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Fitness experts urge an end to ‘treadmill of excuses’

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By Ramsey Scott

It’s one thing to make a new year’s resolution to get in shape. It’s another for that resolution to last until the end of the year, let alone the end of January.

Keeping that resolution isn’t about just willpower and self-control — you have to find a way to enjoy working out, said Tami Adams, fitness supervisor for the Foothills Park and Recreation District. 

“My biggest recommendation is finding something you enjoy doing. It could be something as simple as going to the park with your kids — just committing to do something active that gets your heart rate up,” Adams said. “You’ll be more inclined to do it if you like it. If you don’t want to do it, you’ll fail.”

Adams said that finding time for a daily workout and keeping it fun are keys to success. Another key is to set attainable goals. 

“You need to make the goals specific and measurable, like, ‘I’m going to lose 10 pounds,’ not, ‘I’m going to get into shape.’ They also need to be attainable and realistic, something you can achieve and realistically do,” Adams said. “And goals should be timely; there’s always got to be an end point with a plan. If you just say, ‘I’ll get in shape,’ and you never set a time frame, you’ll never do it.”

Personal trainer Lindsay Hahl, who has her own business, MIX Personal Training, through the Club USA gym, said part of a realistic workout plan is to understand how the body works. 

Many people make the mistake of starting an exercise plan without doing research or having knowledge of how to maximize their efforts, Hahl said. 

A good example, Hahl said, is running. Someone could run for 30 minutes every day for the rest of the year and not lose an inch off his waist. It takes at least an hour of exercise to begin burning fat.

“Most of the time, people don’t have the knowledge behind what the exercise is meant for or the way the body works. A lot of times, our expectations are completely out of line with what will happen,” Hahl said. “Getting an education on how things work is important.”

Both Hahl and Adams emphasized not letting a one-time slip-up ruin a resolution to get in shape — something to remember as Super Bowl Sunday, and all the junk food that goes with it, approaches next month. 

“They get on the treadmill of excuses. If they fall off a diet or an exercise plan, they say, ‘We might as well do this because I screwed up.’ One doughnut never made anyone overweight,” Hahl said. “Do your one splurge, and call it good. And just start over fresh and new the next day. Just don’t give yourself the excuse of you’ll start it again next week.” 

The most important thing, no matter if it’s through a class at a gym, a personal trainer or just walking a couple of miles every week, is to get some exercise, Adams said. 

“Based on everything I believe in and what we have here at Foothills, exercise is medicine. It’s preventative; it keeps you in good health. Inactivity and not keeping yourself healthy is tied to almost all diseases out there,” Adams said. “Being active and getting exercise — it can have dramatic results on your quality of life. You get to experience more of the life you have to live instead of its limitations.”

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine.