With the new year comes an annual tradition for many people — a renewed commitment to fitness. But how many people will stick with the program past January?
It's easy to start a fitness and diet program. The tough part is sticking to it. Although people make health and fitness New Year resolutions that involve joining gyms in January, many typically stop visiting by March or April. [1,2,3]
To help you stay focused and maintain a fitness plan, gyms typically staff trainers who’ve earned degrees in health and fitness. Jenny Lindley is a certified personal trainer at Best Fitness in Albany. "We can help you reach your goal, whatever that may be. We like to think about it as just 'a to b.' So, you're at 'a' right now, you know your 'b,' you know where you wanna be. Our trainers know how to get you from 'a' to 'b' and reach your goal."
Trainer Dillon Hassett urges resolution-makers to be realistic. "I encourage people to commit to a process and understand that there's peaks and valleys to that. Our job here at Best Fitness is to just make sure that you're accommodated every step of the way throughout the whole process and that you kinda understand what's going on and where we are."
New arrivals at the gym get an evaluation and a suggested training plan. Workouts are tailored to each client. But you should talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness plan or diet.
Justin Faller is a visiting assistant professor of health and human physiological sciences at Skidmore College. "Talk with your physician and get an idea of what your bloodwork looks like, because there may be some things you don't know about that you need to consider with your diet. A lot of good information can be found on choosemyplate.gov which is a government-run website that has some very simple tips and tools to help individuals know what they should be eating and what amount they should be eating, and then how that impacts them on a daily basis. And it also has some information too on vitamins and micro-nutrients and where that can come from in your diet, so that way, although a vitamin supplement is not necessarily a bad thing, you can get a lot of that from your diet."
Faller's mantra is "Eat well and exercise smarter." "Nutrition is important because even if your goal is weight loss or just getting into shape, what you eat and when you eat is gonna impact your performance. So ensuring that you're eating appropriate nutrients and timing that around your workout and eating toward whatever your goal is gonna help you not only feel better but perform better and hopefully reach that goal whether that's getting in shape or losing weight."
Hassett says some people hire personal trainers. "People have trainers. The best athletes in the world have trainers. So no matter how good you are you can always get better. If you take it from that perspective no matter what level you're at you can always use help."
Bassett urges those interested in visiting a fitness club not to be shy about working out. "There's kind of this stigma in the gym that other people are watching you and judging you, but every person's here for their individual goal, so if you kind of focus on yours and what's going on in your life and your plate then you kinda tune out everyone else."
Trainers take their craft seriously, and Lindley notes every client is different. "I'll keep you motivated. I wait for you at the door. I text you, 'Hey, can't wait to see you in the morning,' I don't know about anybody else, but that's enough motivation for me."
Faller advises fitness-seekers that optimal weight loss and maintenance of that weight loss occurs when exercise and proper dieting are done together. He stresses that workout plans should involve cardiovascular and resistance exercises.