Gym packed? Don’t give up!






Sure, the first of the year hit, and if you are someone who works out regularly, you will doubt have noticed a difference at the gym. Yes, that’s right. There will be a change in what’s going on at the gym! Each January at the gym you can tell what time of the year it is without ever looking at the calendar. There’s a reason for it, but don’t let it get you down. The more you know about why it happens and what you can do about it, the more successful your fitness schedule will be.

In the first day or two following New Year’s I arrived at the gym to find a crowd. In fact, I couldn’t even find a place to park. I spent some time circling the parking lot to find a spot, asking myself how this can be so? Being a personal trainer I know the answer to this question, and I know how to compensate for it. But others don’t, and that worries me!

Think about what happens each January. You guessed it. People set resolutions for the New Year, and millions of them include goals to become healthier. While they are great goals for sure, they can really pose a problem at the gym. As each New Year starts, the gyms around the country become filled with all the people who have decided to make fitness one of their new goals. Problem is, they arrive at the gym with all those who have already been there all along. This can make for some really cramped conditions and makes it harder to get on the machines you want.

In fact, once I got into the gym, I had to wait for a treadmill to open up. The next day I couldn’t get my circuit training. It’s enough to make people want to throw their hands in the air and turn around and head for the door. But before you do that, know that there are some solutions to this busy gym problem.

Here are a few things you can do to combat the busy gym problem:

Pick an area to workout in that you will be able to do similar exercises. Maybe you won’t be able to find the exact machines, but if you are a little flexible, you can still work the same muscles.

Do some superset exercises, which are great for burning fat and working through plateaus. With superset exercise you do two different things, one right after the other, but you don’t stop to rest in between. For example, do a cardio exercise, then go immediately into a strength training exercise. Superset exercise save time, but are highly effective.

Rather than focus on cardio, where all the people are lined up waiting for machines, do body weight training routines.

Another important part of the equation in beating the first of the year rush is to work with a personal trainer. A personal trainer will keep you baby boomers focused on what you need to do, how you can get it done (even when the gym is busy), and best of all, you won’t quit your routine at Valentine’s Day because you are not seeing the results!

Chris Elias: I am an Active Boomer

Famous author Mark Twain once said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” When it comes to being a baby boomer and being physically active and fit, Twain couldn’t have put it a better way! Age really is just what you make of it. Reaching a particular number in years does not mean it is time to slow down, unless that’s what you have made up your mind to do!

Take Chris Elias, a baby boomer client of mine. Chris is one baby boomer who has not let age slow her down, even following knee surgery, or get in her way at all. She embraces where she is in her life and makes being physically fit a priority.

Here are some of the tools that have helped Chris to stay fit:

Start slow. Chris, like many other baby boomers who want to get active and start working out, was afraid she would get hurt, especially because she had undergone back surgery. This is why starting slowly is always a good idea. It will help you reduce the risks of injury and will help you progress in a healthy way.

Get a trainer. Chris sought out a trainer so that I could help her evaluate where she was at with his fitness level, where she wanted to go, and develop a plan that would help her safely get there. A good trainer will make sure you progress safely, yet still challenge yourself.

Track food. There is a lot of research that proves that there are benefits to keeping a food log. Get an inexpensive notepad, or create a file on your computer, and keep track of what you eat, when you eat it, and any emotional state you may be in at the time. For example, realizing you reach for chocolate when you feel stress will help you identify your trigger foods, and then you can seek out healthier alternatives.

Read stories. Seek out stories about other healthy baby boomers. Chris made a point of wanting to read about the stories filled with a positive, healthy outlook. It will inspire and motivate you.

Surprise yourself. Chris never thought she could do push-ups. Now she does push-ups routinely and even outdoes some family members. Today she can even run. When you challenge yourself, you never know what you may find you are capable of doing.

Stay focused. Keep in mind all the benefits of how being fit makes life better. You will feel better, have more energy, and be able to enjoy activities more.

Treat yourself. Don’t give up everything you love. Keep it in check. Chris loves a glass of wine and chocolate, and she makes having it a treat.

Get a tune-up. Getting a massage is a great way to reduce stress and increase mobility.

Find support. Find an environment of other baby boomers who are also seeking fitness. Surround yourself with such a positive environment, such as BoomerFitness, positive people, support, gym etc.

Not only did Chris surprise herself as a boomer on the road to fitness, but she exceeded