no limit fitness

Donnie Markham, owner of No Limit Fitness Sports Performance and Training Center in Elizabeth City, uses “battle ropes” to create alternating waves to work out his upper body, core and cardiovascular system. Markham says the toughest part of a new fitness routine is getting started.

No New Year’s resolution is as popular as getting fit.

But according to at least one online poll in 2019, nearly 73% percent of those who resolve to get fit give up before ever reaching their goal.

Area fitness professionals say it is possible to stick with a fitness or wellness program, even in the midst of a pandemic.

The most important thing, says Donnie Markham, owner of No Limit Fitness Sports Performance and Training Center, is getting started.

“Just get moving,” says Markham, a former Marine and a personal trainer for a quarter-century. “The worst thing you can do is not do anything.”

With more than 100 clients, Markham said he helps people set realistic fitness goals that they can maintain over the long run. He suggests getting started by making a schedule.

“Don’t worry about weight loss at first,” he said. “Weight loss will come if you establish a routine and stay consistent.”

It is also helpful to find a workout partner who will help you be accountable for your fitness goals, he said.

“People want instant results,” said Markham. “Patience and consistency are key.”

For people who are interested in losing weight, Markham recommends avoiding fad diets. Losing a pound or a pound and a half each week is the best way to ensure success, he said.

“Anything more is probably something you can’t maintain,” Markham said.

He also suggests eating “real whole foods” and avoiding processed foods and sugars.

At No Limit Fitness, Markham said he offers both in-person and online training sessions “for all different fitness levels.” There are fitness programs like the “Little Black Dress Project” that incorporate unlimited workouts, meal plans and daily motivational texts and emails.

No Limit Fitness clients can also use a variety of equipment like ropes and kettlebells and participate in bodyweight exercises. While some of the exercises may be the same, the workouts are different each time, Markham said.

Markham also offers a free trial week at No Limit Fitness Sports Performance and Training Center at 515 East Main St., Elizabeth City. People can sign up for the free trial at

“The motivation lies within yourself,” Markham said. “We are here to help you along your journey.”

Tami Richards, owner of Body Kinect Wellness Center, also helps clients start a healthier lifestyle.

Richards has a background in health and is a licensed physical therapy assistant, lymphedema therapist, massage therapist and yoga instructor.

Richards said Body Kinect Wellness instructors offer a variety of virtual and in-person classes including chair yoga, restorative/Yin yoga, community yoga and reiki. The monthly schedule of classes is available on Body Kinect’s Facebook page; printed copies are also available at the center at 601 East Main St., Elizabeth City.

Richards is also offering a “Wellness on the Inside and Out” workshop today at 5 p.m. The three-hour workshop costs $50 and is limited to 10 participants. The workshop will focus on mediation, journaling, movement and breath work.

The COVID pandemic has affected most every aspect of daily life, including personal wellness.

“During COVID a lot of people want to look a certain way, but it comes from the inside,” said Richards. “It is something inside they need to get comfortable with.”

Richards said a number of clients, feeling stressed by isolation or their financial situation amid the pandemic, have come in for massage sessions. Others, who just need a place to relax, use Body Kinect’s “relaxation room.” The room’s salt lamps and heat typically is used to help clients who suffer chronic pain.

Richards said changing your thought process to include a “glimmer of hope” can also help you better navigate the pandemic. And to increase Vitamin D intake, she also recommends going outdoors as much as possible.

Whether you are hiking, riding bikes or simply taking a stroll, being outdoors can help rejuvenate the body, Richards said.

Like Markham, Richards said it’s important to find a partner to help with your fitness goals. She recommends those attending virtual Zoom classes enlist a family member or friend to attend as well. That way, even if your friend or family member is another state, you can still attend the class together.