It’s that time of year: two weeks into January and two weeks into keeping — or breaking — those New Year’s resolutions. It’s a time of year when local health and fitness professionals see a boost, often followed by a steady decline back to the norm, in their businesses.
Jose Briceno, owner of LUX Personal Training, said he found this to be true at his 318 Davis St., Clarks Summit studio.
“Business can go up (during the Christmas and New Year’s season), but it’s not long-term, usually,” he said. “Only a fraction of those people remain.”
Rather, he said it’s the clients who are committed to being healthy throughout the year that come regularly and stick to their goals.
Kelly Menichiello, of Breathe Fitness Studio, 919 Northern Blvd., South Abington Township, agrees that commitment to being healthy is important.
“My motto pretty much is, ‘health is your wealth,” she said. “And if you have your health, you pretty much have everything.”
The following are seven tips from the two local professionals, for keeping those New Year’s resolutions and staying healthy and fit throughout the year:
1. Know what you want.
The first thing Briceno does with his new clients is ask them if they have a clear goal in mind for their fitness program. If they don’t, determining one becomes the first step.
It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering, either. He recommends starting off with baby steps, practicing patience and celebrating all progress, no matter its significance. That extra 30 pounds that was gained over a 20-year period of time is not going to go away in two weeks.
And that’s OK.
“People want to shoot for the stars,” he said. “They say, ‘I want to lose 30 pounds. Tomorrow.’ Start small.”
On the other hand, however, he said not having a goal at all, or setting one that is too “random” or “generic,” isn’t going to get a person very far, especially in terms of motivation.
2. Accountability is key.
Once the goal is set, it’s important to stick with it.
“People always tell me, ‘I know what to do, I know what to eat, but I don’t do it,’” Briceno said.
One way in which Menichiello suggests her clients keep track of their progress and stay accountable is to take measurements of their bodies, rather than weighing in on a scale.
“I want them to concentrate on how their clothes fit, how they feel physically, not necessarily on the scale,” she said.
3. Do what you enjoy.
This is one of the biggest reasons for success at LUX, according to Briceno — he helps his clients develop individualized programs based on what they enjoy. Just because a person doesn’t enjoy running, or dislikes lifting weights, it doesn’t mean he or she won’t enjoy another form of exercising.
They just have to work to find that niche.
4. Spice it up with variety.
Even too much of a good thing can be, well, too much of a good thing. If a person enjoys exercising a certain way, he or she may not enjoy that specific routine day in and day out.
Menichiello suggests adding a good dose of variety.
“Boredom does hinder people from keeping going,” she said.
And quitting is not part of the plan, she added.
5. Bring a friend…or two.
Menichiello suggests teaming up and bringing a friend to exercise together. This also helps with accountability and keeping things fun.
Briceno takes it a step further, with the importance of developing a support system, such as a running group or kayaking club. He said finding that support system, although key, is not always easy or right in front of you.
“It’s rarely found in the family, sadly,” he said. “For many clients, it’s tough.”
6. Think big picture.
While some people focus their changes on diet and others on exercise, Menichiello said when it comes to a person’s health, it’s important to focus on lifestyle as a whole, including not only diet and exercise, but sleeping and drinking habits as well. For example, she said drinking water and tea is a healthier choice than sodas and energy drinks. And the amount of sleep one gets is linked to how he or she feels during the day.
7. Pick yourself back up.
Briceno said a combination of an “all or nothing attitude” and failure is the number one reason he sees people quit.
He explained that a person will get off to a great start, then miss a few classes or workouts, blame him- or herself, lose confidence and give up.
Briceno stressed that no one is perfect. Everyone will fail eventually. But it is the people who then pick themselves back up and keep pressing on who he sees succeed in their goals.
Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.