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Make the most of this weird 2021 fitness year

by Fred Dyck

Director of Fitness, YWCA Saskatoon

One cannot overstate the impact of the Covid-19 virus on our society. Now ten months into this pandemic we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine rollouts but months remain in front of us with serious restrictions on our choices. Like virtually all industries the fitness business has had to change and adapt programs and offerings to stay relevant and useful.

YWCA/Fitness on 25th is no different. Our January programming this year includes 15 virtual classes a week where you do not have to leave your house to participate. The group fitness and aquatic classes that used to have 20 or more attendees have limits of 8 participants.  And, everyone must stay 3 meters apart. Did I mention masks; wearing a mask while you workout is not anyone’s preference.

What can you do to make the most of this? Try some of these tips this January as you scratch that New Year’s Resolution fitness itch:

  • Look for other ways to measure success than just tracking body weight. Many of our members define success (or their view of success) through monitoring their body weight. I have numerous issues with this approach and have found almost all members get more out of the gym experience once they learn to track growth and development in other ways. Take the “opportunity” of Covid to start tracking your goals along with your growth and development. Record reps and weights and track progress in a fitness journal. Set some short and long term strength goals.
  • Learn a new skill. The idea of a new skill goes great with adding new ways to measure success. For example, learn to deadlift (regardless of age). Why? Because everyone lifts stuff in the real world so use the gym to learn and improve. How about kettle bell swings? If you have been around our gym the last few years you will have seen many members completing kettle bell swings. This can be you too. Need some ideas on new skills to learn? Chat with one of our trainers and we will get you started.

 

  • Enter an event. Try your first 5 KM run or walk. Or maybe a half marathon. A 10 k. Try power lifting.  The Saskatchewan Power Lifting Association is hosting virtual events in 2021. That maybe a place to start for some of you lifters. For me? I entered a trail race. I am planning to again run in the Beaver Flat 50 in September (picture is of me at this race a couple years ago) and entered the race as soon as entries opened.  Finding something specific to focus on helps.

 

  • Set a goal to improve your mobility. It is common for members to report to us they should take the time to “stretch” more. They live with joint restrictions or mobility challenges because they find it more satisfying to lift or run. Dedicate a longer part of you time in the gym over the next month or two improving your mobility. Nima Nazemi posts regular mobility tips every week through our NEW video-on-demand service and hosts our regular Prehab/Mobility Class.

 

  • Try Yoga…virtually. In the past it was very common for our members to walk by the Studio and see a Yoga class going on and say to us…someday I should try that. Well, Covid as made that easier than ever before. You can participate in one of our live-streamed Yoga classes from the comfort of your living room. The great advantage of this is you do not have to feel subconscious about whether you are any good or can do the moves properly. Its a great way to meet our amazing instructors and get introduced to this wonderful practice…just be careful…it might become a lifetime habit! We currently offer five virtual Yoga classes each week (included in your membership).

The number one thing you can do to meet your 2021 health and wellness goals is have a positive attitude. Bringing an attitude that I will not be defeated by Covid and its restrictions is a great place to start. The concept of positive thinking is not new to regular gym goers but for many it has never been tested like it is now with Covid. Stay strong, hang in there…we will get through this crazy time.