It’s a new year! Today is the perfect day to start your journey toward a healthier you. You may have the same misconception as many people do about starting your wellness journey that it’s all a steady, uphill battle — but that’s far from the truth. Your journey may remind you more of a country road with plenty of hills and valleys than a steady climb like hiking up a mountain. The key is to celebrate and embrace the road every step of the way because, hey, you made it one more step! Don’t take our word for it though. Our Wellness Leaders have learned several lessons along their own personal wellness journey — check out their lessons below.

Lisa Barefoot, Bryan

  1. There isn’t ‘THE WAY’, there’s my way, what’s yours? Set your intentions and get clarity about your goals. Success starts with knowing what you want and setting specific targets such as losing 5lbs and not with just wanting to get "healthy". Once you get clear about your goals, commit to a plan that is specifically for you and have accountability!
  2. Culture establishes the behaviors we want. If you don’t have the right culture, the behavior and results you get will not be at the level you desire. Finding the right culture is important because you need to surround yourself with people who are also striving to develop positive habits and eliminate the negative. Having a workout buddy or group that inspires and encourages you to stay committed is crucial. 
  3. Train recovery and give your body the rest it needs to be energized so that you can show up at your best! Finally, I have learned the importance of recovery. Overtraining is common when someone has the motivation and exercise becomes obsessive. Train recovery and give your body the rest it needs. 

Meredith Knowlton Dennis, Reidsville

  1. Listen to your body. Working hard looks different to each individual and can vary depending on the day. Sometimes the best workout is not always the highest impact one.
  2. Sleep late one day a week! Rest and recovery are very important. If you are always at 110% eventually you will crash, voluntarily or involuntarily.

Margaret Hazen, Spears

  1. Injuries happen. Taking time to let those injuries heal might mean a step back in strength gains but you will only benefit from allowing your body to take the time it needs. Plus, building those gains back is so much FUN.
  2. Challenge brings change. So, keep on finding the challenge.

Natalie Huffine, Bryan

  1. You can't do this for anyone else. You must start on your wellness journey for yourself or else it won't stick.
  2. Recovery days are just as important as workout days. If you're not giving your body the time to heal, you're not going to feel or see the progress you want. 
  3. Everything in moderation, including moderation! It’s okay to have that treat or enjoy the holidays. Life is all about balance so get your balance on.
  4. Exercise is a celebration of the body, not a punishment. If you weren’t feeling your workout yesterday, then it doesn’t mean you need to triple your time working out today. Life happens. Give yourself some grace.

Morgan Lewis, Stoney Creek

  1. Consistency is more important than volume or intensity. Wellness is not a three-month solution but a consistent long-term effort. Engaging in two or three short workouts on a long-term basis will yield more in the long run than one 60-minute workout every couple of weeks.
  2. The best exercise is the one you enjoy. Because if you enjoy it, you’ll keep doing it. Fitness should be fun, not complete torture. Try different things and find something you truly enjoy (or at least don’t hate). 

Julie Redfern, Ragsdale

  1. Move every day, and do what you can. Some days it's just a walk around the block, other days it could be much more.
  2. Fitness is a lifelong goal not only just a right-now goal. Once you start on your wellness journey to a healthier you, you will feel better mentally, physically and emotionally. Once you see those results, you won’t want to stop.

Gina Richardson, Eden

  1. Attitude and mindset are important. How I react can affect others in their journey for health and wellness. You never know what someone is going through or what they may have gone through before entering our doors. We may be the best part of their day.
  2. Education doesn't stop. This year I've been challenged working with new clients that have neurological conditions which has pushed me to research the disease and learn the best approach to benefit and help my clients' training and physical needs.
  3. Every day is always a new experience and adventure. One of the most important parts of my job is to help members be the best they can be; however, they are making me the best I can be! 

Marcy Welch, Hayes-Taylor

  1. Connect with others to help you. The people we meet and help with their fitness goals truly depend on us for a better and healthier lifestyle. So, grab your workout buddy and let’s do this together!
  2. It’s all about baby steps. Don’t only think about five years down the road. Think about what you can do today to make a difference tomorrow.

If you don’t know where to start on your fitness journey, don’t hesitate to ask the Wellness Team for help! If you are new to the Y, perhaps start with FitQuest to dip your toe in and learn about wellness and the facility. If you need a personalized experience, consider our affordable and customizable Personal Training packages. Our team would love to help you establish your goals and create a personalized roadmap to reaching those goals.

Published on January 9, 2023