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Revamp Your Fitness Resolution and Attain Good Health in 2016

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It’s that in-between time of year when holiday excitement is past but spring hasn’t quite sprung.  Consequently, the winter doldrums push those New Year’s fitness resolutions to the back burner despite the desire for a “new you” when summer rolls around.

Don’t give up!  Instead, consider some fresh ideas to rekindle your resolve for better health in 2016.

Let’s face it, exercise is tedious if it’s dull.  Mustering the initiative to perform endless steps on a treadmill, especially when the sun is in short supply, takes colossal effort!  It’s no wonder the fitness regime gets put off yet again.  Therefore, the key to motivation may be to try something new, and perhaps even to embrace the cold weather for its invigorating qualities.

For example, outdoor activities abound at the Somerset County Park Commission.  Instead of walking on a treadmill, why not meet up with the Duke Island Walkers on Wednesday mornings at the Duke Island Park Visitor Center?  Meet new friends, warm up with coffee and tea after your jaunt, and pay nothing for the camaraderie!

Or if you’re a dog owner, it’s a sure bet you and Fido would benefit from a Saturday morning walk with lots of other four-footed friends and their human companions.  Walkers pay $3 per dog to support the Friends of the Lord Stirling Stable in Basking Ridge, which is where the group assembles.  By the way, speaking of the stable, ever consider saddling up and learning to ride a horse?  You’ll surely tone those legs and abs by climbing aboard a majestic equine and practicing horsemanship.  Lord Stirling offers one-hour lessons in 10-week intervals; fees and schedules vary.  Check the Park Commission’s website at www.somersetcountyparks.org for details.

If outdoors is too frosty for you, there are a variety of indoor pursuits to get you moving, too.  Does staying cool while working out sound appealing?  Then glide on over to Mennen Arena in Morristown and lace up a pair of ice skates!  Public skating is available weekday mornings and afternoons and Friday evenings.  Admission is $6 on weekdays and $8 on weekends and evenings.  Skate rental is just $3.50.  If you don’t know how to skate but want to learn, the arena offers beginner classes for all ages.  Check the website at www.morrisparks.net/asp-parks/mennenmain.asp for more information.

It goes without saying that a proper mindset is as important to successful regular exercise as is the exertion itself.  Yoga is a mind-body practice that relies on self-awareness to accomplish better health.

Yoga Instructor Shari Czar of Soo Bahk Do Karate and Wellness in Gillette says centering is essential.  “When you begin to feel more focused, comfortable, and relaxed on the yoga mat, you often see it carry over off the mat,” Czar says.  “I have students who, after only a few sessions, begin to increase their awareness of how they carry themselves, and they also realize that what they eat and what they do throughout the day impacts their bodies.  Many see quick changes in their habits and are excited about the impact yoga has on their lives.”

Equally important, yoga is easily tailored to the individual.  “Modifications are provided to encourage participants to be at their highest level of comfort and support,” says Czar.  “Making each person’s practice meet what works for their body is key.”

Achieving balance in life can also come from learning to express courage through movement, and Soo Bahk Do’s karate classes may be just the ticket.  Certified Master Instructor Lydia Chu runs the adult program at the center, and her focus is on providing high-energy classes.  “We get a great sweat going when we train.  It’s an opportunity to let the stress go and to push yourself to kick higher and punch harder every time,” Chu explains.

An added benefit is the development of critical self-defense skills.  “Karate builds courage and confidence.  It offers aerobic exercise and increased flexibility which are excellent for weight loss, and it may also lower blood pressure,” Chu adds.  For more information on Soo Bahk Do’s yoga and karate classes, visit the website at www.karate4peace.com

Were you a high school or college athlete who played on a field hockey, lacrosse, or hockey team?  If you’d like to revisit your former glory days, and you know how to inline skate, then Inline Morristown is the place for you.  The facility features multiple field hockey clubs and various lacrosse clubs and training organizations.  There’s also inline hockey for serious and recreational players.  Find out more at www.inlinemorristown.com.

The local YMCAs deserve consideration, too, since they boast numerous options aside from circuit training.  In particular, the pool is an attractive choice for folks with physical limitations.  Water’s buoyancy removes the stress on joints; at the same time, it offers high resistance to strengthen and build muscle.  The fact that pool water is comfortably warm only adds to its appeal.

To that end, arthritis sufferers may want to check out the Somerset Hills Y, which has water exercise dedicated to the condition.  It’s a low to moderate workout aimed at improving balance, flexibility, and range of motion.

Meanwhile, the Bridgewater Y offers Deep Water Exercise, a class designed to tone, build endurance, and work the cardio vascular system by employing aqua belts for flotation and balance.  Yes, fees are associated with the YMCA, but potential members can take a tour and receive a free guest pass.  In addition, the Somerset Hills branch offers adults 65 and older the option to forego annual membership and instead pay a $30 monthly fee for full access on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Visit the website for membership fees and class schedules at www.somerset-countyymca.org.

When it comes to fitness, it’s important to feel connected to a chosen discipline in order to gain personal satisfaction and achieve desired goals.  There are many healthy resources in the area to help you be at your best.  Try out a few, and your re-inspired 2016 resolution will become a reality that pays off this summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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