Here we are again; the holidays are over, which means New Year, new goals. As we reflect on 2015 and look back on all the delicious holiday treats we had (we live with no regrets), it's now time to reevaluate our goals for 2016, with fitness and health at the top of our list. This year, we vow to get back on track, eating right and getting back to the grind. We are kicking this year off the right way. After all, a sound mind and body, facilitated by the right gear lead to happier days.
That being said we know it is easier said than done, so we caught up with nutritionist and personal trainer, Jen Walker from Vancouver fitness studio Movement108 to help steer us in the right direction. We talked to Jen about everything from maintaining a balanced diet and nutrition tips to 2016 fitness goals, and her favourite workouts.
WHAT ARE SOME NUTRITIONAL TIPS FOR PEOPLE TRYING TO EAT HEALTHY FOR THE NEW YEAR AND SUSTAIN A HEALTHY BALANCED DIET?
Stay Hydrated: Drink a big glass of water upon waking to further aid the nightly detox process and to amp up your digestion. And then aim to drink 2 cups of water between meals throughout the day and you’re good to go.
Plan your meals: Most of us know what to eat, but when it comes down to it, we just don’t prioritize the preparation that’s needed to maintain our healthy meal aspirations. It’s cliché but it’s true: Fail to plan, plan to fail.
Add some healthy fats to your diet: Fats normalize hormone function, lubricate our joints and promote mental health and well-being. They also take longer to digest; keeping you satiated longer and curbing cravings. Try adding coconut oil, avocado, organic extra virgin olive oil, nut butters, or organic raw nuts to your next meal.
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WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE HEALTHY EATS?
Avocados: Quick source of healthy fats and protein.
Hemp seeds: Awesome source of protein and omega 3’s to ease inflammation.
Chia seeds: Again for protein, super hydrating when soaked, healthy fats, and really gets the digestion moving.
Coconut Oil: An amazing source of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) that amp up your metabolism and increase physical and mental endurance.
Sauerkraut: Provides a dose of beneficial bacteria to strengthen your digestion and immune system.
Let's get physical. Nothing good ever resulted without a little bit of hard work and sweat. Getting fit and back in shape doesn't have to be boring either. We can sweat, work hard and have some fun along the way. Jen shares her 2016 fitness goals, favourite workouts, how to mix up your routine, and shares some sage advice for those of us that are always on the go and may not have the time to drop into the gym everyday.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL FITNESS GOALS FOR THE NEW YEAR THAT WOULD BE GREAT FOR THOSE GETTING STARTED?
I have a goal to go on one hike per week. It doesn’t matter where or for how long, but I just have to be in the mountains, moving outside.
Also mastering my pistol squats! Right now I can only do them with a high bench to sit on and someone assisting me on the way up. I have to check my ego at the door and know that it will take me a good 3-4 months of consistent practice to achieve my goal.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WAY TO KEEP FIT?
Spending time playing outside. Especially hiking or snowshoeing in the winter. It never feels like a ‘workout,’ I always have fun, and the fresh air and nature always re-energizes me, no matter how tired my body actually is.
WHAT'S THE NUMBER ONE THING PEOPLE LOOKING TO GET BACK TO FITNESS IN THE NEW YEAR CAN DO RIGHT NOW?
Ask yourself why you want to workout. Having a clear understanding of this will help to motivate you in those times when you ‘just don’t feel like it!’. Is it so you can walk up stairs without being winded? Is it to play with your grand kids for many years to come? Is it to train for a specific goal, like a race, hike, or vacation? My “why” is to be strong so I can enjoy all the outdoors activities I love without the risk of injury. And then, just start! Take that first step – go for a walk, take a stretch break at work, dance around, do 5 push-ups, do 10 squats. The more often you move, the more it becomes a habit and the more you will want to keep doing it!
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HOW DO YOU MIX UP YOUR WORKOUTS SO THAT THEY STAY FRESH AND DON'T BECOME BORING?
I switch it up from circuits, to supersets, to ladders, and of course using different modalities to keep it fresh (TRX, body weight, Kettlebells), make new motivating playlists, and I call a buddy to workout with.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE WHO SIMPLY DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO HEAD TO A GYM BEFORE OR AFTER WORK?
Find ‘opportunities to move’ throughout the day. Go for a walk on your lunch break, take the stairs, schedule a timer for a stretch/movement break every 30 minutes, suggest ‘walking meetings’ (even if just around the office). Or make a goal to do 100 push-ups before the day is done – do 10 every 30 mins and you’ll be done before 5pm for sure. I’d also ask how much of a priority their health is to them, often we do have time, we just have to choose to find it.
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WHAT ARE THREE WAYS WE CAN MOTIVATE OURSELVES TO GET BACK ON TRACK THIS JANUARY?
Start small relative to where you are at right now. If being active is totally new for you, commit to doing something active 1 day a week, then add 2, and so on. I think a big mistake people make is that they start with too much too soon. Succeeding at your small goal will keep you motivated to keep moving forward. Where as consistently falling at your huge goal could be disheartening and cause you to jump ship all together. Just like a muscle we need to strengthen new healthy habits gradually.
Make sure you are doing something that you enjoy and is FUN! If you dread your workout every week or don’t click with your trainer, get a new one!
Sign up for a few group classes to get you started. Signing up holds you accountable, the energy of the class is contagious, and it’s always awesome to be surrounded by like-minded people.
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WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 WORKOUTS THAT ARE PERFECT FOR PEOPLE OF ALL FITNESS LEVELS?
Get outside: Just move. Hiking, walking to the store, taking the stairs, dancing, swimming, yoga, stretching.
TRX: You can adjust the degree of difficulty using your own body weight and positioning
Movement108 classes: Classes are a great way to help you stay motivated, and workout with others in a fun open setting. We offer a number of great classes for all fitness levels