Eight tips to help you be successful with your fitness goals
Exercise physiologist offers advice to help get you in the gym and stay there
Starting an exercise routine can be exciting but also frustrating. Maybe you don’t know where to begin. Maybe you’ve tried in the past but after a few months find yourself not going to the gym anymore.
Regular exercise is important for many reasons from preventing diseases to maintaining healthy blood pressure and circulation to helping us sleep better. At the Wellness Center at St. Joseph’s/Candler, certified exercise physiologists help create personalized exercise programs designed to meet clients’ goals, while keeping them motivated.
“There are many health benefits to incorporating exercise into your daily lives,” says Kristen Maynard, exercise physiologist, with the Wellness Center at St. Joseph’s/Candler. “It keeps you active, mobile and feeling young. It helps prevent and maintain different diseases, whether it’s a metabolic disease, obesity or Parkinson’s or other degenerative diseases.”
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity for adults. That could be going to the gym several times a week plus walking on days you don’t go, Maynard suggests, or getting your heart rate up for 10 minutes three times a day.
If you are new to working out or getting back in the gym after some time off, Maynard offers these eight tips to help you be successful in your workout routine.
- Treat going to the gym like a doctor’s appointment. “You wouldn’t cancel a doctor’s appointment last minute just because you are too tired?” Maynard asks. Pick a time that’s good for you to go to the gym and write it down, put it in your phone or add it to the family calendar – whatever you have to do to keep that appointment.
- Get a personal trainer. If you need extra help keeping that gym appointment, consider a personal trainer. With a personal trainer, you already have a certain number of appointments set so you know you will go back. Plus, it’ll already be paid for.
- Verbally commit. Tell your coworkers, spouse, kids, trainer or whomever will listen that you are committed to exercise. Maynard believes when we say it aloud, we become accountable for our words.
- Start with your favorite exercises. If you don’t like to run, don’t run. If you prefer to bike, hop on an exercise bike. Even on her worst day, Maynard finds enjoyment out of her favorite exercise, which happens to be weight lifting. “You’re not going to want to do something if you don’t like to do it, so find an exercise you enjoy and start there.”
- Listen to fun, upbeat music or watch your favorite TV show while you work out. Most of the equipment in the Wellness Center allows you to watch Netflix or Hulu.
- Join a class. The Wellness Center offers a variety of classes that meet many needs and interests, such as yoga, core and circuit classes. These classes not only are great workouts, but also an opportunity to meet new people with common interests, Maynard adds. Find a class now.
- Recruit a friend to workout with. Along the same lines of having a personal trainer, when you work out with a friend, you are making a commitment to meet them at the gym. Also, working out with a buddy can make the time seem to go by faster and be more enjoyable. At the Wellness Center, you can take it a step further by signing you and a friend up for personal training sessions. Learn more.
- Start with small goals. Wanting to lose 50 pounds is great, but it’s also something that will take a year or longer to achieve. If you set smaller goals, such as working out 20 minutes a day or losing half a pound a week, you can obtain these goals more quickly, check them off your list and start a new goal. This also will help prevent you from getting frustrated and quit your workout routine all together.
For more information about the Wellness Center, located at Candler Hospital, visit our website or call 912-819-8800.