AURORA | Unless you live under a rock, you’re probably sick of hearing New Year’s resolutions from friends confident that this is finally the year they will get in shape.
For most of us mere mortals, the prospects aren’t good. It’s hard to make lifestyle changes, regardless of the circumstances, but especially so on a whim (and one probably informed by a flute of champagne in the moment).
Yet, for some reason, we humans persevere against the odds. We take on the uphill battles, learning a little from each January’s failure to push us over the mountaintop.
In the words of Samuel Beckett: “Fail better.”
So how could we actually make 2019 the year to achieve fitness goals, whether losing weight, gaining muscle or running a marathon?
If you’re looking to lose weight or gain muscle, a group workout environment can be just what you need, said Roberto Martinez, founder of CrossFit Terra Nova in Aurora.
For example, he said his gym holds classes of 6-12 people that meet several times a week and work out together.
“It’s like having a personal trainer in every class,” Martinez said. “And then you get to hang out with people who become friends, your closest friends…Those of us who are not very disciplined to follow a routine, you feel isolated, you don’t know what you are doing, and that’s why people give up after a few days in the gym.”
Regardless of the type of workout, the most important thing is staying in a routine and not giving up when the going gets tough, he said.
David Wolff, a personal trainer, agreed. He said he helps all kinds of people get in shape at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center, including folks recovering from surgeries, disabled residents with specific needs and your typical suburban loafer getting back into the gym each January.
“Even if you feel like it isn’t the place for you, or you’re not getting the result you want, you have to keep going back,” Wolff said of gyms. “It might take a couple months. It may be a couple years to get where you want to be.”
It’s a daily struggle to get to the gym or run a trail at the Cherry Creek reservoir.
However, Wolff said attaining a fitness goal means you’ll have to restructure some of your life, like eating healthier and sleeping. Otherwise, you could fail to make progress and drop your routine.
Wolff knows the struggle. Every year, he makes a concerted effort to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle after the gluttony of the holidays.
Like many of us, it’s a perennial New Year’s resolution.
“Mine, every year, is to make sure to get back on eating right, getting sleep, respecting my body so I can help other people get healthy,” he said.
He’s used to having more clients after the New Year.
Even though gyms can be great communal spaces to lose the flab and chisel the abs, Wolff said any activity from skiing, hiking and running to even walking in a shopping mall can be helpful.
Plus, they can be cheaper options.
If you’re looking to go hard this New Year, Martinez recommended a membership at his crossfit gym, Terra Nova, which run around $150 a month.
He said it’s a lot of money, but the high barrier attracts people who are serious about changing themselves, and the atmosphere is infectious. The gym’s busy season tends to be in the late summer and fall, Martinez added, so there’s no need to worry that you’ll be in a packed gym waiting to use a leg press machine you know nothing about.
Is this the year you’ll roll off the couch, dust off the potato chip crumbs and head out for a run a few nights a week?
A year from now, you’ll be better off for it.
With a little luck, you’ll even become that cocktail party guest hounding the host for a Michelob Light and low-fat sour cream for the chips you now only eat occasionally.