Fresh Start Goal #1: Get Fit

This is the first in TLT's series of the most popular New Year's Resolutions. Getting in shape can seem like a daunting prospect, but local body builder and personal trainer Lee Roupas offers some quick and easy tips to build muscle and lose fat.

This is the first in TLT’s series of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions. Getting in shape can seem like a daunting prospect, but local body builder and personal trainer Lee Roupas offers some quick and easy tips to build muscle and lose fat. Read his advice, then find a gym or get started for free at a Chicago Park District fitness center until January 16.

Forget Resolutions, Make Fitness A Lifestyle Change

The most common “resolution” people make at the beginning of each New Year is to get their physical body in shape. Suddenly, gym and fitness center parking lots are filled to capacity, and those who workout regularly now have to wait in line to get to a machine, dumbbell, or treadmill.

A month later, the buzz starts dying down and it becomes easier to find a parking space, and there is no longer a wait for a piece of gym equipment. The resolution has been broken for various reasons. Excuses and barriers are rationalized for not adhering to a fitness program. It could be a lack of discipline or accountability. Impatience is another factor that would discourage someone to discontinue a workout program. Part of the problem I find as a fitness professional is that people are under the assumption that it would take a lot of hours training in the gym to see results. The reality is that it does not take several hours or training every day.

Here are some quick tips to get started and keep on exercising throughout the year:

  • Set aside three days out of the week for a half hour to an hour.
  • Scheduling three days a week is all you will need to consistently follow a program and see results.
  • Start slow, going low intensity on cardiovascular training and use light weight for resistance training.

If you really want to kick things into gear, Lee recommends eliminating sugar, sodium, white bread, pasta and alcohol from your diet.

If necessary, hire a personal trainer to show how to employ proper exercise techniques. The trainer can teach the specific exercises to build each body part and can put a workout program together for you to follow that is conducive to your schedule and fitness goals. Hiring a trainer is a wise financial investment: you are investing in your health and quality of life. And right now is a great time to start, and make fitness a lifestyle change.

Lee Roupas is an A.C.E. (American Council on Exercise) certified celebrity fitness trainer. He competes as a natural bodybuilder and has won titles at the NPC Illinois Natural Bodybuilding Championships and NPC Mid-States Muscle Classic Natural Bodybuilding Championships. In addition, he is the spokesmodel for Illinois’ “We Card Hard” campaign to prevent underage sales of alcohol. Lee is also a motivational speaker and has been a featured television and radio personality on NBC 5, WTTW – Chicago Tonight, WJJG 1530 AM, WSCR 670 AM, and selected as one of Chicago’s top 25 most wanted bachelors by Today’s Chicago Woman magazine. For more information check Lee’s website.

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