By John Boldrick
Courtesy of Hasting Health Source 
Clap, clap, clap. The sound of Hannah Vance’s grey and blue running shoes bounce off the indoor track at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre.
The occurrence is common for Vance. Once content with school sports being her form of physical activity, the winter weather has forced her inside to keep in shape.
A member of the gym since September, Vance made it her New Year’s resolution to stay active even with the cold climate.
“I want to stay as active as I can, especially during the winter, so that’s why I come inside to the track,” she said.
Vance stays active at the gym through running and stretches. She hasn’t graduated to building muscle through lifting just yet.
“I would if I had more time and more experience with weights,” she said.
It’s a popular goal after the holiday season. Many want to get in shape and burn off the excess holiday treats.
It all sounds like a great idea. Eating what you want over the holidays and then getting back into the gym to drop the added pounds. For some, it isn’t that simple.
Joe Sliwa, owner and head trainer at Joe’s personal training and fitness, expects a lot of business in the coming months. While he may be seeing an influx of new clients, he said some aren’t realistic with their ambitions.
“A lot of people want to make commitments to doing their fitness goals and sometimes their thoughts aren’t really well grounded,” he said.
Some people don’t realize their own physical limitations. Someone who is just starting to work out shouldn’t push themselves too hard and go all out. Doing so, can end up causing more harm than good, a lesson Sliwa knows well.
“You really don’t want to push anybody hard because some of them might have been sedentary, so you let them go at their own pace,” he said.
Other than everyday aches and pains, over exercising can lead to things such as panic attacks, anxiety issues, and the reemergence of previous existing injuries. Such set backs can be hard to overcome.
“When you’re over training, you’re digging a hole and you have to have adequate rest, if you don’t rest you’re going to dig a hole and eventually not get out of it,” said Sliwa.
That wasn’t the case for Vance. She took things slow at first. It has paid dividends in the end.
“I definitely eased into it. I’d come, do a certain amount of laps, next time do more and more and work up to it,” she said.
Ray Flood is new to the gym. While he started on New Year’s Day, he said it wasn’t a resolution.
It’s only two weeks into his new regiment and Flood got into it fairly quickly. He spends two to three hours at the gym once a week.
“We told the instructor we’re here for the first time and he eased us into it but pretty quickly,” he said, “I’ve just been taking it fairly steadily, fairly easy but it’s been a fairly quick increase.”
All of this can be discouraging. People want to be able to lose weight fast, without hurting themselves. This is the reason many people give up on their resolution not long after undertaking it.
“Sometimes you think ‘what am I doing here? Is this ever going to end?’ that’s the questions you have in your mind,” said Sliwa.
For people that get discouraged, sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the right motivation.
For some, motivation is as simple as turning on the TV any night of the week. Viewers are likely to be pelted with a limitless stream of commercials for diet pills and new exercise equipment.
Promises of losing weight quickly through alternative methods may be too much for people to pass up. Some simply pay no attention to the noise. Vance has found her own motivation, and it has little to do with marketing efforts.
“Those things don’t really affect me, it’s more just myself and I see older people exercising and I want to be like that, I want to stay active, and it makes you happier too,” she said.
For most, it can all be daunting. Wanting to lose weight, but doing so in a healthy way and not becoming discouraged. Sliwa said it’s better to take a longer approach.
“People are trying to get everything, a really quick fix, but exercise is not a quick fix.”