The new year is a great time to press reset and refocus on our physical wellness. If you’ve already made fitness an intentional part of your routine, you understand the importance of challenging yourself so you don’t plateau. If you’re just getting into fitness, kudos to you for making your health a priority and embarking on a lifelong journey! Fitness, at whatever level you are at, is a life style change you make. It’s not something you do for one month and call it good. It’s something very intentional that eventually becomes more of a purpose. It could start as a short term goal to look your best for your wedding, or to bring your cholesterol level down a few points. At some point the positive results become more than that: the ability to physically do more than you imagined, prescription medications no longer needed, or a path towards fertility. So how do you get started with fitness, or shake up your current regimen? I chatted with Coach Yolanda Hunter, Certified Fitness Trainer and owner of Go Yo Go Fitness, and asked her to share some tips on how to make fitness work for you.
eplife | Where does a fitness newbie start? How do you challenge a fitness veteran?
Coach Yo | Start with what it is you actually want to achieve. Having a clear vision of what it is you want to accomplish is key. Also, keep in mind what you think you’ll enjoy because if it’s not fun, chances are you won’t be motivated to continue with it.
Fitness veterans like to stick with what they know, however, the body is always changing and therefore needs variety. I would say try some new classes. If you are typically a strength and cardio regular, try some Pilates mixed with some cycle classes. Cross training is important and helps prevent injury due to overuse. Also, to prevent plateau, you want to keep your body guessing. Sign up for a mini triathlon or take up rock climbing just to switch it up.
eplife | Variety not only keeps things interesting, but it’s a great workout for the mind too! All those compound moves and choreography definitely keep my brain focused.
eplife | How do I navigate the options of fitness facilities?
Coach Yo |Start with what it is that you are hoping to achieve. If you aren’t into swimming and basketball, no need for those amenities, right!? Having clarity is key initially. If you are into group fitness, make sure there is variety with certified and knowledgeable instructors. I personally love kickboxing and strength training, so I’d be looking for a smaller, format specific facility. Not into aesthetics? Don’t pay for it! If you don’t care for a towel service and marble floors, don’t just get a membership somewhere just to say you belong to such and such gym. You need encouragement? Look for places that have a friendly staff that smiles at you and remembers your name, it’ll keep ya coming back! Pay attention to how you feel when you walk into a facility. Vibes don’t lie. It could look nice, but places that contain grumpy grumps will suck the motivation right out of you. Ask for a week to try it out first. Any facility that considers themselves high quality will typically oblige. Need coaching and education? Look for facilities that have a variety of qualified and certified personal trainers. They are typically highly motivated and knowledgeable individuals ready to explain the “hows and whys” of fitness.
eplife | What can someone expect from you as a fitness trainer?
Coach Yo | First I’m going to want to get clear about what you want to achieve and when. Are these micro or macro goals? Is there a wedding in 6 months that we are training for or did your doctor just tell you to “lose a little weight” in general? Next I’m going to want to get to your “why”. Which buttons am I going to have to push to get you to “snap out of it” if you are dragging. For some people it gets really deep which is why trust with your trainer is important. Over the years I’ve noticed that my most successful clients are those I had a trusted connection with. Knowing what your “why” is helps me to push you past the places where you may want to quit. And there’s no quitting with Coach Yo!! Then together we devise a plan that makes sense cost wise and goal wise. Making the workouts fun and creative matter too. There are plenty of jokes and laughter along the way. We have fun, but get work in as well.
eplife | Coach Yo definitely encourages you to ‘bring it’ with every workout. There’s no slacking with her pushing you. Coach Yo will hold you accountable while keeping it fun.
eplife | What is the one most impactful fitness activity?
Coach Yo | Never underestimate the benefits of walking. You can increase your cardiovascular strength and endurance while losing weight and reducing stress. Walking after dinner helps digestion which may help you sleep better at night.
eplife | Walking is so simple yet so effective. You can include all the members of your family; our kids especially like playing catch while we walk (and they run). It’s a great way to get outdoors any time of year, and all you need are some comfortable shoes!
eplife | What are some tips for people who are looking to develop a positive fitness habit and stick with it?
Coach Yo |
1. Have specific goals
2. Have a timeline for when you’d like to reach that goal
3. Make sure it’s achievable and realistic
4. Make sure it’s fun!!
5. Find some accountability with a workout friend, family or professional
eplife | Why do you think it’s difficult for someone to stick to a fitness plan?
Coach Yo | Unrealistic expectations and not having a plan. Simply put. Implementing any change in life takes time. People need to give themselves some grace and set short term goals first. And sometimes the goal is to simply show up. It takes time to develop new habits and January 1st does not come with a magic wand to wipe away all the bad habits and magically implement good ones. Consistency is key.
eplife | What words of wisdom and advice do you have for our followers?
Coach Yo | Love yourself. Love yourself enough to invest in yourself. Do what you can with what you have. Fortunately we have a lot of virtual options out there and YouTube is FREE!! It’ll put you in a better position to care for the other people in your life.
eplife | If this is the year you wanted to try something new, I would certainly say it’s the perfect time to do it. The future of fitness is surely forever changed as gyms and trainers pivoted to online offerings. You can easily test out new fitness routines in the comfort and safety of your own home. If you’re new on this journey, you can find 5, 10, and 15-minute exercises to slowly ease into a routine. Many clubs and gyms are offering virtual memberships too.
There are many reasons people join a gym. Having access to equipment, building off the energy of others, and finding community are some of the reasons I’ve enjoyed having a gym membership in the past. Hopefully this year you won’t feel insecure walking into a gym for the first time or trying out a new fitness class. The gym capacity is likely lower, you’ll have to remain physically distanced, and people won’t be able to identify you behind your face mask! Newbie jitters be gone!
I’m cheering for you as you set your wellness goals and crush them! Making movement a part of your daily routine will eventually lead to a lifestyle change and better habits. Next year, you’ll find yourself celebrating your dedication and hard work, instead of making another resolution to get into shape. Here’s to a stronger and healthier version of you!
Get a FREE week with Go Yo Go Fitness by registering at: http://linktr.ee/GoYoGoFitness
To reach Yolanda Hunter aka Coach Yo The Fitness Pro:
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
NETA Certified Cycle Instructor
Silver Sneakers Certified
American Red Cross First Aid and CPR Certified
Aqua and nutrition certificates held
M.O.V.E. Fitness and Dance National Presenter
Currently taking personal training and small group training clients virtually and on site. Virtual fitness classes are available as well. The links to all my goodies is: