With spring/summer in the air (sometimes Mother Nature likes to play games with us though), plus the uncertainty of vaccine deliveries, and the never-ending restrictions and lockdowns – it becomes even more important for us to start focusing on our fitness!
Physical activity and a healthy nutrition plan can be linked to not only a stronger immune system, but also to a healthier mindset. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on individuals and families, not only financially and physically, but also emotionally and mentally. Stress levels are at an all time high!
As a canfitpro Pro Trainer – my recommendation to my clients who are struggling with weight gain, low energy levels, brain fog, a lack of motivation and living a high stress life – is to actually put your body into more physical stress, also known as exercise!
We all know what healthy eating looks like, and the benefits of exercise – but for many of us, we just don’t know where to or how to start?
Here are my 6 steps to “Spring into Fitness”:
Step 1: START
There is no perfect day, or perfect time. If you are always waiting for New Years, the first of the month or even Monday to start – you know what, that day will always be pushed forward and may never come. For many of us – we may be waiting for the gyms to re-open, the kids to go back to school, or maybe just a few more restrictions to be lifted – we are wasting so much time and just letting the days go by, which basically means, we wasted time and more importantly, opportunities to become better. We don’t need to be great to start – but we need to start in order to be great. Just start – you’ll feel better.
Step 2: PLAN
OK, so You have actually started……now what? You need a plan. Start slowly, so that you do not get overwhelmed or put too much pressure on yourself. Start with a plan to workout two times this week, 30 to 45 minutes each time. Plan to drink more water each day, and maybe meal plan for 3 days for the first two to three weeks.
Are you going to download a fitness app? Find a You Tube video to work out to? Maybe find a friend to work out with and use as an accountability partner? You could join an on-line fitness community, hire a Nutritionist, or work with a Personal Trainer? Honestly, there are so many tools and resources available now more than ever, because of the pandemic.
As the weeks go by, start increasing the duration of the workouts and/or days of healthy eating. Once you start feeling your energy levels increase and your mood change – it becomes easier to keep going!
Step 3: RUN
Many of us are lacking in the Vitamin D department – and the best way to get Vitamin D is to get outside and to embrace the sunshine! The fresh air will also do wonders for your brain, mood and heart. Go outside, go for a run, jog, or walk. Living in Airdrie, our opportunities under the sun are very scarce – so we need to take advantage of what we can get! Aim to get outside at least 3 to 4 times a week – and its as simple as going for a 30-to-45-minute walk!
Step 4: INTENSITY
This does not have to be scary or intimidating. Everyone is unique and will be going through their own personal journeys – so a high intense workout to one person may be a low intense workout for another. Do this for YOU and train at your own level of fitness to match the “intensity” of the workout.
What I recommend is High Intensity Interval Training. These are quick and effective workouts that not only works on your cardiovascular conditioning, endurance, stamina and muscle strength – it makes the body burn fat even hours after you have completed the workout! These workouts are also usually 30 to 45 minutes long and doesn’t require a lot of exercise equipment, so if you are short on time and don’t have access to exercise equipment – you need to do HIIT.
Reach out to a fitness professional to get more information on how to start a HIIT program.
Step 5: NUTRITION
OK, so we also know that ABS are made in the kitchen – not the gym. Basically, we cannot out work a bad diet. However, it does not have to be restrictive or super strict. It is as simple as drinking more water, consuming more fruits and vegetables and reducing (not cutting out completely) your sugar and processed food intake.
Portion control, vitamin supplements, and making sure your meal is colorful – meaning that there are greens for your vegetables, and bright colors for your fruits. Your plate should not be just one shade of color.
Step 6: GOALS
This really should have been first on the list – but I have worked with so many people that set their goals but refuse to get started or take action towards them. GOALS are important to get you started, keep you going and guide you in the right direction. Your goals will help you make the right decisions when conflicted on what you should eat, or if you should exercise today.
Your goals will help you remember why you started. Your goals must be personal enough that it creates an emotional connection to you. Set a goal or multiple goals! As you progress through your journey – your goals might change and that is ok….as long as you are progressing!
So, just remember – Start, Plan, Run, Intensity and Goals
About the Author: Jay Raymundo has been in the fitness industry for over 14 years and is the owner/operator of NRG Fitness Inc. He is also the Head Trainer and part Franchise owner of F45 Training, the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at the Airdrie Martial Arts Centre, a Fitness Instructor for the City of Airdrie and a canfitpro Personal Training Specialist Pro Trainer.