Here it is…the most common resolution for ANY time of year. So many of us want to exercise more, eat healthier, and take care of ourselves better in 2020. While Team Wren might be full of insurance experts, we thought we would turn to seasoned fitness professionals to help us out with exploring the industry’s top tips on getting back in shape this year. Steve Whiting is a certified personal trainer at Anytime Fitness in Suntree, Florida. He was willing to sit down with us and give us his Top 10 tips for beginners to find success when trying get in shape.
#1. “Walk Through the Door.”
- The hardest part, for many people, is simply the act of going to the gym. This experience can be very intimidating, and this is usually because of the overall lack of knowledge that new gym goers have. Steve mentioned, “Many people come to the gym and wander around…they just don’t know what to do.” His advice for people who have/are experiencing this issue is to just, “Show up and move”. Find something that you recognize (i.e. treadmill, elliptical, etc.) and just do something for thirty straight minutes.
#2. “Get Oriented."
- Something else that can help with tackling the unknown territory of a new gym is to utilize all the available resources to get oriented. As Steve would put it, “Just get to know your membership.” If there is a new member orientation, then attend. If your gym gives fitness consultations, then sign up. If your gym has tours or free advice opportunities, then go. Get to know your specific gym, your specific membership packet, and what resources are available to you to assist you in your fitness journey.
#3. “Find a Face."
- Going to the gym can be really frightening, especially when you don’t know anyone there. The easiest way to get acclimated to the gym, and be in the best position to succeed there, is to connect with a trainer. Find someone who you get along well with, and who is willing to answer all of your questions and help you reach your fitness goals. “My favorite part of my job is educating people – it is not my style to just give you a bunch of exercises and just tell you to ‘go do them’ without first explaining how, where, and why we are doing them.” The trainers are there to HELP, so perhaps investing in the training services at your gym would be the best bang for your buck. They are often more affordable then people assume, and even those who think that they are fit and do not need the help are often not utilizing the gym and their time to their fullest potential. “Get advice from a professional – that’s why we are here.”
#4. “Set the Right Goals.”
- Everyone shows up at the gym with broad goals like, “I want to lose weight!”, or, “I want to go to the gym more!”; however, these are not the right type of goals to make when trying to get in shape. Steve advised that anyone going to the gym who is trying to create fitness goals should create SMART goals. These are goals that are…
- An example of the above-mentioned broad goals reworked through this SMART goal system would be, “I want to lose 10 pounds!”, or, “I want to go to the gym 3x a week!”. These goals are specific, have measurable outcomes, are attainable to the person creating them, are relevant to the broad goals they want to achieve, and are based on real time efforts not futuristic/nonexistent time frames.
#5. "Don't Be Intimidated."
- “When you first start going to the gym, everyone thinks that everyone else is watching them…No one is watching you! No one is noticing what you are doing, and they don’t care because they are all focused on whatever they are doing.” This statement from Steve seemed to really hit home as this is a feeling that I am sure many of you have experienced. The pressure and intimidation that comes along with trying something out that you may or may not be very experienced with, in a room filled with people that we automatically assume ARE very experienced is so real. This reminder that no one’s focus is on what we are doing except for our own is very encouraging.
#6. "Do Your Homework."
- Research, research, research. Even if you think you know what you are doing, even if you are experienced and have been working out consistently for years, even if you think you know everything there is to know about the gym and about exercise – research. No one knows as much as they think they do, and when it comes to fitness training the results are in the details. “All it takes is little tweaks.” Steve explained how you could be doing all the right exercises with all the right machines but simply be putting too much pressure on one muscle group, or have the wrong weight class, or be doing the wrong number of reps. Results are found in the details, and there is so much information out there that is available with just the click of a button. Even if you don’t want to pay for a trainer, don’t just walk in the gym and try to “wing it” – do your homework first.
#7. “Find Your Motivation."
- “Everyone has that one thing – you just have to find what it is.” Whether your motivation is that family vacation you have coming up, your best friend’s wedding this Summer, a new job you might be starting, a 5k your friend invited you to run in, or you just want to be healthier for your kids, spouse, or even yourself, we all can narrow down our desires to motivations. By finding and mentally highlighting our core motivation, we can better focus on our SMART goals.
#8. “Don’t Build Expectations.”
- There is no such thing as an overnight fix. As Steve put it, “You didn’t get out of shape overnight, and you won’t get back in shape overnight.” As opposed to going to the gym once or twice and just wandering around aimlessly make a schedule, go to the gym prepared, workout purposefully, and stick to it. “You want to build the habit of coming…It’ll get there (easier) it just takes time.” The secret is to build a habit by following a routine, then your body will react negatively to NOT going to the gym.
#9. “Commit to Watching What You Eat.
- Steve mentioned that he was not a licensed nutritionist nor was he an expert on diet regulation; however, he did recognize the importance of what you eat and how that affects what you do at the gym. You have to exert energy out of your body at the gym, and then replenish by putting the right things in your body outside of the gym. You will never get the full results that you are looking for if you only workout, and don’t take notice of what foods you are eating. Steve advised possibly using a meal plan to build healthy habits – “Take advantage of healthy cooking”.
10. “DRINK WATER.”
- “If nothing else, people just need to drink water. Cut out soda, Gatorade, and everything else and JUST drink water.” This advice from Steve is something that can apply to anyone and everyone, no matter the level of expertise in exercising or dieting. Our bodies are comprised of mostly water, and we need to be sure to properly hydrate ourselves in order to perform at our best in the gym, at work, and at home alike.
As an agency, improvement is one of our core values. This is why we find it so important to sit down with other professionals from different fields in our area and learn more about what they do and how it impacts our community. At Wren we know insurance, and we want to be able to not only grow our knowledge in our own field, but to constantly improve our knowledge in other areas as well. Thank you to Steve for sitting down and educating us, as well as thanks to Anytime Fitness for allowing us to help promote fitness and health in our community.