Getting fit a top resolution

With the beginning of every new year, losing weight and getting healthier remain two of the leading New Year’s resolutions.

Unfortunately, sticking with those resolutions usually involves more than just joining a gym.

“Membership alone is not going to help you,” said Ray Binkowski, owner of FitWorkz in DeKalb. “You need more than that. You need a plan.”

Binkowski and other experts in the fitness field stress that it is important for resolution-makers to set realistic goals for themselves, to come up with a realistic plan to achieve those goals, to keep a log book to track progress, and to seek expert advice to achieve their goals safely and permanently and to keep them motivated long enough to establish healthy habits on their own.

Heather Eade, marketing and communications director of Kishwaukee Family YMCA, said the Y is making several changes to its program to help its members stick with their resolutions in 2013.

“We are now offering 86 free group exercise classes for members,” Eade said, noting that in previous years some classes were free while others were fee-based. “This way our members can find a variety of classes to find the right one for them that fits into their schedules.”

The Y offers specialized classes for members from the age of 6 weeks to senior citizens. Its members also have access to weights, exercise machines, two swimming pools, racquetball courts, basketball courts and other activities.

One of the new programs the Y will offer in 2013 is Group Power.

“It’s a 60-minute barbell program, really high-energy,” Eade said. “It works your whole body with simple, athletic movements and high-energy music.”

Binkowski, who refers to himself as a “former fat guy” who lost five pant sizes through fitness and diet, stressed that working out in a gym is only half of the solution to losing weight and getting healthy.

“We integrate nutrition and tell people how to make better food choices forever, and not to diet,” Binkowski said. He shares his diet tips in his book “Eat by Color,” which he released last year.

Binkowski also keeps FitWorkz members motivated by creating individual health and fitness plans to maximize results for each member.

“We need to find out what their goals are, what their health situation is, and how committed they are,” Binkowski said.

For more information, visit the Y’s website at www.kishymca.org or FitWorkz at www.fitworkz.com.

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