Throughout the year, this column will present fitness-related options to keep you motivated to reach your goals. Ann Angell, program center manager for the YMCA, and I will provide exercise information and local opportunities to help you succeed. I will focus on outdoor-oriented workouts such as running, swimming and biking.
The focus this week is on how not to break the resolutions you have already made. Maybe you have already broken them. No problem, you can re-set them right now. And if you have not made any yet, perhaps you will after reading this article.
Resolutions that stick
1. Be realistic. If you have never been a runner, setting a goal to do a marathon in a few months is probably not a reachable goal. Plus, it is a surefire way to get injured and become discouraged. Remember, injuries are bad. Avoid them. Choose something that is in your realm of possibility — maybe a 5K run/walk. There are a number of these events from which to choose. Just check the event calendar at annistonrunners.com.
2. Start small. This is part of being realistic. It is much better and rewarding to start small, reach monthly goals and stay motivated by success. Doesn’t it sound much easier to say, “I’m going to lose five pounds each month,” than to state, “I want to lose 60 pounds this year?” You will be amazed at how powerful small successes can be.
3. Find a partner. Nothing holds you accountable more than knowing your running buddies are waiting on you. Plus, they will talk bad about you if you stay in your nice warm bed while they are slogging miles in the rain. Express your goals to your friends and family. Verbalizing and sharing goals makes them seem obtainable.
4. Reward yourself. This may be my favorite. My reward for a hard run? A “Momma’s Love” at Momma Goldberg’s Deli. It is amazing what that sandwich does for my motivation. Do a marathon; eat a sandwich.
Local option: Rookie Runners
Anniston Runners Club member Amie Hinton was looking for a few running buddies to help her get back on track after a recent injury. She received permission from the club’s board to start a basic program for new runners, runners who have not been active in a while or who may have been injured and are trying to start back.
Hinton named the group “Rookie Runners” and posted a flyer on Facebook. She hoped at least 10 people would show interest. Instead, 45 prospective runners contacted her to become involved in the program, which focuses on health more than miles per hour.
The rookies use the “Couch-to-5K” program where participants start with a five-minute warm-up, then jog 90 seconds and walk 60 seconds for repeated sets, building up distance over the course of several weeks. Hinton said the group has targeted two goal races in May.
The program is free, and you do not have to be an Anniston Runners Club member to join. The group meets at the Golden Springs Community Center in Anniston on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:45 p.m. If interested in joining, contact Hinton at 864-276-2835.
In keeping with setting goals for the year, the goals for this column are to help you find the best ways to get fit in 2013 and keep you motivated throughout the year.
Have a fitness-related idea? Share it by emailing me at email@example.com.
Brooke Nicholls Nelson is a freelance writer who lives in the Talladega National Forest near Cheaha Mountain.