Men’s Journal – 8 Trainers Share 10 Easy, Actionable New Year’s Resolutions

Men’s Journal – 8 Trainers Share 10 Easy, Actionable New Year’s Resolutions

Men’s Journal article with our coach Jim Economos. You can find the original article here.


Photo Credit Justin Steele for Men’s Journal

“How many times have you promised yourself that “this is the year you finally ~insert healthy New Year’s resolutions here~, only to flake on those goalsOpens in a new Window. by mid-month? It’s easy to say you’re going to make better-for-you choices; it’s a lot harder to actually follow through with them when life gets in the way.

But New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be some life-altering, grand-standing declaration. Saying, for example, that you’re going to run five miles every day when you’ve runOpens in a new Window. three a week until now is a surefire way to set yourself up for disappointment. Small, subtle tweaks are way more likely to stick, because you’re actually able to accomplish them day after day.

If you’re looking for inspirationOpens in a new Window. for New Year’s resolutions that feel more attainable than broad goals like “get stronger” or “eat healthier,” follow these trainers’ leads. (And, for the record, it doesn’t need to be a new year to make these kinds of resolutions. You could make them at the start of a month, any given Sunday, or in the middle of the week when you need a reset!)

Photo Credit portpoint / Shutterstock

10 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Stick To


1. Sign up for a race or event

“Setting New Year’s resolutions like ‘run the sprint triathlon on April 5’ helps because you have a specific date you’re trying to achieve something on. It’s a SMART goal: specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic. Physical challenges like races or a fitness event help with your overall well-being, health, and fitness goals because to train or to be successful at the event you need to change your diet and exercise plan. Doing this will help attack some of those underlying goals you’re trying to achieve, but it’s more fun and gives you something else to think about other than diet.” — Marie Urban, ACSM-certified fitness specialist and regional group training coordinator for Life TimeOpens in a new Window.


2. Prep, prep, prep!

“Meal prepping is quick and easy, yet it has a huge impact on your decisions regarding food moving forward. Instead of being tempted to buy or opt for something unhealthy when hunger hits, you’ll feel more obligated to eat the food you already spent your time and money on. And as you start to feel better physically, you’ll get more and more invested in sticking to your prep plans—which makes it an easy resolution to stick to.” — Jim Economos, ACE-certified trainer and running coach at Formula Running CenterOpens in a new Window.


3. Don’t just work vanity muscles

Looking good is great, but if you’re only working specific groups of musclesOpens in a new Window. to make you look better, you’re ignoring other groups and potentially increasing your risk of injury. Guys tend to focus on the “beach muscles”—the chest, biceps, shoulders, and abs—and generally skip their legs and backside. But if we neglect our legs and posterior chain (like the back, lats, glutes, and hips), muscles can get overstretched and underworked and it can lead to a host of problems like knee issues, back problems, and weak glutes. In order to really get stronger, you need to work these, too.” — Joey ThurmanOpens in a new Window., CSCS, MYXfitnessOpens in a new Window. coach

Illustrations by Satino Calvo for Men’s Journal


4. Meditate for 10 minutes a day

“I like starting my day with a short meditation, but you can reset at lunchtime or wind down before bed. This resolution will deliver the greatest bang for your buck because even five minutes, if done consistently, will have a tremendous impact on your life. If you’re new to meditating, there are plenty of apps, like Headspace and Calm, that make it super easy and will even send you reminders—so no excuses!” — Nadav Ben-ChanochOpens in a new Window., NASM-certified personal trainer and co-founder of RowgattaOpens in a new Window. in New York, NY


5. Find an accountability buddy

“It’s easier to be successful with training goals when you have someone holding you accountable. Find a friend, coworker, or someone with a similar fitness goal. Tell each other your New Year’s resolutions and why that’s your goal, then hold each accountable to that goal. For those who find it hard to motivate themselves, having someone there to keep you on track or someone you don’t want to let down always helps. It’s easy to say ‘I’m tired, I wont go to the gym today,’ but it’s a lot harder to bail when you know someone is at the gym waiting for you.” — Rashaad Slowley, NASM-certified trainer at Performix HouseOpens in a new Window. in New York, NY

“This may not seem like a challenging task (or maybe it does!), but properly strengthening your core muscles has way more benefits than one might think. For starters, it’ll improve your posture and help to avoid low back pain caused by a weak musculature. Plus, it will strengthen the shoulders, quadriceps, and even the glutes if all your muscles are engaged correctly—which takes unnecessary pressure off of the hips and decreases your risk of injury.” —Lesley Bell,Opens in a new Window. a NASM-certified personal trainer at Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA

Photo Credit Justin Steele


7. Dedicate 15 minutes 4 times per week to flexibility and mobility

“This type of practice—which includes foam rolling and muscle/fascia release work, active stretching, and muscle activation exercises—is extremely important when it comes to decreasing pain, preventing injury, and feeling and performing at your best. Think of it as maintenance you’re performing on your body. Most of the injuries that I see in my clinic could have been prevented by proactively making sure that all of your joints and muscles move well.” — Grayson Wickham, certified strength and conditioning specialist and founder of Movement VaultOpens in a new Window.


8. Spend one minute every day reflecting

“Put a notebook beside your bed and write one sentence daily before you fall asleep that you believe captures the high point of the day (one sentence only—keep it simple so you’ll stick with it!). We often look for monumental moments as proof that our lives are moving forward, but this can lead to us missing the real journey, which occurs an inch at a time. Decide that you’ll celebrate your ‘daily inch’ and watch how quickly you’ll propel your life forward.” — Amanda McVey, ACE-certified personal trainer at Upgrade LabsOpens in a new Window. in Los Angeles, CA


9. Get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night

“Sleep does so many good things for us—if we get enough of it! It’s when we heal, it’s when we digest, it’s part of the process of learning and remembering things. It also plays a vital role in hormone regulation and immunity. If we get inadequate amounts of sleep, it can lead to weight gain and even obesity. Research has shown that increasing your sleep to between seven and eight hours actually reduces the amount of the dangerous fat that sits around your organs, known as visceral fat. This, in turn, helps to combat other diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular complications and even some cancers.” — Bell

“Even if you only move 10 minutes each day, getting your heart rate up will not only improve your cardiovascular fitness but also your mood. I always tell folks who ‘don’t have time to work out’ to try doing five minutes of burpees each day. See how many you can get on day one, then try to get one more burpee in that five-minute window on day two, and so on. Since it’s only five minutes, you can really push yourself—and you should be out of breath by the end, having just completed a high-intensity, full-body workout!” — Ben-Chanoch”

United Wellness Meet and Greet

United Wellness Meet and Greet


Are you plagued by shin splints, runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis or chronic sprains and strains? Stop by FRC Tuesday January 7, 2020 to speak with Dr. Daniel Freeman, Chiropractor at United Wellness. Dr. Freeman and the team at United Wellness are the same experts that help out professional teams like D.C. United MLS Soccer team and the Washington Redskins. This FRC and United Wellness collaboration is aimed at getting you answers to any issues you might have and to help you improve your overall wellness. We encourage all levels of athletes to take a proactive approach to preventing injuries as well as treating injuries.


Formula Running Center – 3101 Wilson BLVD., Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22201


6:00 PM to 7:00 PM


Complimentary. Free. Zero. Nada. $0.


ANYONE. This is not just for members. We’re opening this up to the entire athletic community. No need for sign ups for this event, you can just stop by.



Dr. Daniel Freeman – United Wellness – Chiropractor

Dr. Daniel Freeman received his Doctor of Chiropractic from Life University in Atlanta, Georgia and a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration for Colorado State University.

Dr. Freeman became associated with chiropractic care as a life-long member of Club Hockey and a dual sport varsity athlete in high school. He decided to become a Doctor of Chiropractic during his undergrad health curriculum, internship with Memorial Hospital of Colorado Springs (office hospital of the U.S. Olympic Training Center) and participation in collegiate intramural basketball and football leagues.

With a continued passion for athletics and wellness, Dr. Freeman is an avid rock climber, snow boarder and mountain climber including Pike’s Peak, Yellowstone National Park, and Red Rock Canyon.

Dr. Freeman joined United Wellness working with D.C. United MLS Soccer team in 2018.


If you are interested in finding and keeping a proactive regime to stay healthy and injury free, sign up for some of our recovery services here. You can read about each recovery service here.



Signup is now closed. Don’t fret! Please be on the lookout for many more fantastic educational workshops and seminars in the new year!!!


Just put one foot in front of the other, right?
Most of us probably didn’t get advice on our form when we started running at an early age, we just sort of did it. No one was out on the playground yelling, “keep your arms at 90 degrees!” As a runner, your goal may be to go faster or to stop chronic injuries, and proper running form and gait will help you achieve these goals, and make you more durable and more efficient.

On Sunday December 15, Dr. Scott McAfee, physical therapist, will be providing a workshop to help you find your formula. This workshop will be completely complimentary, open to the entire athletic community (that’s right, you don’t have to be a member), and be hands-on, so come ready to workout. This workshop will focus on efficient running mechanics, strength building techniques and even ways to take your form to more advanced levels.


Formula Running Center – 3101 Wilson BLVD., Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22201


12/15/19 2 PM to 3 PM


Complimentary. Free. Zero. Nada. $0.


ANYONE. This is not just for members. We’re opening this up to the athletic community. There are only 20 spots available and they are available on a first come first serve basis so sign up now!



Dr. Scott McAfee – MovementX – Physical Therapist
As an athlete, traveler and adventurer, movement has always been the center of Dr. Scott’s world. That’s why he made it a career to optimize people’s movement so they can optimize their lives. It all started when he began to develop excruciating knee pain as a cross country and track runner. Dr. Scott bounced around different physicians & specialists, but nothing seemed to ​help. Finally, after a visit with a local PT, he was properly diagnosed and given an extremely detailed treatment plan going forward. Dr. Scott got back to running and ultimately helped his team finish 6th in the California State Championship race. He’s since said that he’ll never forget the powerful feelings of accomplishment and camaraderie after that race. “That’s why I do what I do. I love helping people live healthier, happier lives.”


If you are interested in a more personal approach, sign up for our form-based fitness assessments here. You can read about those assessments including Gait Analysis, Complete Runner’s Assessment or Tune-Up here.

POPSUGAR – How to Stay Warm — but Not Too Warm — During Your Winter Runs, According to an Expert

POPSUGAR – How to Stay Warm — but Not Too Warm — During Your Winter Runs, According to an Expert

POPSUGAR’s interview with our coach David Ringwood. You can find the original article here.


Image Source: Getty / Portra

Layer Up
When you’re dressing for a Winter run, think layers. Your body generates major heat when exercising, Dave said, so even though you might be freezing when you first step outside, there’s a good chance you’ll be hot by the end of your run. To find a balance, wear items you can pull off, such as a running vest or jacket and accessories like a hat or neck gaiter. (One POPSUGAR editor loves this lightweight, insulated jacket from Athleta.) “Stripped layers can be tied around your waist, carried, or dropped off at various check-points” during a loop route or an out-and-back, Dave said. One rule of thumb he shared: dress like the weather is 10-20 degrees warmer than it really is.


Image Source: Getty / mihailomilovanovic

Limit Your Exposed Skin
Dave shared a few must-have items for keeping warm on a Winter run:

  • A head and/or neck gaiter to cover exposed skin on your head or neck
  • Compression tights to protect your legs and increase blood flow
  • Mid-crew socks that come up to your mid-calf, so your legs and feet are fully covered
  • Gloves with a windproof upper layer, an insulated inner layer for heat retention, and a section of breathable fabric so sweat can evaporate. Opt for mittens over gloves, which will separate your fingers and make them colder.

You want to cover up any exposed skin, which Dave described as “public enemy No. 1” when it comes to running in the cold. “Our body directs blood flow to exposed skin in an effort to keep it warm,” he explained. Covering it up will encourage blood flow back to your working muscles, helping you maintain form and avoid injury.


Image Source: Getty / filmstudio

Warm Up Indoors
“Warming up indoors eases the transition from leaving your warm home to the frigid Winter weather,” Dave told POPSUGAR. Basically, you want to lessen the shock to your body. Getting warmed up inside will get your blood flowing and your body temperature higher so that it won’t feel quite as bad when you step outside. Here’s a dynamic running warm-up to get things going.


Image Source: Getty / martin-dm

Start Slow and Gradually Increase Your Pace
You might be tempted to sprint right out of the gate for the sake of getting warm fast, but “the potential risks of this strategy outweigh the short-term reward,” Dave said. Going out too fast, before your muscles are properly warmed up, can result in muscle strains and pulls.

Instead, gradually ease into the pace you want. This “maximizes your body’s full range of motion and potential speed,” Dave explained. “While you sacrifice extra warmth in the first few minutes, you benefit from increased performance.”

Running in Winter is tough, but it comes down to is finding what works best for you. “As runners, we are all unique,” Dave said. Experiment with warm-ups, pacing, and gear until you find your sweet spot, then get ready to crush your runs all Winter long.”

Northern Virginia Magazine – Expert Tips on Running and Biking in the Winter

Northern Virginia Magazine – Expert Tips on Running and Biking in the Winter

Northern Virginia Magazine’s interview with our coach David Ringwood. You can find the original article here.


“Lacing up your shoes or hopping on two wheels might feel daunting in cooler temperatures, but according to two local experts, it can be done.

© LMproduction / stock.adobe.com

Yes, it’s cold. And it’s probably going to get colder. That doesn’t mean you should stop outdoor exercise altogether, says Henry Dunbar, director of BikeArlington.

“Be flexible, have the layers and push yourself a little bit,” says Dunbar. “It’s OK to be a little cool to start out, but you’ll warm up pretty quickly.”

To help you tackle winter exercising with ease, we spoke with year-round cyclist Henry Dunbar of BikeArlington, and Dave Ringwood, training program coach at the Formula Running Center in Clarendon. Below, find their best tips for beating the cold and staying active while waiting for spring to arrive.

To stay up to date with local health and wellness news, subscribe to our weekly newsletters. 

Let’s start by discussing the challenges of biking and running in the winter. Other than the cooler temperatures, what makes this time of year more challenging?
HR: One of the challenges is really just the amount of planning you have to take into account. The weather in this region can be anywhere from 10 degrees to 50, and with many cold-weather activities, the key is layers. You have to be able to adjust to what the temperatures may be at any point in the day.

DR: Winter mornings provide anything but a warm welcome to us runners. We get up those mornings and know what’s on the other side of the front door: any combination of freezing temperatures, darkness, snow and ice. By contrast, we could remain inside with the ability to turn up the heat, turn on Netflix and tell ourselves, “I’ll get my run in later.” But laying out your outfit the night before, planning to run with a friend or group and preparing a post-run meal are all valid ways to increase your motivation to run on those mornings. The more consistent you become with your morning routine, the easier it becomes.

If you’re someone who already has a biking or running schedule during the warmer months, should you readjust it for winter?
HR: As a year-round cyclist, I would stick to the same time frame, but the light changes, so make sure you have good light on your bike and reflective equipment. Being able to see and be seen are essential.

DR: I strongly recommend adjusting one’s training to account for winter obstacles. Freezing temperatures, darkness, snow and ice are just a few aspects of winter that impact one’s running. With that said, I have several recommendations. First, focus on effort and time over speed and distance. Instead of mapping out a specific distance run to be covered at a certain pace, consider how long that would take in ideal conditions and then run on that length of time for the same effort. You’ll get the same aerobic benefits as you would any time of year, despite the wintry conditions. Second, allow yourself flexibility with your schedule! No training plan should be absolutely set in stone, especially when winter elements can be so unpredictable. While braving a blizzard to get in your long run might make for a cool story, staying healthy and setting a new PR makes for an even better one.

What are some tips you might suggest to someone who is just starting out this winter, or who is looking to add biking and/or running to their New Year’s resolutions?
HR: Biking offers transportation flexibility and the opportunity to not be locked into one particular mode of getting around. The exercise benefits are the same as in the summer too. But I would say the secret to starting is having that windproof outer layer. That really goes a long way in keeping warm. I find that I don’t have to wear that much clothing if I have that shell. Also, waterproof gloves. The other thing is, even if you don’t want to ride when it’s under 40 degrees, you can still ride some days throughout the winter. Even if it rains on Monday, you could be guaranteed perfect riding conditions for the rest of the week. The weather will change.

DR: I think the most valuable advice I can give to a beginning runner (or one getting back into the game) is to find your support system. This could be family, friends, a running group, heck … even pets make for a great support system! As long as you feel supported and held accountable, you’re setting yourself up for success. As for tips, I definitely have a few that I have learned from personal experience. First, it can be easy to overdress for the cold. A general rule of thumb is to dress for 10 to 20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature, as your body will naturally warm up throughout the run. Second, make sure you continue hydrating. Despite the colder temperatures, we still sweat while running. Third, shorten your stride to stabilize your center of gravity. This becomes especially important when running on uncleared sidewalks. You have to stay on your feet if you want to keep running!

Are there any equipment tips you might you offer to runners and bikers for the winter?
HR: The real secret for me was when I discovered Bar Mitts. They’re big, mitten-like things that fit over the handlebars. Those are the only things that truly made the difference in making sure my fingers didn’t freeze.

DR: Warm up before you head out the door. A dynamic warmup routine should be performed inside to ease the transition from your warm house to the cold outdoors. Understand the purpose of each clothing layer to stay warm. Your base layer should be made of a fitted, dry-wicking material to retain heat while allowing moisture to escape. A second, middle layer can be worn depending on how cold it is. This is looser fitting and can even be fleece material. A jacket should be worn on top to both retain heat and block the wind. For safety, reflectors should be your best friends. Running out in the brisk winter air is a great way to feel alive, while remaining visible to vehicles is a great way to stay alive. Finally, gloves are good, but mittens are better! When you’re out on a run, your body is the lone source of your warmth. While gloves prevent the colder elements from reaching your hands as quickly, they also prevent your hands from warming themselves. Investing in a quality pair of running mittens was one of the best running-gear purchases I’ve ever made!

And if it’s just too cold outside, any suggestions?
HR: Everyone has to make their own choice. I don’t ride when there’s ice, but that’s where Capital Bikeshare can come in handy. Those bikes are very sturdy and forgivable, even in bad conditions. I know a lot of people won’t ride their own bikes when it’s slushy out, and the local bikes are designed to withstand weather conditions.

DR: I’m a strong proponent of treadmill running, especially during the winter months. Treadmills provide a control of external variables in such a way that can’t be replicated outdoors and, as a coach at the Formula Running Center, I’ve seen runners of all abilities benefit tremendously from that control.”