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Staying with your New Year fitness plan

Last Updated Jan 10, 2017 at 10:18 am PDT


Start with small, attainable goals suggests one personal trainer

It's also suggested to work out with a friend to help you achieve your goals

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – January means time to dump out the Christmas chocolates, pour out the leftover eggnog and clear out any leftover chips and treats. It’s time to build the new you.

Gyms and fitness clubs tend to see a spike in memberships at this time of the year and the logic is good, but the execution in many cases tends to be the opposite.

“People want the results as soon as possible, but they’re not willing to put in the time,” explains Peter Provenzano, a Vancouver-based personal trainer. “Usually when people start working out, the first two-to-three months you’ll really start to notice the difference, but it does take a few months to get going.”

Understanding which direction to go and how to properly approach fitness can easily dissuade many who start with good intentions. “Training is hard. After a few days or a few weeks, they’re too sore or too tired,” says Provenzano. “A few days off turns into a week off, turns into two weeks off, turns into a month. The next thing you know they’re back to where they started before the New Year.”

Provenzano recommends using a personal trainer, or signing up for group classes but cautions it can get pricey. “You want to sign up with someone or for something you’re accountable for. Accountability is the biggest thing. A lot of other people will get a gym membership and then they’ll go two to three days the first week, then they’re too sore, then it’s one to two days the next week, and then one day.”

Provenzano offers a few tips to get your new fitness kick trending in the right direction. The first one is to be realistic about your approach. Don’t push it too quickly.

“Set small attainable goals,” suggests Provenzano. “Pick something small and stick with it. After four or five weeks say, ‘OK, I stuck with that let’s move on and keep adding,’ because it’ll slowly build up. The biggest thing that I find in general is that people do too much too soon.”
Use the buddy system to get into shape. “Find a friend, find someone who is in the same boat as you because it’s always easier if you’re doing something with someone. You’re going to hold each other accountable.”

If you had an old injury, don’t forget about it. “[People] forget about the shoulder surgery they had five years ago, or the knee surgery 10 years ago. All those little things come into play as we get older. You need to work with what you have. Start small, start slow, build up and just make progressions.”

Getting into shape takes time, so don’t be discouraged early on. Start slow and over time the results will begin to show.