Welcome to GMA’s New Year, Best You. As we ring in 2019, we are sharing everything you need to start the new year strong. From keeping your New Year’s resolutions going to Instagram-worthy meal prep to workout programs to eating plans to taking time for yourself, we have it all covered.
Alexia Clark, a certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist, has become an Instagram fitness sensation with 1.7 million followers who get inspiration from her workout moves and supportive community, including our own Ginger Zee. We asked Alexia to share her fitness journey and goals for the new year. Read on for her story in her own words.
If someone claimed that there was a drug that decreased your stress, helped you sleep better, relieved some of that depression and anxiety you have and helped you to lose weight, we would all think it was too good to be true. For me, that's exercise.
How I started
My fitness journey started in high school. I absolutely loved sports. I have always been competitive and high school sports were my outlet for all of the competitive energy pent up inside me.
In college at Arizona State University, where I studied communications, without team sports, I found myself in the gym every day.
Missing a day of exercise feels like ....something was missing from your day.
Fitness became such an important part of my daily routine. I noticed my mood suffered without it. Like a cure-all drug, exercise boosted my energy and improved my mood and my outlook on my life. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked.
I never planned on having a fitness profession. I started working at a marketing company after graduation. I landed a great job, but I didn’t have a passion for it. I found myself thinking about workouts and researching fitness whenever I had free time. It was then that I decided to follow my passion and left my job to become a personal trainer.
I probably should have been nervous, but I wasn't. I grew up listening to self-improvement and motivational speakers on tape that my dad played for me and my two brothers anytime we were driving somewhere in the car. It was ingrained in me from a young age that having a passion is a gift and you should always follow it. Even though I was a little uncertain about whether fitness could be a long-term career, somehow I knew inside that it would all work out.
From the beginning, my friends and family noticed my passion for fitness. I was always trying new exercises, combination movements and working on form. The people close to me asked for workout advice. Many did not live near me and could not come workout with me, so I started posting my workouts to Instagram. It started with just friends and family following my workouts, but over a short period of time it turned into thousands, and the thousands turned into almost two million.
This is still a shock to me because I just feel like a girl working out in a gym in Arizona. However, I am so happy that I am able to help so many people on their fitness journey and I am so grateful to be doing what I love.
My biggest challenge
One of the biggest challenges I faced in the beginning was staying consistent. At first I had periods away from the gym without any exercise at all.
However, when I went back to the gym I always found the same people there. It then occurred to me that almost all of the people that I saw in my gym were people who had been going there for years. Multiple days a week, year after year. They made it a habit and I have made it my lifestyle.
Changing my workouts every day not only keeps me interested, but it yields amazing results.
Now whenever my clients have asked me how to get the motivation to go to the gym, I respond: "Remind yourself that your health is worth it," or "Become the best version of yourself for your family." However, I always follow it up with what I believe is the secret to staying consistent: make fitness a habit. I believe in creating good habits. Habits die hard. When you’ve made a fitness routine a weekly or even daily habit, missing a day of exercise feels like less of a relief, and makes you feel more like something was missing from your day.
My personal fitness philosophy all comes down to one word: variety.
One of the major reasons people lost interest in fitness is because they get bored. I have found that changing my workouts every day not only keeps me interested, but it yields amazing results. My mind is engaged with a new workout and my muscles develop faster. This is because you're not doing the same boring movements every day.
My 2019 goals
Every year we get busier and busier. It's hard to take the time to go the gym and workout multiple times each week. But we also have access to so much fitness at our fingertips.
You can work out from anywhere in the world. There are programs, including my own, available that give you guided workouts that I believe are as good as anything you can do at the gym and with minimal equipment. One of the best aspects of my dynamic program is that thousands are doing the same workouts all across the country. We have built a community around it and call ourselves the "Queen Team."
Find a supportive community
My number one piece of advice is to find a supportive community
My number one piece of advice is to find a supportive community. Some people find this in a gym, but I have found sometimes it can be hard to connect there. People are in a rush and trying to workout and get everything else in their day done.
I'm lucky to have found my community online in the "Queen Team." Not only do they encourage each other to stick to their fitness journeys, but they also help one another - giving advice, talking and sharing in it all. In the process we are creating lasting friendships through fitness.
Join our "GMA" January Challenges all month long to be your best in 2019 -- from meal prep for healthier eating to running club with Amy Robach to Dry January with Dr. Ashton to strength training with Ginger Zee and more. Tell us how your resolution challenge is going on our GMA Facebook group and share with #GMAJanuaryChallenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.