Whether you are new to the gym or a seasoned gym-goer, beginning any new exercise program should start the same way – safely. There are a few different things you can do to ensure that you are working out in a safe manner.
1. Don’t copy what you see someone else doing. You don’t know why they’re doing it, You don’t know if they’re doing it correctly, or if they have modified it for any reason. Just because someone who looks “fit’ is doing it doesn’t mean it’s right for you and your body. Proper execution of an exercise trains the targeted muscle(s). Improper execution can create imbalances and lead to injury.
2. Ask us! Staff in gyms are extroverts, we want to talk to people. We thrive on sharing our energy and enthusiasm for wellness. We’re looking for you and want to answer your questions; we want to see you succeed.
3. Work on the basics – posture, body alignment, core engagement. If you want to do an exercise correctly, these are part of the package that reduces the risk of injury.
4. Get the Sets and Reps right. The number of repetitions within a set, and the number of sets completed makes a huge difference from one program to another. Learn what the difference is between low reps heavy weight, and high reps lower weight – dialing in the correct combo will guide you towards your ultimate goal.
5. Stretch! Most of us are in a rush and want to get as much packed into our workout time, then off we go to the next part of our busy days. Take the time to cool down and stretch, it increases range of motion, reduces soreness in the day(s) to come, and reduces risk for injury.
Setting a SMART goal is more than just something you think is manageable, a SMART goal has defined parameters. Goal setting is a major piece to the fitness puzzle, It provides you with direction, motivation, and a vision of what you want to achieve.
SPECIFIC – Set a specific goal, for example instead of saying you want to “run better”, focus on a specific piece of the puzzle. For example, running for a longer amount of time (45 minutes instead of 30), or running at a quicker pace (move from 5.0 to 6.5 on the treadmill).
MEASURABLE – by setting a specific goal, you have unknowingly set a goal that is measureable. Staying with the running example, running faster, longer or at an incline are all things that you can track and watch your progress.
ATTAINABLE – Choose a goal that is something you can physically achieve. I have severe arthritis in my knee, I’d love to be able to do higher box jumps, however I know that this isn’t the goal for me. Keeping my quads as strong as possible without high impact is something that is attainable for me.
REALISTIC – Realistic and attainable sound like the same thing, I like to look at “attainable” as big picture. Realistic can be a breakdown of mini goals within that large goal. Small realistic goals are stepping stones to reach that finish line. For example, adding five minutes to your run every two weeks.
TIMELY – give yourself a realistic timeline to accomplish your goal; setting too quick of a time line can set you up for failure.
Remember that the pieces to this puzzle can be adjusted at any time. You can add to your goal, adjust your timeline. Making sure that whatever you adjust is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and can be completed in a timely manner will ultimately lead you to success.
Set SMART Goals.
Specific – “Run longer” isn’t enough. Setting a goal to run a designated distance by a certain date is Specific.
Measurable – Make the goal something that you can track, such as resistance increase when lifting weights. (eg: tracking the weight you lift each time you do the same exercise to see the weight increase)
Attainable – Make sure you set goals in which you can feasibly succeed.
Realistic – Losing weight is a tricky one 1-2lbs lost a week is the safe and maintainable rate of weight loss. Don’t set your goals too high, as that will lead to feelings of failure.
Timely – give yourself an end date. It will keep you focused in on reaching that goal.
…and keep track!
Monday, March 4, 2013 is the kick off of our annual Strong Kids Campaign! Each branch will have spin bikes in the lobby – all of our fantastic staff, volunteers, participants and members who want to participate will be taking turns spinning for 30 minutes each – raising money for our 2013 YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. Our YMCA Calgary 2013 goal is to raise $1.5 million to benefit more than 20,000 local youth and children in our community have positive YMCA experiences despite their financial circumstances. One in every 4 kids who come to YMCA Calgary are in need of financial assistance.
Pick up a pledge package at your branch entry desk, book a time and Spin with us on Monday, March 4th! If you have any questions, please contact Lana Dionne at 403-781-1663 or firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for participating.
Make a Plan.
Workout plan? Meal plan? Distance goal plan? Decide what it is you need, and make yourself a roadmap to success. Take the guess work out of of it, and in turn you’ll find you gain more empowerment and ownership of your goal.
If you need help, the weight room at all of our branches are fully staffed with certified personal trainers Professionals trained to help set goals, and make a plan to achieve them.
Mid way through the day camp season, and the camp staff are doing great so far! They have set themselves a lofty goal, but we know they will achieve it! Over $1000 has been raised so far! Good luck!!
Shawnessy YMCA Day Campers and Day Camp staff are working towards their summer GOAL of raising $4321 for the Strong Kids fund!
So far staff have donated over $1400, and campers this week raised over $300 in a penny drive.
Campers can also purchase subs from Mr. Sub every Friday, with $1.75 per sub going to Strong Kids.
Pictured are some Tenderfeet and Adventurers posing with our Strong Kids thermometer, tracking our progress throughout the summer.
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