New Year's Resolution: Keeping Fit
Flattening that stomach and helping that heart. It's a popular resolution, dominating not only those we surveyed, but nationwide. And here in the High Country, there are plenty of ways to start that blood pumping in 2011.
To find out how to start (and keep) a fitness resolution, we talked to experts, experts like Broyhill Wellness Center's Chelsea Johnson.
Her key to no regrets this time 2012? Motivation. "You have to have positive social support," she said.
She recommends making a fitness resolution as a family, so you'll always have a motivator.
"Switch up your workouts, so you don't get bored," she said. "That's a really easy thing to do."
She recommends starting a routine, using simple things in your home, like chairs. "You can do squats," she said.
Stairs are a piece of fitness equipment in themselves, and both options allow you to stay inside, "because it's cold outside," Johnson laughed.
The first step in taking the fitness plunge? She says it's making a plan.
"Make a time line of what your goals are and set goals, not at the end, but maybe every one or two months," she said. "And reward yourself, because that's what keeps you motivated."
Anytime Fitness guru Bob Brewer says there's one thing battling that motivation: Excuses.
"People say, 'I'd go work out, but the gym is going to be closing,'" he said. "Guess what? We don't close."
The proprietor of the 24-hour gym on N.C. 105, Brewer knows firsthand those new at making the resolutions have their work cut out for them.
"National statistics are that most members that join, about 20 percent will actually work out on a regular basis," he said. "I hope our percentage is higher, because I want them to use the gym and benefit from it."
And his numbers are high, with 11 new members taking the plunge Monday afternoon alone.
His tip to those newbies?
"Take it slow," he said. "Don't overdo it at first, because what turns most people off when they work out is, they come in and think, 'I'm just really going to hit it out.' ... The next day they are so sore that they can barely walk."
Take it easy and, while there will still be some soreness, you'll be able to function the next day.
"Just don't try to be Superman or Wonder Woman your first time in the gym."
And talk to people at pharmacies and vitamin shops about products and supplements that might lessen the lactic acid buildup in muscles that causes the pain.
"But the best advice is to take it easy," he said. "And you'll notice, over time, you won't have any soreness at all."
And don't be intimidated by new equipment. Trainers can show you how to use it effectively to fit your goals.
"Everyone, they all have a reason for coming in, but what are you trying to accomplish?" Brewer said. "You want to look better, feel better and live longer. That's what it's all about."
He suggests getting into a routine with a workout buddy who can keep you motivated.
Gyms aren't the only way to achieve your resolution. Check out the Greenway, Clawson-Burnley Park or Brookshire Park and start a walking regimen. Our pick? A scenic walk by the river off Railroad Grade Road in Todd. Just wear something warm!
Want something more structured? Hit the gym! Most gyms offer a session of free personal training to get you started.
Anytime Fitness, 148 N.C. 105 Ext., Suite 101. - (828) 386-1100
Sign up for a Zumba class with your work out buddy.
Broyhill Wellness Center, 232 Boone Heights Dr. - (828) 266-1060
It's the only option on our list with a pool. Also offers a variety of classes to keep you fit and motivated.
Curves, 249 Wilson Dr., Suite 2 - (828) 263-0007
Little's Health and Fitness Center, 1114 N.C. 194 N., W. Jefferson - (336) 846-7474
Exercise classes to help keep you motivated, including aerobics and Zumba.
Peak Fitness, 3440 Tynecastle Highway, No. 184, Banner Elk - (828) 898-4090
X-Treme Fitness, 1434 N.C. 105 - (828) 266-1110
Ask about a spin class.