It’s getting close to that time of year where people begin to think about getting their ideal ‘summer bods.’ Although getting into a fitness routine may seem daunting, there are many things that you can do to ensure that you stay on track, and actually see some awesome results. Keep reading to check out ten of my favourite ‘fit tips.’
1. Realistic Goal Setting
Goal setting is extremely important in your success for a number of reasons. Setting goals in health/fitness, as well all aspects of your life will immediately give you a purpose, as well as something to work towards. It is important to make sure that these goals are both attainable and sustainable to avoid failure and discouragement.
Short Term vs. Long Term
In order to get to your ‘ultimate’ goal, or ‘end’ goal, you must be consistent with setting short term goals. Short term goals are the ‘puzzle pieces’ to your end goal. Each puzzle piece you connect, gets you that much closer to achieving the big picture.
The great thing about short term goals is that they are easily attainable if you stay consistent, and put the work in. They give you confidence, and help you realize your long term potential.
Here is an example of what a personal goal setting may look like for you.
Ultimate Goal (Long Term)
- What is the greatest thing you want to achieve?
- How do you picture the very best version of yourself?
Mini Goals (Short Term)
- How will you ensure that you achieve this goal/lifestyle? What can you do over the next 1, 3 & 6 months to ensure that your long term vision will be successful? Goals may include a variety of topics such as:
- Physical Fitness
- Personal Wellness
- Diet related
- Business Building/Promotions
*Keeping fitness in mind, you should be regularly thinking about your short term goals in regards to fitness, wellness, and diet, to ensure you reach your ultimate long term goals and potential.
2. Don’t Weigh Yourself Right Away
Rather than going by the number on the scale, go by how your clothes fit, as well as your overall energy levels. Often times, in the early stages of your fitness journey, the number on the scale may not move a whole lot, even though you may be noticing your waist and/or other areas begin to slim down. This is because muscle more dense than fat, meaning that even though muscle covers less surface area per pound, it weighs more than fat. You can probably understand how this would be discouraging if you’re constantly hovering the scale.
Muscle vs. Fat
- More dense – takes up less space
- Smaller overall surface area
- Helps to improve overall bone mass
- Decreases risk of injury
- Increases body composition/muscle definition
- Studies show you are likely to live longer with significant muscle mass
- Less dense – takes up more space
- Linked to obesity
- Increased risk of many health altercations including: diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney problems, and more.
*In the early stages of your journey, it is better to measure your progress with other methods, which could include:
- Progress Photos – weekly/biweekly/monthly etc to see your visual changes.
- Strength – Monitor your strength/stamina progress. You will begin to notice that 10lb dumbbells feel light, and 15 minutes on the treadmill is no longer the worst thing in the world.
- Measuring Tape – Measure your body and record your ‘inches,’ for your waist, legs, chest, etc.
3. Hire a Personal Trainer
If you are a newbie and find the gym intimidating, hiring yourself a personal trainer is an excellent thing to do. A personal trainer will take your own fitness goals into consideration, as well as your dietary habits, lifestyle and work schedule. He or she will cater a workout plan specifically to your individual needs and goals.
Once you have a solid plan in place, your personal trainer will teach you how to properly use the gym equipment, and will help to ensure that you are preforming these exercises correctly.
Personal trainers are also excellent because they will hold you accountable, which will help you get into a fitness routine much more efficiently than if you were to attempt to do so on your own.
4. Take Group Fitness Classes
There are infinite amount of highly efficient workouts out there. Group fitness classes are a great way to expose yourself to different fitness pathways in a positive manner. Often times, the fitness instructor and participants are extremely uplifting, which can be much more welcoming rather than blindly entering an open gym setting on your own.
Some Great Fitness Classes Include:
5. Workout With a Friend
Similar to having a personal trainer hold you accountable, friends/workout partners can also be great for this. Scheduling specific times to go to the gym with them throughout the week will hold you accountable, and you will be less likely to skip out on your friend if you know that they’re counting on you to show up.
6. Make Good Nutrition Choices
Nutrition is something that all of us struggle with. Food can be a hard thing to get on top of, but starting out with simple nutritional changes can make a huge difference in your fitness journey.
Examples of This Include:
- Cutting out sugary drinks from your diet
- Adding veggies to each meal
- Choosing to eat grilled chicken over fried chicken
- Sweet potato fries over regular fries
- ETC 🙂
These examples are just a few of the easy ways that you can begin to make positive lifestyle changes in the kitchen.
*Another great option when starting out with your nutritional journey is to schedule an appointment with a Certified Nutrition Coach. Similar to a personal trainer, they will hold you accountable with your dietary habits rather than your workout habits.
*Did you know that 70% of our physical progress comes from the foods that we choose to fuel out body with? Consider this the next time you’re trying to decide between veggies and a bag of chips. 😉
7. Listen to Your Body
Don’t try to do too much too soon! Like anything, your fitness levels will take time to build up. If you feel that you need to take a rest day, or alter your scheduled workout, that is 100% okay. Sometimes, overdoing it can lead to injuries, which will delay your progress and make you discouraged.
On days where you feel drained, try something different. Stretching, yoga, and mindfulness practices are all excellent ways to reset.
8. Educate Yourself on Supplements
Supplements are definitely not necessary, but can offer great benefits to your lifestyle change. Some of the staple products in my cup board, that are both simple and beneficial include:
Protein Powder: Protein is essential in aiding in muscle growth and repair. The majority of our population fails to eat enough protein in their day to day lives. An active person should be eating 0.8g – 1.2g of protein per pound of body weight per day. Throwing a scoop of protein into something as simple as your breakfast yogurt, or making a shake are both great opportunities to significantly increase your daily protein intake.
*Below is an easy estimation guide to figure out how much protein you should be consuming on a daily basis.
- 0.8x your body weight = amount in grams (average person)
- 1x your body weight in grams (active person)
- 1.2x your body weight in grams (highly active person)
BCAAS: BCAAS (Branch Chained Amino Acids) are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAA supplements can aid in a variety of things, including:
- Muscle growth/repair
- Decreased next day muscle soreness
- Reduce Exercise fatigue
- can aid in fat loss if used correctly with proper exercise and diet.
*BCAAS taste absolutely delicious, and come in both caffeinated and non-caffeinated versions.
Emergency-C Packets: With 1000mg of vitamin C, B vitamins, zinc, electrolytes and more, EmergenC packets are a simple way to help boost your immune system. These are especially beneficial during the cold/flu season, and will help fight against those flu bugs that may be lingering on the equipment at the gym.
9. Buy Clothing You Feel Confident In
This may seem silly, but I’m telling you it does wonders in boosting your confidence. Buy clothing that flatters your body type and allows you to move freely during your workouts. You will feel more empowered upon entering the gym, which will set the mood for the entirety of your workout!
Some of my favourite places to shop for athletic wear include:
- Thrift Stores!
*If you are someone who loves the cropped sweater look, hit up your local thrift store for some over sized sweaters and have fun with the scissors!
10. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
This might be one of the hardest things to do, especially with everything we are exposed to social media. It’s really easy to look at someone who’s been at their fitness journey for 10+ years and compare yourself to them. Take a step back and remember that you are just starting out, for the sole purpose being that you want to become the best version of yourself. It’s okay to look at others as a source of motivation or inspiration, but never degrade, or think less of yourself because of what someone else is doing.
Show up every day, be consistent and most importantly, DON’T QUIT. You got this superstar.