Feeling sluggish after the holidays? After one too many eggnogs, have you decided the new year would be a good time to make a drastic change in your routine? Did you sign up with a gym in an effort to work off those extra pounds? Have you altered your diet? Is your resolution to radically change your behavior in the new year?
Local experts suggest a more nuanced approach may be the way to go. At Twin Arbors Athletic Club on Hutchins Street in Lodi, new owner David Claxton said changing the word “resolution” to “lifestyle” may be one of the keys to making a change that will not peter out after the first three to four weeks.
“Our viewpoint is we’re interested in having people join who are truly looking for a long-term commitment to a healthy lifestyle,” Claxton said.
The club is trying to encourage that commitment change by giving prospective new members a tour of the club to give them a broad view of all of the different forms of exercise available.
If someone signs up, they receive a consultation during which they are given a health assessment and establish goals to get them into an introductory program that will fit them.
“A lot of people find their comfort zone, whether it’s riding a bike or getting on the treadmill, and they don’t venture outside of that,” Claxton said. “We want to take the fear factor and intimidation out of the picture.”
Claxton advises anyone who is trying to make a change in the new year to get support and encouragement from family and friends, and to pursue their goals with a friend or a group.
“Most experts say it takes six to eight weeks of continued exercise to get into the routine to see and feel results. We’re going to be able to get them into a program they can sustain long term.”
Longtime gym member Marni Winings, of Woodbridge, was relaxing in between racquetball matches at the gym on Wednesday.
Said she would advise someone embarking on a healthier lifestyle to set small goals, be consistent and do something every day, even if it’s just a 15-minute walk. She said it’s also important to find something you enjoy doing, because then you’re a lot more likely to stick with it.
Even Chris Hiers, who is a karate instructor at the gym, said he is trying to be healthier in the new year.
“I’ve done pretty good, but I will be cleaning up my eating, cutting out the desserts I have been eating too much of during the holidays.”
In addition to starting a new workout routine, many people are looking to eat healthier and treat their bodies better in the new year. At Sheri’s Sonshine, they see an influx of customers in January looking for vitamins, herbs and protein powders.
“We help them with their game plan,” said Alyce Regalia, manager of Sheri’s Sonshine.
“A lot of people are jumping on the keto bandwagon right now. It’s huge,” Regalia said of the low-carb, high-fat diet.
Regalia noted there is also an increased focus on maintaining good mental health and reducing stress and anxiety.
“Unfortunately, we live fast-placed lives, we have stress, and sometimes we need to take something to help that stress,” she said. “So many people live with anxiety and sleep problems. We have supplements that can help with that.”
Store owner Sheri Didreckson said she sees a lot of customers that are concerned about their health and the health of their children, and even their pets.
As for cleaning up your diet, Didreckson said the main advice she would give someone is that it’s really important to pay attention to what kind of food you put in your body.
“If you can’t pronounce it, if it’s in something, (like a box) you shouldn’t eat it,” Didreckson said. “Clean your cupboards out. If you don’t have it at home, you’re not going to eat it.”
Didreckson suggests avoiding processed foods, preservatives, sugar, and canned and boxed foods.
She also suggests putting notes around the house that remind you to eat healthier.
“You need to eat to supply your body with fuel and energy,” Didreckson said. “But you just have to be so cognizant of what you put into your body. You put garbage in, you usually get garbage out.”