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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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Yordan Alvarez came up big in Game 5. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Astros can win the pennant Friday night. Can't dangle the carrot any closer in front of the face than that. Taking the last two games at Fenway Park has the Astros in excellent position, but any notion that a third American League championship in five years is now inevitable, is silly. The Astros are probably 80 percent or better to advance, but of course the Red Sox could win games six and seven at Minute Maid Park à la the Nationals in the World Series two years ago. The Astros had all the momentum after winning three straight in D.C., came home for the coronation, and pfffft. You have momentum...until you don't. It's nothing to bank on. The Red Sox had all the "mo" after clobbering the Astros in games two and three of this AL championship series. Then Jose Altuve crushed the eighth inning tying home run in game four, ahead of the seven run volcanic eruption of a ninth inning. Nine more Astro runs later in game five, and here we are.

One key distinction that makes the Astros hand look stronger up 3-2 now than vs. the Nats, the Red Sox don't have Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer ready to pitch. Like Framber Valdez vs. Chris Sale in game five, game six is another starting pitching rematch. Alvin native Nathan Eovaldi grossly outpitched Luis Garcia in game two. We'll see if Sox manager Alex Cora winds up regretting even more using Eovaldi to start the fateful game four ninth inning. Eovaldi only threw 24 pitches, but three nights later we'll see what and how much he has in the tank.

After pitching horribly against the White Sox and then the Red Sox, and then citing a sore knee, Luis Garcia is his own huge question mark. So was Valdez before Wednesday spinning one of the great postseason pitching performances in Astros' history. Framber was awful in each of his first two postseason starts, absolutely magnificent in cruising through eight innings in game five. Should the Sox force Game Seven, Valdez certainly is a relief option on two days rest. Jose Urquidy would start, opposite Eduardo Rodriguez in a game three rematch.

Valdez and the Astros hope his next outing is Tuesday night in game one of the World Series. Ideally, at Minute Maid Park against the Atlanta Braves. Alas, the defending champion Dodgers remain alive and kicking, having won their fourth do or die game already in this postseason to send the National League Championship Series back to Atlanta. Now, if somehow we knew as fact that the Astros are going to win the World Series, I'd estimate approximately 99 percent of Astros' fans would prefer to beat L.A. Since we don't know that the Astros are going to win it all, getting the Braves would be more favorable for the Astros, if for no other reason than the Astros would get home-field advantage. Should the Braves make it, among other factoids Charlie Morton would be in his third World Series with three different teams in the last five seasons (Astros in 2017, Rays last year, Braves this). If the Braves can close out the Dodgers Saturday, Morton is Atlanta's likely game one starter at MMP. Provided the Astros are the AL Champs of course.

Watt a matchup for the Texans

The Texans play at Arizona Sunday. Yeah, and? You imagine that J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins find the two team's current situations amusing? The Texans are a 1-5 stink bomb that will keep on stinking. The Cardinals are 6-0 and an emerging Super Bowl contender. While Deshaun Watson continues collecting about 600 thousand dollars per week to do nothing (and waiting to become a Miami Dolphin?), Kyler Murray has made the leap to upper echelon NFL quarterback.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. Decisions, decisions. Astros-Red Sox game 6 or Rockets home opener vs. Thunder. Tough call?

2. The Rockets will regularly be overmatched and probably lose 55 games or more again this season. At least they have young talent to offer some hope. The Texans presently have near nothing.

3. Best 2021 Astros' postseason journey signature food: Bronze-Atlanta/Los Angeles, anything? Silver-Chicago, deep dish pizza Gold-Boston, lobster roll

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