How to Handle Other People’s New Year’s Resolutions

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Before the presents have even been unwrapped, New Year’s Eve plans are being set and along with those plans come resolutions. Most Americans set resolutions around eating better and exercising.  Good for them, potentially bad for us regular “health nuts”. For the next 3-6 weeks, before most people fall off the resolution wagon, our regular daily habit of going to the gym, juice bar, Barre, etc.  are going to take a little bit longer. The gym showers will once again have lines and there might even be a chance you have to wait for a treadmill or your cross training machine.

You’ll walk past many a conversation about new diets, routines or exercise programs. The discussions you hear may be full of inaccurate statements, insane goals or false promises sold with special products from commission seeking vendors. While regular runner resolutions may be to better our performance or “run more”, others are simply wanting to get out there and get in a routine we are so lucky already have: a fitness plan and (probably) a healthy diet. We need to be supportive, gently steer if given the opportunity, but not let it mess up our well-laid plan to get in a workout if we need to log some gym time.

Extra Time at the Gym

Most likely, you are going to need it at the gym especially in January with all the extra people. Getting you stuff together and getting to the gym isn’t going to be the issue. Places you might encounter trouble are once you are actually at the gym. It might start with finding a parking spot, especially if parking is already a dicey task.  Same goes for riding an elevator.  Add a bit of a time cushion for each (or both).

The one roll of the dice is getting the machine you want, and on occasion, a machine at all. It will serve you well to have a backup plan or be able to stretch or lift in a different order than you are used to. No one wants to set themselves up for a quick five miles and have to “just” lift. Even though pretty unlikely, there might be a short wait for showers so adding an extra few minutes just in case there is might not be a bad idea. No one (hopefully) is leisurely bathing at the gym.

Enlist Gym Staff Help

The truth of the matter is, and not that it would ever be admitted, but it’s a pretty safe bet that the gym staff and class instructors are probably equally as hesitant about the influx of people that occur with the beginning of the year. The best bet is to lock in any favors you can. Have a gut feeling that the first come first serve spin class might get inundated and you won’t get a bike? Ask the instructor to help you and let you know what time the line forms or if it’s possible maybe even save you a bike, assuming you are not sliding in 10 minutes after the class starts. Being friendly might just ensure you get a towel to shower with if your club is running low. Usually an honest ask from a regular can go a long way especially if you really have exhibited yourself in a manner that is reasonable.

Other Endeavors & Options

Can you swing altering your time to random non-popular time? Some people absolutely must work out before or after work and fall into a set time. Some can manage lunch.  Others like doctors, nurses, writers or others have the option to test alternative times. Maybe you take January to test to those options that your schedule allows. Alternatively why not jump on the try-something-new bandwagon? Take January to introduce yourself to something completely new. You won’t be the only one new in class (more room to hide if need be) and if not in the middle of training it might be the perfect time to find a cross training workout that could benefit your running. Use it as a month of trial and error to get out of rut.

Be Helpful

There are unspoken rules for everything and you can’t know unless told. Be the helpful, kind person who lets the new person be in the know because very quickly the new person can become a regular in the right circumstances. Perhaps your run group says they start at 6:00am. but instead, they actually don’t start until eight minutes after because they are always waiting for that certain person who is always a few minutes late. Maybe the locks at the gym can be tricky if they aren’t padlocks you bring from home. It also isn’t out of line to remind people of the rules. A little “Oh, the cleaner and rag for that machine is over there” or “The juice bar staff doesn’t clear tables”. Simple, factual statements can enlighten, train and help to not embarrass.

Venting to your buddies about the “Resolutioners” can be little fun and a bit needed especially if your plans are way-laid. But make sure you are kind. By the time March rolls around you might even have some new regulars to hang out with.

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