up to six weeks after starting a fitness regimen before real results can be seen. Rice said realistic goals should be set and that exercise and changes in diet must be utilized to achieve success.
Finding a comfortable place and venue to exercise is also important, she said. Those comfortable in a group exercise setting can find encouragement and motivation amongst their peers. Going to the gym or exercise class can also remove distractions that can keep people from exercising at home.
To capitalize on the New Year’s fitness rush, many fitness programs offer discounts or free sessions to let new clients try out their services. Rice will be conducting a free session on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 9:30 a.m. at the Kernersville Parks and Recreation Community Center, 125 E. Bodenhamer St. in Kernersville. The session will include Devoted Fitness, a Christian-based dance workout, as well as Zumba.
Alonzo Brown, an independent personal trainer, is ready to help new clients meet their health and fitness goals this year. He designs and leads specialized workouts for individual clients and conducts fitness boot camps – both indoors at gyms and outside at local parks. Brown is also a consultant who provides health tips, motivation and workout plans to clients, including some who live out-of-state.
He says the cookie-cutter method of fitness doesn’t work. Each person has to find his or her own way to get fit.
“My recommendation is to try it all,” he said. “You have to feel out what works. Some people are more comfortable with a one-on-one, where it’s just you and me. Some people don’t like that … they’d rather have a group of people around, and they’d feel much better with more people like themselves. And some just want to come in (to the gym) with a friend, someone they know and trust. It just depends on the person.”
Whatever path you choose, Brown suggests that those striving to get fit write down their goals and find a family member or friend who can provide them with support and motivation.
When one starts a new exercise routine, Brown suggests that they do the routine daily for 21 days, which is said to be the amount of time it takes for something to become a habit. If you miss a day, you should start over, until you achieve 21 straight days, he said.
He also believes variety is essential. He frequently changes up exercise routines for his clients so workouts don’t get stale or boring. Any fitness effort needs to become a lifestyle to truly be successful, he said.
Sonya Wagstaff, a fitness instructor and founder of the Kid Fit for Life Youth Obesity Initiative, said a fit lifestyle is something that needs to be imparted early on. She said it’s not unusual to see children making fitness resolutions or parents wanting their kids to become active in the new year.
She recommends that parents sit down with their children to devise fun and sustainable fitness activities. Finding a program, sport or activity that a child enjoys is key, she believes.
“It’s necessary for parents to have that candid conversation and encourage kids to enjoy becoming active, and parents know best what their kid’s strong suits are,” Wagstaff said.
When it comes to kids getting fit, the involvement of the entire family is essential, Wagstaff believes. Parents can inspire and motivate their children by setting a positive example by exercising and serving healthier food. Curtailing sedimentary activities like watching television or sitting in front of a computer can be of help, too.
Wagstaff’s non-profit, Kid Fit for Life, offers both exercise and nutrition classes for children. The program will hold an open house, which will include a variety of activities and health screenings, on Sunday, Jan. 26 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Winston Lake Family YMCA, 901 Waterworks Rd., where Kid Fit sessions are held.