New Years Fitness - Resolution To Resolve?

Fitness professionals witness the same phenomena every year: Attendance significantly increases not only at our facility but also at fitness clubs throughout the nation after New Year’s. Regulars simply wait for the frenzy to pass as every year the newcomers typically phase out and fall back into their old routines of no exercise/ movement after two months or so.

Why is it that we see this every single year and that every year people appear to fall in the same trap, exceptions notwithstanding?

It is hard to change and clearly it takes something more than a New Year’s resolution to make exercise stick. Therefore let’s adopt a different mindset and simply resolve to move.

The simple truth is that if we don’t use something—we lose it. The same adage is true for our bodies, especially as we get older.

However the good news is that we can trick our bodies into behaving/feeling as though we are 10 years younger. Scientists of movements and medical doctors readily agree that if we engage in some form of aerobic movement or cardio two times a week and engage in weight lifting/muscle building or stimulation once a week, we will not only feel 10 years younger but look it, too.

Stagnation is said to be one of the major causes of disease and decay. Moving freely and to our full capacity is life-generating for not only the body but also the soul. So what are the keys to unlocking our bodies into a regiment of mindful movement, i.e. movement with a purpose?

1. Resolve or discipline yourself with a clear purpose.

2. Commit to a goal. This canbe a race, the restoration or improvement of movement to a particular part of your body (shoulder, neck, hip joint, etc.), and/or recovery from an injury.

3. Engage a Certified Fitness professional to set up a customized schedule.

4. Start your engines!

5. Celebrate Your Successes and Milestones.

6. Watch your food and drink intake.

7. Take stock and re-evaluate on a periodic basis.

Committing to keep an exercise routine of two to three days a week is key. For most people, making the time for yourself is the most difficult to schedule. Finding a good trainer will help to keep you accountable. There are many talented instructors of all modalities out there. Their knowledge and experience is key to the services they offer but some of the most important ingredients are the steps they take to encourage, motivate and empower you to be the best that you can be. A skilled trainer should push you just enough that you feel as though your body is working at its full capacity without compromising safety.

I hear so many people say: “The workout I had the other day was great.... my legs are so sore I couldn’t walk the stairs the next day.” This is a funny concept to me as it defeats the purpose of teaching good movement that enhances daily living and eventually sets someone up for defeat. The key to adhering to a good exercise schedule is balance and the ability to maintain that balance.

Our bodies are our temporary homes as we sojourn during this life, which is remarkably short as we reflect upon our number of days. Therefore we owe it to ourselves and those around us to take care of our bodies.

As a fitness professional I don’t simply consider it my job to teach people how to move. Movement is connected to who we are as people (as we were designed to move) and therefore connected to our very being or soul.

It is my job to inspire people to reconnect with their inner confidence, or self worth, through engagement in whatever form of movement fits them, which can be dance, golf or a simple walk with improved posture.

May 2014 be a year filled with mindful movement that leads to a higher sense of well being.

Monica Hoekstra

Society Magazine – January 2014