Tip of the Week
Bikinis and swim shorts are put away, but it’s not time to bundle up just yet. Keep your summer body in shape by getting a head start on your fall fitness goals at the gym — and beat the rush to all those new memberships during the holidays — with some tips from Paige Jones, an exercise physiologist at the Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center:
• Find your fitness personality. Jones suggests trial and error, taking an inventory of your likes and dislikes to get the right fit and help you stay motivated at the gym. “If you can’t stomach that high-energy fitness instructor, chances are you should stay away from group classes. Or, if you’re like me and float like a sack of rocks, you probably won’t like swimming,” Jones says. “If you like to dance, however, classes like Zumba, belly dancing and other dance classes are great options." Bottom line: You have to love what you're doing.
• Vary your workouts. It’s the key to reducing boredom and increasing energy during exercise. Cross training is another good idea. Take a break from running with the elliptical or indoor bike. Pick up the weights to build muscle and give yourself new goals (hint: push-ups are a difficult, but impressive physical feat).
• Build a support system. Working out with a friend, hiring a personal trainer once a month or doing fitness challenges with a friend are all good options, Jones says. Talk with people about your progress, involve your family and reward yourself with something that isn’t food-related to boost your confidence once you’ve ramped up your workouts.
• And don’t give up. “At some point, you’ll want to slack off,” Jones says. “The trick is to plan for those bad days and put people and things in place to keep you on track.” This includes being lucky enough to have an Army drill sergeant for a friend who will help hold you accountable and keep you honest.
— Amber Krosel, More Content Now