If you’re like me, your norm on the first day of the year is writing 17 bulleted lists detailing how this year will be different. You’re thinking about finances and trips, but more than that, you’re thinking about your body and overall health and, alas, another chance to start over. I don’t know about you, but this year, I am done starting over.
The challenge in adapting the starting over mentality is that it allows room for us to give up. Fitness isn’t about conforming to outdated stereotypes, it’s about movement. Movement keeps us healthy, reduces pain and stress, helps us sleep better and manage our mental wellbeing, boosts confidence, and even helps us make new friends.
Kellie Van Dyke, owner of Align Fitness Studio in SLC, is helping to change the conversation around distorted fitness idealization. The natural lighting and meditative color palate of Align’s intimate space greet visitors with a welcoming presence, making it easy for people to get to know each other.
As Van Dyke states, the hardest part for most people is just walking in the door, “It’s super intimidating if you think about it. You walk into a gym and all eyes are on you at a time when you might not feel as strong or have the same level of confidence as you would when you’re consistent.”
If you’ve been wanting to give a gym a try but feel intimidated, try a smaller studio where instructors take the time to get to know each of their clients personally to help them get moving and start to feel better. “The advantage of coming to a smaller studio like Align is that our instructors are trained to work with each client on an individual basis. They work with you no matter what level of fitness you’re at and each class is designed for students of all levels.”
The benefit of group fitness is that you’re in it together and you help each other get through. And, the important thing is, we’re actually moving. “After COVID, we realized we all need creative connection and movement for our mental health and not just for our physical bodies. Any kind of movement any day, even if it’s just a walk, can make us feel mentally and physically stronger.”