By: Brittny McGraw
It’s happened to the best of us: a new year rolls around and you decide it’s finally time to get your fitness game back on track. You buy a new workout wardrobe (because of course if you look good, you feel good and you perform better), join a gym and plan to work out at least six days a week! Then life happens, and before you know it, weeks and then months pass without you stepping foot into the gym. The good news for 2020: that won’t happen to you because we’re working to set you up for fitness success in the new year. We talked with JLRVers about what helps them crush their exercise goals year-round, and four ways you can do it, too:
Whether it’s CrossFit, walking, dancing or bungee fitness, an activity you enjoy is one you’re more likely to stick with. Hate Pilates? Then, starting with a fitness routine that incorporates Pilates 99.9% of the time may not be the best way to re-start your fitness journey. Lindsey Kennett, a member of the 2019-2020 new member class and a television journalist in Roanoke, gets her fitness fix through two activities she enjoys: running and Burn Boot Camp, which offers a mix of challenging exercises and unique programming. “(Burn Boot Camp) got me motivated to work out again because I sort of fell off a little bit at the beginning of this year,” Kennett said. “It’s mostly because I enjoy the people and the workouts and also the great thing about going to a group class like that is that everybody is sort of doing it together.” Sarah Kreger, who is in her fourth active year in the League and is busy raising a growing toddler, gets her endorphins pumping through Orangetheory Fitness (OTF), a one-hour, high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout that incorporates treadmill work, indoor rowing and strength exercises. Kreger said OTF even helped her to develop an appreciation for running. “I like that it’s always different and it’s really made me like running and now I’ve done some 10Ks and kind of upped my race distance,” she said. Picking an exercise routine that you enjoy can help you stay motivated, consistent and may help you discover more ways to work out that you find exciting.
Sometimes the hardest step is the first one, so just getting moving is a worthy accomplishment! If you’ve been out of the fitness game for several weeks or months (or years), set short-term, attainable goals in the beginning that will set you up for long-term success. Kayla Owata, JLRV Membership and Education Vice President, now works out 4-5 times each week. Her revamped fitness goals started with regular OTF workouts, and now include regular training at CrossFit Christiansburg. “That hour (CrossFit) session is more mentally what I need to forget about the stress of work or stress with my day-to-day life and it gives me an hour for myself, sort of like ‘me time.'” Setting an expectation of progressing from not working out to instantly working out seven days a week can lead to frustration and setbacks. Instead, set a fitness goal you know you can achieve and sustain, such as working out twice a week for 10-20 minutes, and then growing in your fitness journey from there.
HAVE A PLAN.
Now that you’ve set goals to ease back into your fitness routine in the gym or with at-home workouts, take time at the start of each week to plan the days and times you’ll work out. As you’re planning, keep in mind when you’ll be least likely to be interrupted or have other activities that could pop up and prevent you from getting your sweat session in. Commit to your workout days by writing it in your planner or setting reminders in your phone. Brittany Mitchell, an occupational therapist who has a toddler and is pregnant with her second child, said she often looks ahead to her work and family commitments each week to determine which days she can dedicate to working out. “The main thing for me is when I do have really busy weeks, I actually have to visualize fitting it into my day the day before to mentally prepare myself and to make it work,” Mitchell said. “I usually have a notebook where I write notes and a to-do list for myself and I always list working out as one of my top three things, so it’s a priority to me.” Start treating your fitness routine like an appointment with yourself that you don’t want to miss so that fitness becomes a regular part of your week. BONUS: Set out your workout apparel and pack your gym bag ahead of your workout so you’re ready to exercise the next morning or afternoon.
REMEMBER YOUR “WHY.”
Whether you’re training for a triathlon or want more energy to play with your kids, we all have our reasons as to “why” we work out regularly. As your fitness journey progresses, there will certainly be days that you’ll need a little extra motivation to get moving or push through a workout, and that’s when you’ll need to dig deep and remember “why” you started this journey in the first place. “It’s just great for so many things: heart health, working through stress and just a mental break, so I think it’s really important,” Kreger said. Mitchell shared the same sentiments. “My thing is this: you can’t pour from an empty cup. I realize working out not only helps me as a person but helps me as a mom, as a woman, as a parent and as a wife.” Countless studies show that being active can not only ward off health conditions and diseases, but it can also boost your mood and energy levels, improve your sleep, and help you connect with others who have similar fitness goals, all great reasons as to “why” to get fit.
Cheers to fun and fitness in the new year! You got this!