Ask the Expert About Your New Year's Resolution

Are you one of the 40% of Americans that made a New Year’s Resolution?

Did you know almost half of people have given up on them after the first month? The key to sticking with your resolution is to make it reasonable and have a plan

We asked some acac members what their New Year’s Resolution is for 2018. Then, we asked our local acac experts for advice on how to make these resolutions work. Here’s what they had to say:


Resolution 1: Start kettlebell workouts.

Ask the Expert:  The kettlebell is a fantastic training tool for building strength, power, and endurance as well as mobility.  The curve on learning to train with them safely may vary significantly from person to person, but they are a simple and effective training tool.  I suggest working with a certified kettlebell instructor here to get you started.  ~Mark Reinke


Resolution 2: Bench 250 lbs. 

Ask the Expert:  With a goal like this, you’ll need to have a plan.  It starts with knowing where you’re at and developing a plan to close the gap to 250lb.  My best advice in this case is to find a trainer who has achieved a similar goal and use their help to build a program tailored for you! If this weight is quite far from where you’re at currently, come up with some smaller increase goals along the way and celebrate as you achieve each milestone.  ~Mark Reinke


Resolution 3: Cut Sugar by 50%. 

Ask the Expert: This is much more reasonable than trying to cut out sugar altogether, which I often hear people say. Carbohydrates are an important source of fuel for our body; however, the highly processed, addictive simple carbs should be less than 6 tsp. per day for women and 9 tsp. per day for men. Focus on these and not the good, natural sugars found in fruit. All food labels in 2018 (hopefully) will have a line that says added sugars. Pay attention to this and make sure you are getting at least 30g of fiber each day. ~Donna Wheeler


Resolution 4: Lose 100 lbs. 

Ask the Expert: Instead of having one daunting goal of losing a 100 lbs, have a series of smaller, more successful goals like losing 2 lbs first. After you reach that goal, set a new goal of another two pounds, and so on.  You’ll be surprised how much more successful you’ll be by breaking it up into pieces! For a weight loss this large, I suggest enlisting the help of others, such as a trainer and a nutritionist. And, make sure your family knows how important this is to you and can be ready to support you.  ~Dan Bayliss


Resolution 5: Foam Roll at least 15 minutes daily. 

Ask the Expert: This habit is all about a “trigger!” Setting an alarm on your phone or setting up something intentional to remind you is the key to success. Try hitting the roller any time you pick up the television remote, or when you’re done doing the dishes for the night.  Associating foam rolling with a habit you’re already regularly implementing can help you stay dedicated to your self-care!  ~Mark Reinke


Resolution 6: Go on a diet. 

Ask the Expert: This time of year, I hear this a lot. But long-term success comes from long-term habits. The quick cleanse, detox, and fast weight loss deprivation diets usually leave us feeling frustrated, cranky, and unable to keep the results. Changing our relationship to food, managing the stress in our lives, and making the effort to prepare our own food is the best way for permanent, healthy change. If you don’t know your body fat percentage, find out. We can help you chart your journey through body fat measurement and inches lost. Slow and steady results are the healthier way to go.  ~Donna Wheeler


Resolution 7:  Drink less coffee and wine. 

Ask the Expert: Although most healthy adults can tolerate up to 4-5 cups  of coffee per day, it’s the extra flavored creamers and sugar that can pack in more empty calories than we realize. Some studies have shown coffee to have a number of health benefits, such as improvement with short-term memory, lower risks of liver cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and type 2 diabetes. Moderation is the key to coffee consumption, and if you feel it is affecting your sleep or you are feeling jittery, cut back gradually and increase water intake. Aim for 64 oz. of water each day.

Red wine does contain heart healthy antioxidants which can help lower LDL cholesterol and boost memory. The downside is the extra calories and the challenge of keeping to the recommended 1-2 glasses per day. Perhaps planning on a glass of wine with dinner after reaching a goal of a certain number of cups of water is a way to reward yourself and keep it in check. Pay attention to serving size; glasses can hold quite a bit more than 4 oz. And, we’ve all seen the “glass” that holds an entire bottle of wine.  ~Donna Wheeler


Resolution 8: Stop comparing myself to others. 

Ask the Expert: We all have things we need to work on and nobody is perfect. Look around acac, you’ll see all kinds of shapes, sizes, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Be proud of who you are, and just think, perhaps someone is looking at you as an inspiration.  And, we’re here to help you live your best; so just ask. ~Dan Bayliss


Resolution 9: Get better at swimming.

Ask the Expert: Water is a great workout and we have so many resources to help you improve your swimming: private lessons, master’s swim groups, clinics and group lessons. We can meet you where you are! It seems just the thought of having to change for the pool can stop some of us from following through; so preparation is key. Pack your swim bag the night before you plan to come in for your swim, so you have no time to think twice.  ~Mark Reinke


Resolution 10: Eat less food.

Ask the Expert: Portion control is so important to manage the mindless/stress eating. Try portioning food so you can eat at least 12 g of protein plus some fiber and fat every 3-4 hours. It boosts the metabolism, regulates blood sugar, and increases satiety. Plan it out! If you’re eating every few hours, then you’re much less likely to mindlessly eat in between or overeat at meals.  ~Donna Wheeler


Meet Our Experts

Mark Reinke: They’ve given me the title Personal Training Director, but I really just love to help acac members and give my team the tools they need to do the same.  I graduated with a B.S. in Human Physiology and Biology from the University of Oregon and M.A. in teaching from Willamette University. I have over 15 years experience personal training and have also taught anatomy, physiology and biology. Spending time outdoors with my family and growing, cooking, serving and eating great food are some of my favorite things. 


Dan Bayliss: I’m a Registered Nurse and I love working with new exercisers through our Physician Referred Exercise Program. Additionally, I have my M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology and I’m a certified personal trainer. I love running and often lead walking and running groups at acac. I’m always happy to help if you have a medical question. 



Donna Wheeler, acac nutritionistDonna Wheeler: I have been fortunate to have been with acac going on ten years and love my role as nutritionist for both Richmond area locations. I get to help members improve their health and reach their wellness goals through healthier eating. Receiving my B.S. in dietetics from Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., I then completed an internship at Wake Medical Center. I consult with the Richmond Ballet, enjoy speaking to community groups and stay active teaching fitness classes. I love going to the beach with family and friends, trying new foods and attempting to keep up with my three college aged kids.