Daniel Ortiz

The turkey is gone and the pie tin is empty but what remains in its place is a few extra pounds that have taken up residence. To free yourself from this weight, small steps coupled with accountability are required.

During an interview with the Sun, Waxahachie-based personal trainer Daniel Ortiz said people need to look at where they are at physically today – and not where they were yesterday. 

“That is the big mistake that people make when they start training again,” Ortiz said. “They might have been athletic when they were in high school or college – but it was 10 or 15 years ago,” Ortiz said. “As we get older, there are a lot of guys that I know of who are my age, 50, who think they are still in good shape because they played football in high school or in college. I am like, ‘No, dude, you’re not there.’ They work so hard that day that the next few days they have problems putting on their shirt or sitting down.”

The first step a person needs to take before they begin any type of workout program is to get checked out by a doctor for any hidden issues or problems, Ortiz shared, noting that these issues, if not addressed, could lead to a more significant problem. After being cleared medically, they then need to make going to the gym, fitness group or a park a daily habit. To help ensure success, they also need to couple that habit with an accountability partner.

Working out with a friend can be good but don’t fall into the danger of turning time at the gym into a social event, said Ortiz, who encourages people to keep their workouts focused and on track. 

If your friends are there, get them on a treadmill next to you so you can stay in that fat burning zone, he said. As long as you can walk and yet barely hold a conversation, you are remaining in the fat burning zone. 

“That is where most people need to be as they go about on their fitness journey,” Ortiz said. “More experienced people can go a little harder and change their workout but the New Year’s resolution people are those who have not been working out and need to get a doctor’s release.” 

The hardest part of any lifestyle change involves the diet because going through a drive-through or having something delivered to your home is easy, Ortiz said, noting that taking the time to plan and make meals in advance for the week requires effort. Changes to a person’s diet, lifestyle and physical activity need to be worked in over time and to where they become a daily activity. 

“You need to start off doing one thing at a time,” he said. “If you start out trying to change your whole lifestyle you are setting yourself up for failure. The way I found was the easiest way to do it with a lot of my clients was to add walking into their training. Add that in for a couple of months. 

“Slowly start making adjustments on your diet and add cross training and weight training,” he said. “If you are finding it hard to stay with it, recruit training partners or a trainer or training buddies. This is going to help you be more accountable to your diet, workout and the people you work out with.” 

Oritz encourages people to stay with the plan they have put in place for themselves and not to give up because results take time and don’t happen all at once. He added that small steps are the key to success because they lead to the big steps – and that helps a person succeed with his or her fitness.

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