DANBURY, Conn. -- Is your New Year’s resolution to get fit, but you’re not sure exactly how to get started?
Certified personal trainer and holistic health coach Michaela Hastings, who owns Mind Body Performance Training in Danbury, offers some practical advice for getting active -- without getting overwhelmed.
According to Hastings, one of the first ways to get fit is simply to start moving more over your regular day.
“Do things like stretch in bed, push-ups before breakfast, squats at your desk, walk at lunch, and plank in front of the TV at night,” Hastings said.
A great motivator toward developing a healthy lifestyle is to hang around people who exercise, she said. “Having support from friends and family is key to making lasting changes," she said. "You'll inspire healthy habits among each other."
If support is not available at home, fitness enthusiasts can be found at the gym or through online meet-up groups, she said.
Also, Hastings said that finding a fitness buddy can be beneficial. "But it has to be somebody who is self-motivated. If you find you're just dragging a friend with you, it can actually motivate you not to work out because if the friend doesn't want to be there, you won't want to be there, either," she said.
Many sporting goods stores such as REI in Norwalk run classes where people can not only meet each other but also learn more about fitness activities they may enjoy, Hastings said.
Those looking to get into running can join a local running club through Facebook or Meet-up. "Basic street running or trail running can be quite a challenge with some great views," she said.
Regardless of what type of fitness activity you choose, she said it's important to set a goal and stick it out.
Realistic goals include setting aside two to four times a week for exercise for at least 20 minutes each time.
"You can slowly increase the time to 30 minutes, then 40 and so on," she said. "Or, sometimes a goal can be signing up for a 5K road race or obstacle course, and completing it."
Even a simple pedometer can suffice as a goal for getting fit, Hastings said.
“Setting step goals is a great way to get moving because it becomes a game," she said. "The ultimate goal is 10,000 plus steps per day, but you can start by adding 500 a day and gradually work your way up."
Winter is a great time for getting fit. “If you like winter sports such as hiking, skiing or snowshoeing, then winter is an easier time for you to get active."
But most important, she said it’s important to find an activity you truly enjoy.
"If you don't like it or even really love it, then you probably won't end up doing it. The more you genuinely like the activity, the more you'll train for it and the more improvements you'll see over time," Hastings said.
“Enjoy the process. It's sounds cliché but it's the truth."
To contact Michaela Hastings, click here , send an email to Michaela.email@example.com or call 203-460-4289.