Manchester Recreation Center Offers a Sensible Approach to Fitness in the New Year.

by | Jan 2023

THE START of a new year means the gym will be packed. The possibilities seem endless when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. We’ve shrugged off an old year. Now, what will we do with the new one?

At the top of the list of priorities are health and fitness. We all have those extra Christmas pounds that we are anxious to lose, and we hope to start the new year off on the right foot. However, according to the statistics, only nine to 12 percent of those who make New Year’s resolutions keep them.

So how does one approach change in the new year with success? Manchester Parks and Recreation’s wellness director, Cindy Weber, said it’s all about baby steps.

For the past 17 years, Weber has been helping to promote wellness through the center’s vast offerings of activities. From pickleball to fitness classes, free weights,water therapy, and racketball, there is something for all fitness levels to enjoy.

Check out the following that will have you running, walking, jumping, swimming, or stretching your way into a successful fitness journey.

1 START SMALL

As you’re developing your exercise plan, don’t force yourself to make significant changes right out of the gate. If you’re only used to working out once a week, more frequent workouts may be challenging. Instead, try making a minor change. For example, try working out three times a week and doing an activity that you consider fun.

“It’s all about consistency,” explained Weber. “Start with baby steps. Don’t think you’ve got to start doing all these things immediately or that you’ve got to work out for an hour. Just walking is enough if you are just starting. You can try a class in the therapy pool. Just take baby steps and as you feel better, increase your activity. Increase it as you feel better, not because you have to.”

Weber advised that more minor adjustments will be easier for you to stay consistent with, and consistency leads to more significant results.

2 SET MEASURABLE GOALS

Whether you want to swim farther, run faster, or drop a few pounds, make sure you set numerical, measurable goals.

Weber has set a goal for her patrons to kick off the new year, which includes them walking from Tennessee to Texas.

“Each year, we generally do a walk,” she said. “Participants can log how far they walk each day and enjoy friendly competition with other participants. It’s fun to kick off the year and be accountable.”

3 DEVELOP A ROUTINE

After the whirlwind of the holidays, it can be a struggle to fall back into old routines. Between the responsibilities of children, work, and even cold weather, all can be unmotivating when we’re thinking about throwing on our workout clothes and going to the gym.

Weber added that something is always happening at the Center that encourages one to grow in their health journey. She and her dedicated staff work to keep things interesting regarding fitness.

“We do things like FitBit bingo, encouraging people to try different classes or fitness offerings,” she said. “Patrons must do something that takes them out of their comfort zone. This challenge allows them to find something else they like to do and take advantage of our other classes.”

The Center also houses a full-service gym, including cardiovascular equipment, a full-weighted circuit, and a free-weight area. Weber added that the equipment is up-to-date, and she and her staff are on hand to instruct patrons on how to properly use each piece of equipment.

4 FIND YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM

If you struggle to hold yourself accountable for finishing a workout or training, try finding a support system to keep you going. The support system can include a fellow gym goer, a friend, or a family member.

Weber credits her dedicated staff and patrons for facilitating a healthy fitness environment.

“I have a great group of instructors, and they are a blessing in themselves,” she said. “We are all one big family and take care of each other. Our senior members keep each other accountable. They are there for each other outside the Center; if someone is sick, they send a card or check in on them. They are a dedicated group.”

To keep up with the fitness opportunities, check out the Center’s Facebook page or website at cityofmanchestertn.com. GN

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