May 05, 2015
Although summer is fast approaching, there is still time to get in shape and get healthy. During the Yuletide season it is common to become more lax with fitness and eating habits. This trend often continues months after, according to Jimmy Mackey of MacFit 360.
Many of the New Year's resolutioners, who crowded gyms in January, have long abandoned their new routines. But Mackey said overall health and fitness should be the ultimate motivation for maintaining a consistent workout schedule and eating balanced and healthy meals.
While the prospects of a longer, healthier life should be motivation enough, motivation for this reporter has often come from the prospects of being more toned in beachwear.
"People basically see this as a time to get back into shape, but they sort of lose focus after the first two or three weeks, as things start to get a little tough or just the motivation factor is lacking," said Mackey, a former professional basketball player turned certified master personal trainer.
"In the beginning, people say, 'I want to lose 10 pounds for summer', but when they do the math, it is not really reasonable in a month or two months. That is when you start to see the gym empty out and people go back into the bad habits.
"Then spring comes around and people say 'Summer is coming, now it's time to really go hard'. That is the trend you normally see. It has been going on in the fitness industry for decades."
The environment, workout methods and modern equipment are directly linked to how enjoyable a workout is, though challenging, Mackey indicated. He said the first step to breaking poor habits and getting back on track is to "open and walk through the gym door".
"What I have decided to do basically is turn a gym environment into a more personalized environment," Mackey said.
"I want people to be able to come in and be comfortable. And not only be comfortable, but be able to be themselves in a small environment."
From seasoned athletes to new mothers, hundreds of people have walked through the doors of MacFit 360 and left changed, Mackey said. Mackey, the only master personal trainer in the country has trained elite Bahamian athletes and prepared them for competition.
The MacFit 360 Personal Fitness Gym is located in the Independence Business Park on East Street South, a plush and modern environment that boasts modern equipment.
"Any piece of equipment that is out there we utilize in our training, so it makes the training more fun and dynamic," Mackey said. "People get to use equipment they see professional athletes use or celebrities use and they say 'I am doing what I've seen on television'.
"It gives them new energy and something to really look forward to instead of just jumping on a treadmill for 60 minutes."
On the wall of the studio gym are several motivational quotes such as, 'A team that plays together wins together'. Crucial to this success is patience, time and consistency, according to Mackey, a certified nutritionist, massage therapist and certified suspension trainer.
"They say it takes four weeks to actually adapt or get into something, but for fitness it is a lifestyle," he pointed out. "So, if you do not make it a lifestyle, then it is definitely something you are going to have struggles with in terms of going up and down. You have to look at this as a long term thing; until your last breathe on this earth."
Of course, when attempting to maintain a new routine, old habits that prevented this must be broken.
To this end, Mackey has organized motivational forums, the first of which will take place on May 2 in Solomon's Fresh Market, Old Fort Bay.
"In terms of fitness, it is not just eating right," he said. "Eating right is just a part of it, and it is a big part of it, but if someone is not motivated nothing is going to happen.
"I always tell people when they come to me, most of clients come to me because they are fed up. It is not because they want to lose weight. It is because they are fed up of spending their money and not getting results.
"When they come to me, I take an aggressive approach. I am not the easy coach. When you come through my doors I am putting you in the right direction and keeping you in the right direction. But it takes a lot blood, sweat and tears.
"You are going to have to earn every inch or every pound."
Think health, not trends
While there are endless new trends, supplements, diets and workout machines, it is important to keep it simple, Mackey said.
"If people can just keep it simple and dedicate at least two to three hours per week to walking, jogging or some kind of fitness routine it will help in the long run," he insisted. "It is not about looking skinny and looking the fittest in the world.
"There are many people out there who look fit, but are not healthy.
"I am trying to get people on the track where they think healthy wise and not about [being] skinny. Think healthy, and the body will come once you keep it up."
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