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Consistency in Workouts

Working hard, eating right, having a plan and doing one thing every day that will get you closer to who you want to be is a fool-proof way to improve your health. However, the fitness industry tends to not be upfront about this, instead promising quick fixes and overnight results. For example, I learned this past year that I’m a pretty bad salesman when it comes to selling my fitness services. While most fitness facilities across the country offered all kinds of membership specials for the new year, fat loss programs guaranteed to work, etc., we didn’t offer anything like that at my training facility.

Having been in the fitness industry for a really long time, I know that the New Year is the time to capitalize on getting new members and training clients. Fitness businesses thrive on the resolutions and the people intent on finally making that change and jumping on the fitness bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, I did it in the past. I ran programs like “New Year-New You,” “Brand New You,” etc. I’ll admit it, it’s catchy. And we sold a lot of them.

And of course, people buy right into it…for the first week or so. They’re all fired-up. Facebook pages filled with, “This is the year I finally make it happen!” comments. The fact is, January 1 is just a day (this year, it was a Thursday). It’s not really the turning of a season, much less the turning of your life.

Like most fitness facilities, we had our usual onslaught of people inquiring about our program toward the end of December and early in January. But that’s where I failed as a salesman this year because I told them what a lot of other fitness facilities won’t….the truth!

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The truth is that changing who you are, how you look or who you want to become is not easy. In fact it’s pretty darn hard. New Year’s resolutions tend to over-inflate the significance, especially when it comes to health and fitness. People become over-attached to the outcome and end up over-believing the hype. As much as we want January 1 to be the beginning of something amazing, different and new, by January 14, we’re horrified to realize that very little has actually changed.

I’m not trying to make fun of people who set resolutions, I think goals and wanting to be better are something everyone should strive to achieve. But when someone calls or visits us in January with the false pretense that they are going to go from overweight, having never exercised (real exercise, anyway) and thinking french fries are a vegetable to heading out on a spring beak trip in March with a brand new body, I can’t help but burst their bubble. I could sell them a membership and tell them they’re going to look great in a little bikini on the beach in three short months, but instead I tell them the words they don’t want to hear: consistency and patience.

The people that get it and are committed (like many of you reading this blog) and buy into the fact that it’s going to take some time and a lot of hard work and dedication.

The ones that don’t get it often head off to the next place in search of the words they want to hear, no matter if it’s the truth.

Work hard, eat right, have a plan and do one thing every day that will get you closer to who you want to be.

Consistency and patience will get you there.

Ken Grall a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association, as well as a Youth Fitness Specialist (YFS) through the International Youth Conditioning Association. Learn more on the Meet Our Writers page.


Keep Moving through the Holidays

From full schedules to abundant tables, the holidays make it more important than ever to make the time to take care of yourself and your body. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to fit in your workout when the days grow short and the weather turns cold. With your investment in home fitness equipment, you already know that staying fit doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of time away from your family or finding extra hours in an already busy day. If you’re looking to ring in the New Year feeling healthy, try these tips to keep yourself going strong.

Pick an Outdoor Workout. If you enjoy staying active outdoors, don’t let the holiday’s drive you into hibernation. By dressing appropriately (here’s a good guide to get you started), you can continue outdoor running through the winter. You can even use your treadmill, elliptical or indoor cycle to warm up inside before heading out for a run that is shorter than usual but still gives you the benefits of an outdoor workout (and the bragging rights of a hard core winter runner). If winter running just isn’t your thing, consider cross training in another winter sport, such as snow-shoeing or cross country skiing or head out to celebrate the season with a day (or evening) of sledding, skating or time on the slopes. Wondering just how many calories your evening of sledding will burn? Check out this link of calories burned in popular winter activities. Whatever your sport, don’t forget to hydrate before you head out. Winter air tends to be on the dry side and with lower temperatures, dehydration can sneak up on the winter sports enthusiast.

Get Tech Savvy. From scheduling your workouts in your online planner to using the latest GPS app on your smart phone to track your running route, today’s fitness tools can help you with everything from calorie counting to interval planning. You can check out this link for a review of fitness apps that can help keep the life in your winter workouts.

Break Down your Goals. Looking to improve your 5K time or simply stay healthy in 2014? Use your big goals to think about achievements for the month of December that will be manageable well into the new year. Perhaps you see yourself establishing (or continuing) your healthy habit of daily exercise. Or maybe you’d like to take the first steps towards a couch to 5K training program. Whatever your goal, starting now in a manageable way will put you ahead of the January crowd, leaving you with established habits and results by the time New Year’s Eve rolls around.

Treat Yourself to the Right Gear. Whether you’re taking your workouts indoors or you plan on braving the weather, treating yourself to the right clothing and equipment will make all the difference in sticking to your schedule. For cross-training indoor workouts, you already know that your Vision Fitness Equipment will see you through. You can also round out your workouts by investing in a yoga DVD or online class or some simple strength training equipment that can be used to add circuits to your treadmill, elliptical, and indoor cycle workouts. If you’re trying a new outdoor sport, such as downhill or cross-country skiing, check out some of the early season swap sales and second hand sporting good venues. When enthusiasts trade up, you can score a sweet deal on nearly new equipment. If you’re sticking to outdoor winter running, be sure to add reflective clothing and some high traction shoes to your go-to items. You may find that trail running shoes will suit you better at this time of year. These offer increased insulation and tread compared to some of the lighter weight running shoes.