​Find your reason to start a fitness-focused new year

Personal trainer empowers both body and mind.

With the holidays past, many men and women have resolved to get into better shape in 2017.

It’s one of the most tried-and-true resolutions, but it’s also one with many stumbling blocks along the way, said Jill Adrienne Smith, an International Sports Sciences Association certified personal trainer and fitness instructor serving clients across Warren and Butler counties.

She talks more about starting a fitness-focused year.

Q: How did you become a fitness instructor and trainer?

A: I got my start as a personal trainer and class instructor back in 2009 when I moved to Ohio. I had just competed in a figure competition when I decided that this was the career path I wanted to pursue. Feeling very empowered by my fitness journey, I wanted to share that experience and help others lead a healthier lifestyle.

Q: What is your fitness philosophy?

A: I believe in empowering the individual to change in both body and mind. It is my job to challenge the person in their abilities, to motivate them past certain points and to provide knowledge on proper technique and proper nutrition. Putting in the physical work is just one piece to the puzzle on how to become healthier and how to live a healthier lifestyle. It is about improving physical and physiological well-being.

Q: What are the biggest challenges preventing people from starting a healthy diet and exercise routine?

A: I think the biggest culprit is time. We are all very busy with our jobs, kids, spouses, chores — so busy that we don’t make ourselves a priority. The solution: Make yourself a priority. It’s amazing how much time you can find when you minimize the things that aren’t important.

Q: What is the most common pitfall people experience when they start?

A: The most common pitfall is trying to do too much all at once and setting unrealistic expectations for a short time period. Individuals should set small, reachable goals and continue to change these goals as they are achieved. Nosediving in, so to speak, without pacing yourself can be counterproductive. Accepting that this is a process and any steps forward, no matter how small they seem, are still steps forward. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Q: What tips would you offer readers on how to get started?

A: Find your motivation. Whether it’s the pair of skinny jeans you want to fit in or setting a good example for your kids, take time to think about what drives you to succeed. Write your motivating factors down. Put them somewhere you can read them every day. Remind yourself why you are doing this and understand that you are making you better.

Find the right trainer or workout for you. Before I began this as my career, I went through three different trainers until I found one that inspired me and genuinely cared about my success. It was a process. Don’t settle for someone you aren’t happy with or someone that seems indifferent. In addition, make sure your trainer is educated and get references. Find some classes that you enjoy to help keep you motivated. Classes are a great way to be with like-minded people and to get started.

Take it slow and step away from the scale. The best way to burn yourself out is to try to do too much, too fast. Ease into a new workout and stay focused by focusing on results you can feel — meaning, put the scale away for now. Don’t weigh yourself every day and get caught up in that number on the scale. Change will happen if you are consistent.

Q: How can a personal trainer help people meet their fitness goals?

A: A good personal trainer will take the time to sit with you before your training begins to discuss with you your goals. It is important that these goals are realistic for the time frame they want to be achieved in, and a trainer will often help you set smaller goals leading to your bigger goals. The trainer will then design a customized workout and sometimes nutrition plan to get you going in the right direction.

For more information, contact Jill Smith at (803) 477-1371 or jilladrienne2@gmail.com.

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Contact this contributing writer at lisa.knodel@gmail.com.