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5 ways to get the upper hand on your 2020 fitness goals

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @TourismGymHtx. Facebook @TourismGymHtx

January is the time that everyone is thinking about getting healthier and losing weight. What new fitness goals do you have for 2020? I am often asked for tips to getting a jump on goals. Here are some tips on how to get ahead of the curve on your 2020 fitness season.

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Personalize your workout clothes.

Do not be afraid to be yourself in your workout clothes. If you think of the outfits that you wear the most, your workout clothes should be in the top three. If you have new fitness goals, you will be spending a lot of time in your workout clothes. Don't be afraid to personalize them and add colors. Make sure that they are appropriate for the activity that you are doing and that everything fits right. You will be suprised at the difference this will make in your attitude towards your workout.

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Replace old running shoes with new ones.

People who are new to fitness often miss the importance of this one. Shoes wear down and go bad over time. Even if they are not being used as often as you think, the material that the shoes is made of goes bad. It makes me cringe when I ask someone when was the last time that they got new shoes and they reply with 5 years. YIKES! It is time to replace the shoes. Your whole body will thank you for it.

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Get an accountability partner.

I do not know many people who are so disciplined that they can do everything alone. Even if you are, who wants to? That is no way to live. An accountability partner is a perfect workout complement who can keep you on track and can help you step up your game and set higher goals. Do not be surprised if you see your goals achieved much faster. Just chose wisely.

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Keep track of your metrics.

I do not care how you do it. You can invest in a pencil and a notebook labeled workouts, download an app, or buy a device like a FitBit that keeps track of all that, just keep track of something. Honestly, i say do it all. I have found some books of my workout notes in my closets in the past and have found them useful. It would be useful to track sleep while you are sleeping though.

Cross train with your running.

Choosing one or two more exercises helps with so much. You do not get bored. Choosing an activity that helps develop a different muscle group or skill like yoga for flexibility, strength training, and boxing for cardio and balance. Either way, it keeps it interesting and you get to meet a different set of people with different interest than your runner friends.

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Start taking supplements.

Maybe you are still young and can get revved up naturally. However, if you are anything like me and need a little help, a supplement is just the thing that your need to get going and see some results. Confused with all the choices? Start with a multivitamin. This will give you some energy and is the building block of all other supplements. It will keep you from being sick from gym born illnesses like the flu. Next to add, are fish oil pills, calcium pyruvate, and alpha lipoid acid are a great combo. That is not even getting into creatine and all that.

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Which protein shake is right for you?

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @TourismGymHtx. Facebook @TourismGymHtx

After writing last week's article about supplements, the subject of protein powder came up. I have been asked many times, which is the best protein powder. Many people, especially those who are aspiring runners, think they are only for muscle heads. The truth is is that they really help people with busy lifestyles to get the nutrition they need to get to their goal. Here are a few extra guidelines on choosing your go-to protein shake.

Whey protein

Whey protein is known for its fast absorption making it ideal for weight and strength training. It makes a quick meal on the go or right before a workout. It provides enough energy to get you through a hard workout. It is great for after your workout. It will give you energy to get you to the next meal without the shakes. Most powders are comprised of 85% lean protein that is derived from milk with low fat content and carbs.

Hint: Do not take right before a run. Running and strength training are different workouts. It will wreck your run. If you must, wait 1 hour before running. A light protein bar like a Lara Bar is best for a quick run.

Casein protein

Casein protein, also derived from milk, is best known for slow absorption making it a great option before a long run. It will not make you nauseous and will get you through the workout. Another benefit to casein protein is because it absorbs slowly (about 3-4 hours for your body to absorb it), it is great for a before bedtime snack. In fact, it will ensure that your muscles are getting fed continually. You will not wake up famished and you will not wake up with bloating.

Hint: To make sure your are staying faithful to your diet, schedule 1 scoop with a small apple for your midday snack and 1 scoop around 9pm after dinner to curb your munchies.

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Plant protein

With the studies being done on animal protein causing cancer and other health issues, society is moving away from animal proteins. For people who are vegetarian and vegan, many types of protein powders that have been proven as just as affective as protein powders derived from milk. Vegan protein powders can be derived from brown rice, pea, nuts, hemp, and chia. After using one brand, I found that it was great to have before a run and did not make me nauseous and it also tasted great. These are a great option for anyone even if you are a carnivore.

Hint: Choose a protein powder that combines different sources of protein for the complete package of amino acids.

The conversation about protein powder is a long one. Finding out which one is best for you is really up to you. Even with best of guidance, you still must decide for yourself. I suggest you get to trying some brands to find your favorite. It would be best to get a trial size or the smallest size just in case you do not like it. Make sure that you try it before your different types of workouts to see how you fare. Happy tasting!


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