Gym tips

If your New Year’s resolution was to join a gym and get in better shape, here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re just starting out.

Get a feel for the gym

Many fitness centers will provide a complimentary training session, or at the very least, a detailed tour of the facility and equipment, to see if the gym has the things you need to meet your fitness goals. Never hesitate to ask questions.

Don’t overdo it

It’s very tempting to try several things all at once, only to end up hurting yourself in the process. Many gyms offer free coaching or training if you are new to working out. Research or ask for directions on the proper form to use during your workouts to ensure you are getting the best results and to help prevent injury.

Be patient

Results won’t happen overnight. But if you are consistent and diligent in your workouts (three to four days a week), you will start to see results in as little as three to four weeks


Winter family

Winter temperatures make it hard for kids to enjoy extended playtime outside. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend children engage in physical activity for at least one hour a day. Get your children involved in choosing the activity and look for things you can do as a family.

  • Go for a swim at your local YMCA or community center.
  • Look for open gym times at basketball courts or gymnastics centers.
  • Turn your basement or living room into an obstacle course.

Get dirty

According to a study published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, letting kids get a little dirty when they play provides health benefits when they’re older. The exposure to microbes in early childhood eventually leads to protection from conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and even asthma. That early exposure, the study states, can have a long-lasting impact on your immune system. Maybe it’s time to sign the family up for a mud run in the spring.

Smart snacks

Little, healthy snacks throughout the day can help keep you from overeating at your next meal. Keep these in your desk drawer or car for when you need a little pick-me-up.

  • Protein or fruit bars.
  • Individually wrapped dark chocolates.
  • Unsalted peanuts, pecans or walnuts.
  • Dry cereal, specifically something with low sugar.
  • Dried fruit or low-sodium trail mix.