By Copper Williams
Rise and shine, San Joaquin! It’s a fresh start to a new year and you know what that means: It’s time to get off that sofa, slip on your shoes, and get started on those resolutions! And I’m not talking about just any resolutions. Oh, no, no… This year, you’ll be putting your foot down to finally commit to all things fitness! Feeling a little sore already? Well, don’t you fret!
We’ve asked our leading health, fitness and nutrition experts for the low-down. So whether you’re coming in straight off the couch or after hitting the gym a few times back in 2015, you’re sure to gain some helpful advice on how to handle your resolution hurdles!
Bringing Workouts Back
So, you haven’t worked out for a while and you’re pumped to get back in the game? That’s great news! A spark of ambition is all you need to begin your journey toward looking your very best. That, and a little bit of time, patience, and commitment! Of course, let’s not forget some helpful advice from an instructor or two. These people are experts on the workout floor and their job is to help you figure out the plan that suits your current ever-increasing potential.
“It is common to experience fatigue and lower levels of strength than you may be used to. Don’t worry this will improve quickly. The most important thing is staying consistent with your workouts and the results will consistently improve.” – Josh Lyons, Vice President of Fitness at In-Shape
An instructor will normally ask you to take a brief survey on your current fitness goals. They’ll send you through a routine that will assess your level of fitness and will prescribe the right personally shaped program for you. But before you run off to begin your second calling as an Olympian-gymnast, remember: You’ve been out of the ring for a while! Your workout should begin as a gradual and full-bodied process. A careful and consistent routine will keep you from inflicting unnecessary injuries. Don’t be afraid to take those breaks, either! It will give your body the time it needs to repair anything you’ve broken down, making it that much stronger!
“When people begin Crossfit 209 Sport, it is a very basic, slow process of learning proper mechanics (technique) for the foundational movements: squat, deadlift, press. People underestimate how out of shape they are and can be at risk for injury if they go too hard… The main goal is [to] regain some basic fitness, especially in joint mobility.” – Gabe Subry, Owner of Crossfit 209 Sports
Hit a Plateau with Nowhere to Turn
It’s never fun when you’ve hit a wall during your workout. It’s even less fun when you’ve spent needless time and effort trying to get over that hurdle with nothing to show for it. Luckily, there are some sure-fire ways to turn the tides and take your fitness routine up a level!
“Consider your workout like a relationship. In the beginning, the newness feels so wonderful and your responses are heightened, but after time, the flame dwindles and you need to create an alternative approach. Get out of your “I need to do this because it worked in the past” and move toward, “my body is bored, change will help create new energy.” – Pam Lewis, Owner of Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Try switching up your training regimen and go for something a little different! The same old routine done month after month will only keep your body hustling for so long.
Adjust your exercises every couple of months or so and you’ll notice some major changes in how your body reacts! This can range from a simple change in what exercise goes first, or can mean a whole new method provided by your instructor.
“It is very common to overestimate how many calories are burned through exercise and underestimate the amount of calories actually eaten. Try tracking food and exercise to see which way your scale is tipping” – Andrea Chapman, Registered Dietitian at Lodi Health
Reduce that Stress to Renew
Many of us have learned the art of the stress headache. After all, all those late night deadlines, business meetings and venom-infused phone calls with the boss do add up! But not to worry, because we’re here to help you slow things down and put them back into perspective.
“Vinyasa flow yoga refers to the connection of breath with movements of the body. Students experience a dancelike quality in the practice, involving a creative and continuous deepening of the yoga poses in an effort to attain present-time awareness.” – Pam Lewis, Owner of Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Your first step? Pick your passion! Because, as our experts can attest, getting out and getting active is the perfect solution to seeing some of that stress slip right off your shoulders! So if you’re the dancing queen, get down with your bad self!
Interested in taking things a little slower? Catch your breath with a few gentler yoga moves or the soft, steady steps of Tai Chi Chuan. These exercise styles and so many more are perfect for forcing concentration onto what you’re doing in the here and now, providing a powerful outlet for all those pent up frustrations!
“For optimal health, which includes good energy levels and a good mood, it’s best to incorporate lots of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet, as well as whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. If this seems very basic, that’s because it is! The very best diets are the ones that are simple, well-rounded and maintainable.” – Yesenia Cihuacoatl, MS, RD, CDE, Nutrition Manager at St. Joseph’s Medical Center
Let the Weight Go, Let It Go.
Oh, man. You’ve got that cocktail party coming up, your best friend’s wedding is a few weeks away and swimsuit season is coming up at neck-breaking speeds! Whatever are you to do?! First. Put down that box of ice cream cookie dough and step away from the freezer. Good. You’re on the right path, my friend. So, what’s next? Let’s take a look into the fridge because, believe it or not, your salvation is nigh.
“Instead of dieting, try simple changes that you can maintain for the rest of your life – they will add up. The easiest place for many to slash calories that will promote gradual weight loss is… not drinking them! I recommend drinking water and other calorie-free beverages.” – Andrea Chapman, Registered Dietitian at Lodi Health
Begin by chucking all those brownie bites and saying farewell to those fried foods! It’s time to ditch the junk in favor of all things fit forming! With a plethora of fruits and vegetables at your beck and call, you’ll be able to indulge in your inner foodie without gaining a muffin top! So tame that sweet tooth with a pineapple spear and keep your stomach from growling with some steamed broccoli! Keep powering through your usual workout routine and make sure you’re burning more than you consume!
Gaining Muscle with the Masses
“Movements like the squat, deadlift, and bench press will add the most mass. [The workout] just needs to be intense and heavy. Then, most importantly, the athlete needs to eat tons of calories!” – Gabe Subry, Owner of Crossfit 209 Sports
It’s time to pump it up and proudly display those pythons for all to see! Because when you’re hitting the gym in all the right ways, you’ll be plenty happy to provide directions with a perfect point of the finger. Eager to begin? Then get ready to break it down!
Building up muscles starts the moment begin tearing them apart. Really! During your workout, you’re straining and breaking down these crucial aspects of yourself so that they can begin anew! And by taking time to rest after your workouts you’re allowing your body time to gather up the essential nutrients it needs to build your muscles back up! So, make sure you’re feeding yourself an ample amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats to keep this machine in fine form.
“One of the best pieces of advice for gaining muscle is to change your training routine frequently. This will help you avoid plateaus, which is when your body gets used to your workouts and stops changing. Your body can adapt quickly to a training program so variety is a critical piece of achieving consistent gains.” – Josh Lyons, Vice President of Fitness at In-Shape
Fit & Healthy Meets with Fun
If you aren’t too keen on hitting the stepper machine and even mentioning the word “burpee” makes your toes curl, perhaps you’re more inclined to mix a bit of fun into your fitness routine!
“Zumba is a full body workout that focuses on toning and shaping your legs, hips, thighs, and core as you dance, shake, and shimmy your way through the workout. The music is fun and upbeat and the instructors are trained to create a challenging but very achievable workout that is equal parts fun and effective. It only takes one class to get hooked!” – Ingrid Owen, Vice President of Group Fitness at In-Shape
Take Zumba, for example. This dynamic dance routine has been a sensation ever since its conception. Get a bundle of buddies together and take on the Zumba challenge! You’ll be having too much fun to worry about how long you’ve been going strong. If busting a move totally bums your groove, try taking a dip! The benefits of paddling around in the pool, even if you’re just staying afloat in the deep end, are enormous! You’ll be taking it easy on your joints while burning unnecessary calories.
Your Diet Makes all the Difference
Sometimes, all it takes to get yourself feeling the way you ought to be is a few changes in the menu! And with the right state of mind and a little more green on your plate, you’re well on your way to making your dietary changes your new year’s reality!
“Try to abstain from shoving food in your mouth when you are feeling blue or full, it’s only feeding the negative fire within. Lastly, you ARE what you eat…your complexion, energy level, and ability to think are all affected by the foods you put into your system.” – Pam Lewis, Owner of Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Whenever you’re out on the town or taking a time out at home and ordering in, don’t go for anything with a high-salt, high-sugar, and high-fat combo. This triple-threat was perfectly composed to be highly addicting. Before you know it, you’ll be looking for seconds and thirds, and the more you eat the worst you’ll be feeling.