By: Erica Dammon, NASM- CPT
Yep, it’s here again, the start of a new year. The fireworks go off, kisses are given, and promises are made. Promises that begin with sincere conviction and declarations of “It will be different this year”, yet soon becomes overshadowed by the overwhelming demands of a busy life. Next comes despair that the goal is unattainable and finally the big ‘I Give Up!’ Well, how about we actually make this year different! What if we actually get all the way on board! How, you ask? Simple, by going about things in a whole different way.
Most of us have a very negative outlook on “getting in shape”. The diet is going to be hard to stick to, exercise stinks, and do I really have time for this? Well there is the first problem! Negativity can sink even the biggest ship. You need to practice breathing positive winds into your sails if you are going to get this boat moving. A perceived lack of time is the other problem most of us find. I get it! There are a lot of us out there juggling jobs, kids, and yes even spouses that require a portion of our time. Where do you squeeze in the lifestyle change? I say it starts with a change of mind. We have to learn to look at the journey differently.
Starting back up is hard, especially if you are walking back down a road you have bailed on before. So let’s start this year’s trip in a different way. If you start your New Year’s resolution with the same group classes or elliptical workout plan, or even the same crazy diet, you are setting yourself up for failure. Research tells us that switching up your routine brings a ton of benefits both mental and physical. Changing a workout prevents the body from adapting too much, keeping that plateau away. The more we do a specific movement the more effective muscles become at performing the movement and fewer calories are being burned. Routine switches can help build new muscle and prevent the overuse of others, as well as creating new muscle memory. And there is the simple ability that something new decreases boredom and allows you to get excited about exercising again. Kick off this New Year with a new kind of workout!
So something different and new, oh and let’s not forget the time management aspect. Remember the new fun plan still has to find a place amongst work agendas, after school activities, and functions for your spouse’s job. Well I have a suggestion. I am willing to bet that a lot of you have not tried Kettlebells. It’s true they can be intimidating, but the benefits they provide make them worth a second thought. Henry Marshall, a NSCA certified trainer as well as an AOS and IKFF certified Kettlebell instructor says that they are “the most efficient fitness tool.” Efficiency is one of the big necessities on our list! Marshall says that Kettlebells train our body to work as “one synergistic unit linked strongly together.” So what exactly does that mean? It means that a kettlebell exercise is a full body conditioning exercise working multiple muscle groups at the same time causing the amount of calories we burn to sky rocket. With each kettlebell exercise you create the momentum and work to control it and change direction. On average a kettlebell workout burns 20 calories a minute. That means in a short 20 minutes you can burn up to 400 calories, and if you last the whole hour you could burn up to 1,200 calories. How’s that for efficient?
Kettlebells are considered a functional workout because the movement’s in each exercise is based on every day functional movement. This means that as you get used to swinging that kettlebell around, you are going to start noticing how everyday activities start becoming easier, which has to make your life easier, right? Your posture will improve, because the importance of form in each exercise will train your body to be aware of correct posture. You will see a greater range of motion in your joints and muscles because kettlebell exercises are performed in a range of motion and not an isolated movement. This range of motion action will build strength in the form of more lean toned muscle, which is what we are all looking for.
Hopefully I have caught your interest and you are thinking that these kettlebells are at least worth checking out. But even if kettlebells aren’t the answer, there are so many ways to produce the same results. Maybe Pilates or yoga are more your style, you won’t know until you try. You don’t want a repeat of the failed resolutions of the past, and who knows you may find yourself excited about working out. I always find that trying new things motivates me by presenting a challenge. Attacking a challenge and moving forward with it can also instill confidence which has the ability to chase away negative outlooks and replace them with positive “can do” thinking. At the end of the day it’s that “can do” attitude that is going to keep you accountable to yourself and make time in that crazy schedule of yours. Taking a new outlook, making a different plan, and trying new things can breathe a much needed fresh breath in an old resolution. Whether its kettlebells, yoga, or some other new thing, keep the ball rolling, and don’t let yourself get bored!
About the Author – Erica Dammon, NASM Certified Personal Trainer
I was born overseas but hail the great city of New Orleans as my home town. My husband Mike and I have been married for 12 years and we have three amazing boys, Nicholas, Cody, and Benjamin. They have been the biggest adventure yet!
Training is a huge passion for me and I embrace core fitness values in both my training programs and my lifestyle choices. I believe that food should be chosen for what it can do for you, not just for the flavor you crave at the moment. I believe in pushing yourself in all aspects of life because how else will you know what you are capable of accomplishing? Pushups should never be done on your knees and core is where it all begins!
I am a huge football fan and a big part of the Who Dat Nation!! I look forward to meeting and helping you achieve any and all fitness goals you bring in to Ascension Fitness!