Now that the sun has set on 2015, many of us have resolved to get into better shape or, at the very least, make an effort to be more active.
Uclueletian-raised marathon runner and founder of Body By Kara Fitness Training Kara McAvoy said setting fitness goals is key to staying motivated and maintaining accountability.
“If you have something to work towards it drives your mind and body to get there,” she said.
“However, I also believe that it’s about balance and focusing on a lifestyle change to see long-term results. That’s why setting long-term goals is just as important as short-term.”
Third dan black belt and Ucluelet local Senpai Ian Shu couldn’t agree more.
“Setting goals gives you a direction to follow and something to achieve; something to strive for,” he said.
“An example of a short-term goal would be to just say you’re gonna do it and to get out and do it. I think some marathon runner said that the hardest step is the first step out the door.”
When it comes to resolutions, McAvoy recommends easing into a program or seeking professional help from a trainer to avoid ‘falling off the wagon’ as they say.
“Don’t be nervous. Ask for help. I remember stepping into the gym my first time and it was overwhelming and scary. I then asked for help from a trainer and this made me feel comfortable and knowledgeable,” she said.
“Like anything in life, we need to first learn how to use and or do something to get the full benefit out of it.”
McAvoy, who is a certified British Columbia Recreation and Park Association (BCRPA) weight trainer and fitness trainer, suggests starting one to two days a week and then progressing into a routine that includes three days of strength training and two days of cardio.
“Getting into the gym is step one and then you will start to see a rippling effect in your life,” she said.
“Nutrition, sleep, mood, work, and much more will become better. It’s a positive outcome and change you stick with.”
And for those of you that surf or are dedicated to another sport like basketball or volleyball, she says cross training is essential.
“Your body adapts to repetitive movement and switching up your routine will only benefit your body and sport,” she said.
“It’s important to focus on engaging other certain muscle groups. Sport specific training can help strengthen parts of the body that will support and prevent injury to other muscles and joints.”
According to Shu, varying your exercise regiment by participating in different activities is widely beneficial.
“It (Don Jitsu) would improve your overall fitness, balance, and dexterity. It transfers over to other sports for sure,” he said.
“A lot of the exercises we do involves balance, for example balancing on one leg to do a kick is going to improve your balance. You’re engaging all these muscles.”
McAvoy encourages anyone dreaming about refreshing their physique in 2016 to start off with a full body balanced strength training program.
“Every body is different, so seeking a trainer for advice would be beneficial for your personal goals,” she said.
“The first step is the hardest. But just get out there and do it and the rest should follow,” Shu added.