Tips to Make 2018 Your Year to Get Healthy

Then & Now

By Judy Salamacha

A recent US YouGov poll found the most common New Year’s resolutions are to eat healthier, get more exercise and save more money.

Annual statistics also document that only 8% achieve their goals. Lindsay Ashton has been a nationally certified personal trainer since 2007 and has operated ReVamp Training Studio of Morro Bay since 2011 (see: She’s heard every reason why folks finally decide to get fit and every excuse why they fail.

She believes it’s never too late or too selfish to make your health a top priority. The following are Ashton’s observations and insights that might motivate you to get fit in 2018.

What are the three top reasons for maintaining a fitness program?

(1) Improving cardiovascular health keeps your heart strong, lowers blood pressure, creates weight loss, and reduces joint pain. Weight bearing exercises help prevent and even sometimes reverse the effects of osteoporosis; (2) Quality of Life is more enjoyable when you can do every day things and things you love to do with ease; (3) When you feel good you are confident in your own skin.

Is losing weight the most important goal?

Not everyone needs to lose weight to be fit. Some people are very underweight and frail so they need to gain muscle mass. Others have lost weight too fast or in an unhealthy manor so their bodies are depleted and in need of some repair. Everybody is different.

The best way to find out more about your health and fitness level is by having a professional measure your body composition. It tells how much fat mass you have compared to how much muscle mass you have.

Then the professional can give you achievable goals based on your individualized test results. (Ashton recommends reading about this test at

Do you have to diet while exercising to achieve your goals?

In my opinion, it’s best if you don’t commit to a diet and exercise program at the same time. People fail when their goals are too lofty; especially if you are starting from square one.

With already full schedules how does one fit in an exercise program?

One of my favorite quotes is, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” We all have busy schedules. It’s the nature of being American. If you want to see a change in your health, you’re going to need to make a change. Find a program and/or gym with hours to fit your schedule. (Ashton says some of her most dedicated ReVamp members work 8-10 hours a day, juggle time with family and have found success at ReVamp’s 5 a.m. small group workouts.

Why will so many join a gym then fail to go?

A lot of people don’t know what to do in a traditional gym setting. They tend to find the least intimidating machine and only do that because they don’t know what else to do or fear the embarrassment of trying out a new machine and looking funny or hurting themselves because they didn’t know how to do it correctly.

Our trainers make sure our clients know what they are doing, why they are doing it, and how it should feel. We also believe in small classes and personalized workouts to push each member to achieve their personal best. We also believe it’s important to celebrate our achievements.

Really? Can getting fit be fun?

Yes, success is fun. Set small attainable milestones like getting to the gym two times a week for 4 weeks. Then reward yourself. When you’ve attained that goal, increase your commitment for more of a challenge.

Achieving milestones can be more fun with a friend. Friendly competition or accountability always helps. Most of all, find a gym that provides a variety in programming and in workouts. Doing the same routine forever isn’t fun and doesn’t work all the body parts that need working.

Is there a best time of the year to start?

The best time to start, as cliché as it sounds, is when you are ready! It takes at least 12 weeks of working out and eating well to see results. If you have an event ahead of you where you’d like to feel good in your own skin, use that event as motivation and start at least 12 weeks before the event.

Better yet, give yourself a bit more time if you have it; 20-24 weeks is better. Once you start seeing and feeling the results of exercise you will naturally want to eat healthier because you won’t want to ruin the results you are already feeling from exercise.

ReVamp Training Studio is located in the former Morro Elementary School, 1130 Napa Ave., in Rm. 8, call (805) 458-4814, see:, or email to: for more information.

Freelance writer, columnist and author of “Colonel Baker’s Field: An American Pioneer Story,” Judy Salamacha’s Then & Now column is a regular feature of Simply Clear Marketing & Media. Contact her at: or (805) 801-1422 with story ideas.

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