The Garden City Telegram

Healthy eating, staying fit all about ... sticking to it

Brad Nading/Telegram Dennis Nguyen uses a pair of dumbbells to do plank rows Wednesday at one of the stations during a Boot Camp class at the Garden City Recreation Commission's gym.
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Staying with new routines toughest part of exercising.

With resolutionists crowding gyms and setting goals, local fitness experts want to help ensure those coming to the gym this January don't fall off by the end of the month.

Wednesday night at the Garden City Recreation Center, about 20 fitness-seekers participated in a station boot camp as a part of the Rec's 30 Day Challenge.

Each day in January, fitness experts and trainers Meghan McFee and Darlene Holmes hold an intense workout for $1.

Two of those participants Wednesday wiped sweat from their brows and drank water after completing boot camp.

Katrina Pollet and Darlene Lucas have set goals for the year, and not just immediate goals.

Both are participating in the Rec's Corporate Meltdown and the Finney County/St. Catherine Meltdown program, as well.

"My goal for the year is to lose 35 pounds total and run a 5K," Pollet said.

She hopes to do that by going to the Rec's Wellness Center, the Garden City Family YMCA and taking part in community workouts such as boot camp.

She also plans to eat healthier.

"I've been doing a food and exercise journal every day. I'm very conscious of everything going into my mouth, and making sure it's healthy. And I'm feeding my family healthy," she said.

Lucas also said she wants to lose weight. Health is her total focus.

"Because I am over 50, I am trying to get mentally and physically stronger. So that's my goal," she said.

Every day, she logs in to record her food and exercise. The portal the county is using also has tips for healthy eating and healthy living.

"So it's just a well-balanced lifestyle change," she said.

Stacy Crase, health and fitness director at the YMCA, said finding a goal or something that is motivating can be beneficial.

"Be your own motivator. Whether you're getting ready for a wedding, or spring or summer, or you have toddlers you want to be able to keep up with, just find those goals and motivation," she said.

Crase said it takes about 12 weeks to develop a good habit.

"The first couple of weeks are pretty hard. Then once after that, you get into a routine. Then after 12 weeks, if you don't get your workout, you'll feel like you're going to lose your mind," she said.

In addition to toning the body, working out also helps relieve stress, Crase said.

"Instead of taking it home, or bottling inside, go exercise and relieve that stress," she said.

Crase, McFee and Holmes all say that when getting started with exercising, group workouts or classes can be beneficial.

"It can help them become familiar with working out or the facility," Crase said.

Those with questions also can request a tour, orientation or demonstration, she said.

"Some people need that camaraderie of a group workout. They can also see that someone else is there and someone else is struggling with the same things," McFee said.

"And some people don't really know how to work out. They don't know which muscles they're targeting during different movements," Holmes said.

McFee said showing up those first few days is half the battle.

"Once you get past just getting in here, and you get that routine, you start to look forward to it. Just stick with it," McFee said.

Holmes said she cheers patrons or clients on when they meet certain gaols.

"They're just happy to see some results. And it's good motivation," she said.

McFee said if you don't see results immediately, don't give up.

"If you're not seeing the results you want, but you're sticking with it, you will eventually see those results," she said.

Holmes said working out and eating right is a lifestyle change.

Nutrition is a key component, both said.

"You can work out all day, but if you're taking in all those calories and they are the wrong kind of calories, you're defeating the purpose," McFee said.

She recommends using an app such as MyFitnessPal, also available on, or getting healthy recipes from various resources such as the American Diabetes Association.

"This is a lifelong process. If you don't get the habit of eating healthy, you'll shift backwards from all the hard work you've done," Holmes said.

The Rec trainers say if a patron needs help, they should ask.

"Sometimes people are intimidated to even come through the door. They're worried someone is going to judge them for being out of shape. But everyone is so focused on themselves and their workout goal, they're paying no mind to others in the gym or in the class. Everyone comes to do their own thing," McFee said.

"If anyone needs help along the way, we're here," Holmes said. "Everyone is here for the same thing — that's fitness."