by Kjersti Maday
It’s the month of January. Do you notice anything different? Nope. The world, and everyone in it, is the same as it was in 2014. But because of New Years, people think now is the best time to become a “new” them. To do so, they create New Years resolutions.
A popular New Years resolution is to lose weight. People go crazy with it, and businesses feed into the frenzy. I’ve received dozens of emails from clothing companies reminding me that they have athletic apparel on sale.
I’ve also seen a countless number of gym promos. Gyms offer lower rates and no sign-up fees during the month of January. This is great for people who have been considering a gym membership for a long time and know that they will stick to a consistent schedule of working out. However, certain gyms are only hoping to make a profit from the New Year “resolutionists.”
As a group fitness instructor and a self-described “health-nut,” I have a different perspective on these weight loss resolutions than those making them. I personally hate the tradition of New Years resolutions, because they only offer temporary motivation. But, to those of you who are really trying to live a healthier lifestyle in 2015, here are a few tips:
1.DO go to the gym.
The Wellness Center provides a great facility to workout using free weights, machines, group fitness classes and personal trainers. It’s included in your tuition, so why not use it? Get a friend to go to the gym with you, take a class together, go for a run around the indoor track or spot each other while you lift. There is nothing better for a group fitness instructor than to have a full class. So please, join us!
2. DON’T get a gym membership.
Take this tip with a grain of salt. If you live off-campus and have a working knowledge of gym equipment, join a gym. Also, many gyms offer personal training sessions and group fitness classes that help you get the most out of your workout as well as educate you on equipment and proper form while exercising. However, most students will benefit more from the Wellness Center’s facilities and educators.
3. Especially DON’T get a gym membership with Planet Fitness.
If you are interested in a cheap place to tan, this could be the gym for you. Otherwise, do not expect to get much else out of a gym membership at Planet Fitness. They do not staff personal trainers, and they don’t offer group fitness classes. What’s worse? The first Monday of every month they have a free pizza night and the second Tuesday of every month they give out free bagels. To me it seems a little counterproductive for a gym to tempt members with junk food.
4. DON’T get discouraged.
Those who are new to fitness, especially those making New Years resolutions, have a tendency to get discouraged. People have told me they get burnt out because they start going every day and run for 30 minutes or use the elliptical for an hour. No wonder these people give up so quickly! A good way to start getting into fitness is to ease into it. Start with small, short-term, achievable and measurable goals. Maybe start by going to the gym two to three times a week. Also, include variety. Burnout often comes from boredom. Find a class you like to take and do that for one of your weekly workouts. Then incorporate some workouts of your own. Mix it up!
Do your best to stick with your goals this New Year. There’s nothing more disappointing than giving up. But please, use your time and money wisely. If you’re new to the gym scene, go to the Wellness Center first. Ask questions. Try a group fitness class. See if an equally motivated friend will go to the gym with you. Accountability and variety might be just what you need to keep going after the New Years resolution motivation has worn off.