By: Zach Geldert

 How was your holiday season? Did you work out like you said you would, now that you have so much free time? Did you successfully fight the tasty temptations that followed you like you owed them money? If you managed to do both of these things it is safe to say that the general population is markedly jealous.

The rest of us are only jealous because we could not find the desire or time to get active. However, at the stroke of midnight, many of us vowed to become changed people in the coming year. This “new year new me” is often a struggle and many people do not achieve the goals that they set out to achieve.

With this in mind, the Cadre chatted with a fitness instructor, motivational speaker, and owner of UFIT Inc. in Charlottetown, Mr. Gordon McNeilly, to gain some professional insight into how one may be able to achieve those pesky fitness New Year resolutions.

For readers who are unfamiliar with Mr. McNeilly’s business, he runs a travelling fitness business, traversing the Charlottetown area school gymnasiums (and soccer fields in the summer) putting on circuit style exercise programs for people of all ages, with a focus on high intensity and fun exercise fuelled by high energy music and Mr. McNeilly’s vivacious motivation.

The number one message of Mr. McNeilly’s advice was to “get into something fun and exciting”. He went on to say “you will be exercising for the rest of your life, so make that time enjoyable, social, and unique…if it is fun it could very well be the highlight of the day”. While even the most fun exercise can seem daunting to some, Mr. McNeilly reminds us that “you can start slowly, but make sure that you can keep at it through the year”.

Making exercise fun is a great way to help you stick to your goals, but what about lacking time to exercise daily? After all, students have course work that needs to be done and are often willing to take on a couple more pounds for a couple more grade points. The little spare time that students do have, an hour and a half here two hours there, may seem insignificant and insufficient for achieving fitness goals.

However, a new study, published on January 9 in JAMA Internal Medicine by researchers in the UK, suggests that even those who exercise once or twice a week (referred to as “weekend warriors” in the study) still receive the same positive outcomes as those who are “regularly active”. This is so long as the weekend warrior activity is 1.5 hours of intense training (being able to talk but not sing along to a song) or 2.5 hours of moderate training (raking leaves, brisk walk).

As Mr. McNeilly and researchers in the UK have demonstrated, there are plenty of ways to get and remain active rather than your traditional everyday gym routine. Hopefully, this article helps give you a little nudge to get up and get moving, no matter what you are doing, so that next New Year you are hopping and grooving.

photo credits: University of Prince Edward Island