Strength in Numbers

Local fitness experts provide the exercise blueprint to help you conquer your goals this year

Written by Alison Pappas

The iconic Times Square ball has dropped (as well as the local favorite Berlin ball), signaling the start of the new year! For many people, this marks the start of their New Year’s resolutions. If your resolution is fitness-focused, taking those first steps may seem daunting, especially if you have not followed a regular fitness routine in the past. To help get you moving on your journey toward a healthier you and ensure that you maintain your New Year’s resolutions well into the future, we’ve rounded up some inspiration from four local fitness experts:

Tom Incontrera, CPT, Incontrera Strength and Conditioning, Rehoboth Beach: I think the most important thing for people trying to uphold their fitness goals is to keep it simple! The goal should not be to lose a ton of weight in a short amount of time; it should be to live a healthier lifestyle to move well and feel good for a long time. When you shift your mindset to that, it makes it easier to stick with it and prevents you from burning out after a month. Now that we know it’s not a race to lose weight, we can start by prioritizing the little things, like walking daily, getting enough water, and sleeping!”

Tara McDaniel, Tara McDaniel Fitness, Berlin: “Something is always better than nothing. Your schedule is always going to have unexpected events, so have a plan! It is always better to do five minutes of exercise than no minutes of exercise. If you only have five minutes, exercise your hardest for those five minutes. Set reasonable goals. If you are currently not exercising, trying to start a program of five or six days a week is probably going to be too much. Start simple and build momentum. Plan exercise into your day. Look at your week and figure out which days would work best for your events that week. Do bodyweight squats or pushups at intervals throughout your day.”

Zachary Jones M.S., ACSM Exercise Physiologist, Fixer Upper Health Club, Salisbury: “Have a clear purpose. Spend some time visualizing what you want your life to look like. That will become your long-term goal. Your long-term goal is not time sensitive. It is your new lifestyle. The new you! Set small, very attainable goals that are time-sensitive and align with your ultimate goal. Each time you conquer a smaller goal, you will gain confidence! Give yourself grace. There will be a challenge that will make you consider giving up. There will be a workout that feels too hard. There will be vacations and holidays. It is so important to give yourself grace and to remember your ultimate goal. It is okay to miss a day. The journey is long, and you are tough! You can do it!”

Erik Schreiber, CustomFit360, Ocean View: “My number-one tip for anyone trying to maintain their fitness-related New Year’s resolution is to have an accountability partner. Whether they are a friend, coworker, gym buddy, or anyone else you think will be effective in the role, an accountability partner is a key to helping you stay on track throughout your fitness journey. Having a solid accountability partner will help motivate you, especially when you feel as though you are having an off day. Have a solid plan in place for how you’re going to accomplish your goals. Write your goals down on paper, then action those goals.”

Hopefully, this guidance will help you take that first step — or should we say, first sit-up! If you find yourself wanting a helping hand as you follow through on your resolutions, the Shore community has many fitness gurus who can be there to support you every step of the way. CS

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