So, it’s National Health and Fitness Month. Maybe you’re already so on top of it that you’re reading this post on your iPhone while on mile five of your morning 10K. Or maybe this information makes you squirm a bit with the vague memory of that New Year’s resolution that somehow fell to the wayside somewhere along the line. But no matter. It’s never to late to start getting fit– and there are so many ways and reasons to do so, that there’s no need to panic. In fact, National Health and Fitness Month makes it easier than ever– not only because the weather is finally the kind you want to enjoy outside– but also because fitness centers such as the Maryland Athletic Club are offering great opportunities this month to use the facilities, take classes, and start getting healthy. We checked in with Sharon Nevins, Vice President of Marketing at the MAC to find out how they’re celebrating National Health and Fitness Month and how we can, too.
Baltimore Fishbowl: So May is National Health and Wellness Month. What does that mean? And what is the MAC doing to help celebrate it?
Sharon Nevins: National Health & Fitness Month was created to help shine a spotlight on the importance of exercise to be healthy. Our industry, along with the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” Campaign joined together to encourage everyone to lead an active, healthy lifestyle. MAC helps celebrate by opening its doors to the entire community to enjoy the MAC and get moving for 7 days. We also have designated community wide classes where non-members can try us out with others just like them.
BFB: That’s great! What an awesome opportunity for those of us who are interested in trying out a new gym. Now that the nice weather is finally here, what are some of the best outdoor exercises we can do to supplement our time at the gym? Baltimore has so many great outdoor spaces and activities. Any top picks or workout ideas?
SN: Just getting outside and walking is always nice. Baltimore also has some incredible trails for hiking. From the NCR trail to Loch Raven to Soldiers Delight and the B&A trail for biking. Whatever is fun and easy for you, you should do. The idea is to enjoy it (most of the time) so you keep up the habit.
BFB: Setting achievable goals seems to help with getting and staying fit. What are some good ones we can focus on right now? Are there any short races coming up soon? Or events we should know about?
SN: You are exactly right. Sometimes people set unrealistic goals and then quit. We actually specialize in helping set goals with milestones along the way so you stay motivated and realize that goals aren’t achieved overnight. It’s the process of getting there. For example. Our MAC 1/2 marathon is next Saturday the 18th. If your goal is run your first 1/2 marathon, then it’s important to do your first mile, your first 2 miles, maybe run a 5k and before you know it, you’re running 13 miles. It’s a process. We make that process fun and easy. Baltimore has no shortage of events from 5k’s to 10k’s to tough mudders and triathlons. Pick something that speaks to you and connect with others who have the same goal.
BFB: Great advice. Now, it’s always easier to motivate to workout when you’ve got the right “gear”– whether it’s comfy (and cool) workout shorts, or sweat-resistant headphones. Any gadgets or products you think can really make life at the gym easier or more exciting?
SN: I personally am very motivated by music. So I always have my i-Pod in tow. Staying hydrated of course is critical and there are some great, “green” water bottles. In fact we just bought some that are awesome and very state-of the-art. If our members refer someone to the club, they get on for free. There are also a myriad of wonderful fitness tracking apps, like fitness pal to help you stay accountable to yourself. My favorite right now that I have been using is the Armour39 band by Under Armour, which tracks your heart rate but also your willpower level. Based on the data you input it tells you how hard you are working on a scale of 1-10.
BFB: Are there ways that you’re encouraging people to celebrate National Health and Wellness month? Are there any group challenges or anything like that?
SN: Several ways- come in and try the club for 7 days, which gives you access to the entire facility including group exercise classes and our award winning aquatic facility with salt water pools. We also run 10 day boot camps called MAC Blast for people who want to try a program and aren’t quite ready to commit to a membership as well as 6 week Corporate Fit Challenges for companies looking to help their employees engage in physical activity together as a group, or our Healthy Start Program which is a 60 day program for just $60 for beginner exercisers.
BFB: Anything else we should know heading into summer and trying to get fit?
SN: Start somewhere. Even if it’s 15 minutes. Any movement helps. Then build your time from there until a habit forms and you find yourself moving at least 30 minutes per day.
The MAC has locations in Harbor East, Timonium, and Hunt Valley. For more information about the MAC and National Health and Fitness Month, visit www.macwellness.com.
- Grand National Steeplechase Next Saturday, April 22 – Three Miles of Heart Pounding Thrills - April 14, 2017
- FashionEASTa Returns to Harbor East for a Sixth Year - April 12, 2017
- Extraordinary Equestrians Gear up for April Races - April 3, 2017