The festive season has come and gone, hopefully leaving you with some great memories! But, probably also leaving a few less desirable side effects after all that celebration, such as an extra pound or two, and jeans that you could have sworn fit you fine just a month ago. January is the month of resolutions, and getting into shape for the year ahead. You probably have some fitness resolutions in mind to slim down and tone up. We would like to help you accomplish them with these five steps. In particular, we encourage you to embrace the multiple fitness benefits of swimming by finding a YMCA that has a pool with a retractable roof enclosure, offering you year-round access.
Step 1: Get Real and Specific
It doesn’t help to just stare at yourself in the mirror and berate yourself. Rather, get scientific about it and express your weight loss or fitness desires in real, numerical terms. You might want to lose ten pounds or just be able to swim ten pool lengths. Be specific and objective. Leave the despair and self-blame behind. You need to find the right place for you – the right facility that will help you take control of your fitness. Your nearest YMCA – one that includes a swimming pool – is the ideal choice. YMCAs offer a broad range of exercise program options to ensure that you stay active while keeping your routine fresh and varied. Making the swimming pool a central part of your routine will be extremely beneficial.
Step 2: Set Your Goal
With your general weight-loss needs in mind, you can now set your specific, time-bound goal. Don’t put it too far out of your reach. You can afford to be less ambitious than you think. Setting too high a goal might only end up demotivating and discouraging you a little further down the line. As a general guideline, you only need to cut down your weight by between 5 and 15 percent at first. This will already make you feel better and improve your health. You can relook your goal after that, but it is best to tackle the battle of the bulge incrementally.
Step 3: Set Your Exercise Program
If losing weight is your main goal, then what you need is a program that emphasizes aerobic activity. However, resistance training is also a vital aid to weight loss, so make sure you throw that in too. In fact, you could choose an exercise that combines aerobic exercise with resistance training, as well as adding a number of different benefits, such as swimming. Swimming is perhaps the most well-rounded, multi-beneficial exercise there is. Your YMCA will be able to offer you a wealth of excellent fat-burning exercises, from HIIT to cycling. Choose one or a few that suit you and, no matter what else you do, include swimming in your regimen.
Step 4: Plan for Year-Round Swimming
With that in mind, make swimming a part of your routine throughout the coming year. It will not only help you lose the weight you’re planning to get rid of but it will also tone up your entire body. The result? You will feel much healthier and fitter. And, there is no need to stop once you’ve reached your goal. Swimming is a great habit and could easily be worked into your daily routine. Why not make time in your schedule to do a few lengths in the pool every time you visit the YMCA?
Step 5: Create a Good Workout Mix
Both for the initial weight-loss and/or fitness goals, as well as for ongoing maintenance, it’s essential to have a good mix of aerobics and resistance training. Make sure that you follow a routine that has the right mix for you. You can alternate between running and free-weight training, for example. Or, if you are short on time and want a good combination of both types of exercise, simply get in the pool. Swimming is the best all-round exercise solution and will keep the weight off, tone your muscles, and improve your cardiovascular health.
OpenAire is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of custom retractable roof enclosures and operable skylights. We build and design both fixed and retractable enclosures for swimming pools, having transformed many YMCA aquatic facilities across North America. Contact us for more information.