Every year, as part of their New Year’s resolutions, people promise themselves that they’re going to get in shape. About 70 percent of those people will step off the treadmill, put down the weights, hang up the running shoes, give up the pushups, cease the sit-ups or climb out of the pools within a month.
Aubrey Toller, a personal trainer at the Sharron Baucom - Dale City Recreation Center, said impatience is probably the key factor that causes people to quit.
“Sadly, the gym is filled the first few weeks of the year and then it wavers off,” Toller said. “If people don’t see results right away, within the first three or four weeks, they get frustrated and stop. They may be only one day away from making that breakthrough, but they quit too soon before they see the fruits of their labor.”
Toller said there are a few things people can try to keep themselves on the path to success and physical fitness. One thing to help keep interest is to work a little harder at each exercise session. Lifting a little bit more weight, walking a little farther or faster, spending a little longer on the treadmill, pumping out a few more pushups or swimming an extra lap will yield quicker results. “You want to challenge yourself. In order to succeed, to progress, you have to get out of your comfort zone. That’s where you’re going to make your greatest strides.”
Another way to stay motivated after two or three weeks is to find a partner, Toller said. “Sometimes people are not accountable to themselves, but they will be accountable to someone else. If you can find a partner, someone who can work out with you and be there for support, you can feed off each other.”
Toller said it’s natural for people to want to blow off their workouts. Having a partner can make that harder to do. “There will be days when you simply don’t want to work out, but if you have that buddy to work out with, to say ‘C’mon, let’s go,’ you feel a lot better and you’re glad that you came.”
Another form of external motivation would be to hire a pro to help out. “If you need a little help, by all means, get a personal trainer or a fitness expert and just listen and do what they say. Stick with what you’re doing and the results will show up.”
If you’re interested in sticking with your New Year’s resolution to get in shape, check out the list of indoor and outdoor activities the County’s Parks and Recreation Department offers at www.pwcgov.org/parks
. Both Dale City and Chinn recreation centers are currently offering sales on their membership passes for a new year, a new start!