An active new year can mean a new you - for the rest of your life.
IND Monthly annually updates its Fitness Resource Directory, providing readers with the most comprehensive list of health clubs, gyms, health and sports drinks, medical fitness facilities, and studios and classes to help keep you healthy and fit in the new year. This year we also talked to a handful of locals about their favorite fitness routines, which range from chasing young kids around to pretty intense workouts to shunning routines for an overall healthy lifestyle that favors embracing spontaneity and change.
Researchers are now calling exercise "the best preventive drug we have." So if losing weight and trying to look your best in 2014 doesn't motivate you, consider this: Exercise can cut your risk of early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
Need help with depression and anxiety? Exercise. Want to sleep better, remember more, stay focused and in a good mood more often? Exercise.
That's only the beginning of what physical activity can mean for your overall health.
"Exercise strengthens the entire human machine - the heart, the brain, the blood vessels, the bones, the muscles," Timothy Church, physician and director of preventive medicine research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, told USA Today.
As we all know, there are no guarantees about anything, but the best chance you have for long-term health is an active lifestyle.
So let's get moving.
[Editor's Note: Find IND Monthly's 2014 Fitness Resource Directory here.]
I work out with Dex Sapp at City Club at 5:30 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday with two people (Jack McElligott and Beth Trotter) for an hour of "Dexercise," which is a combination of weights and aerobics. It is pretty grueling, but when I'm done in the morning, I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day's challenges. I've also started Pilates in the past year; Jack and I do an hour every Wednesday with instructor Jackie Duplechain after we do her 5:30 a.m. spinning class at the City Club. This has been a tremendous help for my flexibility both physically and mentally. The rewards of the Pilates class have also caused us to start taking a combination Pilates/hot yoga class with Jessica Kohar at the Body Factory every Monday evening, and although I'm a recent convert to yoga, its benefits have been immense.
- Frank Neuner, 62, attorney at NeunerPate
With a 3-year old and a 1-year old, my fitness routine consists entirely of chasing the little ones around. From pushing the swing to running around the yard, it's probably not much of an aerobic workout, but nothing beats the time I get to spend with them. I wish that I had even a fraction of their energy!
- Daryl J. Cetnar, 37, director of community relations at Lafayette General Health
I run 2 to 3 times per week and do low weight, high rep exercises using a set of 15-pound free weights that I leave in front of the television. I like to leave them out where I can see them so that I have a constant reminder to work out. I am not a big fan of the "gym" so I also like to incorporate body weight exercises (squats, lunges, push-ups) etc. because those are things that can be done around the house. During the summer I participate in David LeBlanc's Women's Body Fat Reduction Boot Camp. It is an intense boot camp, but I love it. My favorite part about working out is the euphoric feeling you get afterwards, which makes it all worthwhile.
- Erica Geoffroy, 24, marketing director at Allison Marine Holdings
I love a cardio session that blasts fat, calories and boredom. This circuit will burn 400 calories and will fly by. I start on a stationary bike and warm up for 5 minutes at a moderate pace. I bump up my resistance level to 7-10 and pedal at 85 RPM for 2 minutes and then speed up to 100 RPM for 1 minute. Repeat this 2-minute moderate and 1-minute fast circuit for a total of 15 minutes. Now I hop on the elliptical at resistance level 6-9 for 3 minutes and bump it up to level 14-16 for 2 minutes. Continue this 5-minute circuit for a total of 10 minutes. You already have 25 minutes done, just one more circuit to go. Jump on the treadmill and walk briskly or jog at 3.5-5.8 mph for 2 minutes. Kick up the speed and run at 5.8-7.0 mph for 2 minutes. Repeat walk/jog for 2 minutes, run for 2 minutes, and walk/jog for 2 minutes. Cool down at 3-4.5 for 5 minutes, and you are done.
- Tara Vicknair, 38, single mother of two and personal trainer
I shoot for 3 to 4 workouts per week, usually during lunch. I divide the 50 minutes with 25 minutes of cardio (15 minutes on an elliptical machine followed by 10 on an exercise bike, both with high resistance) and 25 minutes of bodyweight exercises (pull-ups, push-ups, dips, planks, roman chair leg raises, and lunges) and machines to work my upper body, all with minimal to no down time between exercises to keep my heart rate up. My focus is on cardiovascular fitness, a strong core and staying toned.
- Troy Broussard, 46, attorney at Allen & Gooch
CrossFit found me as my college career was ending in late 2009 in an ad in a local magazine. After 3.5 amazing years as a Ragin' Cajuns cheerleader, CrossFit was the only thing that could hold my attention. The challenge of beating yourself is literally infinite, as the workouts are already thought out and written out, and never in my life would I imagine that I loved Olympic weightlifting. I love the barbell. The balance in CrossFit between gymnastic (body weight) movement, weights and short distance running keeps me interested and challenged, and I love to teach others how to move soundly. Haven't looked back since leaving the old-fashioned health club.
- Kaelyn Hebert, 26, registered nurse
I don't know that I'm one for having too much routine: too much routine can turn into habit and leave little room for spontaneity or change. The only things I can say I'm currently, or routinely, consistent with are my focus on my health, with being conscious of the pros and cons of what I eat and how I feel, while the other is my happiness, with my constant practice of presence, which I can and do fail at, but always learn and improve. So as unexciting as these two ideas may sound to most of the modern world, I still say health and happiness, in the best forms I know, are part of my daily, moment to moment routine. I leave you with this quote from Brazilian author Paulo Coelho: "To those who believe that adventures are dangerous, I say try routine; that kills you far more quickly."
- Laci Lopez, 26, owner of The Vertical Barre