January 1st Fitness Motivation

The Magic of January 1st Fitness Motivation All Year

Every year, millions of people gear up for their big January 1st fitness motivation kick, and it works! (For a few days…) At that time, people feel like they’re on the top of the world, able to crush their goals without hesitation. While January 1st gets a lot of flack among fitness professionals, it does help when nearly everyone you know is motivated for some kind of goal they’re actively pushing themselves towards. It’s often even an impetus for people to try working with a personal trainer to guide them to success! The problem is that many people don’t build the positive habits to make those changes stick and that their January 1st fitness motivation only comes around once a year… In this article, we’ll cover 3 ways you can tap into that same indomitable will any time of the year!

1 – Major Life Changes

Maybe you’re about to move houses, start a new job, or your kids are about to go off to college. Anytime you’re in a new location, have a new weekly routine to adjust to, or find yourself with more free time suddenly, it’s the perfect time to commit yourself to make new healthy habits! Just like that, you’re creating your own personalized conditions superior to the old January 1st fitness motivation.

For example, when you step into that new home if you decide that you’re going to hold a plank while your Keurig brews, start with day 1 and you’ll have a much easier time maintaining your habit. All you will have ever known in the new environment is the new positive behavior, and you’ll likely fall back into it without thinking.

2 – After Breaks from Routine

Another day, another dollar, routine day after routine day, then suddenly: you go on vacation, take an exciting trip, finish a project you’ve been working on for a long time, or see the end of a sports season you’ve been invested in. Your routine is thrown out the window and what’s left is a perfect opportunity to decide what your new routine will be!

This is an excellent time to take the initiative and decide that you’ll use this opportune clay to mold the You 2.0, healthier, more fit, that you want to become.

3 – Just Do Something!

Start today! (Or at least the closest day that ends in a “Y”…) You don’t need to have it all planned out, to what exercises you’ll do in what order, or how many grams of broccoli to eat at dinner next Thursday, you just need to make a decision and build small wins for yourself!

Doing so will build positive momentum upon which you can build a more substantial plan (planning is, at some point necessary after all, for sustained success). While “jump and build a parachute on your way down,” isn’t always great advice, it is essential that you start! Isaac Newton got it right with his first law of motion that, “an object in motion will stay in motion, and an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.”

What are you waiting for?! Do 10 jumping jacks, take a walk, or climb the stairs an extra time. Yes, right now… If you hear all kinds of obstacles in your mind coming up, building momentum by hiring a personal trainer will help you instill the accountability and positive habits that will guide you to long term success.

Tired of waiting for the January 1st fitness motivation to kick in? Try out working with a personal trainer for free! Call us at (844) 704-9477 for a complimentary workout in our new North Andover Fitness Studio or in the convenience of your own home or apartment building!

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Written by Coach Will H. Hansen and shared here by the author.

Stay Fit this Holiday Season Dovile Squat

Stay Fit This Holiday Season: 3 Step Cheat Sheet

The Holiday Season is here and for many, that means their fitness goals take a back seat, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Here’s your three-step cheat sheet from local fitness experts Golden Home Fitness for you to stay fit this holiday season:

1 – Enjoy It! (Mindfully) 

Stay Fit this Holiday Season Will

When you hear, “stay fit this holiday season” it may conjure thoughts of tasteless, sugar-free cookies, skipping parties for the gym, or other restrictive activities. This is doing it all wrong! Paraphrasing the wise boxing coach and fitness writer Ross Enamait, it’s not what you do between Christmas and New Year’s that messes you up, it’s what you do between New Year’s and Christmas. This is the time of year where it’s okay to be present with loved ones and enjoy the often all-too limited time we get to share with one another. The key is to try to enjoy yourself MORE, not LESS. As a personal trainer, what could I possibly mean by that? Eat that cookie like it’s the last cookie you’ll ever eat, savor that wine, that cake, that champagne, and so on like you’re the most discerning critic you can imagine. Then once you’ve been completely present and have actually tasted what you’re consuming, rest on a satisfied gut.

The problem for most is not that they are at the Christmas party, or that they ate a cookie, but that they devoured a box of cookies mindlessly while watching a Lifetime movie, or that they drank the entire bottle of wine trying to distract themselves from a dry holiday office party conversation. More than just a buzzword, being mindful when you indulge will help you stay fit this holiday season.

2 – Drop the All or Nothing (Pick Your Spots)

To add on to number one, be your own best advocate and pick your spots! If you’re at a party and you can choose from store-bought cookies and delicious homemade cookies, or special reserve wine versus generic box wine, this is the time to be your most discerning, snobby self! Focus on quality over quantity and you’ll find yourself more satisfied and in better shape when January rolls around.

When it comes to goals, realize that maintaining where you are is a valiant goal this time of year! Many people let the wheels fall off the wagon and gain notable weight every holiday season, so even maintaining where you are is a great place to build on when the New Year comes.

3 – Don’t Do It Alone (Hire a Coach or Enlist an Accountability Buddy)

Stay fit this Holiday Season Coach

You’re embarking on a journey that many people set off on, but relatively fewer succeed at, as all New Year’s resolution statistics show. On any journey with risk, it’s essential that you don’t venture into the unknown all alone!

Enlist a coach, like we provide at Golden Home Fitness, or find an accountability buddy to keep you on track! Having an accountability partner will keep you honest when you want to reach for that third cookie, but know you should really stop. A good coach or partner will check in on you regularly to see how you feel you’re doing and help you decide on any adjustments to your strategy.

Want a coach to help you see your best results yet? Call us at (844) 704-9477 for a complimentary workout in our new North Andover Fitness Studio or in the convenience of your own home or apartment building!

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Written by Coach Will H. Hansen and shared here by the author, featuring photos of Coach Will and Coach Dovile Zemaityte from the 2018 Golden Home Fitness Toy Drive for Shriners Hospital for Children.

Fitness Willpower Dovile

5 Tips for Fitness Willpower to Exceed Your Goals!

Information is easy to come by, but how do you get yourself to do it and reach your fitness goals? It comes down to the fitness willpower you have already! Many obstacles come in your way on the path to any worthwhile goal. When it comes to fitness, some of those obstacles, like traffic or overcrowded gyms, for example, can be solved by working out at home. However, you still need to get moving and stay consistent. This is not an easy task, even for the most fitness-enthused among us! It comes down to your fitness willpower and today we’re sharing five key tips and realizations to help you get an edge. These tips are inspired by the Charles Duhigg book, The Power of Habit, and applied here in the context of fitness and home-exercise.

1. We Have a Limited Supply of Fitness Willpower

Kale Fitness Willpower

You know the feeling: it’s January 1st and you’ve never been so motivated in your life, you signed up for a juice cleanse, you’re committing to go keto forever, you’re going to go to yoga 3x per week, walk daily and workout 5x per week… You know how that story ends with hard burnout and rebound maybe a week later, maybe a month, the point is that you overtaxed your fitness willpower, and now you can’t hold yourself back from the dessert buffet and feel like Joey Chestnut eating hot dogs on the 4th of July.

Don’t be that person! Take the slow and steady approach to keep your fitness willpower reserves just fresh enough. Start with one thing, the thing you know 10 out of 10 times you have no trouble doing and then go from there! That may be drinking a glass of water first thing every morning or committing to complete a lap around the outer sections of the grocery store with fresh produce before going to the inner isles that have more processed goods.

2. Do Difficult Tasks While Your Fitness Willpower Reserves are Full

You set your intention Sunday night to workout Monday right after work, then when Monday afternoon rolls around you come home from a long day at work and take just a minute to rest on the couch. Next thing you know, you realize you have no fitness willpower left to crush the great workout you had planned… This tragic series of events is all too common, and can be easily avoided! If you’re someone who is always exhausted after work, try a different time for your workouts! Likewise, if you’re a night owl and are barely functioning before 10 am without six espresso shots, don’t try 6 am workouts when you can likely find a better option. Listen to your body, and choose times when you’re most alert and motivated to your most difficult tasks.

3. Just Simply Writing Down Your Routine Will Help to Stick to the Plan

In the previous example, you set your intention Sunday night, great work! Was it written down as a commitment to yourself in your calendar (or wherever you keep your daily/weekly routines)? If it was, you’re far more likely to do it after all, or worst case, you’ll move it to a new time on your calendar when you’ll be re-committed to completing the task. Similarly, if you plan your routine far out in advance, such as planning that you’ll work out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the next three months, you’ll be less likely to skip the workout when you can see how this one session fits into the bigger picture. That helps avoid the “how much does this one workout really matter?” excuse that creeps in and sabotages long term fitness willpower.

4. What’s Your Why? Do it for Someone Else

Does this matter to you? If not, or if it’s a lukewarm reason, you’ll be much more likely to skip commitments or quit altogether. If, however, your goals are intimately tied to other people you care about, you will go to war to see your goal through to completion. For example, if you want to lose weight to be able to play with your kids or to improve your heart health to be able to see them grow old, you’ll be far more motivated than if you want to fit in a smaller bathing suit or live up to some ideal you’ve set for yourself (not bad goals, just less powerful when it comes to fitness willpower).

5. Lead the Way! Build Control Over the Process for Maximum Fitness Willpower

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting thought the wind, wanting to start again? Do you ever feel so paper-thin, like a house of cards one blow from caving in?”

Katy Perry

Whether those Katy Perry lyrics already have you burst into song like a “Firework,” or you have no idea who she is, we can agree that feeling out of control is quite de-motivating. That no matter what we do, it just doesn’t matter. Building a sense of control over the process for your fitness goals will help you maximize your fitness willpower like never before! So how do you take control back? Make some decisions! Do you hate using a treadmill when you’re at the gym but feel like you have to? Decide to do something you enjoy and look forward to, and then appreciate how your decision caused that improvement. Hate kale? Decide to eat a different green, leafy vegetable that you like, or try cooking it differently, and take time to taste how much sweeter being in control of your health tastes!

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, we hope you have learned some things you can take initiative with and decide to act on! Now while it’s easy to read information, working with a coach is the best way to progress. We’re offering a session for you at no cost! Sign up for a complimentary workout here or call (844) 704-9477 and we’ll schedule a workout for you!

Learn New Exercises for Outdoor Workouts

Learn 4 New Exercises for Workouts at the Park

To continue last week’s article on top exercises you can do outside on a swingset, today we’ll help you learn new exercises you might not think of at first but will give you a killer workout with just a swingset!

Learn New Exercises to Build Your Repetoire

Just like you can do a wide variety of exercises on a suspension kit like a TRX, or a set of rings, you have many options for exercises on a park swingset as well! As with the suspension units, you gain the same flexibility in regards to ease or difficulty level and the added stability challenge, at no cost at all! Take your training to the next level by learning these new exercises for swingset workouts.

1. Bulgarian Split Squats

These may sound intimidating to some, but have no fear! This exercise is top-notch for developing the glutes and hamstrings. By adding the instability of the swing, you increase the difficulty and will take your training and progress to new heights!

2. Triceps Extensions

Male or female, everyone wants better-sculpted triceps in the summer for their tank top or swimsuit wearing endeavors! Triceps extensions are widely popular for a good reason, they work! This bodyweight variation is excellent and can be made more difficult by walking your feet backward, reducing your angle to the ground.

3. Pullover

This classic exercise is right at home in the great outdoors! This exercise places a great demand on your chest muscles, while also using your lats, triceps, and more to stabilize. Be careful to not go further overhead than your shoulder range of motion allows.

4. Decline Push-Up (Feet Elevated)

In our last article, we showed how to make the push-up easier by walking your feet forward, but if push-ups on the ground are too easy, give this variation a go by elevating your feet on the swing! The stability challenge of the swing will recruit more of your core muscles, and the decline position will intensify the exercise for your shoulders, chest, and triceps.

Learn New Ways to Exercise With a Coach That Comes to You!

I hope this helped you learn some new exercises you can use with just a swingset! For a coach to take you through your first workout for free in person or online, give us a call to schedule at (844) 704-9477!

Outdoor Park Workouts: Push-Up on Swings

4 Exercises for Outdoor Park Workouts this Summer

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, grills are cooking food, sunburns are getting to be a problem… must be summer! And with it, comes an excellent opportunity to do your workouts outside. Whether you are jogging to calisthenics park or stopping at a nearby playground, or maybe a parent getting a couple of sets in while the kids are preoccupied playing, there are innumerable ways to get a great workout in! In this article, we’ll focus on four exercises for outdoor park workouts you can do with just a classic swingset!

Top Swingset Exercises for Outdoor Park Workouts:

“Suspension” style exercise has become increasingly popular over the last 15 years with the mainstream proliferation of products like TRX, Jungle Gym, and the resurgence of classic gymnastics rings for use in fitness training. However, as you’ll learn today, you don’t need to drop hundreds of dollars on expensive and invasive installation of suspension kits when you can get a great effect with outdoor park workouts! Here are four of our favorites exercises, all with just a swing set:

1. Swing Rows

Grasp the ends of the soft-sided swing seat (where they meet the chains holding them up), and pull yourself up through the seat by driving your shoulders, then elbows, back behind your body. Our client, Johanna Gorton, does a great job demonstrating in this video! Just remember to keep your core stable and head back to avoid over-extending at the lower back or neck. This is an excellent exercise to train your upper back and your arms and can be made easier or more difficult by walking your feet backward or forward, respectively.

2. Swing Push-Ups

A great compliment to rows is push-ups! If you can’t do full push-ups to the floor, it’s challenging to find appropriate heights to progress your way down from push-ups at an incline to push-ups flat from the ground. Like the rows, you can make the exercise easier or harder by walking your feet backward or forward, respectively. The more vertical you are, the easier it will be. If flat push-ups from the floor are too easy, you can elevate your feet on the swing seat (as shown in the following pike video) while pushing your hands off of the ground. This is a great exercise to work on your chest, shoulders, and arms. Depending on the width of your shoulders and the width of the swing, you may need to tuck your arms into your side, which will increase the challenge for your arms.

3. Swing Pike

Everybody wants better abs for the summer, right?! Here is one devilishly simple but effective exercise you can do as part of your outdoor park workouts. As shown, lay your feet on the swing seat with your hands on the ground and pull your toes towards your hands while using your core to pull your butt up to the sky. Warning: this is a reasonably advanced exercise and you should be proficient keeping a solid plank for at least 90 seconds with no sinking of your lower back before progressing to these.

4. Swing Buzzsaw

It’s the little things that get you, and this one is no exception! You hold a plank with your feet elevated on the swing seat, and slide or “saw” forward and backward with small, controlled movement. A simpler variation of this exercise is to simply hold a plank with your feet elevated, using your core to stabilize through the swaying of the swing. To make it more difficult, slide further forward and backward on each rep.

Outdoor Park Workouts With a Coach That Comes to You!

I hope this helps you and feel free to reach out with questions! For a coach to take you through your first workout for free in person or online, give us a call to schedule at (844) 704-9477!

Golden Home Fitness

4 Tips for How to Workout at Home Without Equipment

We get it, you’ve finally worked up the motivation to workout, and you want to get after it right away! You don’t want to deal with a gym membership, commuting to the gym, and aren’t ready to invest in home equipment just yet. So you may be asking yourself, how do I workout at home without equipment? You have come to the right place!

When it comes to getting a good workout at home without equipment, there are a few steps you should think about, but most important for getting started is to eliminate distractions! When you’re at home, you’re one request from a spouse or child away from a premature end to the workout or at least an extended break. Plan ahead and keep the distractions at bay so you can get after it uninterrupted!

Here’s the deal: you may not think about it like this yet, but you already have a whole gym with you right now! That’s right, your own body weight is an excellent solution to help you workout at home without equipment. Not only that, but putting yourself in a new environment will force you to come up with new, creative ways to use what you have already, helping you work your creativity muscles too!

How to Workout at Home Without Equipment

So how do you keep progressing as you workout at home without any equipment? Easy! Focus on how you can make the exercise harder, or easier, as needed. Here are four of the best ways to do just that:

How to Workout at Home Without Equipment

#1 – Change Elevation

When you think about doing a push-up, you may be thinking, “I can’t do any of those!” but that’s just if you think about doing a pushup flat on the floor. If you raise your hands up to the edge of your sofa, or to your kitchen countertop, you’re making the movement easier while still keeping the movement the same: a horizontal press with a sturdy core. By changing your body’s angle to the ground, you’re reducing how much of your body weight is directly felt through the movement.

#2 – Reduce Stability

Want to make an exercise harder? Shake it up! By reducing the stability of an exercise, our bodies need to work harder to stabilize. This can be achieved by going from both legs and/or arms in contact with the ground to just one, such as from a squat to a single leg squat. Performing many core exercises, you can reduce stability by lifting a limb, such as in a plank with one arm or foot raised off the ground. Additionally, you can use a piece of equipment like a stability ball or Bosu ball to create instability where you have to work hard to stay put! Performing a plank on a stability ball is an excellent example of this.

#3 – Modify Speed

Got a need for speed? Slow it down first! By increasing the time that it takes to complete reps, you’re putting your muscles under greater strain to complete the same exercise. Let’s take a bodyweight squat for example, now instead of jumping down and up haphazardly, count to four seconds on the way down, pause for two seconds at the bottom, then stand back up over four seconds! Seem easy? Give it a try and get back to us! Once you can do something really slow, then you can progress by adding speed, such as doing jump squats or jumping up on a step.

#4 – Increase Distance

How low can you go? Limbo and musical references aside, how far you go in an exercise will make it harder! Once you can safely perform the full range of motion of an exercise, you can increase the distance for each rep. Ways to do this include elevating your front foot on a lunge so your back knee can drop even further, putting greater demand on your front leg to remain strong throughout. For a push-up, you can go all the way to the floor if you’ve been stopping a few inches higher, or you can elevate your hands on books or yoga blocks to challenge your shoulders and chest muscles even more. By testing yourself through these greater ranges, when you’re forced into a potential injury causing position in daily life, you’ll have prepared your body to handle these extremes and will be more resilient!

Meet Susanne, Our Holiday Home Fitness Challenge Champion!

What are you waiting for!? You have everything you need already, and if you want guidance on how best to progress for your specific needs and goals, we will come to you where you already are and coach you to success right at home! Get started with a free week! You’ll get a coaching session, in-person or a live remote video session, plus a full week of online coaching. If you’re looking to learn more exercises you can do at home, check out our video library!