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What Fitness Experts Want You to Know

Tips and Insight to Keep Your Workout Goals on Track

Working out and staying healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. These local fitness experts offer sound advice for staying on track and reaching your fitness goals this year. 

Kelly Burgoon

Instructor, Mōtiv Fitness -- The Woodlands

What’s Should People Keep in Mind as They Start a New Fitness Regimen? 

Our world expects fast results, like shopping at Amazon, so people often think they’re going to lose a lot of weight or feel great immediately. But it’s a process, and there are other factors they need to gain control of, like bad sleeping and eating habits.

Is There a Key to Staying Committed? 

Community is important. It’s hard to sustain your routine by yourself. People showing up in person, working out together and forming friendships, all of that contributes to accountability. It’s hard to get up at 5 a.m. and work out alone! 

 What's the Best Way to Get the Most Out of Any Workout? 

You need the right fuel. Drink enough water and get enough protein before you go to a spin class or get on a trampoline. 

Any Other Tips for Maintaining Health and Fitness?

Don’t get caught up in diet culture. Exercise for the way it makes you feel, not just the way it makes you look. Working out should not be a punishment. You should be thinking, “This is fun, and I’m thankful to move my body.”

Share a Key Exercise for a Home Workout.

It’s important to maintain and enhance functional movements for everyday life activities--like lifting a car seat with your toddler in it! In class, we do roll ups. Lie down completely on the ground, bring your arms up over your head without lifting the legs--peel yourself up off the ground without anything to assist you. Strengthening your core and hamstrings is key. I’ve had 85 year-old women in my class who were stronger than a 22-year girl! Whether you’re a biker, runner, skier, or a grandma, everybody needs a strong core. 

Angelyne To-ong

Owner and Instructor, The Woodlands Lagree

What’s the Best Way to Prepare for a Workout?

Before exercising, some people think, “Don’t eat.” But you need to eat and drink something ahead of time. You need that fuel to complete the workout. Also, breathe deeply and stretch! 

Give One Piece of Advice to Help People Maintain Their 2022 Fitness Goals.

Your workout has to become part of your life, and you need to focus on a goal. Honestly, the people who make it a part of their daily routine, who have goals—to get back to pre-pregnancy weight or to improve their core—they have that goal in mind, and it keeps them going. They see the progress--they can hold a plank now, they can accomplish the harder moves. 

What’s a Fitness Myth You’d Like to Dispel? 

It’s not true that you have to eliminate carbs to look fit. Focus on the good carbs. You need them for energy when you’re working out!

In Addition to Regular Exercise, How Can People Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle? 

The number one thing is a consistent, healthy diet—breakfast, lunch, dinner--with healthy snacks in between. Eat real food in addition to being active at least 3 to 4 times a week. 

Share a Key Exercise for People Working Out at Home.

Doing planks will keep your core strong, which is crucial as you get older. Planks engage and strengthen your entire core, helping with posture, balance, and stability, all of which help prevent back injuries. Put your forearms on the floor, keep your neck and spine aligned, and hold yourself up with your toes. You can also do them straight-armed. Start out at 15 seconds, then challenge yourself to increase your time by 5 seconds each day until you get to 1 to 2 minutes every day. 

Nick Gonzales

Program Director, Torched Krav Maga 

Any Advice for Reaching Fitness Goals in the New Year? 

People get so amped up that they try to go from zero to 100. Instead of dipping a toe into the water on exercise, they’ll go all out. They put themselves behind the 8-ball and end up so sore, they can’t work out at all. Start with small goals. Get someone who’s an expert who can onboard you at the right speed.

That First Day of a Starting a New Fitness Program, What Should People Keep in Mind? 

Come with an open-mindedness. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Enjoy the journey. Be ready to learn. No pressure. 

Is There a Misunderstanding About Exercise That You’d Like to Clear Up? 

It drives me crazy, and the idea never goes away. If someone is trying to lose weight in their mid-section, they do a thousand crunches--the idea of targeted weight loss or fat loss. Instead, the answer is a healthier lifestyle overall—exercise and diet together. 

Besides Exercise, Any Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle? 

Find simple ways to make each meal healthier. What works best to give you the energy you need during the day? What can you adhere to? I personally try to stay away from anything drastic where you’re cutting out everything. Tinker with it. Be smart. 

What’s a Go-To Exercise That Should Be Part of Any Home Workout? 

Squats are important. During the pandemic, people have been sitting on the couch doing work from a laptop. They lose strength in their quads, glutes and hamstrings. The older we get, the more difficult a squat can become to perform. Do them with or without weights.

Tracy Cowley

Owner, Row House – Hughes Landing

Any Words of Encouragement for People Starting a New Fitness Regimen? 

The hardest part for anyone is to walk through the door. Staying fit and healthy has been a challenge for a lot of people. People may have gained weight during the pandemic, and since rowing is effort-based, we can meet you right where your fitness level is today. Anyone can work out and get back to being active. Get moving! 

What's Your Advice for Staying Committed? 

Set a meeting with yourself about your health and wellness. Treat your workout as something you can’t miss. Your boss would never cancel an important meeting, so why would you? You may be tired when you walk in, but you’ll be so glad you did it!

How Should Someone Prepare for a Workout? 

Do a stretch warmup, then a five-minute stretch after your workout. [For a professional deep stretch, Cowley suggests StretchLab, which she also owns.] Hydration repairs muscles, so hydrate before, during, and after a workout. When we don’t do these things, it makes us susceptible to injury. Your body, as you age, is not meant to be flipped on like a microwave. It’s more like an oven .

Any Other Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle? 

Balanced eating. You don’t have to be perfect, but eat more from the healthier side. We live in a fast-paced society, and we eat on the go. Don’t grab what’s not good for you. Diet is the majority of what makes you healthy. Exercise is one component.

Share a Key Exercise for a Home Workout.

Walkout to a plank: Hands on the floor, slowly walk out to full plank, then stand up again. Start on your knees, if you need to. Do three sets of 15. Planks engage your core and upper body. Also, do slow, methodical squats, or modify your squat into a wall-sit.  You’ll be using your quads, the largest muscles in the body. 

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