Health & Wellness

Get motivated to get moving

Starting is one thing, but then you have to maintain it
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It’s January… again. Will 2024 be your year of fitness? After the abundance of the holiday season, many of us begin the year with great intentions, but a few weeks in, the post-New Year motivation can begin to wane. Don’t let it happen! Sometimes all you need is a bit of encouragement, support and guidance. Personal training and fitness instructors Betty Doyling and Monroe Darrell Jr., share their advice on how to get started and how to keep going.

“Start somewhere,” said Ms Doyling, owner of B-Active For Life. “It could be anything. Start with walking, one day a week, and see if you can manage that for two to three weeks and then start with another day, and then another. From there, maybe change up one of those days to weight training and then start another day of that, so you have three days of cardio and two days of weight training.”

One of the biggest mistakes people make is doing too much too quickly. She warned that when January hits, there is a temptation to sign up to everything, everyday. “Don’t do that. You’ll be burnt out the first or second week.”

Once you’ve started, one of the biggest motivators is accountability. “For group settings, it’s the people,” she continued. “You know that you’re coming to class and you know that you’re going to see [people you know] and they’re going to expect you to be there and be like, ‘Where have you been?’ They’re always holding each other accountable.”

For private training, she said, “It’s just a happy face and to know that [the trainer is] always going to show up. They don’t feel like they can get away. Just having it in their calendar helps.”

Mr Darrell, owner of MCORE, agreed that having a fitness schedule is very important: With a regimen of consistency its much easier for people working in a more structured way of 9 to 5. Their free time, that has to be concreted in with having a structured and organised class.”

He agreed that “camaraderie definitely has its influence” but added that privacy is also valuable. He therefore operates his classes as “small families” and keeps them creative.

“I use different apparatus – from bands to meditation. I myself enjoy a wide range of different activities from ballet to martial arts, to TRX to exercise bands.”

He also values getting to know his clients, watching their responses to different exercises carefully.

“Some might like 10lbs on the weights, some people might like a band. It’s still resistance. There’s a creative niche and that allows me to not be classified as just a weightlifting trainer, powerlifting trainer, meditation trainer, a martial science trainer.”

While the prospect of weights might seem daunting to a beginner, Ms Doyling said that weight exercises can be invaluable: “As we age, we lose muscle very quickly. As you get older, you can have falls and your muscles will be able to support your falls. I have clients that have fallen, and they’re in their sixties, and they’re fine.”

If you have never lifted weights before, she recommended hiring a personal trainer to safeguard from injuries and familiarise yourself with the equipment.

While cardio, weightlifting and resistance exercises can provide great stress relief, Mr Darrell also practises yoga and meditation daily: “I have a philosophy that I live by: Wherever you go, take some yoga with you,” he said.

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