By Rhiannon Ellis
Quarantine pounds lingering? Holiday calories adding up? Check out what five local pros have to say on how you can overcome pandemic challenges and crush your 2021 body goals.
Get Off to a Running Start
Local Expert: Jeremy Howard, professional triathlete and certified triathlon coach
Running makes social-fitnessing easy because it can be done solo or with a partner at a safe distance. Plus, there’s the added safety benefit of being outside.
For cold days, Howard recommends layered attire. “Dressing in layers is helpful because you can loop past your house and shed a layer, if necessary.” He also suggests wearing gloves and a neck gaiter, which covers the ears and can serve as a mask.
“You should be a little chilly to start but comfortable after 10 minutes.”
New Year’s Tip: The coach advises against implementing a big lifestyle change on January 1 and to start small with this sample workout plan:
- Run 1 minute
- Walk 4 minutes.
- Repeat for 20 minutes. Slowly increase run time while decreasing walk time until you are running the full 20 minutes.
Join the Party
Local Expert: Khaleela Brown, certified Zumba Instructor
Zumba is an aerobic dance-fitness program that feels more like fun than exercise. Platforms like Zoom bring the dance party directly into your living room. “My participants love virtual workouts,” says Khaleela Brown. “They don’t have to leave the comfort of their own home.”
No dance experience? No rhythm? Camera shy? That’s OK! “Zumba isn’t about dance skills; it’s about having a great time while working up a sweat,” says Brown.
New Year’s Pro Tip: “Create a habit. Sign up for consistent weekly virtual workouts and SHOW UP.”
Activate Beast Mode
Local Expert: Ashley and Steve Courtney of family-owned CrossFit Fredericksburg
CrossFit combines a variety of aerobic, strength and functional exercises, most of which can be done with household items. “I’ve heard of people using paint cans and water jugs as kettlebells,” says Ashley Courtney. “You definitely get creative if you want to make your workout more challenging.”
Going it alone has its drawbacks. “You don’t have a coach calling you out when your form gets sloppy,” she says. Attending live virtual classes enables coaches to push participants harder and correct dangerous form issues.
New Year’s Pro Tip: “Establish small goals that are directed toward the overall goal.”
Steve Courtney shares a sample workout to get you started.
- AMRAP 15 (as many rounds/reps as possible in 15 minutes):
- 20 burpees
- 30 air squats
- 400m run
Local Expert: Megan Lovell, fitness director at Fredericksburg Fitness Studio
Looking for more tailored feedback? Consider virtual personal training sessions. “This is a great option to help hold you accountable and we can ensure that you are completing the exercises properly,” says Lovell.
Personal trainers work with whatever equipment is on-hand, so a big investment isn’t necessary. “When it comes to getting in a great workout at home, you don’t need any equipment at all,” says Lovell. Fredericksburg Fitness offers a workout-of-the-month that often demonstrates using household items. It is available to anyone who subscribes to their newsletter.
New Year’s Pro Tip: “No matter what your New Year’s resolution is, having the support system around you to help make that happen goes a long way.”
Take a Breather
Local Expert: Annie Kemp, owner and instructor at Dragonfly Yoga.
Pandemic got you stressed? Channel your inner yogi. Starting a yoga practice may seem intimidating, but Kemp makes it sound easy. “All you really need is a yoga mat,” she says.
For accountability, Kemp recommends live virtual classes. “I prefer a live class over a pre-recorded one as there’s more of a personal commitment by signing up for the class and showing up at a scheduled time.” Going live also connects you with the instructor and other participants.
New Year’s Pro Tip: “Having grace and patience with yourself will be important in regard to any New Year’s resolution.”