Staying Fit 101

staying_fitIf you made new year’s resolutions this year, there’s a good chance getting in shape is at the top of your list. Accomplishing your fitness goals, and doing it right, takes some effort but is far from impossible! No matter your starting point, 2014 will be the year you whip yourself into shape and stay that way!

It sounds simple, but commitment is the first, and sometimes most difficult, step to achieving your fitness goals. If following through on your intentions means penning it in your day planner, creating a Google invite for yourself, or even making it your facebook status, do it! Designate the same special time each day to get your sweat on and respect it like any other appointment.

For some, joining a gym like Fit Athletic Club might be the key to commitment. Paying for a gym membership plus the added bonus of group classes, state of the art machines, and personal trainers make working out all the more appealing!

It’s better to get in a short workout than none at all, so don’t let a busy schedule stand in your way. Waking up a little early, taking time out of your lunch break, or pushing back dinner plans can give you more the 20 or even 15 minutes you need. Many gyms including Fit Athletic Club are open 5 AM to 10 PM, so there’s no excuse!

Be honest and respectful of your fitness level. Consult your doctor before starting a new regime. Listen to your body: if it’s too intense, stop or slow to an active rest like jogging in place. Don’t be afraid of modifications. Doing pushups on your knees or heel jacks instead of jumping jacks will gradually build strength and endurance without missing out on the exercise. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are at a higher fitness level, really push yourself and give it your all to avoid plateauing.

On that note, for the sake of improving your fitness level and saving yourself from boredom, diversify! Doing the same old thing not only makes you less excited about exercise but cheats your body of the full benefits. Switching up your routine burns more calories and makes your body work harder. Mix it up with spinning one day, kettle balls another, yoga the next, then a step class, or a run outside!

Lastly, don’t forget the basics! Drink water before and during your workout to both keep you hydrated and lubricate muscles and joints. Do a dynamic stretch before your workout and a static stretch afterwards, holding each pose for 15-60 seconds without bouncing to avoid muscles tears. Find a shoe that fits your style, activity, and gait. Now let the fitness begin!

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