December 16, 2021 Tara Lovdahl

It’s so common it’s a cliché. At the start of a new year, many of us assess our physical well-being and decide to commit to better health. But how can we truly adopt a state of mind that prioritizes our overall well-being as a permanent commitment?

The 2022 season of Quick adjustment with Cassy is here to help. Host Cassy Vieth, a professional fitness instructor from Wisconsin, shares tips for setting and maintaining exercise goals.

look Quick adjustment with Cassy at pbswisconsin.org/quickfit and the PBS app on your Roku, other streaming devices, phones, tablets, and Smart TVs! Or search for “Quick Fit With Cassy” on YouTube and watch it there.

PBS Wisconsin: How do you go about helping people set fitness goals?

Cassy Vieth: People often express to me some dissatisfaction with their current state of health. Usually it is that something hurts or “It sucks to get old”. Then I try to determine if they really want to make a change. First, they need to decide whether it is important to make changes. Do they believe there is any benefit to making a change, such as losing weight, reducing pain, or looking and feeling better? On the other hand, are they worried that if they don’t make a change, they will feel worse?

Second, do they really believe that a change will work, or will they just repeat the mantra “get old stinks”? And that’s where my role comes in to re-educate them about movement, exercises and visualization of themselves. I want to help them make changes and get real results.

It’s my job to make their fitness experience enjoyable, easy, efficient and educational. It’s their job to show up consistently. I like to remind people that keeping promises to themselves is as important as keeping promises to others. This creates more self-respect and improves their results as well as their expectations of a positive outcome. That’s why I often end my videos by encouraging myself to “make plans to take tomorrow’s class right now.”

PBS Wisconsin: Once people are committed to making lifelong change, how do you help them move forward?

Vieth: People set themselves up for success when they set SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. It should be a specific, clearly defined goal that you can measure. Not just “get fitter”, but “get strong enough to walk three kilometers a day”.

The goal must be attainable, challenging but achievable, and it must be realistic in relation to your life, your schedule and your abilities. Not everyone is supposed to play for the NFL, nor is they willing, and that is the key.

Finally, the goal should be tracked over a specific period of time with frequent checks along the way to mark progress and encourage you, like three months in total with weekly checks. Open goals are not goals, they are wishes.

PBS Wisconsin: How do you encourage people when they experience setbacks?

Vieth: A setback is just a moment. Let’s say you were on a diet and ate a cake at a party. It’s just that moment. That doesn’t mean it has to be for the rest of the day. That doesn’t mean it has to be the rest of the week. You’re just getting back on track. Setbacks are perfectly normal, but that doesn’t have to define your outcome.

Ultimately, we are responsible to ourselves, and I think our own self-image reflects on our honesty with ourselves. If you told someone you were going to get something done, because it’s someone else, you don’t want to let them down. But for some reason we don’t do the same with ourselves. When we are untrustworthy or untrustworthy in ourselves, it is very difficult to create goals because you cannot actually imagine yourself completing them. Don’t give yourself excuses that you know you can’t afford from someone else.

PBS Wisconsin: Can you talk about the benefits of exercises like Quick adjustment, and how can anyone, regardless of their level of fitness, benefit from improved balance and flexibility?

Vieth: Older people are much easier to convince that they need to stretch because they really don’t want to go out and do things like intense aerobics or weight training. But I have taught high school and middle school kids in the chair class and when they are done they are amazed how much better they feel. Young people are already suffering the negative effects of sitting too much. They also play many sports, and tight muscles are weak muscles because they do not allow a full range of motion in the joints, which would prevent peak performance. Quick adjustment helps you keep doing things with fewer injuries, perform better at every step, and for longer in your life.

PBS Wisconsin: What do you hope people take away from Quick adjustment?

Vieth: The biggest benefit I want people to have is value for their time. And that they have hope for their future, that they feel they are in control of their age, and that they can continue doing the things they love. For example, I really can’t wait to see people at the next Garden & Landscape Expo, and I want to make sure they have the best gardening season yet, because when they take the time to stretch out , they will not be as painful and will recover faster.

But the most important aspect of a successful fitness program is consistency, and the best strategy for being consistent is to plan ahead. So decide today on tomorrow’s training and stick to it.

Cassy Vieth is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, AFAA Group Fitness Instructor, and NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist.