How to achieve fitness resolutions

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 3, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
Ambition could be the kiss of death when it comes to keeping a New Year’s resolution to get fit.
Dan Guertin, youth sports coordinator for the J.F. Hurley Family Y, said at the beginning of January the facility is oftentimes inundated with people, but that quickly tapers off as many become discouraged by their progress.
“They hit it really hard after not doing anything for a while and they are sore and don’t see instant results,” he said. “The key to fitness is moderation.”
Ester Marsh, health and fitness director of the J.F. Hurley Family Y, said she also sees people overextending themselves.
“I believe in baby steps,” she said. “I always tell people don’t go crazy,” she said. “Look at what you can put into your schedule and do it safely.
“If they aren’t doing any (exercising) right now I want to make sure they don’t set themselves up for failure.”
Marsh said television programs like “The Biggest Loser,” where contestants drop large amounts of weight in a matter of weeks through intense workouts and dieting, paint a false picture of weight loss.
“They make people think that’s the way to do it and people end up overdoing it by overtraining and overexercising,” she said.
Marsh suggests starting out by scheduling three 30-minute workouts each week, eventually working up to an hour each day.
“It doesn’t have to be all at once,” she said. “You can do 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night.”
For those who haven’t worked out in a while, Marsh also suggests simple cardio such as walking for 10 minutes each day.
Marsh said joining a group of program can also help people stick to an exercise plan.
Cleveland residents Josh Weaver, 20, and Austin Moore, 21, do weight-lifting exercises together at the J. Fred Corriher Jr. Y in China Grove about five times a week.
“It’s good to have someone to keep you on track,” Weaver said. “Some days I wake up and I don’t feel like working out, but I know I have to.”
Marsh said it’s also important to find workouts that are enjoyable, in order to motivate people to keep coming back.
And, she said, even if people never enjoy exercising, almost everyone finds it rewarding to complete a workout.
West Rowan High School sophomore Logan Stoodley said he typically works out every day to stay in shape for football season.
“If you’re working out in the off season it gives you a competitive edge,” he said.
Stoodley said he also tries to avoid junk food by choosing healthier snacks.
Marsh said exercising goes hand-in-hand with what people put into their bodies.
“One thing people don’t seem to understand is that you have to eat to lose weight,” she said.
Marsh suggests using to create a personalized fitness plan by plugging in your age, weight and activity level.
“It’s completely free and it’s a world of knowledge,” she said.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.