The approach of February douses fitness resolutions for many people, but this resolve doesn’t have to drown. Experts have tricks for keeping our metabolism’s fires burning all year.
Checking the scales every day can be not only discouraging but may give an inaccurate account of what’s happening in our bodies, said Jenna and Shaun Tieman, owners of Hoosier Athletic Club, recently known as Hoosier CrossFit. Shaun, who weighs 215 pounds, said his weight can fluctuate as much as five pounds a day because of how much water he has consumed or perspired. He advises people who do want to weigh themselves every day to do so at the same time, so water weight is somewhat predictable.
Jenna explained that not all body weight is the same; some of the variables being fat, muscle and water. “Consider the type of training you’re doing,” she said.
Another tip is to work out in groups, which is where Hoosier Athletic Club’s focus lies. Knowing you’ll see others can make you excited about going to a gym, Jenna said. “People have always excelled in groups,” she said, citing hunting and other survival skills. For people 50 and older, the Tiemans offer a special “longevity” program.
When the Tiemans built their new gym, at 340 S. Walker St. in Bloomington in 2017, Shaun worked out less and worked on the new gym space more. His six-days-a-week fitness regimen dwindled to every other day, so he set small recovery goals. “It was slow progress (coming) back,” he said.
Megan Stark is a personal trainer at Twin Lakes Recreation Center and has developed ideas for keeping the fitness dream from fading.
Restaurant meals often contain a stewpot-load of calories, but people needn’t consume them in one sitting.
“One meal can actually be several meals,” she said. “I ask the waiter for a go-box, divide the meal, and set (the extra portions) aside — out of my view — for tomorrow.”
Otherwise, she said, if she’s chatting with friends, before she knows it, she has “eaten a massive amount of food.”
She cautions against pasta on restaurant plates: Those “plates” are often deep bowls, which hold too much food for one meal.
As most trainers do, Stark believes in goal-setting and stresses that goals need time boundaries to make them specific and trackable. “I use deadlines, with one large ‘stepping-stone’ goal per month and another, smaller, goal per week,” she said. If Stark reaches her exercise quotas, she rewards herself with a “cheat meal.”
“I am in love with pizza,” she said, “and allow myself to eat one every week.” She said she orders the same type of pizza from the same restaurant and eats “the whole thing.” Rewards (such as these) should come infrequently, she explained, or “they lose their sparkle.”
Rita Klingelhoffer trains clients and teaches fitness at the Southeast YMCA in Bloomington. She said it’s still early in the year for her participants to lose their motivation — it can start waning in late February — and this is what she said helps: “I keep a Facebook group for (interested) people, to maintain accountability.” For people who prefer not to use social media or email, Klingelhoffer tailors the approach, but still wants them in the loop.
“’Hey, we missed you. Are you OK?’ is nice to hear,” she said, “when someone has missed a few classes. We get involved rather than go solo.”
Klingelhoffer also has discovered that trainers need to understand where motivations come from. “Knowing the client’s ‘why’ is as important as anything,” she said. After talking with her clients, they discuss goals, putting them into writing. She takes their measurements and creates an assessment so their progress can be monitored and their workouts adjusted. “I find (this) is a huge motivation to clients, as they can see their progress from more than one data point, the scale,” she said.
Klingelhoffer’s reward system involves “nonfood indulgence.” Instead of a pizza, she looks forward to such comforts as a massage, manicure or pedicure, new workout gear — or an outfit that now fits.