March 2017 archive

5 Steps to Get Your Fitness Back on Track


We are well into the New Year and it’s time to take a good, hard look at how you’re doing on your fitness goals. If you’re like many people, you started the year with gusto and newfound determination. You had big goals and were committed. Fast-forward a few months. The workout sessions have gotten fewer. The bad habits have crept back into your life and, more than likely, you’re not feeling too great. Don’t throw up your hands and wait until January 1 of next year. I have 5 steps to help get you back on track right now and put those goals within reach. I urge you to get out a notepad and write these 5 steps out for yourself instead of just reading them.

  1. Make an Assessment of Your Failed Plan. It’s important to look at what went wrong to help you get it right. Was your plan overambitious? Were you doing exercise you didn’t enjoy? Did you join a gym that was inconvenient to your home or work? Look at all of these things to determine if your plan was doomed to fail. Many are so excited to get in shape at the start of a new year, that they go full force with an unrealistic, unsustainable plan. If you did that, it’s ok. Pinpoint what went wrong.


  1. Revise your Goals. Now that you’ve figured out what the problem is, change your goals. For example, if your original goal was to lose 50 pounds by Spring Break, change your goal to something much more attainable. It might be much less overwhelming to change your goal to 5 lbs. per month. Make your goals reachable and then go crush them.


  1. Make a New Plan. So, you know where your plan went wrong, you’ve set new goals, now it’s time to put a new plan in place. Write out a new plan that is doable and compatible with your schedule, interests and personality. Maybe your original plan had you running 4 days a week, but you hate running. Don’t run! Do what you enjoy. Take classes that are fun. Get outside and walk if you prefer that. Didn’t enjoy the gym setting? Plan at home workouts 4 days a week instead? Really look at and decide on a plan that you can sustain. Ask yourself these questions. What form of exercise do I enjoy? How many days per week can I feasibly workout? Do I enjoy solitary workouts or a group setting? Set your plan according to your answers. So often we make our plan according to what is popular or because something worked for a friend. Each person is unique and your plan needs to be specific for YOU. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing or what’s popular on social media.


  1. Don’t Make Too Many Changes at Once. Once your new workout plan is in place, be careful not to overwhelm yourself with too many changes. I usually advise clients to get the exercise going first and THEN work on your diet. As you are getting back to a solid fitness routine and are feeling confident, start making slow, steady changes to your eating. One change at a time can often be the best formula for success.


  1. Tell a Friend. Call or have coffee with a friend and explain your new workout routine and goals. Ask for accountability. Pick someone who loves you enough to be tough with you and truly hold you accountable. Invite them along because chances are they need accountability, too.

It is so easy to get off track from the healthy habits we start at the beginning of the year, but you don’t have to stay there. Follow these steps and you’ll be back on track and feeling great in no time.

5 Tips to Help You Kill it in Your Fitness Class

You’ve found a fitness class you really like and want to stick with, but how can you ensure that you won’t flake out and fall off the fitness wagon again? As a fitness instructor, I’ve seen it over and over again. Someone falls in love with a class and starts regularly attending, but then something happens and their attendance becomes spotty. I’ve also seen many people fall in love with a class, start to attend and, in no time, that person is a permanent fixture in the class. One of my class members is a mother of four with a job and a very busy family life, BUT she rarely misses class. How does that happen? Why do some people have such trouble being consistent and others don’t? Here are a few things that can help you get the most out of your fitness class which, in turn, will help you be more consistent. These 5 tips can help you slay that class and move closer to your goals.

  1. Block Off That Time Each Week. For real. If the class you love is at 9:00 every Tuesday and Thursday morning, then don’t schedule your son’s dentist appointment during that time. Schedule all of your family’s appointments, activities, meetings, etc. around your class and don’t feel bad about it. Your friend wants to meet for coffee at 9:00? Ask her to meet after 10:00 instead or on a different day. Make it a nonnegotiable. It may take a little more effort, but it’s worth it.
  1. Make Friends. Don’t be a Lone Ranger class member. If you don’t know anyone in the class, introduce yourself and get to know the people around you. Fitness is so much more fun when you have friends in the trenches with you. Some of my greatest friendships have been made in my fitness classes. Also, when you know the people in class you have accountability. It’s much less tempting to skip out when you have people expecting you to be there.


  1. Talk After Class. So, you’ve made friends in the class, awesome! But don’t use class time to catch up on life. Focus during the class and chat before and after. If you socialize during your workout, you won’t be going as hard as you should be which affects your results. When you’re in class, you should be 100% focused and engaged in what you’re doing. Save social hour for after.
  1. Listen to the Instructor. It’s easy to zone out in class and let your mind wander. Instead, really listen to the cues the instructor is giving and make sure you’re doing what he or she says. The instructor’s cues are given to help you perform the exercises correctly and prevent injury, so pay attention to each one. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in workout effectiveness just by listening and putting the cues into practice. Also, instructors often give fitness and nutrition tips and tricks that you might miss if you’re off in La La Land.


  1. Fuel Your Body Before and After Your Class. Don’t go to your fitness class on an empty stomach. If you want to get the most out of your time in the gym, you need to make sure you’ve fueled properly before your workout. I can’t tell you how many times students have come to me after class telling me how they struggled and had no energy only to find out that they didn’t eat anything before class. Your body is like a car that needs fuel to run. If your tank is empty, you won’t be able to get very far. Eat something 30 minutes to an hour before your workout. A nice mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat (think Greek yogurt, fruit and nuts or whole grain toast and nut butter or a smoothie with fruit, almond milk and protein powder) is your best bet.

 Group fitness is such a great way to get in shape. Implement these tips to rock your class and take your fitness to the next level.


All photos taken at the Waco Family YMCA. For membership information, click here.