If you made a New Year's resolution on Jan. 1, chances are good that it was fitness- or weight-loss-related. Exercising more and slimming down were the top two goals set by resolution-makers in a survey conducted last November and December by NPR and the Marist Poll.
Unfortunately, by this time every year, more than one-third of those would-be achievers have given up on getting healthier. If you're one of the millions of people for whom getting to the gym more often could mean moving closer to fulfilling that health resolution -- or you just plain need to start working out -- don't let the February slump get you down. After all, Punxsutawney Phil says we're in for an early spring.
Rather than shell out for an expensive, long-term gym membership here in DC, why not use the fitness center that's onsite in your office building? If you are a Metro Offices shared office space member, the fitness center is free for you to use, professionally cleaned and maintained, and well-equipped. Here's how to get the most out of yours.
Time it right
If you're like most people (particularly millennials, who make up about half of the U.S. workforce), you'll probably want to hit the gym in the morning. But as an exercise newbie or someone who's trying to get back into organized fitness after a long hiatus, you should resist the temptation to go before you start your workday; that's when it's likely to be most packed. In a crowded fitness center, you're less likely to get the equipment you want, more likely to feel self-conscious and even more likely to throw in the towel altogether. After-work (think 5:30 p.m.) may pose the same challenges. Instead, try eating at your desk around noon, then taking a late "lunch" around 1:30 p.m. and heading to the gym then. There will be far fewer people, so you'll have more opportunities to familiarize yourself with the machines, and you won't need to wait for anything to become available.
If you're a Metro Offices member, feel free to take your afternoon workout break at any of our nine locations. Each has an onsite, state-of-the-art fitness center complete with treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, weight machines, free weights, fitness balls, and more.
Download an app
Unless you're a personal trainer, you're probably not planning to walk into your office building's fitness center and exercise without some sort of workout plan. Why not try an app? There are numerous excellent ones out there, many of them free. Our pick is the consistently well-rated Nike Training Club. (The "basic" version of the app is free, but trust us, it's anything but basic.) With it, you can sync your own music to your chosen routine, and select the level of difficulty you want your workout to be. You can also make fitness goals and have the app design a personalized plan for you. Really not into a particular type of exercise? With NTC, you can choose your type of workout (yoga, cardio, strength) so you don't have to slog through something you're unlikely to stick with in the long term. Plus, NTC logs every completed workout, so you'll have the extra impetus to finish what you start.
Before you start, remind yourself that:
- You're not going to look like Ronda Rousey or Michael Phelps after just a few weeks of working out (if ever).
- Results come to those who wait (and exercise consistently and frequently, as well as eat properly).
- If you hate it, you're unlikely to keep doing it, so find something you enjoy.
Say you want the calorie burn that you know running yields -- but have never been a runner and hate to run. Instead of trying to convince yourself you'll soon be pulling down six-minute miles, Batman-style, change it up. Try the treadmill at a moderate incline and turn up your favorite music or comedy station while you're at it. You're more likely to stick with exercise if you enjoy it.
Not a Metro Offices member yet? Make 2020 the year you become one -- and get full use of our buildings' fitness centers! Browse our locations here.
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