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How to achieve your New Year's fitness resolutions during COVID-19

Working from home with quick access to a refrigerator during the coronavirus pandemic is making this goal even more challenging for many people.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Getting in shape is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions whether that's losing weight, toning up, adding muscle, or eating healthier.

However, working from home with quick access to a refrigerator during the coronavirus pandemic is making that goal even more challenging for many people.

A gym owner has some tips to reach your fitness goals in 2021. 

One tip to jump-start your New Year's fitness resolutions is to get realistic goals and have lots of smaller goals to get to your big goal so you don't end up discouraged and give up.

“I did commit to working out with a trainer," Kathryn Henthorn said. “Even when the gyms were closed, I was able to work out at home.”

Kathryn Henthorn says getting in shape helps her to feel more in control of her life during COVID-19. 

“That gave me some strength knowing that if I can control the way I eat, how I take care of myself, and workout, that helped me stay a little more sane," Henthorn said.

“They’ve gained weight because they’ve been sort of secluded," said Darrell McKay, owner of Anytime Fitness Lakewood. 

McKay recommends three things to get the coronavirus weight off. 

The first is to lift weights because it can help to jump-start your metabolism and increase muscle tone.  

The second tip is to do HIIT, or high-intensity interval training. 

“Also, we have equipment for high-intensity interval training, which gets your metabolism at a very fast rate and burns a lot of calories," McKay said. “The third thing is really nutrition, which we tell people is 85% of their results. Since you’re going to be at home so much, just try to make some healthy choices. We recommend to people eat a lean protein with a complex carbohydrate.”

Henthorn is an example of these three principles and hopes to keep improving in 2021. 

“I want to continue on the path I’m on now as far as building strength, and as I get older, having a solid core and stability and balance is really important for me," Henthorn said.

Another tip is to start slow if you're a beginning by working out just a few days a week to start. 

McKay says another benefit to working out is it can improve your mental health.

“We’re encouraging them to be socially distant, come in, exercise at the gym," McKay said. "There’s a chemical released in your brain that will help you feel better as the vaccines come, and people start having more hope for their future.”

Another suggestion is to mix up your workout. You might want to work out on a treadmill one day and go on an elliptical another day.

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