Getting Your Fitness Back On Track in 2022
Written by: Timothy Kelly, Director of Personal Training
As we begin a new year, the time is perfect to get motivated to make exercise a part of your regular routine. But for many, the first step is the hardest. Here are some tips to get you going and keep you on track:
- Find your motivation. Why is now the time to start and how will your life be improved if you hit your goals?
- When starting out, focus on consistency, not results. For example, instead of giving yourself a goal of losing thirty pounds in three months, commit to exercising three days per week for thirty minutes the first month, 4 days per week for the second month and 5 days per week for the third month. Results will follow.
- Enlist friends and family to help keep you accountable. Who will support you in your fitness journey and be most proud when you reach your goals? Pride and recognition can be very powerful tools when it comes to making exercise part of your regular routine.
- Don’t use the scale as your sole measurement of progress. The scale can be demotivating if it shows you a different number than you anticipated. Focus on body composition changes you see in the mirror, how well your clothes fit and if you see improvements in your sleep, focus strength and energy levels.
- Realize that everyone falls off track at one time or another. Don’t beat yourself up or use it as an excuse to quit. Use it as a learning experience and get started again.
- Start small. Little changes like a five-minute walk after lunch or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help get you in the mindset of incorporating physical activity into your day.
- Find activities you enjoy. We are lucky enough to live in a world of endless fitness opportunities. Don’t think you have to be a bodybuilder or marathon runner to get results.
- Join online groups and challenges. You are not alone! There are literally millions of people just like you that are working towards making exercise a regular habit. Healthy competition, peer support and recognition can help keep you on track.
- Plan ahead. Like any important task, exercise should be scheduled in. Whether it is going to the gym before work or taking a five minute walk after dinner, consistency creates habits.
- Set up a reward system. Celebrate your achievements with objects or experiences that are important to you. We all work better when we are working towards something.
What if you are motivated and don’t know how to begin?
- Hire a Trainer. There is a reason personal training is such a popular service – it gets results. Having a licensed fitness professional to guide you through a personalized program is the best way to lessen the risk of injury, keep you accountable and consistently challenge you so you don’t plateau.
- Go online. There are currently 30 million fitness videos on YouTube, and endless sites dedicated to beginner fitness. A quick and specific search can provide you with the guidance you need to get started.
- Listen to your body. If you’re new to exercise, going to intense too soon can lead to injury. “No pain, no gain” is an outdated thought process. Recognize your limits and take time for recovery when needed.
- Start with bodyweight exercises before adding weight. Resistance training should be part of your regular exercise routine, but it can lead to injury if not performed correctly. By practicing proper form before adding resistance, your set yourself up for success and lessen the risk of injury. Progress from body weight to resistance bands, to weights.
- Walk daily. It does not require new skills, high tech equipment or specialized fitness gear. It is the easiest and most effective way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
An Inclusive Approach to Personal Training is Helping to Kick Covid-19 to the Curb: Why We Need Exercise More than Ever
Written by: Andrew Doyle, Club16 Downtown Certified Personal Trainer
A Challenging Time for Many Canadians.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left many to struggle with changes in routine, feelings of uncertainty and a variety of health challenges. It’s not a secret that societies around the world have seen an increase in anxiety, depression, lethargy and loss of muscle mass and function. A study out of McMaster University released in April, 2021, found that exercise levels and physical activity declined at the start of the pandemic due to the stress and anxiety associated with COVID-19. The study, findings suggest that Canadians over the age of 18 who were suffering from pandemic-related stress, depression, and anxiety, were less likely to engage in physical activity and exercise. In comparison, individuals who were able to maintain good levels of physical activity showed better overall mental health.
Taking the First Step.
While these statistics provide a wake-up call, people often don’t know how to get started on a path to optimal health. Often people resist the idea of joining a health club, as they feel intimidated or shameful regarding how they look, compared to those they are likely to see in the gym. Having been a junior national champion track athlete in Ireland, I felt a calling to take what I learned in developing a healthy body and mind to inspire others. So I embarked on a career as a personal trainer by sharing my passion for fitness and teaching my keys to fitness and good health. Six years ago, I emigrated to Canada and thanks to some good Irish luck, discovered Club16, Trevor Linden Fitness.
Believing good physical fitness should be available to all, “Trevor’s Promise” fit perfectly with my values. Written in large letters on a wall in each club location, the promise reads:
“At Club16 we are genuinely committed to making your fitness fun. It matters to us that you are accepted, respected and above all, not judged. A non-intimidating atmosphere where anyone and everyone can feel comfortable and make the desired lifestyle changes, inside and out. An inspiring and motivating environment that enables our members to succeed and feel like they belong. YOU belong – so come and join my team!”
Inclusivity is the first step. Find a gym whose culture and Personal Trainers will meet you where you are at, regardless of your current levels of fitness.
What to Look for in a Gym and Personal Trainer.
Little things go a long way before making a commitment to your chosen gym. You’ll want to consider some of the finer details such as well lit parking, clean and safe facilities, and a wide variety of new fitness equipment. They should also have a good track record when it comes to how they service their members.
Next comes the personal trainer. Look for someone who has a solid depth of knowledge and formal education and who is skilled at understanding the required intensity levels of the designed workouts. They also must have an acute sense of knowing how to properly tailor the right workouts based on your goals. It’s important you are challenged to move out of your comfort zone, while not being under the command of a drill sergeant.
Finally, the gym membership and training package should be good value for your investment. The cheapest is not necessarily the right way to go, but neither do you need to break the bank to get and stay healthy.
Your Mind and Body will Thank You.
It’s astounding to hear from my clients over the years, how their lives have improved in ways they previously thought unimaginable. Perhaps most poignant right now, is the offsetting of any anxiety experienced because of the Pandemic. In general, the benefits of a regular and well-structured fitness program include improved sleep, increased libido, higher levels of energy, better concentration and strengthened immunity.
Certainly, getting in shape can lead to bigger biceps or trimming fat, depending on the fitness goals of each individual. But getting and staying in shape, also means living a more fulfilling life. People of all ages and from all walks of life reap the benefits of being able to take a scenic hike, playing better golf, enjoying more time with kids, or working longer in the garden.
A simple health hack to begin, is to get some simple steps in your calendar. This is critical!
- Monday: Call potential health clubs.
- Wednesday: Organize tours and meet personal trainers.
- Friday: Review findings and commit.
- Monday: Embark on your fitness journey!
Remember to keep Doyle’s credo in mind: “Healthy mind healthy body; so get ready to have a great life!”
Andrew Doyle BBRS, CIM Elite Personal Trainer, Club16, Trevor Linden Fitness Andrew can be reached at 604.700.5458 or [email protected]
Smoky Potato Chickpea Stew
- 2Tbsp olive oil ($0.26)
- 2cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 1tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1yellow onion ($0.32)
- 1Tbsp curry powder ($0.30)
- 1 Tbspsmoked paprika ($0.30)
- pinchcrushed red pepper ($0.02)
- 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes ($1.00)
- 2russet potatoes (1.75-2 lbs total) ($1.62)
- 1 can chickpeas ($0.55)
- 4cups vegetable broth* ($0.52)
- 1/4 fresh kale, chopped ($1.16)
- Finely dice the onion, mince the garlic, and grate the ginger. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger to a large soup pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent.
- Add the curry powder, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes to the pot and continue to stir and cook for 1-2 minutes more to toast the spices.
- While the onion, garlic, and ginger are sautéing, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Drain the chickpeas.
- Once the spices are toasted, add the potatoes, fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), and chickpeas to the pot. Pour the vegetable broth over top, then stir until everything is combined.
- Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow it to come to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and allow the soup to simmer with the lid in place for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 45 minutes, stir the stew well and smash the potatoes against the side of the pot to help them break down and thicken the stew. Add the chopped kale and stir it into the stew until it has wilted. Taste the soup and adjust the salt or other spices if desired. Serve hot with crusty bread or crackers.