SUSTAINABLE FITNESS TIPS
The end of January often brings a feeling of accomplishment if you’ve been crushing your New Year’s goals, or dread if you’ve slipped up. Whichever boat you’re in, Cooper Mann, a highly experienced Tier X Coach at Equinox at Columbus Circle provides the motivation you need to keep going.
A contribution by Equinox Tier X Certified Personal Trainer, Cooper Mann.
It’s the new year and many people aspire to create a healthier body. Great! But often we set ourselves up for failure and give up before we’ve had a chance to succeed. Here’s a few tips that will help you keep your New Year’s resolutions and goals attainable.
At Equinox we have 3 main pillars that contribute to overall health and wellness: Movement, Nutrition, and Regeneration.
Movement is the pillar that people see and think about the most. It’s things like going to the gym, going for a run, taking a group fitness class, etc. It can be overwhelming to figure out what you need to achieve your goals. The first step would be to carve out the time in your schedule to be active. How much time can you realistically commit for yourself? Block those times off in your calendar and make an appointment to be active!
The next step is “What do I do?!”
Ask yourself these two questions: What do I know how to do? What do I like to do?
If you are only familiar with going for a run then go for a run outside or on a treadmill. Hop on a stationary bike and start pedaling. If you like lifting weights, then go use the machines or dumbbells you’re familiar with. Use the things you know how to use to get reacclimated with being in the gym. Going to group classes can be a great way to get back into exercise and meet a new community of people who are sharing in your hard work. Don’t overthink what to do when you get to the gym. Just go! Start with something you think is fun and enjoy! The best exercise is the one that you will do consistently.
After the holidays many of us can relate to putting on a few extra pounds. So many treats!! For many, New Year’s goals include cleaning up their diet. This too can be an overwhelming task. Nutrition doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be better. Try to limit the things that are clearly not helping you move toward your goals. Do I need that dessert? Could I swap the french fries with vegetables? Be mindful of how you are fueling your body and try to limit your sugar intake, which can make it harder to reach your goals. At the start of the year many people tell themselves they are going to make big changes to their eating habits. And they are often successful for a few weeks, but it isn’t always sustainable. Start with small habits and gradually build on them. Maybe it’s one extra serving of vegetables a day or 12oz of water with each meal. Once you have shown yourself that you can accomplish these smaller tasks you can expand them or stack something else on top of it. Just remember to ease into change, keep it consistent, and build from there. Small changes can have a huge impact on long-term success.
Being in New York City, especially, things are often fast paced and high stress. Regeneration and recovery get pushed to the side and neglected, however this is where the true magic happens. Most people are under tons of stress: work, family, environmental, etc. leaving our nervous system on high alert all the time, also known as “fight or flight.” The opposite of that is “rest and digest”, which is when our body gets to recover from all the stimulus it’s been receiving and adapts to become stronger. Sleep is the best example of recovery. In an ideal world 7-9 hours is what our body needs each night. That’s not always possible but maximizing your sleep time will help your body release the hormones needed to heal. Other forms of “rest and digest” could be taking a gentle yoga class, stretching and foam rolling, or getting a massage. A massage is sometimes thought of as a luxury, however it’s actually something that is necessary, as muscles that are tight or restricted don’t move well and send a different message to your brain. Other ways of relaxing are enjoying time with family and friends, watching a funny movie, or reading a good book. These practices lower your defenses and let your body heal from all the stress it receives.
Overall – small, maintainable, consistent changes are the key to staying on track with your goals. Set yourself up for success and build on those steps. We all hit speed bumps along the way. But don’t quit. Get back to your new habits and keep moving forward. If it all seems like too much to deal with on your own, look into hiring a professional. A good personal trainer can help guide you down the path to your goals. Equinox offers 2 complimentary sessions with a coach as part of your membership. That coach is someone who will listen to what you want to accomplish, tailor a program that meets your needs, and keep you on track to success. Cheers to starting the path leading to the best version of yourself!
At Equinox, the science of fitness meets the art of living. With access to Equinox trainers, state-of-the-art training equipment, innovative fitness classes, and a full-service spa, you’ll enjoy the atmosphere and see real results. Check out the fitness club and amenities today.