Everyone has his or her own unique resolution for the New Year, but letâ€™s face it, almost all of us would like to be more fit. It isnâ€™t an easy goal to achieve, especially if you donâ€™t really know where to start. Fortunately, Jeff Howard and the rest of the folks at Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center are ready to make you, as they say, the best version of you for 2016.
To get a better idea of what guests can expect at one of Milestoneâ€™s many classes and exercise programs, I decided to check out instructor Jeff Howardâ€™s Power Sculpt class on a recent Monday afternoon. I was taken to the class by a friend who is one of Howardâ€™s regulars, and she warned me it was going to be much harder than I thought. I lift in the gym regularly, so I didnâ€™t think Iâ€™d have much trouble. But I could not have been more wrong.
Howard walked into the packed class with a microphone and kicked the group into motion immediately. For a full hour, the class was nonstop â€“ a comprehensive workout of lower and upper body that left me looking like a puddle on the floor once it was over.
While Howard pushed me through the class, which was based on a step platform and light dumbbells (they felt much, much heavier as the hour went on), he was not militant nor did he belittle participants when they had to take a breather. He encouraged in a positive but nonetheless tough tone for the class to push themselves as much as they could. Body types of all kinds made up the group, and while not everyone could do the entire thing without stopping from start to finish, the most important thing was that they were there, giving it their all and trying their hardest.
Taking part in a class like Howardâ€™s Power Sculpt is truly a great way to launch your New Yearâ€™s resolution of becoming fit and healthy, as showing up for this class a couple times a week isnâ€™t only effective but also realistic. â€œA lot of times people bite off more than they can chew,â€ Howard says of fitness resolutions. â€œFor instance, some people will go from doing nothing to saying they want to work out seven days a week, and itâ€™s just too much â€“ itâ€™s too much too soon. Youâ€™ve taken on something thatâ€™s not realistic.â€
Instead, Howard recommends a more gradual approach to reaching fitness goals: â€œIf you were honest with yourself and say you can do two days a week, then it actually becomes something thatâ€™s doable, and also, it becomes a habit. You have to do something for longer than six weeks for it to become a habit.â€
And Howard works to enforce that principle in his class not only by motivating the group to come back week after week but also by personally holding them accountable. Throughout the class, Howard would often call out my name: â€œHow you doing, Remy?â€ â€œIf you work out with somebody, then youâ€™re more consistent because youâ€™re accountable,â€ he affirms. â€œSo what I always try to do here in class is make them accountable to one another. Thatâ€™s why I kept saying your name!â€
While itâ€™s important to be held accountable to others and yourself, itâ€™s most important to tackle the resolution of fitness from a realistic mindset and set goals that are specific and actually attainable. â€œBe realistic,â€ Howard emphasizes. â€œWrite down what you want. If you write it down, you can make it happen. But if you walk in and youâ€™re ambiguous and say, â€˜I want to be fit,â€™ what does that mean? If you write down three things that you really want like â€˜One, I want to lose five pounds. Two, I want to be able to run a marathon. Three, I want to be able to fit in a size eight,â€™ then those goals can happen.â€
If youâ€™re ready to turn your resolutions into reality, Milestone is ready for you. Itâ€™s not going to be easy â€“Â trust me â€“ but it will feel so good. I didnâ€™t beat myself up for dropping out of moments of the class; I congratulated myself for giving it 100 percent and making it through the hour. And if I can do it, so can you. VT