Let's be honest.

Let's be honest. A lot of us would like to be fitter; whether it's weight loss, increase endurance, gain strength, or even build mass. We want to reach one, some or all these goals, but are not quite sure where to begin. We hear the words "personal trainer" and cringe. We picture, in our heads, a man remarkably similar to the Incredible Hulk yelling at us to do two more sets while we cry in agony.

Why would we want to submit ourselves to the torment that is sure to accompany a "personal trainer"? We also may be a little hesitant about doing it ourselves, for fear of maybe mistaking a stretch station for a jungle gym. So with these fears, we drive by the gym and throw our goals in the back seat with the bag of gym clothes that have yet to see the light of day.

Well lucky for you, I have a few simple suggestions that may help get you going. The first option is ActivTrax. This program is specific to our YMCA here in Neosho. At the YMCA, you can sign up for a strength test from one of our coaches. Now that may seem intimidating, but I assure you Bruce Banner does not work here. You will also have to fill out a short form. This form is to help design your workouts. You get to pick out how many days a week you want to work out, what your overall fitness goal is, how long you want to work out and how you want to work out your muscles.

The coach will input all that information and the results from your strength test into the computer. ActivTrax will then begin to design your workouts. You will get a different workout each day and as you improve upon your goal, ActivTrax will modify your workouts to make them just a little harder. It takes in account your fitness level, so it won't give a beginner health seeker advanced exercises. In the end, ActivTrax eliminates your need for the personal trainer and guides you by the hand through your workouts.

The next suggestion I have is apps. You can find all you want and more from the plethora of fitness apps available on the marketplaces today. One is Ab Workout. In the free version, you are limited to a couple of different workouts, but they are sufficient. If you are feeling particularly feisty, you can upgrade for a couple of bucks for more variety. The app will ask how long a workout you want, and then give you a list of ab exercises with videos for the allotted time. It's worth a look.

The next one is probably my favorite – Runkeeper. Runkeeper is an app which basically logs your cardio workouts like running. It has a GPS feature, which you can turn on to track the number of miles you log in a single workout. There is also a manual log feature where you can log in your treadmill workouts if that's more your style. One of the best features on this app is the coaching/training plan feature. You can pick from a variety of training plans from a 5K training plan to a sub 3:00 Marathon training plan. It's a great app for people looking at training for a certain type of race but not knowing how to go about it.

There are many options out there for a person's individual tastes. I encourage you to visit the Neosho Freeman Family YMCA, your first time at the YMCA is always free. After that, you pay a day fee and during the hours of 1-3 p.m. is "Happy Hour," pay only half of the day fee. For more information, please contact the Neosho Freeman Family YMCA at 455-9999.