Tell me if this sounds familiar: It's January and you've started that diet you've promised yourself you would do. You bought that gym membership, sure to help you get the body you've been dreaming of. The first week or two often goes well, but come week three, four and five, motivation and determination start to break down. And with that the New Year's resolutions cycle begins and ends again.
While many fail at their resolutions to take up a healthier lifestyle each year, there are a few who succeed. These individuals and the coaches and trainers who support and guide them are the keepers of the keys to success. In an effort to help you break the cycle of broken resolutions—and in honor of our Fit Week/Winter Health issue— we asked local fitness professionals and their clients to share their tips for success.
Janaya Eveland has been a personal trainer at Horizon Line Personal Training for three years, where the approach to fitness includes just one 30-minute session of strength training per week. She offered the following advice about creating and maintaining a workout regimen and a more active lifestyle.
Move to Support Your Life: "If you exercise 60 minutes a day and then sit the remainder of the day, you are sedentary. My number one suggestion for integrating more fitness into your life is to create more dynamic movement in your daily living...Examine all the conveniences in your life: the garage door opener, the grocery cart, your car. Generally speaking, if it's convenient, your movement has been eliminated from the experience," Eveland says.
Play Often: "At Horizon Line, we are big proponents of play. Find ways that moving your body brings you joy! Not only is our hometown a mecca for outdoor adventure, we have an abundance of organized movement opportunities as well: yoga, Pilates, martial arts, personal training studios, dance classes, etc. Be creative in thinking about your fitness."
Make Movement A Part of Your Community: "When meeting up with your friends, get the coffee to go and go for a walk. There are 65 miles of trails in Bend!" Eveland enthusiastically reminds us.
Before Angie Unitsz started working out, she would end every day with back pain. Since joining Horizon Line, both her body and life has changed. She says, "Now at the end of the day I feel so good and I can stand up straight. I used to go to the chiropractor. I haven't been to a chiropractor in five years."
When asked what makes this approach work, Unitsz says, "I'm not a gym person, I'm not someone who is going to go to the gym four or five days a week. By training once a week, I'm really committed in the meantime to keeping my body moving and fit. I also started playing racquetball again."
Unitsz says that talking with Eveland is a big help. She says, "Our talks are very casual. In the summer Janaya mountain bikes and then I tell her about what I'm going to be doing that week... So we integrate our different lifestyles and where she goes to get her additional exercise opens up my mind, and I think I might want to try those things, too."
Unitsz has lost over 15 pounds and gained muscle definition since starting three years ago. At 54, she says she feels even more fit than at 30. When asked what advice she had to offer others, she says, "My thing is, I can do anything for an hour. I can do anything for a day. Whatever I put in front of me, that is how I think. Make a goal you can achieve and hang in there until it's achieved and then make another goal."
John Odden's background includes 15 years of personal training, strength coaching and clinical experience in physical therapy and cardiac rehabilitation. He says, "The bottom line, (getting fit) is a challenging process. There is no quick fix or magic potion or secret exercise." Odden's approach to coaching includes a focus on education and teaching the fundamentals of movement while meeting his clients wherever they are with goals and their readiness for change. The following are some of his tips for making workouts a sustainable part of life.
Train with a purpose: "Do you have a greater purpose? Looking good on the beach is OK, but it helps to want something more. Do you care about your health or have a cool goal like running a marathon or deadlifting 500 lbs? I don't care what it is. But finding something, whatever that may be, will give you something to connect going to the gym to," suggests Odden.
Choosing a Coach or Some Support: "Every person—every coach— at some point needs some coaching. (Coaches) look at and set specific, measurable, realistic, time-oriented and attainable goals... and then help you work toward (them) with strength training and movement quality, which is the focal point of our system," Odden says.
Be Willing to Make it a Priority: "Can you think ahead to where you want to be at least a few months from now? 90 days minimum? We all have to part the seas a little bit and choose to carve out time here or there," Odden reminds.
Teresa Bickel: 56 (John Odden's client)
At 56, Teresa Bickel had just started a nutrition program and felt like she had some energy to burn. Her friend recommended Odden's program. Bickel says, "To tell you the truth, I've never been to gyms before. I trusted my friend and John made me feel really comfortable."
At the end of March, Bickel will have been attending Empowered Strength for one year and the strides she has made are noticeable. "I am using my body better than I ever have. My strength has improved and I am learning how to use my body in a safer way. I am definitely stronger than I have been my whole life."
When asked what makes Odden's program sustainable for her, Bickel says seeing her body transform without getting hurt or being afraid of getting hurt was key. She attends classes four times a week with no sign of stopping anytime soon.
Bickel has good advice for those looking to change their lifestyle and says, "Make the time. Our body is the only thing we have that we need to take care of and we only have this one body. It's worth it."
Jimmy Smith has been involved in the martial arts since the age of 10, training others in the martial arts and fitness arena most of his life. A personal trainer and fitness coach, his approach to fitness includes one-on-one personal training, group fitness classes and adult kickboxing classes. He offered up this advice for those seeking the key to a healthier lifestyle.
Keep it Interesting: "Always do exercises that are interesting instead of doing the same thing over and over again. Sometimes you'll even need to change it up and get a whole new routine. If you keep it interesting your workout is going to be more sustainable and maintainable long term," says Smith.
Have a Baseline Assessment Every Month: "Whether you have long-term goals or short-term goals, create short stepping stones to reach them. Sometimes you do need to seek professional help or a coach to help you determine where you are and how to get where you want to go," Smith suggests.
Get a Tailored Program: "As we age our bodies aren't what they used to be in their 20s. A lot of people I train are trying to work out like they did when they were 20 and it doesn't work for them. It helps to find someone who get put together a workout that works for you," Smith says.
Monica Buehler: 54 (Jimmys' Client)
At 54, though Monica had been active throughout her life, she found that with age she was less able to do the things she enjoyed the way she had when she was younger. She had gained enough weight to make her feel out of shape and had fallen into a rut.
Buehler signed up with Smith and went in for an assessment. She says, "My initial assessment results spoke louder than any words could have. I was weak, out of breath and my balance had abandoned me. I signed up that day."
When asked if working with Smith and taking classes at his gym has worked for her, Buehler says, "Has it worked for me? You bet! I've lost that weight, gotten so much stronger, lost inches in my belly, and feel amazing! I am an elementary school teacher and I have never gone this long into the year without getting sick!"
Buehler says the team, the accountability, the encouragement and the fun are the elements that made joining Smith Marital Arts and fitness a success for her. "There is something about the 5:45 Club (I named it that) that makes it special. Maybe because it shows how dedicated these gals are to get up at who knows what time to get there at 5:45a.m. You wouldn't think you'd hear laughter at 5:45 a.m., but you do, because that's the kind of environment it is!" says Buehler.