09 Feb 2018


A Better 2018: Health

Whatever resolutions you may have had at the beginning of the year have fallen by the wayside at this point. Let’s change that!

On the Reflecting Pool on 1/7/2018

Photo by John Sonderman via our Flickr pool

One of the most popular resolutions is to start some sort of fitness regimen or workout routine at the beginning of the year. Crowded gyms in January seems cliché, but Julia Chigrina, a trainer at Capitol Hill Sport and Health, confirmed that January and the first couple of weeks of February are really busy. After that, “people start to cancel or just don’t show up anymore.” Addie Claire Merletti, a Registered Dietitian at VIDA Fitness, says, “people set unrealistic goals and expectations that they can’t possibly maintain over the course of the year.” So what can you do to either stick with your resolutions or change the way you view food and exercise so that you can turn a resolution into a way of life? You can start with small steps and free offerings around town. Read on:

Back in May of last year, WTOP reported that we lost our title of the Fittest City in America as ranked by the American Fitness Index after three gloriously fit years to Minneapolis-St. Paul. Frankly, HOW? No one in Minnesota is running outdoors in -20, so they must be hitting the gym in droves. The Mayor’s office and the Department of Parks and Recreation want to make it a priority to regain our standing with a campaign called #FitDC. To this aim, they have partnered up with VIDA Fitness for a 12-step program of sorts to get you moving. You can see their suggestions by clicking here.

One of the first items in the 12-step checklist is to do a free InBody analysis at any VIDA Fitness gym– it’s usually $99 to give it a try. They have this offer going through the month of February and you can stop by at any of the gyms to get it. Addie Claire mentioned that, although the benefit to the InBody is to see the change over time as you work out more and eat better, an initial consultation is a great place to begin: It tells you all about your body composition and helps you target areas of possible improvement, such as abdominal fat. It even knows if you’re a little dehydrated. (Witchcraft!) The InBody Test is performed by a machine that looks like a scale with grips. These grips send an electrical current throughout your body, and it’s the movement of this current through your different tissues that allows it to analyze your body fat and lean muscle composition. The procedure is  painless, although I could definitely feel the vibration from the machine going through my thumbs. In my particular body analysis, InBody told me I could stand to gain more lean body mass. This is eminently true, as I cannot do one single push-up.

But what can you do if you’ve fallen off the wagon and can’t afford a trainer or a dietitian to keep you on track? There are several things you can do, courtesy of the District, but the most important one is this one: Be kind to yourself, even if you’re less fit now than at the beginning of January. Start with food choices:

Julia at Sport and Health educates her clients on recognizing how they eat and what a better choice looks like: She even provides support by checking what her clients eat via text and, while not passing judgment, pointing out how their meal choices could contain more protein or fewer carbohydrates. Addie Claire likes to “make sure I’m practicing what I preach and to help me empathize and trouble shoot client issues.” She also emphasizes being kind to yourself when you have setbacks, as “negative self-talk only leads to more negative behaviors.”

Here’s a free activity to get you moving: This Saturday, February 10, you can participate in the first-ever Healthy Heart Walk. The walk will happen at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, 1550 Anacostia Avenue NE. You can drive and there is parking at the gardens, but you could try biking or even taking the Metro– the nearest station is Deanwood, which is a short walk over to Kenilworth.

Good luck!


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