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Tap Into Health: Ease back into fitness

Sarah Konopka
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

The new year is a time when many individuals dive back into their fitness-related goals. This fervor can so often lead to burnout and abandonment of lofty resolutions.

Mike McCannon, personal training and group exercise instructor at Old Town Hot Springs said, “Too many people want to jump in too fast, too hard and too often.” To see your new year’s fitness goals through McCannon recommends a paced lifestyle approach to ease you back into fitness.

Before jumping into arbitrary fitness goals, McCannon recommends reflecting on your personal motivation.



“Why do you want to get stronger? Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to run a marathon?” McCannon said. “Sometimes we lose sight of what that is, and then life happens, things get busy.”

For McCannon, the motivation to stay fit lies in the desire to enjoy the many recreations bountiful in Steamboat’s landscape. “We moved here for the snow and the skiing, but fell in love with the summers. We do a lot of hiking, biking and snowshoeing,” McCannon said. “We need the muscular strength and the endurance capacity to do the things we want to do.”



Plan to progress gradually

Taking a lifestyle approach to fitness requires a gradual approach toward fitness goals.

“People come into the gym and they go too hard trying to get back to where they once were,” McCannon said.

Trying to match prior expectations for weight or activity duration could lead to an injury that would further postpone accomplishment of your fitness goal.

“Start light, move lighter and with a reasonable number of reps,” he said. “Each time you can gradually add more to that.”

Schedule your fitness sessions

“I often get asked, ‘Is there a best time of the day to workout?’” McCannon said. “When it’s convenient for you.”

McCannon advocates that goal-setters schedule their workouts and gym time in advance. Scheduling group or individual fitness sessions improves accountability.

The fitness staff at Old Town Hot Springs recommends scheduling two to three workouts a week with a duration of 30, 45 or 60 minutes as you ease back into fitness.

Set short, medium and long term goals

Avoid the tendency to want to leap into a single lofty fitness goal by setting short-, medium- and long-term goals.

“If you want to run a marathon or compete in a ski race, you have to start with smaller versions of that goal,” McCannon said. “I really try to install a lifetime approach, and hopefully fitness becomes a part of your lifestyle.”

Circuit train for endurance and strength building

The fitness staff at Old Town Hot Springs recommends workouts that combine endurance and strength-building exercises in a format known as circuit training.

“To be comfortable hiking, skiing or doing so many of the activities we love, we need to have endurance, but we also need muscular strength,” McCannon said. “I recommend circuit training with intervals of aerobic activity, lifting and other stations.”

Get Moving at Old Town Hot Springs

“People are worried about what the other people in the gym are thinking of them. Don’t be worried about being judged,” McCannon said. “It doesn’t have to be the perfect lift or the most weight. I’m just happy that people are doing something.”

Join Mike McCannon for group fitness or individual training at Old Town Hot Springs.

Sarah Konopka is the marketing director for the Old Town Hot Springs.


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