From as early as I can remember, taking care of my mind and body has been a passion of mine. I’m a certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Group Instructor and Barre Instructor with a Fitness & Health Promotion Diploma. There is nothing I enjoy more than leading a fitness class and guiding others to achieve a healthy active lifestyle.
Being physical, active, and eating nutrient-dense foods is becoming a way of life for many people. For others, starting a healthy lifestyle can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! We often think that we need to make a lot of changes in our routine to reach our goals, and the truth is, it takes small steps to build and maintain the lifestyle we want.
You may have asked yourself many times, “how can I start my fitness journey and find a plan that works well with my lifestyle that I can maintain?” Everyone’s path is different and there are many personal factors that make your journey unique.
While there isn’t a specific blueprint to share, there are proven and effective lifestyle tweaks that can help you achieve your goals AND make your everyday fitness journey easier. Whether the main reason you are starting this new lifestyle is that you want to learn how to eat healthy, lose weight, start training, work on your physical condition, or improve your overall health, the most important thing is that you feel motivated to make small changes to your daily routine that over time, supports a healthier lifestyle.
I’ve pulled together my best tips and advice that have worked well for myself and my clients to help you start your ‘fitness journey’:
Find an exercise you like- Finding a type of exercise that is appealing to you and your lifestyle is key. The great news is, you don’t have to spend hours in the gym, there are so many options to choose from. You can join a running club, try short and effective 30-minute online classes or maybe visit local studios and see what practice you enjoy the most. Try to find classes where you can follow along or have an expert leading the class, to learn proper form and prevent injuries.
If you enjoy more unstructured workouts, you can add activities such as going for walks, playing outside with your kids, or planning a weekend hike with your friends. Another great tip is finding a workout partner and schedule activities together. Sometimes doing exercise with someone else can give us the extra commitment that we need to get in a workout that day.
Eat healthy and balanced- Nutrition is essential to any fitness process; it is important to start making healthy choices and incorporate more fruits & vegetables into our daily diet. In order to start changing our eating habits we need to pay more attention to the food we choose and make small changes, like replacing foods high in sugar with healthy veggies that are delicious and high in vitamins.
Pure Flavor ® Juno Bites Red Grape Tomatoes are the perfect addition to your diet if you are looking for a natural boost to get you throughout the day. They are sweet, juicy and a good source of Vitamins A & C. They are also rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that may help prevent certain cancers and supports a long term approach to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
If you want to have a refreshing option as a post workout snack, make sure Poco Bites Cocktail Cucumbers are on your list. They provide a good source of Vitamin K, an essential nutrient needed for building strong bones and preventing fractures so that you can stay active.
You should have healthy options for busy days too. If you crave sweet flavors, Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers are your go to, the perfect combination of sweet & crunchy. Did you know that peppers contain more Vitamin C than citrus? Not only does that provide a great support to your immune system but your overall cognitive functioning to help slow the brain’s aging.
In the early stages of your fitness journey, I recommend that you if you can, to seek out a professional nutritionist or dietician to support building out a meal plan that will help you achieve your goals and matches your diet preferences. It can feel a bit overwhelming at first to change your diet so make changes at a pace you are comfortable with and feel you can maintain in your daily routine. The good thing to note is that after a couple of weeks, what once seemed like a big change will be new daily habit, making ongoing tweaks to your diet over time can add up to significant improvements for the better!
Healthy Grocery Shopping- Planning your meals ahead of time is very helpful to avoid buying more processed food than fresh, healthy, and nutrition rich food. Before going to the supermarket, make a list of the meals you are planning for the week ahead – this is a manageable way to buy essential ingredients and have your fridge full of nutritious options. Another great tip is to spend some time in the healthy aisles or the perimeter of the grocery store and get familiar with products you could use to replace your favorite snacks with healthier versions.
Meal Prep – Now that you have your groceries ready and your meals planned, you need to plan 1-2 days to meal prep; this is one of the best tips to stay on track and eat whole foods. I suggest prepping your meals Sunday and then again Wednesday. This is a great way to save time, money and have your meals ready for the rest of the week.
Plan your week- Planning your meals and workouts ahead of time will give you more clarity and focus. I recommend booking classes in advance, scheduling sessions with a Personal Trainer, or signing up for a virtual class, that way you are committed and have a plan to follow. Take a day to organize and prioritize your food menu and workouts for the upcoming week.
Try your best and stick to the plan, some days it will be easier than others and that’s ok! On days where you are struggling with motivation to eat well or workout find ways to have small wins, whether it’s a side salad instead of fries or a short walk during your lunch break – these healthy decisions will add up over time.
Follow these tips and you will be ready to start your fitness journey. Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the process and celebrate the positive changes you’re making on your path to a healthier lifestyle.
Stay healthy and get fit!