Starting a new fitness program, or starting at a gym can be an overwhelming decision and can seem like a daunting task, at any age, let alone, if it is a decision you are making later in life, but it’s not a decision you are likely to regret and the sooner you make that choice, the better.
When it comes to being, what Mo Hagan, Vice President of Program, Innovation and Fitness Development at Goodlife refers to as an ‘Adult Onset Exerciser’, she points out, “Once you hit the second half of your life, you lose muscle, it’s a natural part of getting older. Before the age of 50 you only lose muscle through living a sedentary lifestyle. So it is incredibly important to make the call to start building and maintaining muscle before you begin to naturally lose it through age.”
So where to start. Obviously, if being active hasn’t been a part of your life for a considerable amount of time, step one is to head to your doctor, let him or her know what you’re planning and make sure that you get the go ahead to begin a strength and fitness training program. “When you’re ready to get started just come in and take the opportunity to Speak to a Goodlife health professional,” says Hagan, stressing “they are all trained and certified to speak to you about how to achieve your goals. We aren’t interested in the sale, we are interested in setting all of our clients up with a prescription of exercise that will help them develop strength, stamina and an overall healthy life. “
Goodlife sells itself as a “Full service club with very exclusive classes, all levels of personal training and small group training,” says Hagan, But Hagan also adds that at Goodlife, “a Core value is caring – we really care about our members and care about getting them to the club and helping them to achieve their goals.”
These days, it seems almost impossible to go anywhere in the greater Toronto area without seeing a Goodlife Fitness location, and that isn’t surprising considering that this major Canadian chain has more than 365 locations from Coast to Coast and has been operating for 37 years. Not bad for a fitness empire which began in London, Ontario.
As a part of the prescription it is important to note that every Canadian needs 150 minutes of physical activity during a week and they should try to get that by doing at least 30 minutes per day. According to Hagan, “After you Speak to someone at Goodlife Fitness about what your prescription of activity is, you can start with something that you enjoy. Enjoyment, leads to continuing to do it, which leads to it becoming a habit, which leads to it being something that you do for the rest of your life.”
When it comes to choosing a fitness class that is right for you, Mo Hagan believes that it’s simple, “Choose what you enjoy and what fits into your schedule. All of the Goodlife classes are age inclusive not exclusive.” Some good ones to start with are Newbody, which is a Goodlife exclusive and takes care of body weight strength and cardiovascular training.
Another great one that may appear to daunting to begin with, is one of the most popular strength building program in the world, Bodypump. If you don’t feel like you can make it all the way through an entire class, the Smart Start approach allows you to do the first 20 minutes of the class, eventually working your way up to an entire class over time. Taking this approach allows you to build strength first, then stamina.
Another recent innovation to the Goodlife Fitness class structure is the ability to do classes through virtual or streaming instruction. This makes it easier for people to find a class time that works for them. You can tee up the virtual trainer and work your way through the program will still being led by a professional. This can be particularly useful in the Cardio studio where you can use the training program with the stationary bikes to help inspire and push you to have a killer workout.