The Busy Bee Fitness Experts Spring Sale is back on! For one week only, try out 2 in-home personal training sessions with one of our experts for only $90. Valid in Toronto and Etobicoke. Deal expires on April 15th. The feel-good time of year is back — the snow has melted, we’re ditching our jackets, and it’s time to feel good in our Summer clothes. It’s an ideal time to reignite our motivation by getting away from our boring old gym routine and mixing it up with some outdoor exercise. Here are some tips to help you get on the right track for starting out on your new healthy lifestyle regimen.
First Things First – Get A Checkup
Only about 25 percent of Canadians get an annual check-up. While you might feel just dandy and fit as a horse, it’s essential to keep watch on things like blood pressure, cholesterol, and vitamin deficiencies before starting your workout program. We’ve had many clients whose progress was hindered because they weren’t aware of their deficiencies. It’s good to get these things checked out at on an annual basis.
Build Up Your Fitness Routine In Small Increments
If you’ve spent very little time exercising this Winter, then don’t write down that you’ll workout 5 days a week for an hour a day. All too often people burn out, get frustrated, and quit long before they achieve any of their fitness goals. This is a lifelong commitment to your health – not a quick fix! Sometimes good things take time so be patient, be kind to yourself, and be realistic.
Get A Workout Partner
You’re much more likely to stick with your plan if you’ve got a partner in crime – this can be a personal trainer, a workout buddy or both. It’s a good idea to try to find someone who has similar goals whose schedule matches up well with your own. Couples (semi-private) personal training is another great way to have some fun and get in some healthy bonding time with your partner. Couples personal trainer Toronto
Spring Clean Your Kitchen
Cleaning out your kitchen can be one of the most empowering things to do once you’ve decided that you want to start living in a healthier way. Most Nutritionists will tell you that you can’t outrun the fork and it’s very true. We don’t advocate for drastic elimination diets or cutting out treats. Reducing the bad stuff should be done the same way you start working out – in gradual increments over time. One of your first steps should be in not buying groceries that will tempt you to go back on the beaten path of unhealthy foods. If you’re a sucker for sweets, then try reducing processed sugars by substituting with some of your favorite fruits. Apples, for instance, are high in fiber and low on the glycemic index – a great food to help reduce sugar cravings. Farmers markets are opening up again so load up on fresh veggies and fruits.
Let The Sun Heal You
Nothing improves our mood more than being out in the Sun, especially for us Canadians that have to live in the dark for half the year. Around April is also the time when we are able to start absorbing vitamin D from the Sun again. So get out your bike, go for nice walks, and start working out in your backyard or park. Skip rope alone can burn about 210 calories in just about 20 minutes. Even playing frisbee is a fun way to get moving again.
Stretching Is Next To Godliness
The best way to prevent injury and relieve muscle tension is to stretch before and after your workouts. First, warm up by doing 10 minutes of light outdoor cardio exercises, then do dynamic stretching – as in, stretching while moving. This can include doing some walking lunges, touching your toes and walking your hands forward, swinging your legs while standing and twisting your torso from side to side. After your workout, complete “static” stretches of muscles you’ve worked. Finishing off with some mindfulness exercises is icing on the cake after a workout and beneficial in relieving stress.
Pretty simple advice but very few of us follow properly. Water is a great way to give your metabolism a real boost. Avoid burnout and muscle fatigue by drinking a minimum of two liters of water per day, and about 500ml an hour before exercising. The more you sweat, the more fluid you need to replace as a general rule of thumb. Caffeine dehydrates us – so they say that you should add an extra cup of water for each cup of coffee you consume. Dark roast dandelion tea is a great non-acid, decaffeinated substitute that tastes a lot like coffee. It’s really not as bad as it sounds, don’t knock it until you try it!
Change Your Perception Of Fitness
Some people see working out as a sort of punishment. Yes, it can be rather gruelling, especially in the beginning, but we need to see exercise as a reward rather than something to get out of the way. I still have yet to meet someone that feels bad after or regrets having a workout. Destigmatize it by making it familiar. Facing things you’re afraid of or that you see as negative is the only way to change your perception of them.
Put Your Scale In The Closet
This is a rule that we tell our clients from the onset. Muscle weighs more than fat and we gain the most muscle in the early stages of our workout routines so don’t watch your scale. You might be super excited by your more toned physique and then step on the scale and realize that you’ve actually gained 2 pounds. It’s perfectly normal to see this so don’t let it frustrate you.
Hold Yourself Accountable Through Social Media
One of our clients started a fitness Instagram account to hold herself accountable to her new healthy lifestyle. In her words, she made it “too embarrassing to fail” if she was to promote herself through social media and not deliver some kind of results. She lost 20 pounds of fat in just 3 months and feels better than she has in years so it definitely worked for her.
Take your friends and family and go for a trip where there are a lot of fun active things you can do like hiking, swimming, biking or any number of outdoor activities. Try new things that you haven’t done before like some vegan recipes or learning a new sport. The most rewarding things come through stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying new things. Most importantly, get moving – no matter what it is. See our previous post of how to exercise with a colostomy.