Every year, shortly after the New Year, I see a handful of new clients who are determined to “get fit”. They often ask if they can come two or even three times a week and are disappointed when I don’t have openings that mesh with their new weekly yoga and Zumba classes. I usually resist the urge to caution against taking on so many new activities at once. I teach their introductory session with my usual methodical attention to the fundamentals. I demur when a new gung-ho client wants more resistance and advanced exercises before learning how to stabilize the spine. I explain that Pilates is a powerful method, capable of changing their bodies forever, but it takes time and practice. If these clients return, it is usually just a few times. Often they don’t even complete all the sessions in the package they’ve purchased.
It is possible Pilates is simply not their cup of tea. But I think they are setting themselves up for failure by thinking fitness is an all or nothing proposition.
The secular New Year is still months away. But I’d like to plant the seed for everyone contemplating a resolution to “get fit. Try adding one new, healthy behavior at a time. Give it a few weeks and don’t give up if you fail initially. Try again, perhaps adjusting your goal to make it a little less ambitious. After all, walking to work once a week is better than not at all. And who knows, once you’ve done it a few times, you may feel like doing it more often. It needn’t be all or nothing.