Your Favorite Local Trainers Reveal Their Best Tips to Get Fit in 2015

Did you make a resolution to get in better shape in 2015? Yeah, us too. Declaring the resolution is one thing, but actually making it happen? That’s the tough part. To help you get on the right track, we turned to our 2014 “Best of Fitness” award winners–the owners and trainers at your favorite North Shore gyms. Here are their best fitness tips for making 2015 the year that resolution becomes a reality.

MIB 2014 Winner–Best Challenge Workout: The Dailey Method

Leanne Kurtzwell, owner

Fitness Tip: Do planks and squats

“I recommend plank pose and squats. Both exercises will work your entire body and can help you kick start your fitness routine in the New Year. Straight-arm plank and side plank are the powerhouses of all exercises. A straight-arm plank works almost every single muscle in your body with an emphasis on strengthening and toning your arms and core. Squats strengthen and tone the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles. They are also a fantastic way to strengthen the muscles that stabilize and support your knee joint.”

MIB 2014 Winner–Best Spin Studio: Spynergy

Tory Raith and Jen Solberg, co-owners

Fitness Tip: Don’t forget stretching and rest

“Mix cardio strengthening, stretching and rest! Mixing up your exercise/self time is the best way to maximize results, physically and mentally. We always encourage people to complement their spin experience with some strength, stretching and rest.”

MIB 2014 Winner–Best Large Gym: Evanston Athletic Club

Sharon Cooper, CPT, LMT

Fitness Tip: Start with small goals

“With New Year’s resolutions, we’re innately asking ourselves: What habit would we like to change or make? Truth be told, it only takes 21 days to make a habit–yet only three days to break it. Start with small goals such as making time to stretch at the office, or adding one plank to your normal morning routine. All these things will add up to huge success within the body.”

MIB 2014 Winner–Best Small Gym: Redefined Fitness 

Eric Smoot Hemphill, movement specialist

Fitness Tip: Work your core

“When most people work out, they work the glamour muscles–the biceps, triceps, chest and back. The most important muscles in the body are the core muscles: abdominal, obliques, abductors and the almighty glutes. If you want to move better, perform better, and most importantly, feel better, the core muscles are what you want to focus on. They are the engine to the body. In 2015, spend more time on the muscles that are going to help you move and feel better. Always remember: All movement derives from the core. Motion is lotion!”

MIB 2014 Winner–Best Yoga Studio: Bikram Yoga North Shore 

Holly McGregor, co-owner

Fitness Tip: Accept your current fitness level

“You’ve got to know your body, above anything else. We all have goals. You cannot realistically create a plan to achieve your goals unless you first accept your starting point. Keep your chin up. Once you accept where you’re at, and make the decision to move forward, the sky is the limit in terms of transforming your body and life.”


MIB 2014 Winner–Best Yoga Studio: Bikram Yoga North Shore 

Heidi Bernover, co-owner

Fitness Tip: Make the most of each workout

“A workout is only as good as your own determination to make the most of it. Unfortunately, you simply won’t create change if you don’t know how to apply your mind and body to the task at hand. You have to learn how to use new muscles of your body and maybe even struggle to make them work together. Then, you will see the transformation of your body, your skeletal structure, even your life, over time.”

Christy Coughlin, Make It Better Fitness Editor

Fitness Tip: Improve your warm-up routine

Lastly, as an athlete and running coach, I encourage you to commit to improving your warm-up routine in 2015. A thorough warm-up is key to preventing injury and ensuring a great workout. Your muscles can be 30 percent shorter when you first wake, compared to later in the day. First thing in the morning, bring warming blood to the large muscles of your core. Do some easy cat/cow, alternate knees to chest, a few gentle, seated twists followed by an easy walk. Before your workout, perform functional moves to properly warm your muscles, and start slow.