Get Fit for the New Year
By Noel Daniel
The very idea of strapping on your running shoes at 5:30 in the morning is not only daunting—it almost feels impossible. How could you possibly hope to be that paragon of fitness that only drinks kombucha, practically lives on a yoga mat, and runs because it’s fun to do?
It’s simple: you’re not.
We’ve asked local fitness guru Tara Crenshaw, Co-Owner of Get Fit in Modesto, to shed some light on popular fitness myths and how to beat those mindsets that might be keeping you down. And that means first things first: motivation.
“Most people don’t get started because they feel that the mountain is too high to climb, that they are alone and no one could understand the struggles that they have,” said Crenshaw. “The most detrimental thing to getting started on a new path is isolation. This idea that you are alone. Find that motivation by getting out of your own head; read real stories of real people who have overcome. Hope is motivation.”
Sometimes the hardest thing is simply to start. For those who have been stagnant for a while, Crenshaw believes it’s important to remember that your body is a good tool all on its own. Try walking and slow jogging in intervals, or body weight squats, planks, push ups, or walking lunges. If it’s really been a while, consider slow movement and deep stretching, like beginner yoga.
“Small choices lead to big changes,” advises Crenshaw. “Don’t try and overhaul your whole system at once. Take every day and every meal as an opportunity for change. Surround yourself with people who will encourage a healthier lifestyle.”
So don’t overwork your body—start slow. Just don’t forget that it’s okay to feel a little discomfort: mental and physical resistance are expected when making big lifestyle changes. In order to progress, you need to fight through some seriously tough mental and physical walls. Your body will know when it’s time to ramp things up.
“[Pick up momentum] when you start to feel comfortable,” said Crenshaw. “Set short term and long term goals for yourself. We like to call them BHAG (‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals’). They will keep your momentum moving forward.”
A harmful idea is that the entire reason someone can’t lose weight is because they’re not “one of those people” who enjoy exercising. Crenshaw was quick to disprove this.
“There are days that i, as a fitness professional, don’t want to exercise,” said Crenshaw. “It then becomes a matter of intentionality and doing what I know to be good and right for my body. Be intentional about daily movement.”
Instead, Crenshaw advises that you find an exercise you love to do. Exercise isn’t just free weights and a treadmill anymore—it’s dance, movement, nature, functional, athletic, restorative, and anything else you could want it to be. Try new things, leave your comfort zone. Try anything from barre or hiking to yoga or pole fitness. Whatever you chose—stick to it.
“Long term success is built over time,” said Crenshaw. “Don’t look for the quick fix. Small, daily choices lead to big life changes. Be intentional about your health, think about if what you’re doing—or not doing. Today is getting you closer or farther away from where you want to be tomorrow.”
Looking for a few success stories, local classes, or inspiring trainers? Visit Get Fit Modesto for more information at www.getfitmodesto.com.