Top 10 Fitness Tips From Take Control's Exercise Specialists

Kelly Sedgwick, Take Control Health Coach

From hundreds of coaching sessions over the years, our exercise specialists have compiled their "Top 10" tips for success in your fitness goals. Here they are!

  1. Approach your trainer search like an interview. Before you agree to pay them for services, ask them about their background and approach to fitness, do they have a specialty, can they describe their typical clientele, what are their expectations from the training sessions? And if you just don’t seem to jive well with the trainer, don’t hesitate to move on to someone else. Trainers want to help you realize your goals, not get in the way of you reaching them.
  2. Always add at least 1-2% incline to the treadmill. Any time you walk on a treadmill you have to compensate for the mechanized conveyor belt doing some of the work. Adding an incline will create a similar resistance to that of flat ground when walking outdoors. Walking on a flat treadmill with no incline is the same as walking down a light hill.
  3. Exercise at a level where you could say something if you needed to but you really don’t feel like it. You shouldn’t be able to tell someone your whole life story but you should be able to tell them something simple like your phone number or occupation.
  4. Schedule workouts on the calendar as “appointment with treadmill, weight room, Zumba class, etc." Make it an appointment rather than a “if I have time” or “wish-list” item.    
  5. If you intend to work out in the morning, have your gym bag ready to go the night before. Prepare your gym clothes, water bottle, car keys, healthy lunch, office work, etc. and make getting to the gym as simple as possible. Avoid waiting until 5:30 am to ask yourself if you feel like working out. NO ONE feels like working out at 6 am, even people who enjoy working out.
  6. Plan your workouts in advance. Know exactly what you’ll do each day of the week and mark it on your calendar.  Have the specific class or cardio equipment at the gym in mind and write down the specifics, like length of time running on the treadmill and strength exercises you’ll do on an index card.
  7. Have patience with plateaus. They’re important and valuable parts of progress that allow your body a chance to adjust and stabilize to a new, healthier set point.
  8. The mirrors in the gym are your best friend in safe and proper form, not your enemy. Use the mirrors to watch your form and ensure you’re doing the exercise safely and effectively.  
  9. The members of the gym are your partners in health not your competition, judge or jury. What may look to you like someone who was born looking slim and trim could be a person who’s worked one goal at a time to lose 100 lbs., and simply shows up at the gym every day to maintain their hard-earned grasp on a healthy lifestyle.
  10. Be open to a change of scenery. Sometimes just changing from your current gym to a new gym can help motivate you with a fresh, new perspective. If you exercise at home, rearrange the furniture slightly, turn your treadmill to face a different direction or out a different window or just get yourself a new pair of shoes or workout shorts. These little things can go a long way in brightening our energy toward working out, just enough to help us do it.