Many of us resolve every year to improve our personal health and for most of us, that focus fades just as quickly as it began. We buy gym memberships and exercise machines. We take classes, buy workout videos and download scheduling apps. We attack our fitness resolutions with gusto and then, we slowly drift back into our old, unhealthy ruts and habits. The memberships sit idle, the machines gather dust (or become clothes hangers) and our scheduling apps get deleted. By March, we’re back to wishing we could someday find the time to get healthy.
“Over ninety percent of all New Year’s resolutions have to do with health and fitness,” says Kevin Law, Owner of Powerhouse Gym in Fenton. “People know they need to do it and that is a good thing. We have to focus on health and continue to invest in ourselves. Better health is one of the most important self-improvements we can make.”
Everybody wants to get healthy. Resolving to do it is easy – the struggle lies in the follow-through. How do we stick with our New Year’s resolution to be healthier? Law provides some helpful tips to get engaged and stick to it.
1. Commit to better nutrition.
“What we eat is the biggest contributor to our health,” says Law. “Sure, we should lift weights and do cardio for strength and function. But as far as losing weight goes, nutrition is number one. If you look at the statistics, we are bigger, sicker and have more health issues than ever. Much of that is due to the food we eat.”
Our busy lifestyles can make us feel obligated to select the quickest and easiest meal. “I don’t blame our population,” Law adds. “People work hard, they’re tired and lack time to spend with their families. This can lead to poor food choices.” Changing our diet overnight or starting a strict regimen can be a struggle. Instead, Law recommends gradually cutting out unhealthy foods, replacing them with better over time.
2. Set realistic goals.
People tend to set a goal of better health – but what does that really mean? How are you going to quantify that goal? Maybe you want to be able to run three miles by June, or lose 20 pounds before your beach vacation in July. When you start, make the goal realistic and break it down into steps. “A lot of people set unrealistic expectations,” explains Law. “Set smaller goals leading to the bigger goal and write them down. I might reach eighty percent of my daily goals, and I just roll the unfinished goals into the next. It’s like earning a degree – you don’t go to college and immediately obtain a diploma. You have to achieve smaller steps before that happens.”
3. Have a team.
You don’t have to take this journey alone. Gather a group of friends with similar goals. Maybe join a running group or hire a personal trainer. Even if you start exercising at home, it’s much easier with someone who will help keep you committed and hold you accountable. “Maybe your team would include your doctor, nutritionist, trainer or just some friends. Sometimes, it’s easier when someone struggles along with you,” Law says, laughing.
“Get engaged in your new healthy lifestyle and you will stick to it.”
Kevin Law, owner Powerhouse Gym
4. Make the time.
The most important thing we have is time and as we age, another very important thing will be our health. The time is there – we all have time to exercise – we just have to allocate it. Just 20 minutes of physical activity a day can do wonders. It might not be convenient to get to the gym every day, but we can all set aside 20 minutes to be active at home. “How much time are you spending on internet and TV?” asks Law. “It takes commitment and with the right goals, you can make it. Again, we are investing in ourselves and our future health. It’s all about time management.”
5. Be patient
All projects take time. Health improvement is one of the most important projects you will ever begin. Make sure to give your body the time it needs and deserves. “You can’t expect results overnight,” states Law. “Personal health is like gardening in that it takes time. You plant seeds in the ground and in order for them to grow, they need sunlight, water, nourishment and time. Health is a way of life. Making it a habit takes time. If you stick with it, you will get to your goal. Just keep showing up. Don’t give in! Just keep showing up.”
6. Get engaged.
In order to really turn your health resolution into a daily habit, you must immerse yourself in the lifestyle. The No. 1 tip for sticking to your resolution, according to Law, is engagement. “You have to be responsible for learning about your health,” he asserts. “Ask questions and talk to people. When I was young, I started coming to the gym and I just watched people. I learned from them, asked questions and emulated their workouts. People are always friendly and helpful.” Law said he read as many books as he could about health and staying fit. If that doesn’t fit for you, he suggests hiring a trainer. “Get involved in your health,” he adds. “Get engaged with the experience.”
Everybody learns and grows for different reasons and what works for some doesn’t work for others. Find the perfect blend of reasons, tips and tricks that you need to get and remain healthy while avoiding pitfalls along the way. Law says the biggest pitfall he sees and strives to overcome at Powerhouse Gym is the fear of starting something new.
“The number one reason that people abandon their New Year’s resolution is intimidation,” he shares. “They come into a new gym or buy a new fitness machine, and don’t know where to start. Let’s face it – it takes a lot of will to walk through a gym door for the first time! When you do get there, please ask for help. My staff, and a gym staff anywhere, will gladly show you how to operate any machine, and the people working out with you will always give great advice. The magic will happen for you when you come in, meet new people and learn.”
Powerhouse Gym of Fenton is the biggest gym in Genesee County and the staff is there to help you be the healthy and fit person you deserve to be. “We want to help you achieve your goal, whether it’s losing five pounds or being on stage someday in a fitness competition,” Law says. “What’s important is what you want to achieve.” Law adds that a gym or fitness club is not just for hard-core bodybuilders or fitness fanatics – they are few and far between. His typical clientele are everyday people seeking self-improvement. “We have older people who come here because they want better mobility, and we help them with that. Look around in whatever club or gym you join. Most of the patrons are just the people next door, trying to improve.”
Powerhouse provides help for any person who walks through their door – they need only ask for it. The staff includes multiple trainers with skillsets ranging from young athletes to seniors. “We have a senior program called Silver Sneakers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and we have people certified to work with that clientele,” says Law. “If you want to hire a trainer, we can tailor a health program that works best for you. If not at our facility, then wherever you go, just go and keep going,” he says with a smile. “Be engaged with your health. People are learning just like you. We are all here to help each other.”