Get Fit in 2011*

*Please note: This article was published (without edits) in its entirety at: and can be found at this link:   leave me a comment there or here.  Share your experiences with us! 

photo courtesy of Microsoft

I recently completed a personal training session at my gym and started to think about the coming New Year and all those resolutions. One of the top priorities on most resolutions is the inevitable one of weight loss or getting in shape. As I have learned recently through my personal training sessions, 75% of weight loss is what you put into your body and the other 25% is exercise. Interesting.

Getting Fit in 2011 is not just about making a resolution –it’s about knowing what’s out there so you can get a proper start to carry out that resolution. First, if you are serious about getting started, check the local ads, and pass by local gyms like 24 hour fitness, Bally’s, etc., and look into the specials. Also, check your local recreation centers and facilities like the YMCA and county facilities like APEX in Arvada, Wheat Ridge Recreation Center, Broomfield, and so on. Traditionally, between December 24 and mid-January, most gyms will run New Year or Resolution specials. If all else fails, and you’re a Costco member, right now, they are offering a 2-year 24hour fitness© membership for only $299- that’s less than $12.50 a month!

Even if you have a membership, it’s so easy to not go to the gym or get lost while you are there. So many machines, so many different things to do- it can be overwhelming. The first time I could not operate a particular machine, I felt like a fool and shied away from all the weight machines. Don’t let that happen to you!  Have someone give you a tour and show you how to use those machines. You can take it a step farther like I did and hire a personal trainer. Gyms offer specials on personal training all the time and you can do three or four sessions for a reasonable price. Or, if you do not want to pay for personal training, find someone who knows technique and follow their lead. Using the buddy system adds accountability which is great when you are working out. 

I took the plunge and took personal training. It was great! I learned new exercises and new weight machines that I would probably have not ventured to try. I also got to try to some old exercises in new ways- for example, bench pressing weights but on a balance ball. I can feel that all over. My goal was to learn some new techniques especially because all I did before was yoga, running on the treadmill, and sit-ups and push-ups. It was time to learn something new and in four personal training sessions, my personal trainer taught me over 25 techniques (some of which I can do at home for free) and different ways to exercise my entire body and to focus on my core. She even helped me change up what I already knew and did well: Running. She informed me that she has helped some clients lose over 50 lbs-with exercise and nutrition.

If you are a member, find out what classes your gym offers and more importantly, attend. Group classes tend to get you going as well.  There are others with you, you feel obligated to attend, and the instructor can show you the right way to do a pose or move. I have been attending yoga classes at my gym since 2006. I have to say, it is a great feeling to leave there, sore and all. But yoga does wonders for my mental well-being as well. The new craze in group classes is Zumba. It’s an aerobic workout inspired by latin dance and quite fun. I am planning to attend Zumba at my gym in January. Other group classes normally include cycling, pilates, aerobic classes, and boot camp. Some gyms also have pools and classes like water aerobics in the pool so take advantage of those if you enjoy the water. Most gyms and rec centers offer daycare so if you are a stay at home mom or it’s the weekend, don’t fret. As a member, you can take advantage of day care as well. 

Finally, if you don’t want the added cost of a gym membership, look to your own family and friends. Find a walking or running buddy or someone you can play tennis with. Go skiing or snow shoeing– what a great way to lose weight and get some exercise. And if you are not outdoorsy, look to what you have in the home. It’s amazing what you can do with a chair and some weights at home. You can do tricep presses at home, and exercise your abs and core in your own living room. If you have a balance ball, there are many exercises you can do on that too. Learn a few you like to help your total body, do a circuit series of five different exercises three times or reps.  You will be sore but it will be a great sore so go for it. 

So, go ahead and make your resolutions but then take the right steps to follow through.  With all the deals and all the tools we have at our disposal, there is no excuse for falling through on your resolution.  Get fit in 2011!

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