This is a guest article by Ryan Ropp, the Youth Sports Coordinator at the Hilliker YMCA. Ryan has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Bowling Green State University. Ryan has personal training experience and works, upon request, with new Y members providing them with a proper workout plan.
What is fitness? Fitness is defined as the condition of being physically fit and healthy. Many people believe that this means women need to be skinny as a rail and men need to look like body builders. In reality, what you see is not what you get. A better gauge of your health and fitness level is how you feel, not how you look. Anyone that has gone on a fitness journey will tell you that the first thing you notice is that you feel better. You sleep better, your mood is improved and you have more energy. Another common misconception is that to exercise at a gym, you should already be physically fit. This could not be further from the truth! Gyms accept members of all fitness levels. Most facilities, like the Hilliker YMCA, offer personal trainers to help get members started and keep them on track.
The toughest part of any fitness journey is the beginning. We have all been there. We make a New Year’s Resolution to exercise and eat healthier, but by the end of February, it’s back to the couch eating a bag of potato chips. Here are a few tips and tricks to help start and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
· Buy new exercise clothes – We all want to wear our new clothes more than our old ones. Getting new exercise clothing can motivate you to get to the gym.
· Change clothes before deciding not to exercise – Don’t turn down a trip to the gym before you change into your exercise clothing.
Change clothes first, if you still don’t feel motivated then take the day off.
· Find a workout buddy – Having someone to workout with allows you to hold each other accountable.
· Listen to your body – If you don’t feel well then don’t exercise. Working out should be a treat, not a chore.
· Plan your workout schedule – Know what you want to do ahead of time so you aren’t wandering around aimlessly at the gym.
· Don’t expect immediate results – It typically takes about 4 weeks for you to notice results and 6-8 weeks for those around you.
· Diet is a huge part of fitness and health – Weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise. You can’t out-train a bad diet.
· Don’t try to quit bad habits cold turkey – Try to approach quitting on a weekly basis. Take away a little bit of the bad habit each week.
This will help cut down on your cravings, making it easier to quit!
· It takes about 90 days for something to become a habit – Stick with it and good habits can be part of your daily routine.
Of course, these tips and tricks don’t guarantee results. The real trick lies in finding what works for you. Everyone’s body is different, so don’t be discouraged if something that worked for someone else doesn’t work for you. The most important thing to remember is that everyone started somewhere. So give it time, and soon, living a healthy lifestyle will become part of your daily routine!