Tips For Staying & Getting Fit This Year
By Noel Daniel
Photos by Photos Just So
It’s easy to get carried away in the “new year, new you”-it is fever. And on one hand, the New Year trend is at least a healthy one. After heavy hitters like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the entire holiday season, the stress and preponderance of food can tend to put a few pounds on even the most stalwart. But the problem of “new year, new you”-it is is that it tends to be a little too extreme and hard to sustain.
But that can all change this year. We spoke to Tara Crenshaw, the Owner of Get Fit Modesto, and Paul Maciel, Director of The House Fitness, who both shared a few tips on taking on a healthy lifestyle, rather than a healthy few weeks.
What is your best advice for adopting a healthy lifestyle for someone who’s unused to it?
CRENSHAW: Find a friend to commit to doing it with you. We were created to do life with others. Help someone who is on the same journey as you and you’ll find that you are more successful at keeping with it yourself.
MACIEL: A healthy lifestyle is key as it affects how you feel, function and think. The great thing about this is that you can start anytime— it’s never too late. The problem is if you live an unhealthy lifestyle for too long, your body will show it and tell you. The earlier you commit to living a healthy lifestyle, the better you will feel and you will have a better mindset.
Do you have any inspiration to keep people going when it gets tough?
CRENSHAW: Remember why you started. Remember the feeling you had that prompted you to start in the first place. Write down your personal “whys.” Make it about something bigger than just losing a few pounds. We have to be connected to a bigger purpose: “I will be intentional about eating foods that fuel me today because I want to be the best mom, wife, friend, sister, employee that I can be so that I can best serve those I love.”
MACIEL: I find that many people get consistent in a workout routine, maybe lose some weight, then they get busy. Things happen in life and suddenly you realize you haven’t worked out or eaten anything healthy in a week. This is a crucial state: Just get back on track and don’t let that lapse of routine discourage you to not get back on track.
In terms of whittling away bad habits, which should be the first to go, as opposed to quitting cold turkey?
CRENSHAW: If I had to pick one it would be soda! Try replacing your daily soda with fruit-infused water or sparkling flavored waters like LaCroix. Cut your soda intake in half one week, then half it again, etc.
MACIEL: It’s best to meet with a certified trainer and/or a nutritionist and have them help set up your new lifestyle change. Here at The House Fitness, our wellness programs offer that to you. We customize a program based on you, your habits, your current lifestyle and create a plan that will get you the results you desire and most of all to maintain it. Many people get on a diet or try to go cold turkey. All that does is put more pressure on you— which is already setting you up to fail.
Are you more proponent of quitting cold turkey? Why or Why not?
CRENSHAW: This answer totally depends on the person. Everyone is so different. We all respond differently to different situations. Sugar is proven to have the same addictive properties as cocaine. It is the cocaine of the food world (according to the Hungry for Change documentary).
With sugar being so addictive, I’ve seen it cause withdrawal symptoms in clients much like quitting a drug. Some clients feel very sick before they start to feel better, but their new “feeling better” is better than they’ve ever felt. Some people are able to slowly cut out sugar, but with the highly addictive properties of sugar, it makes it hard to control. Feeding the sugar monster makes it bigger. Our bodies crave what we feed it. We’ve had people have a lot of success in quitting it cold turkey. Is it easy? NO! But it’s completely worth it.
MACIEL: I do not recommend cold turkey changes or even a diet. A diet is temporary and lifestyle change is permanent— it is who you are, not who you are planning to be for a week or a month. Diets usually don’t stick and cold turkey many times sets people up for failure and discourages them from ever achieving a permanent new lifestyle change. Going cold turkey can also make you physically feel sick.
What workouts to you recommend for someone who has trouble working out?
CRENSHAW: Start with being intentionally active daily. That might mean a walk with a friend, a bike ride, or playing golf or tennis. Something low-impact and something you enjoy.
MACIEL: Unless you have an actual physical problem in your body that limits you from doing certain things, you can do just about anything. I recommend you work with a certified trainer to avoid injury and to help educate you about your body and learn key steps in keeping your body in its best physical shape possible.
For those who are already on the road to being fit, what advice would you give them for beating a plateau?
CRENSHAW: Our bodies are very smart, they adapt well! Mix up your routine! If you’re a runner, add some cross training into your routine. We have to keep our bodies guessing. Another reason for plateaus to happen is overtraining. Evaluate your workout routine, make sure you have a rest day or two so that your body can properly recover. Plateaus aren’t always about your workouts. You have to evaluate your whole self. Evaluate your stress level, evaluate what you’re fueling your body with— all of these things need to be taken into account when trying to break a plateau.
MACIEL: The key is simply to change up your workouts. I would suggest weekly. This will cause your body to not get used to one routine. This is why I do not recommend circuit training as that only leads to a plateau— unless in that circuit training you change what you are doing in those stationery workouts.
CRENSHAW: “Fit” to me means healthy— mind, body, and soul. It’s not a number on a scale or a certain body type. Achieving whole health, as we like to call it, is a journey: A journey that is constantly needing to be tweaked and adjusted to fit where we are in life.
It’s pointless to take care of only one of those three whole health areas while neglecting the other two. They all work together to make us whole and truly healthy. I think we all go through seasons of really having this figured out and seasons where things can get out of whack. The biggest factor in people who “sustain” it is that they are willing to do the work to get back on track and be intentional about getting out of a rut and getting things back into balance.
MACIEL: Fit to me means a healthy lifestyle. Like the famous saying goes, “you are what you eat.” Someone who’s engaging in a workout routine three to five days a week and eats healthy a majority of the time and stays away from fatty foods is a fit person. Everyone’s bodies are different, so what’s most important to being fit is to stay engaged in working out and eating healthy.
For more information about Get Fit Modesto, visit GETFITMODESTO.COM.
For more information about The House of Fitness, visit THEHOUSEMODESTO.COM/FITNESS.