Weighing In: Beat The Resolutioners

Each week, our own fitness fanatics Sabrina Evans and Emily Keifline will explore the latest workout crazes, diet fads and dish out tips for healthy living. Managing your schoolwork is tough enough- let us take care of your health.

Year after year, getting fit is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. But come February, the gyms are empty again.

While lack of commitment is the biggest reason people stop working out, there are many people who stop just because they never started correctly.

It’s important to ease into working out when you’re just starting out or just returning to the gym. Dr. William Buckley, Professor of Exercise and Sports Science here at Penn state gave us some tips on how to start a workout routine the right way.

Buckley recommends starting at a level that is significantly less than where you think you should start. If you used to be a runner but haven’t hit the pavement in months, take the first week to just walk. Then, alternate running and walking. It may take some time to build up to where you used to be, but don’t get discouraged. Once your body adjusts to the strain, you’ll be running marathons in no time!

If you’ve decided that 2015 is the year that you’re going to start lifting weights, consider hiring a personal trainer, or even just asking the trainers at the on-campus gyms for help. Buckley points out that the easiest way to get injured exercising is incorrect form. Asking an experienced gym-goer for help will minimize your risk of injury.

Once you know what you’re doing, start light and work your way up.

“Beginners generally start exercising at a level that is greater than their body is used to,” Buckley says. “When you do this, you will experience excessive soreness, which is your body’s way of causing you so much pain that you stop what you’re doing.”

To prevent this, you need to start at the correct level and progress from there.

By starting at a novice level, your body will be less likely to reject the tension and benefit from it instead.

“If you overload the correct amount, the body will accommodate to a stress, but it can’t be overstressed,” Buckley says.

By following these tips, you can rest assured that come February, all the typical resolutioners will be at home on their couch and you’ll still be at the gym getting fit.