How to Survive the Resolution Rush

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when well meaning individuals resolve to make sweeping changes to their lives. The time of year when gyms are crammed full of new members that swear to all who will listen that this will be the time they stick to an exercise plan. I hope they do and I respect anyone trying to better themselves. I also empathize with the regulars who’ve been working hard in the gym all year long and are frustrated when a newbie is taking up “their” space, equipment, locker, air, etc. So, regular gym goer, here are some tips to weather the New Year Resolution onslaught.

1. Stay the course. If you consider yourself a regular then you probably are one. Congrats on your consistency. You understand that you don’t have to be perfect but you have to be consistent to be successful. Keep it up for real results. You’ll be here long after the rookies have left.

2. Adapt on the Fly. Start your workouts prepared to make changes to your plan depending on how busy the gym is and what equipment is available to you. If your favorite piece of equipment is busy, find an alternative exercise that works the same muscle group in a less busy area of the club. You’ll be able to keep moving and the variety will keep your workouts interesting.

3. Try New Things. If you’re stuck waiting for a treadmill, bike or elliptical machine because all the newbies haven’t learned about the 30 minute cardio time limit yet, think outside the box and get your heart rate up with some explosive medicine ball slams, kettlebell swings or even some old school jumping jacks.

4. Don’t Sweat It. You’re at the gym to take care of yourself, so don’t sweat the small stuff. While it may be frustrating with the larger crowds at the gym, stressing about it is bad for your health. Simple practices like deep breathing, stretching, yoga and meditation can keep your cortisol levels down and do wonders for your health.

5. Lend a Hand. Remember what it was like to be the new guy. If you see someone who looks lost, help them out. It’s hard enough to start an exercise program, especially when you can’t find what you need for your workout. Besides, a little good karma never hurt anyone.

Follow these tips and you’ll be none the worse for the wear come March when the storm has passed and you can start thinking about getting your body ready for summer.

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As an athletic trainer at Williams College and North Adams State College, Dan Murphy - aka Murph - got the opportunity to train, assess and rehabilitate athletes in a variety of sports including hockey, football, lacrosse, tennis, track and field, soccer, baseball and softball. He holds numerous fitness certifications and has been instrumental in helping The Clubs at Charles River Park evolve to a wellness center. Murph lives with his college sweetheart with whom he has two exuberant kids. He also plays bagpipes with the Bunker Hill Pipe Band from Charlestown - they recently performed before the first Bruins game of the season! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cB8nCkIZJk)

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