3 Fitness Experts on Their New Year's Resolutions for a Healthier 2018
Fitness experts want to be better, healthier versions of themselves, just like you. They're just a few steps ahead, and with easy access to a gym to boot. But that doesn't mean you can't take inspiration from their hard work. Just in time to lock down your New Year's resolution, three professional trainers outline their own goals for 2018, how they plan to achieve them, and their advice to anyone who doesn't have rock-hard abs and a six-minute mile—yet.
Biting the Bullet After the Holidays
Joe Ferraro, Rumble Boxing
His resolution: After the holidays, getting back on track to what I usually do. A day where you're off track, eating grandma's apple pie is not totally going to derail your fitness goals. I let myself do that for a couple days—go to holiday parties, eat whatever I want—but get back to being more on track with my diet and staying in good health.
What he does his first week back: I'm a little bit more intensive than I usually am. I'll cut out some of the excess carbs that I definitely consumed over the past week or holidays, and just get back to eating super super healthy and lean. My fitness routine is a little bit more stringent that first week, a little bit more cardio to burn off some of that excess.
His biggest challenge: I think finding time to drive after being off a couple of days is hard. But think about your end goal—not getting to the gym is not going to help that. So just forcing yourself, even on days when you're tired and you don't feel like doing it. You always feel better after.
His tip for you: For somebody who's never tried group fitness, or has trouble for motivation getting to the gym, I would say trying out classes may be—I don't want to say a "life-changing" thing, but maybe just a fitness-routine-altering day. It's a lot more fun, time flies by, and then you don't mind being there, as opposed to just going to the gym and standing there on your own counting reps.
Focusing on Mental Health
Lauren Fisher, Equinox
Her resolution: Every year I think about resolutions, and it's always focus on rest, regeneration, sleep. I think that maintaining a healthy outlook outside the gym, like really maintaining a balanced diet and focusing on mental health, is a huge aspect that tends to get pushed aside.
What that means: You can be lifting some really heavy weights in the gym, and that could be one of your goals—building strength, getting stronger, gaining more muscle. But if you're not eating the right way, then your muscles aren't going to repair properly, and you're not going to actually see those "gains." Same thing goes with rest. If you're not getting enough sleep, you're body doesn't have time to heal itself, and you're not going to see your body change in the ways you hope that it would.
What she'll start doing: I'm definitely bad at being on my phone before bed, being on the internet before bed. I think making goals attainable is really important, so I'm shutting off my phone or putting it on "do not disturb" an hour before I go to bed.
"I'm shutting off my phone or putting it on 'do not disturb' an hour before I go to bed."
Her biggest challenge: Time is the biggest struggle, but there are ways to work around that. If I were to meal prep or take the time to write out a to-do list, just be as organized as possible. I have to prepare programs for clients coming in, so maybe that means doing all of their exercise programs on a Sunday night so I know what to expect going into the week so I don't have to rush or stress out about those little things.
Her tip for you: Don't get discouraged when you have an off day. There's so many moving parts when it comes to finding your best self fitness-wise, and it's not just working out at the gym. It's the sleep, the nutrition. And if we're talking inside the gym, just physically get there, even if it's for a half hour just doing cardio or something light. Make use of the people at the gym who work there. People just want to help.
Replacing Bad Habits with Healthy Ones
Ashley Wilking, Ash Fit, Rumble Boxing
Her resolution: Since being active is such a major part of my day-to-day, my resolution is focusing on my health from a different angle: less caffeine and less tech-time. How many of us can't function without caffeine, or find ourselves in the black hole of social media, and before we know it, it's 2:00 a.m. and we're watching BuzzFeed video of cats in tutus. Why?
How she'll do it: My resolution is to tap other sources of energy and to better utilize my "time with tech" by limiting the bored or habitual scrolling we find ourselves doing in an elevator, waiting in line for coffee, or even when we're at the dinner table. Replacing the constant stimulation with something that benefits my health in a less intense form, like meditation or journaling, rather than immediately picking up my phone or coffee. I've always loved matcha, so now using it as my first choice rather than my second cup during the day.
Her biggest challenge: Breaking bad habits and finding balance will always be the biggest challenge. Cutting anything cold turkey or starting anything full force is tough. You don't run all 26.2 miles of a marathon first, you train for it one mile at a time.
Her tip for you: Find something that means something to you. Sure, running a marathon is a great goal, but doing it for a charity that is important to you will add motivation. Make a plan and document it, adding reminders to your calendar, booking your workout ahead of time. Then, invest. When we pay for something ahead of time we usually don't want to waste it.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.