HEALTH: A better wayFor many people, a new year means getting a fresh start on fitness. Trouble is, after a few weeks of engaging in a vigorous exercise routine, a lot of them will lose interest and go back to their sedentary lifestyles.
For many people, a new year means getting a fresh start on fitness.
Trouble is, after a few weeks of engaging in a vigorous exercise routine, a lot of them will lose interest and go back to their sedentary lifestyles.
“They don’t have instant success, so they get discouraged,” said Dustin McWilliams, a personal trainer at Anytime Fitness in Grand Forks. A better way to look at getting fit is to view it as a lifestyle change, said Molly McWilliams, Dustin’s wife and the manager of Anytime Fitness.
One strategy that helps people make that change is to schedule exercise into their daily routines, Molly said.
“You kind of factor it in like an appointment, like going to work every day you come here,” Justin said.
“You really have to make time for it. People who stick with it make it a part of the day,” Molly said.
The exercise routine doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment, either. While Dustin encourages the people he is training to spend three or four days a week doing about 20 minutes of cardio and 20 to 25 minutes of strength training each day, shorter routines also are beneficial.
“A lot of people think if you can’t spend an hour in here, it’s not worth it,” Molly said. However, she believes some daily exercise is better than none.
“Little bits add up throughout the day,” she said. “We have people who have a 45-minute lunch break who come in here for 20 minutes. After you spend that 20 minutes,” you feel good, she said.
Seeing the benefits of exercise, which can include lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels and weight loss, encourages people to continue their exercise routines.
“I think people seeing little bits of success, keeps them going,” Dustin said.
For some people, having a personal trainer also is motivation. The trainer is someone to whom the person exercising must be accountable.
“It’s almost like a babysitter,” Molly said.
Having an exercise partner also can be a motivator. Mothers and daughters, girlfriends and husbands and wives exercise together at Anytime Fitness, Molly said. Women, especially, seem to enjoy exercising with a partner.
“They’ll get on an elliptical and chat” while they exercise, she said.
Participating in competitions such as challenges or meeting certain goals also can inspire people to do more exercise, the McWilliams say.
Finally, if people can’t afford the cost of membership to a fitness organization, taking exercise classes is another exercise option, Molly noted.
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