Fitness is not about being better than someone else… it’s about being better than you used to be.
Since becoming a personal trainer, I get a ton of questions from people who want to start incorporating more fitness into their life. With that enthusiasm also comes a ton of excuses, like “I don’t have time to workout”, “But I can’t give up my pasta and wine, I love food too much”, “I hate going to the gym”. I’ve come to realize that a lot of people feel that starting a fitness lifestyle means overhauling their entire life and making drastic changes. But that’s just not the case. The reality is that when you first start out, small changes will have a big impact. And each and every change will make you feel so good that you’ll naturally be drawn to sticking to it and making more small changes. That’s the magic moment when your “diet” and “workout” become a lifestyle.
So instead of thinking that you have to give up your love of carbs and wine, try reducing the portion of pasta and aging a green salad on the side. Or, if you’re used to running on coffee all day, try drinking a glass of water before a meal. These are seemingly tiny gestures that can make a big difference. That salad you’re having before your pasta will fill you with more micronutrients leaving you more satiated. That glass of water before your meal will hydrate you, make you feel more full and help with digestion. So you’re not only helping your health along the way, you’re taking baby steps towards your new health and fitness goals.
Fitness is the same idea. Most people I talk to think that they need to spend hours at the gym, six days week, but that’s just not the case. In reality, every small step you take (as long as it’s consistent) contributes to your overall goal. Every small step is contributing to your overall health and wellbeing. Every small step brings you closer to your long-term goals.
If you’re new to fitness, start incorporating 30 minutes of activity per day, three times per week. Once you’ve established a routine that you’re comfortable with, challenge yourself by adding in an extra day or increasing the time you work out to 45 minutes. Whatever you find manageable and (most importantly) enjoyable.
Here are a few other steps that you can take towards a healthier lifestyle:
- Try one new healthy food each week. Summer is the perfect time to discover new foods. Take a trip to the farmer’s market, chat with the local vendors and explore everything nature has to offer. I’ve made some pretty delicious discoveries by simply browsing the colourful aisles of the market, including unique ways to prepare these new foods. Beauty and health is an inside job so don’t be shy to experiment a little.
- Try a new fitness class. It’s a great way to step up your fitness game and meet some pretty cool people in the process. When I started my fitness journey, BBG was my go-to workout. An Instagram account, four rounds and countless burpees later, I am proud to say that I am part of an amazing community of women who support each other and motivate each other to do the best that they can. I really wouldn’t have made it this far without them. Some of these amazing babes I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting and the donor of calling them my friends. It’s amazing the power that finding an activity you love and connect with other like-minded people can have on your health and wellness.
- Treat yourself to new workout clothes. There’s nothing like a cute new workout top or the perfect pair of running shoes to really motivate you to get up and move. I used to hate shopping for workout clothes, but once aI found a few pieces that I loved, it inspired me to workout more just because I wanted to wear them. Now I’m happy to announce that it’s turned into a full-blown addiction. But seriously, think of it as investing in yourself. And when you look good, you feel good and it makes you want to keep going in that direction. I’ve also used new workout clothes as a reward for reaching some of my goals.
No matter what steps you take towards a healthier lifestyle, remember that no action is to small. That time that you reached for a piece of fruit instead of a cookie, or when you decided to walk instead to hopping on the subway, these are all actions that make you healthier every day and add up over time. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by the fitness world, you got this.