Traditionally fitness in the new year is all marketing. No where did it say that the new year meant working out. That being said, many people are going to be joining in the January fitness craze. If you are there are a lot of things to keep in mind. I want us all to be healthy this year so I connected with an old friend and fitness person Stephanie Grace. She will be answering some questions I have had over the years and she is available for training, creating a schedule, or just to ask more questions on.
M: Hiya! To start off what was your introduction to fitness?
SG: My introduction to fitness was so wonderful and positive that it’s the reason I wanted to become a fitness coach! I was 16 years old, I was never an athletic kid, and I was getting to an age where sitting on the couch, eating out of the box of vanilla wafers and binge watching TV shows was starting to make me feel crappy.
I knew I needed to do SOMETHING to be active and get moving, but I knew sports weren’t it for me. There was a gym in the shopping center five minutes from my house and despite knowing I wouldn’t have the slightest clue what to do, I decided to join. Within the first few weeks, I got to know the staff and personal trainers there and they made sure I felt comfortable using all the equipment. This was truly what got me started; having someone to encourage me and show me what to do.
By the age of 19, one of the trainers there got me hooked on weightlifting and I started focusing on getting stronger and I now want to help others do the same!
M: In January there is an overwhelming amount of people selling the perfect life changing exercise class. How would you design a program/class?
SG: How I design a program for an individual is based solely on what their goals are. My first question to any potential client or just anyone looking to start a workout routine is, what is your goal? You need to be training for SOMETHING, right? Whether that be general health, or something more specific like “I want to be able to bench press my body weight” or “I want to run a 5k” or “I want to lose 10 pounds” or “I want bigger arms.” Whatever it is, I cater the program to meet that goal. Classes always include a wide variety of people of different ages and fitness levels, etc so I use my go-to exercises and variations of them; squats, lunges, push-ups, shoulder presses, planks, etc and some cardio moves as well. Basically, a routine that targets ALL the major muscle groups!
M: One thing that my SO, Horatio, has told me many times is that for him, exercise is self care. To me it feels more like life maintenance. How do you combine exercise and self-care?
SG: I believe that exercise should be A PART of everyone’s self care routine! It’s one of the best ways to take care of yourself! I think the easiest way to combine these two things is to find an exercise activity that you enjoy! It’s much easier to adhere to something if you enjoy it.
M: What is your new year fitness goals and what are healthy goals?
SG: I think a healthy goal is one that’s realistic to where you are right now. If you’ve never worked out before in your life, setting a goal of exercising 6 days a week is a bit much. I’d rather see people set small, attainable goals and then grow those goals once they reach them!!! Start with two days a week and go from there! My New Year’s fitness goals are to add some more cardio to my routine and to be able to do a bodyweight pull-up!
M: We all have some new years goals, hopefully healthy goals. But we are all also in a pandemic and working and just over all busy. How does one balance work and fitness?
SG: Most people struggle to find time to workout due to their work schedule. I’ve learned that the best approach to this is to treat your workout like an appointment you can’t miss. If you know you get done work at 5:00 and have time right after that, bring a gym bag and “schedule” your workout for 6:00. Put it in your phone calendar, set some kind of reminder to set it in stone. If you know you’re more of a morning person, set an alarm and knock it out before work. Experiment with different times and see what works best for you. Make it part of YOUR routine.. just like brushing your teeth!
M: So for all of us new exercise, how to start fitness when it is the first time and How to do fitness at home when you are new and nervous?
SG: My advice for getting started with exercise is to get started now! Do some research, watch some YouTube videos, practice exercises in front of a mirror, invest in some dumbbells and resistance bands! Start with a full body resistance routine twice a week and add some cardio days in there too. Cardio can be any activity you enjoy that gets your heart rate up! Resistance training is your muscle-strengthening activities… Squats, pushups, and planks are great examples! I might also suggest hiring a coach, even if it’s just a few sessions, to learn some basic programming and feel confident in your form. Either way, don’t be afraid to start where you are. Know that you’re only going to get better!
Thank you Steph! Don’t feel forced into exercise this year. Everyone needs to be exercising but feeling pressured into exercise. If you are going to exercise read up, keep your health in mind, and please be safe!
Mark Oliver Wizard Goldstein