New Year’s fitness goals: things to keep in mind

Ben Grote, Sports Editor

With the start of the new year soon coming, this means New Year’s resolutions. For many people, it’s time to once again make a fitness goal. However, many do not seriously stick with their goal, so this year you’re going to get some tips on how to truly stick with your plans.


The first step to be taken into making your fitness plan would be to have a goal in mind. Carl Galloway, personal trainer at College of DuPage, suggests people should make goals that are attainable.


“Goals can be subdivided into smaller goals that you can work towards,” Galloway added.


The first step in picking your goal may be to make a specific goal. Galloway recommends forming your fitness around a sport that you may participate in. For example, if you participate in a popular winter sport such as snowboarding, Galloway recommends to exercise the movements which pertained to the muscles used in snowboarding. Starting off with an activity one already enjoys can be a good starting point.


Many people think they have to stick with either focusing on gaining strength or work on losing weight because both can’t be done successfully. However, this isn’t true. In fact, many people who lose weight while doing lifting exercises see large strength improvements. For people trying to lose weight, it’s important to remember that your weight isn’t everything.


“The scale can kind of lie to you at times,” Galloway said. “It changes based on your stress levels, how much you’ve eaten, what time of the day it is. It’s more important to pay attention to body fat percentages and inches.”


There are many instances where people may be discouraged about their progress due to their weight. By recording body fat percentage and size, you’re able to record a much more accurate reading on your progress.


When trying to reach your fitness goals, there are three things to keep in mind: nutrition, exercise and rest.


When deciding your nutrition plan, you should try to keep one simple rule in mind. If you’re attempting to gain weight, you need to have a surplus of calories, and if you’re trying to lose weight, then you need a calorie deficit. Following this rule is the simplest way to either gain, or lose weight, and if done properly, you will have no problem meeting your goal. However, it’s very important to see a nutritionist to see what they recommend for your health. Seeing a professional is the best way to ensure you’re eating properly.


Depending on what your goals are, you should try to find a nutrition plan that works for you, which are now easier to find than ever. One popular option is to use MyFitnessPal, a mobile app for smartphones that allows its users to track their caloric intake during their day. This app also records your calories burned, which makes it easier to get an accurate estimation on what you should be consuming during the day. While it’s important to stick with your nutrition plan, you don’t always have to be extremely dedicated to it.


“I sometimes will eat pizza,” Galloway admitted. “You don’t have to always skip out on the foods you love, and it gives me a reason be motivated to keep working out. I don’t believe in dieting. I believe in nutrition.”


When it comes to exercise, everyone has a different goal in mind. Whether it’s to gain muscle, or lose weight, you can easily find hundreds of plans that pertain your goal. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that seeing a professional trainer before you attempt any exercises can help prevent injuries. Having good form and being informed on your workout is vital.


After you find a workout plan that you want to try, there are three key principles to keep in mind. First, and this one is basic: stick with the workout plan.


“You have to plan fitness, so that you trip over it,” Galloway said. “If you prioritize fitness in your schedule, you’ll be able to pay more attention to it. You’ll come to enjoy it more and more as it becomes a part of your routine.”


Second, it’s essential to track your numbers. This will show you where you have improved, and will double as a motivational tool to know that you have gained strength, or lost a certain amount of weight.


Third, you should try to focus on ensuring you have good form to prevent injuries from exercising. Injuries are a sure-fire way to put a stop to anyone working towards your fitness goals. To be sure you have proper lifting form, you should talk to a trainer at your local gym, or ask someone you know who is knowledgeable to critique your form.

College of DuPage’s workout facility employs personal trainers, which make it easier than ever for students to see a trained professional for help at a low cost. To make an appointment with a trainer, you can either call or go in person to the PE Center.