Time to Spring Into Action
In the colder climates, it is common over the winter months to gain a little weight. The days are shorter, it’s cold outside and we just don’t get as much activity and access to local healthy fruits and vegetables. It’s one of the reasons that many fitness clubs and training studios usually launch some type of Spring Weight loss, Cleanse or Makeover Challenge. At our studio, we have many clients that use our annual Spring Makeover Challenge to help shed that extra winter layer. Each of our trainers have teams and we all compete against each other to see who can ramp it up the most and achieve the best results.There’s nothing like a friendly competition and peer pressure to get you to do what you need to do to reach your goals.
Although the principles to fat loss and healthy living are pretty simple, there can be many different approaches that can produce great results.
The key is finding the program that works best for you that allows you to adhere to the program.
But there are typically a few key principles that would be consistent with any type of program and if you focused on these, you would experience some pretty fantastic results.
Exercise – Move That body!
- Exercise aerobically 3-6 days each week for 20-60 minutes each session at various levels of intensity. Sometimes go hard and fast (1-2x/week), other times moderate intensity and duration (1-2x/week) and other times long and slow (1-2/week). Activities like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, rowing, hiking, stair-climbing, or Group classes will do the trick.
- Incorporate strength and muscle workouts a minimum of two times per week. One set of 8-15 reps of a variety of exercises for 20-60 minutes is perfect! Movements like squats, lunges, step ups, burpees, pushups, pullups, core conditioning and other functional strength moves are great.
- Mobility & Flexibility – Finish each workout with some release and lengthening to assure we maintain our mobility and flexibility and help to prevent getting injured which can put a damper on our progress.
Nutrition – Eat Like a Champion!
- Drink 10—8 ounce glasses of water each day. Drink water before and with each meal and snack
- Eat 8-10 vegetable and fruit servings each day. Go local and organic as much as you can.
- Eat a balanced diet that is high in fiber content. Every macro-nutrient is critical including protein, carbs and fats. They all play an important role in optimal conditioning.
- Plan your meals so that you eat smaller portions more regularly throughout the day. Portion control is critical to a makeover challenge Try to eat every 3 hours.
- Avoid eating anything high in fat or calories 3 hours before bedtime.
- Eliminate any unhealthy temptations from your environment (work, home, car) and replace with healthy alternatives that make adhering to a nutrition plan easier.
- Grocery shop at least once per week to stock up on healthy choices and fresh fruits and veggies and take the time to prep your meals for the week.
Lifestyle – Set Yourself Up for Success!
- Maintain a more active daily lifestyle. Move your body as much as you can in addition to your exercise program. The International Journal of Obesity released a statistic that reported we expend an average of 500-800 fewer calories than we did a few decades ago because of our more sedentary lifestyle. If you start moving more in your life, then you won’t have to spend hours in the gym every week! Consciously choose the more active option whenever you can!
- Get enough sleep (7-8 hours per night). Sleep is when your body recovers and repairs. If you do not sleep enough, you will not be prepared for each workout session and you will not function optimally. Plus research suggests that a lack of sleep triggers appetite and fat gain.
- Control and manage your stress levels. Identify your stresses. Outline methods that help you to reduce your stress and practice them regularly. Stress is also linked to increased appetite and weight gain.
- Complete an online (or paper) Activity and Nutrition logs every day and submit to someone to review (a trainer, a nutritionist, a friend)
- Do a Daily or Weekly weigh-in and monthly measurements to help to monitor your progress. It helps to hold you accountable.
Enrolling in a local Spring Makeover Challenge or even starting a competition amongst friends, family or co-workers can really help you commit to doing what you probably already know you need to be doing. Alright, let’s commit to get fit!
Ps. Click here for our Spring Makeover challenge details or visit our website at NWPersonalTraining.com.
Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 25 years and has received numerous industry awards including International Personal Trainer and Fitness Presenter of the Year. She is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning
Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com
Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started. Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.
Join us for the 32nd Annual Spring Classic Duathlon & Home Depot Half Marathon, 10K & 5K April 24th. Enough Hibernating!
Wake up, Get out & Race!
Choose the Duathlon or any of the
3 different running distances and let’s Spring into Action!