A student hard at work on their New Year's fitness resolution. Photo by Lexie Boren.

Trainers’ Tips for Tackling New Year’s Fitness Goals

ROUGHLY A MONTH into the new year, many students may be staying strong on their resolutions or struggling to follow through. If fitness is one of your goals and you are looking for advice on how to stay consistent, turning to the athletic trainers in Pamplin is an accessible and productive option.  

Assistant Athletic Trainer Tara Boatman has been with the Pioneer training staff since 2004. Not only did she graduate from Concordia University with a degree in Biology and Sports Medicine, but she was also a student-athlete herself.

She provided advice for those who are just beginning to exercise.

“Start small, work your way up,”  Boatman said. “Don’t try to run a 5K if you’ve never run a 5K before. Make realistic goals and increase those goals weekly until you get to where you want to be. You can’t just start at zero and expect to run a marathon the next day.”

While this may seem straightforward, not everyone has the same fitness goals.

“Everybody is different,” Boatman said. “Some people want to run, other people don’t like to run. Some people like to bike, other people don’t like riding a bike and don’t like running so they want to get in a pool. I would start the same, no matter what they’re doing.”

In addition to setting feasible goals, Boatman also recommends incorporating strength training into your routine.

“Strength training is important no matter what you do,” Boatman said. “It’s good for overall health and bone health, physical health, mental health.”

Boatman also emphasized the importance of stretching, a commonly overlooked practice.

“In any program that you are going to develop, incorporate stretching, strength training, and some sort of cardio,” Boatman said. “I would stretch every day just as a general health maintenance.”

Boatman described her own personal routine.

“I do cardio three times a week and strength training twice a week and that’s probably a good place to start for most people,” Boatman said. “If you are just starting out I would do upper body on one day and then lower body on another day.”

Student-athlete Samantha Yorke ’19, explained how she is able to balance both her school and work schedule, while still finding time to focus on her own personal fitness goals.

“Finding a routine that works for you and your schedule is the most important part of staying consistent in working out,” Yorke said. “For me, I have class at 10:20 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, so I use that time in the morning to workout. I start with cardio to get warm, normally 10-15 minutes on the spin bike or elliptical. Mondays I focus more on my upper body, Wednesdays lower body and Fridays I do a mix of both. I always finish my workouts with core work, stretching and foam rolling.”

Like most things, seeing results requires time, commitment and consistency.

“You can’t just do work for two or three weeks and expect to see a difference,” Boatman said. “It’s easier if you set a routine. Set a specific time every day where you have an opportunity.”

Whether it is in the morning before classes, right after classes or even later in the evening after work, it is possible to devote time to your physical health.

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