In her more than 20 years of helping people to achieve their fitness goals, Christina Musilli has seen more than her share of New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside--the result of clients who expected too much out of themselves.
"It's a lifestyle change, yet a lot of people jump into it all at once, working out three or four times a week," Musilli said. "That can be very difficult to keep up, especially for someone who was sedentary before."
Instead, Musilli, of Pointe Fitness and Training, recommends entering into a new exercise program slowly--perhaps working out two times a week, whether at a gym or in your home. This way you are able to adjust to your new activity without resenting it.
"Maybe come in to the gym twice a week for a month," she suggested. "After the first month, add a day, then add another day. Working out is something you have to get used to physically and mentally. You also have to make room for it in your schedule."
Musilli's slow and steady approach has benefited many clients over the years. It is also a style that differs from many trainers, who advocate committing to an ambitious schedule, making working out a top priority in your daily life. While this may produce results quicker, there is also a high burnout factor for many of those who take this approach.
"You have to let your body get used to it," Musilli recommends. "And you have to let your mind get used to it. I believe you need to gradually make it part of your life."
For those who are not sedentary, this is stiill an approach that has merit. If you are looking to add intensity to your workouts, or change them, keep Musilli's tips in mind for your own long-term fitness success.