Holidays a time to stay focused on health, fitness goals

Dec. 25—The addition of extra sweets and temptations can derail many people’s health and fitness goals heading into the holidays. However, there are several different ways to stay on track, whether by setting intentions for the new year ahead or practicing moderation.

Justin Boyles, Anytime Fitness manager, said generally gyms tend to see more visitors in the first month of the year. He said one thing he tries to do in his facility is make sure each member feels valued by saying hi to them individually when they walk through the door.

“The biggest thing that I do is try to know everybody’s name,” Boyles said. “I feel like if you know everybody’s name when they come in and you say hi to them, you take away a lot of the insecurities that people have when they do come in. The more comfortable people feel, the less likely they are to fall off and just stop with those fitness goals.”

In hopes of keeping people motivated with their fitness goals heading into the new year, Anytime Fitness offers a program called the Six Week Slimdown, challenging members to maintain consistency and get comfortable with the gym. Boyles said the six-week program also is intended to mitigate a slow period for the gym in the spring by getting new members into a routine.

Identifying a routine that works for each member is a key component that Boyles focuses on. When new members join at the start of each year, he said he makes sure that they all know how to use the equipment and what part of the body each machine or exercise works.

“I think probably the biggest one is to find what’s going to hold you accountable. For a lot of people, that’s finding a friend that they can use as an accountability partner,” Boyles said. “The next biggest thing would probably be to find a gym that you like and that you’re comfortable with because like I said, the more comfortable you are, the less likely you are to have to quit when things start to get tough.”

Austin Evans, the owner of Fit Republic, attempts to cover the nutrition side of a health and fitness journey by supplying customers with healthy food, personalized meal lists, supplements and more. His store tends to slow around the holiday time, but business jumps back up at the beginning of January.

“When people are coming in the store, we want to help them really understand how they should be eating because that’s the most important thing,” Evans said. “My biggest tip to people is your nutrition is number one and of importance. After that, you need to move your body, you need to exercise, whether it be getting out and going for a walk or joining a gym or doing an online program. I mean, get your body moving.”

Fit Republic has meals in store stocked every week to simplify healthy habits as well as provide resources for sustainability.

Evans said people can come in at any time, whether they are looking to get advice on what to eat or get help making a meal plan as the time to make New Year’s resolutions approaches.

“New Year’s resolutions, you know, I think they get a bad rap and people tend to assume they’re going to fall off on them,” Evans said. “Don’t make it too complicated, it’s very simple. You need to move your body and you need to be conscious of what you’re eating. It’s simple. It’s not easy. And the other thing I give people advice on is like your story — you don’t compare yourself.”

Evans also said while enjoying the holiday and simply practicing moderation are top of mind, when thinking about additional ways to stay focused on healthy eating habits around this time of year, prioritize proteins and vegetables.

“You need to be disciplined with what you’re eating and you need to move and be active, and we can help fill in the gaps of knowledge from there,” Evans said.

Stef Manchen can be reached at [email protected].


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