Wilmington, DE- Each January, thousands of Delawareans flock to their local gym in hopes of getting in shape and living a healthier lifestyle in the new year. Too often January comes to an end and motivation starts to dwindle as our busy lives take priority. The sad fact is that almost 50% of American adults are short of the recommended 150 minutes (only about 20 minutes a day) of physical activity each week. “Your health and wellbeing should always be a top priority,” says Bear YMCA Membership Director Amy Desmond. “It has been proven that getting the recommended amount of physical activity will not only put you in a better mood, but it will also help you to lose weight and improve your overall health and wellness.”
How do we make exercise a year-round priority? We asked our fitness experts for some tips on how to stay motivated the whole year.
- Try a group exercise class. Find one that you look forward to attending like Zumba for fun or yoga for stress relief. Try out several different classes or exercises to see what you like but be sure to vary your workouts throughout the week. Come a few minutes before a new class and introduce yourself to the instructor so they can offer pointers. Then, take your time and ease into your workouts over the course of the first month. At the YMCA of Delaware, there are hundreds to choose from and something for all ability levels.
- Get a coach – Making change is not easy, and we all need help sometimes. Consider signing up for personal training or meet with a wellness coach who will help you put together a plan that keeps variety in your exercise routine while keeping you interested and challenged. YMCA of Delaware members have access to free Fitquest appointments with a trained wellness coach who will give you the personal attention you need to set goals, guide your workouts and stay motivated. Members can also sign up for our brand new weight loss program if they need some additional support.
- Find a friend who will keep you moving. Scheduling a regular workout with a buddy or group can make your workouts fun and motivate you not to hit your snooze button when you should be at the gym. Knowing that your friends have saved you a spot in yoga or spin class can be a great motivator.
- Set real, healthy goals and celebrate! Instead of focusing on those elusive six-pack abs, try setting small goals like running a mile for the first time, or working out at least 4 times a week. Whatever it may be, be sure to celebrate those victories along the way. Consider using a wearable fitness tracker to help you track your workouts and progress. The YMCA offers the MyZone Fitness tracker which uses technology to provide real-time feedback on heart rate, calories and effort.
- Be Patient. Results take time, trust the process and keep going. Remember, for every pound you lose, it takes 4 lbs. of pressure off your knees and 6 lbs. off your hips,” says Central YMCA Fitness Director, Megin Hewes. “Consistency and nutrition is key. Only you know what is best for you. Go after it and achieve your 2020 goals.”