ALEXANDRIA, VA — Locally-owned Sand and Steel Fitness has moved to a new location in the West End Alexandria, and the owners talked with Patch about fitness and nutrition tips for New Year’s resolutions. The gym, owned by engaged couple Dawn Anderson and Paul Roberts, was at the former Old Town location for five years. It’s now located near the Van Dorn Street Metro at 5418 Eisenhower Avenue.
The new, larger location allowed the gym to expand services. Sand and Steel Fitness launched group classes, open gym and mobility and nutrition coaching in addition to its personal training offering. There are eight different class types, including yoga and CrossFit.
Personal training is tailored around an individual’s goals and fitness levels and has a focus on reducing chances of injury. Clients range from active military and people training for triathlons to people who haven’t worked out in years or hardly ever. The gym recently introduced a new partnership to offer free yoga and CrossFit classes to active military, veterans and military families with Team Red White and Blue.
As a small business, Sand and Steel Fitness tries to set itself apart from the variety of fitness brands popping up in the region. “We adapt the workouts to the clients,” says Roberts. The owners say they don’t compete with open gyms and specialized boutique studios as much as studios with CrossFit workouts.
Interest in indoor gyms like Sand and Steel Fitness tends to increase in the winter as individuals seek indoor workouts and health-related New Year’s resolutions. The owners expect a busier season after people get back to their daily routines after the holidays.
If you’re thinking about health-related New Year’s resolutions or just need general health advice, Anderson and Roberts shared these tips with Patch:
1. Be aware of food portions and don’t be pressured to eat. “Don’t be afraid to say no,” says Anderson about the temptations of food around the holidays. “You’re not being rude. You’re just taking care of yourself.” Be sure your diet has enough fruits and veggies, and be aware of sugar content in foods and drinks.
2. Make a plan. “Exercise and diet all revolve around having a plan of what to do,” said Roberts. “In most cases three hours of exercise [a week] is sufficient to maintain and improve fitness to a certain level,” said Roberts.
Anderson added that a fitness plan will achieve better results than a random workout. She’s seen people do randomly-selected exercises put together or just one set of each exercise. Although you may be putting in effort to work out, “it’s just not the right effort.”
3. Find a nutritional or fitness coach. “The coach takes all of the thinking out of it,” said Anderson. Whether it’s nutritional or fitness coaching, you only need to show up for your sessions, and the coach takes care of the rest. It’s one less thing to worry about among work, children and other priorities. Sand and Steel fitness coaches are certified and usually have years of experience; coaches with less experience go through a mentoring program.
4. Check in on your progress. When you set a New Year’s Resolution, plan for check-ins to stay accountable. Roberts says you can also update your plan if it’s not doable.
5. Be patient with your progress. You may not always see results as soon as you think, but you shouldn’t give up hope. “Some people make the mistake of making too many changes at once. Find something that works for you,” said Anderson. “Add a little more on and be patient.”
For more information, visit SandandSteelFitness.com.