Get in Shape: Gym Options for the year

Getting in Shape
Getting in Shape
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The most common New Year’s resolutions by far tend to revolve around health and fitness. On December 31, 2015, a whopping 68% of Americans pledged to either stay fit and healthy or to lose weight in 2016! If you’re hoping to get or stay in shape this new year, here’s what Mint Hill’s fitness experts have to say about the best ways to get and stay healthy in 2017.

Start Small
Many times people can be intimidated by the idea of joining a gym, especially one that seems to offer an intense workout. 9 Round owner and trainer Nancy Jones often encounters potential clients who fear the kickboxing-themed workouts will be too challenging for them. But the reality is that most gyms can modify challenging workouts to fit all fitness levels. Jones trains clients of all ages and ability levels at 9 Round from young athletes to people who are in their 70s or who have never worked out before. “It doesn’t matter what your fitness level is,” says Jones. “You work at your own pace.” Burn Boot Camp Matthews owner and trainer Josh Rudolph agrees. “The best way to start is to just do it,” says Rudolph. “Start small and work your way into more difficult challenges. If you choose to start by walking a mile, work your way up to two and three as your progress enhances, or take an exercise and add a few reps every week.”

Stick With It
Having been in the fitness industry for many years, Jones sees an influx of clients every January first. “They don’t want another year of feeling unsatisfied with how they look or without addressing their health,” she says. “New Year’s is a day,” Jones continues. “Your health is a lifetime thing.” Rudolph agrees that January joiners should think long-term. “It takes three weeks to help create a habit,” says Rudolph. “Push through whichever healthy habit you want to create for those three weeks, and it will help it become a part of your lifestyle and routine!” “My best tip for health, fitness and performance in 2017 is to approach this decision as a lifestyle change,” says Snap Fitness personal trainer and nutrition coach Francesca Armienti. “It doesn’t take a month or two to become deconditioned, so one can not possibly expect that a few weeks of exercising is going to create the body of their dreams!”

Avoid Excuses
“Don’t let excuses get in the way of your health,” says Rudolph. Jones says that one of the most common reasons people don’t stick with a gym is time, but “If you really are ready to make life changes and address your health and be happier with what you look like . . . If you can’t fit thirty minutes into your day three times a week, then you’re not serious.” Most local gyms have ways of helping clients fit a workout into their busy schedules. Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness are open 24/7 so you can work out whenever it is convenient for you. Gyms like Fit for You and Burn Boot Camp offer free childcare during some classes. There are no scheduled class times at 9 Round, which helps make it successful for people’s schedules.

Mix it Up: Vary Your Workouts
When it comes to exercising, variety is key for avoiding monotony and maximizing both calorie burn and muscle gain. 9 Round and Burn Boot Camp offer a different workout every day. “Since every day is a different workout, your body never gets a chance to adjust, which is important,” says Jones. “You don’t plateau.”

Work with a Trainer or Coach
“Finding a coach or mentor to facilitate the process is an invaluable asset,” says Armienti. “The first thing I would recommend is meeting with a fitness professional for a Fitness Assessment,” says Patty Kissiah, Fitness Director at Anytime Fitness. “During a Fitness Assessment you establish your goals and your baseline fitness, and with the help of a fitness professional, you develop a plan to get you from where you are to where you want to be.” Anytime Fitness offers all of their members three complimentary one-on-one sessions with Kissiah as well as complimentary follow up fitness assessments every six weeks to ensure that members are on track to meet their personal fitness goals.

Work with a Partner
Tone Your Temple owner and trainer Rhonda Walker, who offers group and personal training packages, feels that working with a partner or a group is crucial to success. “I would definitely advise [people looking to get in shape this new year] to get started with a group training because they’ll be more committed than trying to go in on their own,” she says. “Statistics have shown that most participants will be more successful if they go in together – partner train or do a group training.” If you don’t already have a workout buddy, Walker can help to set you up with a group or partner to help hold you accountable. Burn Boot Camp prides itself on its community, and Rudolph feels an accountability partner can be helpful for any healthy habit you set. “Whether it be cutting out soda, drinking more water, or getting to the gym,” says Rudolph, “set those goals and ask a friend to help you stay accountable.” “Find your fitness tribe,” agrees Kissiah. “All you need to find your fitness tribe is at least one other person who is also on a fitness journey!”

Focus on Nutrition
Many trainers are fond of saying that abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. Exercise is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle, but especially when it comes to weight loss, diet is equally important. “If you go home and eat twinkies afterward,” says Jones. “You’re not going to see results.” Many local gyms offer nutritional coaching either as part of or in addition to their membership packages. “We do nutritional coaching,” says Walker. “They will get sample menu plans, and I also go over their food plan and monitor their eating. Every day they send me a food journal and I review it and go over it with them to make sure they’re making the best choices.” “Getting in shape is a science,” says Armienti. “Learning how to stabilizing the blood sugar for optimal health is a must. That is the first step to any long term success.” And don’t forget about the importance of water: Your body is comprised of about 60% water,” says Rudolph. “Replenish and refresh!”

Mint Hill offers many convenient local options for people who want to get in shape in 2017!

Anytime Fitness
Anytime Fitness is a 24/7 gym located at the corner of Fairview and Matthew-Mint Hill Roads that opened in April of 2016. Membership at Anytime Fitness includes a fitness consultation and 24/7 access to Anytime Fitness locations all over the world. Anytime Fitness facilities feature cardio machines, strength machines and free weights, free classes, and access to training and coaching services. Memberships start at $37.95/month, and new members are welcome to a 7-day free trial. Through January 7, new members can join for only $1.00.

Snap Fitness
Snap Fitness is a 24/7 gym facility located next to Town Hall on Matthews-Mint Hill Road. Snap Fitness’ facilities offer cardio and strength-training equipment as well as access to private fitness instruction and nutritional coaching. “At Snap Fitness, we offer INTRAFITT, which is a program that reprograms the body to be fit and lean for life,” says Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach Francesca Armienti. “Start the year moving toward Fitness and away from Fatness!” Currently, Snap Fitness is offering a first month’s membership for only $8.95 as well as $50.00 off a personal wellness plan.

Tone Your Temple
Tone Your Temple is a private fitness facility geared toward small group and personal training. Tone Your Temple offers boot camps, strength training, pilates and yoga. You can learn more about the group and personal training packages owner Rhonda Walker offers on her web site: Nutritional coaching is also part of every package Walker offers. Walker works with both men and women and can help you select the best training package for you.

9 Round
9 Round, located on Matthews-Mint Hill Road between Publix and Zaxby’s, is a kickboxing-themed circuit training program. Members spend a total of 30 minutes rotating through a series of ten stations. “It doesn’t matter what your fitness level is,” says owner and trainer Nancy Jones. “You work at your own pace.” Jones feels another advantage of 9 Round is that there are no scheduled classes; you can come at any time. If you join 9 Round before January 15, you can lock in the 2016 member rate of $59.00 per month. 9 Round also offers discounted rates for those who choose to pay in full for five or more months as well as families.

Fit You Studios
Fit You Studios, located on Fairview Road across from the Mint Hill Fire Department, offers Zumba, yoga and aerobics classes. Individual classes are $7.00, but the facility offers several special deals, including 5 classes for $20.00 and unlimited monthly classes for $50.00. Fit You Studios provides free childcare during classes in the Kids Corner and complimentary alkaline water to unlimited monthly members.

Burn Boot Camp Matthews
Burnt Boot Camp is located in downtown Matthews on John Street. BBC prides itself on being a positive, encouraging and motivating environment for women to gain strength and confidence. Though the gym’s bootcamp style classes are mainly geared toward women and moms, they do offer some camps for men and kids as well as restorative yoga classes. BBC also offers free childcare during daytime classes and nutritional counseling as part of every membership. BBC always offers a free two-week trial; you can also take advantage of their $99 for 6 weeks promotion through the first week in January.

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her five-year-old daughter Hannah and her two-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: