If you plan to work off those high-calorie holiday carb intakes with a shiny new New Year’s resolution, you’re not alone. Most health related resolutions involve weight loss or simply getting in shape. But let’s face it; January gym crowds are about the only things that thin quickly.
So what’s the key to sticking with it for the long haul?
Luckily, fitness coordinators and fitness center staff on bases throughout the Pacific are always available with tips and detailed advice to help patrons plan – and stick with – their new routines.
“The key to keeping a fitness routine is staying focused and doing something that you enjoy,” says Master Sgt. Tikisha Tripp, Risner Fitness Center section chief on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. “People revert back to their old routines because they don’t see the drastic results right away. Based on your fitness levels you must give yourself realistic goals and be willing to adjust your workout to reach those goals.”
The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends at least 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) in two or more days a week of moderate-intensity and muscle-strengthening activities. The activity should work all major muscle groups including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms.
Does 150 minutes sound like a long time to you? Consider this: It is not necessary to do it all at once. According to the center, you can break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. As long as you’re doing your activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time.
For example, you can take a brisk 10-minute walk to work in the morning, take another during your lunch break and one more on your way back home from work. If you do this five days a week, it adds up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity. Do you drive to work? Try parking a short distance away and taking a brisk 10-minute walk to and from the car every day.
According to a National Center for Chronic Disease survey, more than 50 percent of adults in the U.S. admitted that they don’t engage in the recommended 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week. In other words, about half of Americans don’t get the physical exercise they need.
“If someone is truly serious about making any behavioral change, they must make a resolution daily,” says Byron Hardy, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam’s exercise physiologist. “Going to a gym is one of many options available for any particular day. Most success is usually seen in those that workout at home. Stay active in a variety of ways, try not to be routine, and train with someone that will motivate you if you can’t do it on your own.”
Being active can offer such added benefits as lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, better control over diabetes and reduce the risk of diseases like cancer. It is also thought to help maintain mental stability by reducing stress and mental fatigue and improving sleep and self-esteem. This in turn can contribute to more focus and motivation, less anger and frustration as well as a healthy appetite and better social life.
“A healthy mind and body are essential to individual and unit readiness,” says Edward J. Motley, health and fitness program manager at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, S. Korea. “Resilient individuals are better able to bounce back and overcome adversity by leveraging mental and emotional skills and behavior. Individual resilience can be built, maintained, and strengthened when viewed as an enduring concept and acquired through regular training. Being physically active assists in maintaining a good quality of life.”
Another way to get and keep fit is to take advantage of programs and events available in your own backyard. Many military instillations have challenges that offer motivation and support, such as Risner Fitness Center’s Extreme Fitness Challenge or Yongsan Garrison’s Biggest Loser Challenge. These January-to-springtime challenges allow participants to earn points for losing weight during basewide competitions.
There are also year-round programs such as Andersen Air Force Base’s Healthier Year program in which Participants earn points for attending classes such stress management, nutrition, fitness or tobacco cessation. Or the Get Fit Yongsan program in which soldiers earn points for participating in physical and social Moral, Welfare and Recreation activities.
Because there are always new trends in fitness, there are not only new and exciting ways to get in shape, there are also ways to spice up old routines while you keep in shape. Tabata training, which use high-intensity workouts in short intervals, and group boot camp trainings led by instructors are all the rage, according to Jane Kupkowski, fitness coordinator at Yano Fitness Center on Camp Zama, Japan.
“CrossFit and mixed martial arts are very high up in the fitness industry right now,” says Kupkowski. “And mixed martial arts athletes tend to train using their own body weight with cross training such as Tabata. … I really feel like that’s the trend that’s about to really explode.”
Whatever methods you use – whether to get that new you for the new year, or keep the old you in tip-top shape – fitness experts on your base likely have the advice and guidance you need to kick start a healthy 2014. Contact one today.
• Take the stairs
• Sit on an exercise ball at your desk if it is allowed
• Talk to colleagues in person rather than sending intra-office emails
• Walk to a farther bathroom
• Stand up periodically
• Try small stretches or exercises like knee extensions
Counting calories via subtraction
This chart shows the approximate calories spent per hour by a 100-, 150- and 200-pound person doing a particular activity.
Activity 100lb 150lb 200lb
Bicycling, 6 mph 160 240 312
Bicycling, 12 mph 270 410 534
Jogging, 7 mph 610 920 1,230
Jumping rope 500 750 1,000
Running 5.5 mph 440 660 962
Running, 10 mph 850 1,280 1,664
Swimming, 25 yds/min 185 275 358
Swimming, 50 yds/min 325 500 650
Tennis, singles 265 400 535
Walking, 2 mph 160 240 312
Walking, 3 mph 210 320 416
Walking, 4.5 mph 295 440 572
- The American Heart Association
Biggest Loser Challenge
Biggest Loser Challenge for the new year from Jan.6 to Mar.7. The year-round fitness program, Get Fit Yongsan, provides patrons with a Fitness Passport in which they accumulate points for completing physical and social activities within the MWR facilities. This fun event allows patrons to compete with themselves to see how many points they can acquire.
Osan Air Base hosts its yearly Aerobathon to help patrons get back into shape after the holiday season on Jan. 4, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. The class includes is held in Osan Fitness Center and includes: spin/abs 9 -10 a.m., circuit training 10-11 a.m. and Zumba 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Contact your base fitness center or MWR to learn what health and fitness programs are available.