Jump Start Your New Year’s Resolution

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Many of us say the same thing year after year: “My New Year’s resolution is to hit the gym more often.” Why wait? Alex Vasileski, celebrity trainer and founder of Chicago-based A Mind and Body Total Fitness, recommends getting a head start so you’ll see results by the time the New Year’s countdown begins. Plus, starting early is advantageous because the holidays have a reputation for being the most stressful time of year. Combine that with food-filled holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and you have a diet disaster on your hands. With a routine already in place, you can start forming eating habits before those holiday parties and give yourself time to break down barriers that prevent you from reaching your goals.

Mr. Vasileski’s celebrity client, model Joanna Krupa, travels the world and relies on fitness to de-stress…not only during the holidays, but after long days of photo shoots as well. Mr. Vasileski was surprised to learn that Ms. Krupa doesn’t usually work with a trainer – she takes classes at a local gym in Miami. But because she wasn’t getting that one-on-one attention, she didn’t know she was doing some movements incorrectly and without the proper posture. She experienced neck pain at home and wasn’t sure why.

Mr. Vasileski was able to address those issues during his workout with Ms. Krupa. He took her through a strength workout, because she wants to gain full-body strength (versus targeting a specific area). He also sure she she was able to have fun during the workout while learning something as well. “If you don’t enjoy it and it’s not fun, you will subconsciously avoid it,” he says. “Instead of just going through the motions, I wanted her to feel accomplished when she left and that she enjoyed it.”

Ms. Krupa’s fitness goals are all about getting stronger and toned without getting bigger. During a recent session, she learned important pointers like touching your temples during sit-ups so you don’t use your neck and breathing contractions to engage the core. The most important tip she learned was to always pretend you’re pinching a penny between your shoulder blades, no matter what movement you are doing. “That really resonated with her, and you could see the instant improvement in her posture,” explains Mr. Vasileski. “She didn’t realize she had her shoulders forward and was incorporating her neck in a lot of lifts.”

But you don’t have to be a celebrity to apply these tips to your workout. If you’re looking to finally achieve your fitness resolution this year, Mr. Vasileski’s is available for consultations to teach correct, safe and effective workouts for real results.

Marcin Cymmer Photographs

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About Carrie Williams

Carrie Williams is TCW's managing/digital editor. She manages day-to-day editorial operations of the monthly print publication, website and social media outlets, contributes to a variety of feature articles and directs a team of interns, freelance writers and bloggers. In early 2013, she led the redesign of TCWmag.com/restructure of TCW's brand strategy. Her blog, "Carrie On," is a blog of reflection and discovery, discussing how to push through life when you’re handed one too many curveballs. And finally, Ms. Williams is also executive director of the TCW Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit supporting underfunded women's and children's organizations.