Whether you own a gym or just go a lot, you’re familiar with the three-week New Year phenomenon, where every January from the 1st to the 21st you have to face above average crowds in your place of fitness. This used to bug me when I worked out at big box gyms for several reasons.
First, I would constantly see people doing things that were at best useless and at worst dangerous because they honestly didn’t know any better and big box gyms are not usually all about helping you out for free just because you’re a member there.
Second, I would see people who were obviously very out of shape being subjected to subtle or even blatant rude treatment by the gym rats. Instead of being happy that these people were taking steps to get healthy and fit, some people would act like only skinny people had a right to be there, which is crazy when you think about it. Kind of like thinking only ‘good’ people belong in church!!
Third, it bugged me that there was almost a predatory attitude towards these folks on behalf of the gym and the fitness industry as a whole. Kind of like how the day after Thanksgiving is the money making day for retail, the fitness industry, and especially certain players within the industry, count on a huge increase in membership fees that will not actually get used.
The good part is that just because a lot of people start trying to get fit January 1st doesn’t mean in any way that you won’t be successful. Be the exception, not the rule. Here are some tips if you are new to fitness to increase the likelihood of staying past the 21st.
1) Write down your ‘why’ before you start your short term goals. WHY do you want to start getting fit? What will be different in your life if you are healthier?
2) Set small, reasonable, achievable goals and WRITE THEM DOWN!
3) Reward yourself for progress, not perfection!
If you are new to fitness, give yourself your best chance to be successful.
1) If you don’t know what you’re doing, get help! Enlist the aid of a personal trainer, or start off doing classes where you receive instruction and guidance.
2) Invest in shoes! You probably already have clothes you can wear – stretchy pants and shirts that aren’t too warm are fine. Yoga pants, or workout pants can be bought virtually anywhere, but your feet and knees will thank you for your support.
3) If you haven’t worked out in a long time, or ever, go see your doctor before starting. Make sure you have no restrictions or health conditions, or if you do have restrictions, make sure you fully understand them so you don’t get hurt.
Finally and most importantly, find something you like and will keep doing. If you are doing classes, make sure you like the instructor and the participants. For example, the participants and trainers at Limitless Fitness are eminently likable and awesome, so that is a good place to start. So MAKE those resolutions and KEEP those resolutions. You ARE Limitless!!