Perhaps you made your New Year’s resolution to finally lose a few pounds and get into shape. Did Santa bring you a treadmill and you hope it doesn’t become a clothes hanger? Or maybe you decided this is the time to join or renew that gym membership. Whatever your reason, here are five great tips that I hope will get you started on the road to a healthier you.
1. Find a workout buddy. Working out with a friend, or even a group is one of the best ways to reach your fitness goals. Elaine Green, a fitness coach at the Lakewood Ranch YMCA, says that “working out with a friend or group is the best way to stay motivated.” You want someone who will hold you accountable and says “where were you?” if you don’t show up. And in return, you do the same for them.
2. Hire a personal trainer. Most gyms offer personal training packages and prices vary from gym to gym. I spoke with Cody Bishop, the Personal Training Director at LA Fitness in Lakewood Ranch. He says that clients will see “the best results and improvement” when working with a trainer. LA Fitness offers 6 and 12 month options for their training packages. If your goal is weight loss, Bishop says the personal training route is the best available.
3. Use a fitness app. There are countless apps available. If you’ve always wanted to try a 5K but didn’t know how to start, there’s Couch to 5K, which takes 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week for 9 weeks to help beginner runners train for a 5K. If you need help with calorie counting, the My Fitness Pal app is one of the highest rated apps for managing diet and weight loss. These are just 2 of literally thousands of fitness apps available.
4. Join a web challenge. Again, if you’re looking for a specific type of diet or exercise challenge, there is probably a Facebook group that you can join. In 2017, I signed up for Veganuary, which eventually led me on my path to a vegan and plant based lifestyle.
5. Use your smartwatch, smartphone or fitbit. Aim for 10,000 steps a day. If you aren’t used to working out, start slow and let those steps add up. Here in Florida, it’s easy to take advantage of our beautiful weather. Walk the Ringling Bridge, walk a lap around Benderson Park or stroll along the incredible Siesta Key beach.
The best advice is to find what works best for you and do something that you like. My best wishes to all of you for a healthy and happy road to health and fitness in 2019!
Phots courtesy of DepositPhotos.