I will not make the same (failed) resolution
As our champagne hangovers fade, the New Year beckons us with the promise of a fresh start – if
only we can craft the right resolution and stick to it. Studies show that 45 percent of us make
resolutions, but only 8 percent actually achieve them. However strong the intent on Jan. 1, our
ability to follow through inevitably peters out. The following January, we find ourselves resetting
the same, tired promises – our very own New Year’s Groundhog Day.
With failure so pervasive among resolution setters, Edge deemed it time for a new approach to
resolutions. Tapping the expertise of local health and wellness experts, we created
antiresolutions: conventional goals flipped and reshaped into something achievable. Our five
health and wellness resolutions may prompt you to rethink what a resolution could – or should –
be. Each resolution includes a small, meaningful action easy to employ at home, so your journey
begins as soon as you’re ready.
Know your numbers
For Heath Murray, co-founder of iThinkFit gym at 156th and Center, it’s
a familiar story: People gain a few pounds over the holidays. By New
Year’s, it’s time to shed some weight. They join a gym, and when the
pounds don’t pour off, they give up. “A lot of people quit because they
look at a scale, and they’re not seeing what they want to see,” he said.
Murray argues that the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. He urges
clients to take a different perspective, one that relies less on weight
and more on body composition. Generally speaking, a body with more
muscle and less fat is a leaner, stronger, more efficient calorie-burning
machine, and reducing body fat yields considerable health benefits.
Part of iThinkFit’s approach is to educate clients about body
composition and what it means for their health. Using a body
composition analyzer, Murray can determine proportionate body fat
mass and muscle mass, and even where muscle mass is distributed in
Informed by the analysis, Murray’s next step is to get those body fat
and muscle mass numbers to change through a combination of high
intensity interval training and weight training. It’s a program that will
typically yield a weight loss of one to two pounds per week – a
healthful proposition, but one that may seem frustratingly slow for
those fixated on pounds alone.
Again, here’s where replacing the scale with body composition analysis
has an advantage. While the scale may only move a few digits each month, body composition numbers change as body fat drops and lean
muscle increases. As people work out, they get stronger; their body
composition moves in a more healthy direction. Seeing those positive
leaps can offer the motivation that the scale can’t. “If they can
continue to see progress, it keeps them on the wagon,” Murray said.
Revamp your cardio
from Heath Murray, co-owner, iThinkFit
When it comes to cardio, less can be more. Compared to sustained
cardio, high-intensity intervals create a longer caloric after-burn – the
calories you burn after the workout is complete. Plus, the shorter
duration leaves more time in your day. The following intervals can be
done outside or inside on a treadmill, stairmill, elliptical or row
machine; you can also use a jump rope or repeat mountain climbers or
burpees for the same cardio effect. Plan your cardio exercise on days
between weight training sessions; the total workout should be no
longer than 45 minutes.
1. Warm up with light to moderate cardio for 10 minutes (just hard
enough to break a bit of a sweat).
2. Begin high-intensity intervals. Murray recommends a 1:1 ratio
between a nice-and-easy pace and your maximum effort; for example,
complete one minute of high-intensity cardio followed by one minute of
3. For most people, subtracting age from 220 beats per second can
approximate the maximum heart rate for the intervals.
4. Complete 25 total minutes of intervals.
5. Cool down for 10 minutes with low-intensity cardio.
Establish fitness routine
One of the keys to keeping resolutions is creating new habits. But while
exercising regularly is the right idea, doing the same thing over and
over again can backfire.
Boredom is one reason people have trouble with New Year’s resolutions
related to exercise, said Anthony Hudson, co-owner of 9Round
kickboxing near 182nd and Center. To repel exercise ennui, Anthony
and wife Kylee keep the workouts fresh. 9Round offers 30-minute
workouts with nine stations in a circuit format. Stations incorporate
punching and kicking bags, jump ropes, medicine balls, kettle bells and more. The variations are endless. Since opening in October, “the
workouts have been different every day,” Anthony said.
Anthony and Kylee launched 9Round after failing to find gym classes
that worked with their schedules and still left time for the family. The
South Carolina-based company offered a concept they liked. The gym
has no class times; people jump in every three minutes, the length of a
station. The full-body workout is fast and intense: “You’re in it the
whole time,” Anthony said.
To boost confidence, 9Round clients are bestowed with fighter
nicknames, like Anthony “A-Train” and Kylee “The Hurricane.” Trainers
teach proper form and technique, transforming novice, patty-cake
swats of the bags to forceful kicks and punches. The approach gets
results, the couple said. But it does take time.
“Fitness can’t be just a New Year’s resolution type of thing,” Anthony
said. However, by switching things up, a regular fitness regimen need
not be routine.
Boredom-busters to try at home
from Kylee Hudson, co-owner, 9Round
Add some variety to your fitness regimen with a mini-circuit at home.
1. Complete nine push-ups/wall punches (normal push-up with a punch
tap to the wall, as you come up).
2. Complete nine Everest climbers (a twist on a mountain climber; in a
push-up position, bring your knee to your elbow and alternate).
3. Jump rope for 90 seconds.
4. Complete nine jumping jacks.
5. Complete nine lunge to front-kicks.
6. Complete nine crescent kicks over a chair (facing the chair, swing
your leg over it).
7. Complete nine burpees.
8. Repeat five times, at a minimum.
Kelli DeWispelare founded Sweat, Cycle & Soul at 180th and Q as an
answer to the widespread cultural pressure to be perfect. Like many
women, DeWispelare is familiar with the struggle to achieve the
perfect body, be the perfect mother and play the perfect wife. But no
matter how hard she worked, she always fell short. “The world has
created a belief in many of us that we are not worthy of achieving our dreams or goals,” she said. That notion of never being good enough
stymies even well intentioned resolutions, she believes. “If you don’t
believe that you can meet your resolution, you’re set up to fail.”
Opened one year ago, Sweat, Cycle & Soul offers group spinning,
Pilates and yoga classes in a positive atmosphere. For women in
particular, the studio offers the space to be selfish and tend to their
physical, emotional and spiritual needs. “When you take one hour of
your day to nurture both your mind and body, I think we’re all able to
be more amazing and give 100 percent in other areas of life,”
DeWispelare said. “We encourage people to be selfish.”
Each class begins with an intention, a way to frame thinking and carry
people through their workout and the day. The intention sets the tone,
such as “without confidence there is no risk, and without risk there is
no growth.” DeWispelare uses the theme throughout her spinning
classes, challenging exercisers: Where can you push and take the risk?
Do you believe? Are you confident you can move those pedals faster?”
The approach inspires both in and outside of the studio. DeWispelare
believes people are searching for more than just the physical aspect of
exercise. Focusing on both mind and body motivates and inspires,
bringing clarity to busy lives and schedules. It’s fitness with a dose of
“I came to a point where I wanted to encourage others to appreciate
their body and celebrate it,” she said. “I knew firsthand that the
moment you really start loving yourself, you find so much growth in all
other areas of your life.”
from Kelli DeWispelare,
owner, Sweat, Cycle & Soul
Meditation can be done at any time of the day, but for some, like Kelli,
it might be best when the day is at its end. The meditation encourages
us to let go of the “wishing, judging and hoping” feelings we get when
we look in the mirror, and instead love ourselves.
1. Sit in an easy, cross-legged position.
2. Close your eyes. Breathe deep breaths, in and out through your
3. On the inhale, recite silently, “I am not
4. On the exhale, recite silently, “I release
5. On the inhale, recite silently, “I am not
6. On the exhale, recite silently, “I am willing to perceive my body with
7. Repeat, continuing the meditation for two to five minutes.
8. Throughout the day, every time you look in the mirror, think or say, “I love you” in an empowering way. Whether you brush your teeth,
wash your hands or see your reflection in a window, think or say, “I
Learn something new
One Tree Yoga owner Jamie Rye offers a counterpoint to the typical
resolution dialogue. Like other fitness studios, One Tree Yoga at 144th
and Center experiences an uptick in traffic each January for the usual
fitness goals: lose weight, get in shape, reduce stress or simply try
But those goals don’t belong in yoga practice, Rye says. Yoga practice
is simply that: practice.
“There are no goals in yoga,” she said. “But a regular yoga class can
certainly help you accomplish goals you set in (other areas) of life.”
Rather than the aforementioned goals, yoga is the practice of
awareness. “If you’re standing on one foot and thinking about your
grocery list or your taxes, you’re going to fall over,” Rye said. In yoga,
the mind quiets, focusing on the breath and body.
Over time, quieting the mind and paying attention to the body can
unlock a sense of self-awareness. As you practice, Rye said, you begin
to pay attention to your own patterns and habits. It may start on the
mat; you notice your foot is out of alignment, and you adjust it. Then,
that awareness could translate to a situation at home or at work, when
you notice an aspect in life requiring a change. Life can mimic a yoga
practice – a journey to slow the constant churning of thoughts, notice
oneself and learn to make changes. “It’s being kind to yourself, but
taking an honest look at what’s happening and how you can improve
it,” she said.
Other effects of yoga can include improvement in muscular,
cardiovascular, nervous, lymphatic and even digestive systems, Rye
said. When leaving practice, “your body feels good and your brain feels
from Jamie Rye, owner, One Tree Yoga
Viparita karani, or legs up the wall, is a restorative yoga pose that
relieves tired and cramped legs and feet. It stretches the back of the
body and front of the torso, calming the mind. It releases the limbs and
aids in lymph circulation and digestion and helps with insomnia.
1. Find an open wall space. Ideally, practice with a folded blanket or pillow under your pelvis.
2. With your buttocks against the wall, extend your legs upward.
3. Take slow, deep breaths in and out of the nose. On the inhales, think
about breathing all the way down to your legs.
4. To stretch different parts of the leg, try pose variations. Bring your
feet together and let your knees go wide. Or, move your legs wide in a
V along the wall.
5. Remain in the pose, for five to 15 minutes.
Invest in health
Some items are worth the investment, like health. Fitness Together,
near 180th and Center, offers a healthful splurge with personal training
in a private setting. Trainers offer clients strength, cardio and nutrition
programs tailored to their needs and goals, no matter the age or
The one-on-one attention offers multiple advantages. Because
programs are customized, issues like a bad back or touchy knee are
accommodated, manager Roland Garcia said. The exercise expertise
isn’t the only benefit. With a coach and cheerleader by their side,
people work harder.
“The two or three repetitions that your trainer pushes you to do – those
are what matter most,” Garcia said. “It’s like having a coach that tells
you to put your head down. The coach can motivate you, give you the
right goal and the discipline to stay consistent.”
One reason people may fail in their weight loss goals, Garcia said, is
they expect too much too fast. When their high expectations aren’t
met, it becomes easy to make excuses and give up. Part of the Fitness
Together process is helping individuals set smaller goals for success.
The secret is establishing achievable goals and providing the
accountability mechanisms to foster success. One of those
mechanisms is the trainer himself. Another mechanism is a training
partner – a family member or friend. To harness the power of the
“we’re in this together” mentality, Fitness Together also offers private
group training for two to four individuals.
A final accountability measure is the cost itself. When you invest in
personal training, Garcia said, you tend to show up. Once there, the
trainers offer the motivation to help you succeed. He added, “Anyone
can be successful, as long as you push yourself to a place you’re
uncomfortable with.”Make your workout more successful
from Roland Garcia, Fitness Together manager
1. Make it fun. Fitness shouldn’t be a chore.
2. Get a partner. “Misery enjoys company,” Garcia quips. If you’re
struggling, it’s a little easier with a partner. You’ll also work harder.
3. Add something new to your workout, such as basketball or
4. Bring your future goals into the present. A cruise in your future? Buy
a swimsuit now that you see yourself wearing in the future.
5. Change it up. If you’re used to working in a gym, try running outside.