We have all done it, and many of us did it this year. We pledge to ourselves that we will exercise, lose weight and get in shape.
It is by far the most common New Year's resolution, Keven Rush said, owner of the Payson Athletic Club, where a banner wishes all: "Merry Fitness and a Happy New Rear."
Also a personal trainer, Rush has some advice for those looking for the new and improved body -- go slow and find a trainer, someone willing to assess your body and help design an individual program.
Rush said that the average resolution-maker gets so excited about obtaining their goal, that they grab the latest health magazine off the rack, find the latest fitness program and jump into it going full tilt. This creates a myriad of problems.
"They see Ms. Jane USA doing a body building program when they really want a weight loss program," he said.
This approach can result in frustration, soreness and possible injuries.
Working with brand new client, Dr. Ginny Creager on her recent resolution, Rush explained how to approach a fitness program and how to make it work for you.
"Your program needs to accommodate your current fitness level, your goals, and take into account pre-existing conditions," Rush said.
In Creager's case, her goals are strength and endurance, something more than walking and the floor exercises she has been doing.
"I want to move into the next 30 years of my life beautifully," she said.
But she has back problems, arthritis and fibromyalgia -- ailments that can benefit from exercise, but can also be aggravated by it.
There are exercises that are great for an in-shape body builder that someone with a total hip replacement should not be doing, Rush said.
Creager talked with both of her doctors, and brought information to Rush from the physicians, something he encourages.
"You want the physician who knows their patient to set the parameters of what is appropriate," Rush said.
It all goes back to current health and pre-existing conditions, a program from a magazine cannot work with you on that, Rush said.
To accommodate Creager's needs, Rush put her on a nine-station circuit. At each station, she sits on a machine, to alleviate stress on her back. Each of the nine units works a different muscle group by creating resistance.
The weights vary from 10 to 60 pounds, Rush said, but that is not the important factor.
"You want to make sure the resistance makes the muscle struggle," he said.
"On a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being so sore that you cannot move, we like people to operate at a 2 or 3," Rush said.
If your pain level is higher than that, Rush will ask you to back up a bit.
"We want your body to establish the ability to workout," he said. "You shouldn't start at the maximum level. It is a big mistake to start something that is too difficult, it is always easier to make a program harder."
Rush will meet with clients like Creager every other day to keep consistency and monitor their progress. He will gradually increase the intensity of the workout, guiding the client toward their goal.
To learn more about keeping your New Year's resolution this year, contact Rush at PAC (474-0916), or contact Curves for Woman (474-9797).