Thursday, December 16, 2010

Take the Holiday Test

      Thanksgiving until New Year's is without fail, the slowest time of year in the fitness industry.  This is certainly understandable, with more demands on time for shopping, socializing, cooking, and attending and/or participating in holiday programs.  People who are still working out as much as usual during these
months are truly commited to their fitness and will not easily have it interrupted.  It is my observation that
there are several different levels of commitment to fitness, that becomes very clear from Nov - March.

           Level #1    Fully Committed All Year

                The worst thing that could  happen to these women would be an injury that would prevent       them from maintaining their regular workouts.  They have certain workouts that they prefer or enjoy more but are open to alternatives if necessary, to make sure they keep up their exercise - which is at least 3x a week but often up to 6x a week, with a balance of strength training, cardio and core training/flexibility.
                 If they are out of town or vacationing, they enjoy physical activities like walking, hiking, riding bikes, swimming, skiing, golf, tennis, etc.  Or make use of a hotel or local gym.         
                 When their life gets busier than usual with work or holidays, they may miss a few workouts but try to make adjustments to make sure they work out several times a week.   They may go to classes or gym at different times than normal or do a quick workout at home.  When they don't exercise as much, they see the difference in their energy and don't feel as good.  Their body misses the exercise and that is what motivates them to stick with it.  And if they have over-eaten, they burn off the extra calories with additional exercise to avoid weight gain.
     Level #2   Partially Committed to Exercise

                            Women in this category know how important exercise is for weight control and health,
and want to exercise several times a week.  However, there are often many weeks during the year that their schedule is thrown off by work, family or activities that interfere with their usual workout time and they only manage to exercise once or twice a week or even skip a full week( or two or three). 
                           Instead of making adjustments to interruptions in their usual fitness schedule by going to the gym at different times, attending a different class, or doing something on their own, they just  skip it.  Others may  be a little too "picky" about what type of exercise they will do and aren't very flexible or willing to be involved with all aspects of fitness.  Some women love the soothing yoga or pilates but tend to avoid any cardio.  And some cardio queens can't be convinced about the benefits of strength training.  Sometimes
exercise just has to "be" in order to get the job done...which is protecting your heart, bones and wellness. 

   Level #3    Forced to Exercise

                         When women are 35 and under, I think that the majority are mainly motivated to exercise
 to lose or maintain weight and work on their physique.  And when you exercise on a regular basis long
enough, after awhile it will become a part of your being that you do not want to do without.  Older women who never exercised or stopped exercising for years, may begin to experience some health problems like obesity, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis or high cholesterol and blood pressure.  At this point, their doctor or family may  encourage or pressure them to start exercising for healing or to prolong their life.
                        They aren't really that crazy about exercise, as it feels difficult, tiring and awkward.  But  they attempt it, often overdoing it with too much too soon instead of working up intensity and duration slowly and progressively.   Unfortunately, it seems that only a small percentage of this group really sticks with it
long enough to eventually become Level #2 or #1 at this age.  So many give up on exercise all together or make new attempts a few times a year (especially in January).  They may feel guilty not exercising but will use any excuse to why they aren't.  Staying overly busy in their lives with work, family, other activites or holidays makes it seem ok to not have time for exercise.

      We have all levels of fitness here at Trim Up and we try to offer a variety of classes and programs that
will keep the #1's challenged and interested, the #2's encouraged and connected  and give the #3's support and training.   I was first motivated to exercise to lose weight after my first child but it took several years before I can say that I was "hooked" and wanted to exercise.  I slipped away from fitness for awhile when going through menopause's fatigue and emotional turmoil and understand how women can struggle with exercise.  Hopefully by providing a facility that will encourage women to protect their health with fitness and nutrition, I'll be able to convert some of those #2's and #3's into being #1!!                           

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