Post trainer offers advice to make new year's resolutions last all year
January 12, 2012
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Two of the top resolutions each year include losing weight / getting fit and eating healthier. According to Time Magazine, these also are two of the top resolutions that also are broken only months after making them.
With the odds stacked against them, how are those people whose pants that are feeling just a bit snug after gorging on scrumptious spreads, captivating cocktails and delectable desserts over the holiday season supposed to keep up with their resolutions?
For those looking for a way to shed the winter weight, a trip to a personal trainer might be an option.
Whether people are hitting the gym for the first time or they are looking to lose a few pounds and tone up, personal trainers at Monti Physical Fitness Center are helping clients decide on a goal, work toward it and sustain a healthy lifestyle long after they accomplish their goal.
When clients enlist Heather Jorde, personal trainer, to help them "lose those last 10 pounds," she tells them that their nutrition has to be "spot-on."
"They can't (have) off and on days. And a lot of people don't eat enough when they're trying to lose the last 10 pounds," said Jorde, who hails from a family where health and wellness took a front seat in her household because her mother was a nutritionist and aerobics instructor.
Jorde, an Army spouse with a degree in exercise science, dispels the myth that consuming less food will help someone lose weight.
Although cardio workouts are good, Jorde notes that weight training is a vital aspect to shedding those last few pounds.
"Weight training really speeds up your metabolism," she said, adding that variation also is key.
"A lot of people want to come to the gym and do the same routine or they want to have a plan to do the same thing twice a week, but that's only going to get them somewhere for the first three or four weeks," Jorde explained.
When clients enlist her expertise, Jorde will first test their body fat. She prefers taking weight and girth measurements, and performing a skin fold test, which is when a pinch of skin is precisely measured by calipers at several standardized points on the body to determine the subcutaneous fat layer thickness.
After a consultation, Jorde stresses that her clients make a plan -- an exercise and encompassing plan that includes nutrition and a healthier way of life.
"I think a lot of people don't make progress because they don't have a plan," she explained, suggesting clients keep a food diary so they know exactly what they're consuming.
"I think making a plan is key. Have something on paper, and make sure you're varying your cardio and weight training (workouts)," she said.
Jorde keeps a log for each client, recording every workout they have together. After a few months, she reviews the log with her client, as a way to measure progress.
"(It) interests me to help people (reach) their goals," Jorde explained. She said she became interested in personal training because she felt there was a large number of people who didn't know how to bring their workouts to the next level in order to gain muscle definition.
Jorde admits that she was once one of those people.
"Originally, when I started out with training, I thought that people should do cardio to lose weight and then do weight training," she explained.
According to Jorde, the workout should be more cardio-intensive, depending on how much weight a person has to lose. A lot of people will lose weight from doing cardio, but they won't have any definition in their body, which she says can discourage them.
Jorde tries to be a cheerleader for her clients, but sometimes her job is challenging because not everyone is as motivated as they should be.
"I want to encourage (clients), and I want to tell them they can do it, but if they don't want it for themselves I can't make it happen. That can be discouraging, because sometimes I want it more than they do," she said.
To make sure her clients keep up their end of the bargain at home, Jorde meets with them for an hour at least twice each week, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays.
Not all of Jorde's clients are looking to lose "the last 10 pounds," though. She also works with people who have never worked out but want to get into shape.
Most importantly, these clients need to learn how to incorporate working out into their lifestyle, becoming a "part of them," she explained.
"One of the things I found with people who have never worked out is that they can burn out easily, especially if they start with really high aspirations," she said, noting some clients want to work out 90 minutes five times each week.
In her experience, clients will stick to the schedule for a month and then stop the regimen because they're not used to the strain they're putting on their body. She recommends cardio workouts three to four times each week and weight training two times each week.
Another challenge Jorde finds that clients must overcome is not just the workout itself, but when they have the time to exercise. To defeat that obstacle, she is straightforward with her clients, telling them that it's a choice they make when finding the time to work out.
"You're choosing how you spend your time," she said. "If your (spouse) is deployed, it's hard to find time (to work out), but I have clients whose (spouse) is deployed and they are finding ways to make it happen," she said. "I think if it's a priority, they'll make it happen."
She suggests people find the time of the day they feel best -- whether it's morning or night, or even on their lunch break -- and dive into their workout.
Sometimes, it's not just a time of day that proves to be a challenge for someone -- it's also the time of year that affects a workout.
Those who relished in the myriad of outdoor summer activities northern New York has to offer may have decided to hibernate indoors this winter. Jorde suggests people take advantage of the aerobics classes offered at Monti PFC, such as spinning and Zumba.
"(The classes) are great calorie-burning workouts," she explained.
She also advises people to invest in dumbbells or resistance exercise bands, so they can work out in the comfort of their own home, or while traveling.
"A lot of people are nervous about buying equipment and (worry) that they're not going to use it," she explained, adding it's important to make that equipment as part of their lifestyle.
Another option she suggests for at-home workouts is plyometrics, which is a form of exercise involving jumping maneuvers designed to produce fast, powerful movements and improve functions of the nervous system.
There also are exercises that a person can do using just his or her own body -- such as squats and lunges -- which she teaches clients during their workout sessions.
Her suggestions for fun Family activities during the winter include racquetball and swimming. During the summer, biking and hiking top Jorde's list of sunny-day Family activities.
No matter what form of exercise people partake in, they're not reaching their potential if their heart rate isn't elevated.
"Parking the car away from the store so you can walk farther is 'active'; that doesn't count," she explained. "(Being active) is good to do … but it's not getting (their) heart rate up."
As with most things, what is considered exercise depends upon the person and what elevates his or her heart rate, Jorde noted.
Two things -- elevating the heart rate and sweating during the workout -- are key aspects, she noted.
Before diving into a workout, people should calculate their maximum heart rate, which is done by subtracting their age from 220.
"A lot of people don't push themselves to the max. (They) don't realize how much the body is capable of and (they) are nervous about pushing their body," she explained. "The body is built to handle a lot, and there will be signs when it's too much."
Her rule of thumb is people should be a little uncomfortable when working out, because that means they're pushing themselves.
Jorde believes in pushing her clients to achieve maximum results, and she has seen success because the tape measure doesn't lie.
Although she might not see results when she looks in the mirror, Cora Leigh Clark, one of Jorde's clients, said she knows she's experiencing results because her measurements have changed since she began working with Jorde.
Although she has worked with trainers before, this is the first time Clark has worked one on one during every single session. The different method and varying workouts each session, as well as convenience of a trainer on post appealed to Clark, who has been working out with Jorde since November.
"For me, it's an accountability thing. I rely on the tape measure," she explained, noting Jorde also increases the amount of weight she lifts as she progresses. This is another way Jorde measures a client's success.
Jorde's popularity as a trainer has grown since she began training clients at Monti PFC in July. The interest in a personal trainer from clients was so large that Monica Smith, Monti PFC facility manager, added another trainer at the gym.
"Heather has been so popular with the Fort Drum community. Her customers are almost all repeat customers, and she has managed to fill all of her time slots. When Heather managed to create a waiting list, I knew the demand was there for another trainer," Smith explained.
Kelsey Sellers, who has a degree in health promotion and fitness, began personal training at Monti in December. One of Sellers's areas of interest is how exercise reduces post-traumatic stress disorder among Soldiers as an adjunct to current treatments.
"As interest in this program grows, it is my personal long-term goal to bring a diverse group of trainers with different specialties and experience to accommodate the fitness demands of the Fort Drum community," Smith said.