New year, new you in 2011

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

Do you find it hard to make time to exercise? What many people don’t realize is they don’t have to walk through the doors of a gym for body strengthening. Resistance bands, the giant rubber band dumbbell, are a great way to work out or add variety to your usual routine.

Resistance bands have been around for a while, but have been given a fresh look lately. They travel well and can be easily packed in a suitcase. They help with coordination because the tension stabilizes your body, which helps with balance. They are inexpensive and well- suited for all fitness levels. The bands come in a variety of thicknesses—the thicker the band, the harder the workout.

William Teel, manager of Fitness Forever, said no single piece of equipment works magic. “You’ve seen commercials that try to sell you on a one-piece gym, but there is no one answer for total fitness,” Teel said. “The resistance bands are good for the Silversneakers class we have on Monday and Wednesday mornings. It’s a low-impact workout, but the bands are not intended for total muscle building workout.”

Fitness Forever manager William Teel oversees James Oliver working his chest muscles.

True fitness is like puzzle pieces. It’s putting together a combination of cardiovascular and resistance exercises along with a healthy diet. Teel believes fitness forever means exercising and dieting to reach your goal, then preventive maintenance afterwards.

“If you stop taking care of yourself after reaching your goal, you won’t stay in shape,” Teel said. “Your body is like a car, and preventive maintenance will maintain it. We have members who join the first of the year and after three or four months, or when they reach their goal, they stop coming in. They think sweating during the summer is a means of catabolism-burning calories. We see them again in October.” Making exercise a habit isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest. It simply starts with a decision that is followed by taking action. Teel has designed a 30-minute workout that includes both exercise and diet tips for members. Once the habit is established, Teel fine tunes the individual workout program.

If your resolve for the new year is a new you, contact Fitness Forever, located on Hwy. 31 next to Sharp Carpet, at 668-7332. Memberships are on a month-to-month basis, no contract required. Visit their website for pricing and Facebook link, Fitnessforever.org.

Mollie Brown can be reached at dmjhb1@bellsouth.net.