What is it about the New Year that makes us want to try to get in shape again? The idea of starting with a fresh slate? of wanting to shed some of those holiday pounds? or the nagging thought that Spring is just ahead holding up last year’s bathing suit for us to squeeze into? And guys, maybe this is the year that you’ll go back to being a 38 waist.
Here’s a quick visit to two venues for fitness, and some special tips from their experts:
426 Fitness wants YOU
Steve Skitek, manager and trainer at 426 Fitness in Warren, RI said that the average American gains four to seven pounds between Christmas and New Year’s. Here are his top tips for getting in shape and staying in shape (Hint: exercise, exercise, exercise!):
If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and you’re changing your diet, remember that exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are those hormones that make you feel better and will help you make better decisions if you’re tempted to overeat.
If you like to be active when vacationing—for example, you like to hit the ski slopes—remember that whatever you enjoy doing now, you have to exercise to be able to keep doing it in the future.
Recognize that stress can put on the pounds. Choosing healthy food and exercising helps you manage stress better.
Stay hydrated even though it’s winter. In cold weather you burn as much energy as in the summer.
Exercise builds bone density in men, too. Although people exercise for many reasons, remember that both men and women get osteoporosis.
“We look at clients posturally when they come in,” said Skitek, who has 20 years in exercise training and also oversees the clubs trainers. “We especially look for rounded shoulders, tightening in the lower back and hips out of alignment.” He said that 426 Fitness offers corrective exercise such as Yoga and Pilate’s.
“If you want to be more involved with your health, we’re here for you,” said Mark Lombari, owner of 426 Fitness. The 40,000 square foot fitness center has every type of workout imaginable: an obstacle course, a batting cage for batting practice, a full golf driving range, and the largest rowing studio in New England.
In fact, there’s so much room, Lombari donates 5,000 square feet to the local school district for youth wrestling. Parents can drop off their children at dance or wrestling and spend time exercising, too.
426 Fitness is located at 426 Metacom Street, Warren, RI,or visit them online at www.426fitness.com
Youth fitness programs with a capital “Y”
Nancy LaRue Bonell, VP of Operations at the South Coast YMCA, said the Y’s winter programs start on January 2nd, just in time to keep your New Year’s resolutions. The Y is dedicated to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, and their programs for kids fill most of their 30 page program guide, available online.
With five branches serving the South Coast from Fall River to Wareham, opportunities to burn off those sugar plums are within walking distance for many of the area’s children. And the after-school programs include transportation to the Y.
At the Y, no child, family, or adult is turned away. Financial assistance is available for anyone who wants to be a member. Foster children in Department of Social Services programs can become a member for free. And if you want to try it out, there’s even a free Guest Pass available online.
So what can you do at the Y?
Just about everything! Swimming of course, available at 3 of the 5 locations. Then there’s basketball, climbing walls, dance, indoor soccer, lacrosse, floor hockey, and karate, to name just a few activities.
And the Y has something for everyone—from 6 months old to the young at heart. Ms. Bonnell started when she was 10 years old at a Y camp, and she’s been going ever since. She’s been employed 34 years with Y, the last eight years at the New Bedford YMCA as Vice President of Operations. Here are some of her tips for children’s fitness:
Keep active as a family. Take a hike or a walk together on weekends at one of the local conservation areas.
Do everything in moderation. The pre-school and after school programs include a half-hour of physical activity, as well as a safe place to do homework and healthy snacks.
Teach your children how to choose healthy snacks like drinking water instead of soda or choosing a salad when eating out.
Don’t reward children with a fast food meal. Not only are fast foods high in empty calories, this sends the wrong message about food.
The Y’s Winter Program Guide can be found at www.YMCASouthCoast.org.
So this New Year, don’t just talk the talk. Walk the walk, or trail as the case may be, and bring the whole family along. It’s that simple.