New Year’s Resolutions: 2 Things You’re Doing Wrong!

It’s getting to be that time of year again…New Years resolution time! The most common kinds of New Year’s resolutions revolve around changing eating and exercise habits, which is great. However, most people fail to stick to their New Year’s resolutions. Why?

2 Big Reasons!

In all my years working in the fitness industry and helping people achieve their goals, I have identified two major mistakes that many people make when they try to change their health habits.

Mistake #1: You are too focused on what you shouldn’t be eating
If you have ever gone on a diet, you know what I mean by this. Many diets focus on what foods you need to limit or cut out completely, like high fat foods, carbs, sugar, gluten, etc. This puts your mind in a state of lack. You begin thinking about all the foods you can’t eat and you start to feel hungry….and maybe even angry!

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Instead of focusing so much on what you shouldn’t be eating, focus on incorporating healthier foods into your diet. Stock up on fresh veggies and try making some different dips – like avocado dip, spicy peanut dip or yogurt ranch dip. Look at healthy cooking cookbooks to get ideas and focus on making balanced meals.

Incorporating more greens, veggies and fruit into your diet is more enjoyable than obsessing about cutting out the naughty foods!

Mistake #2: You are too focused on what you should be doing.
When it comes to exercise, many people feel that it is just another thing they should be doing, but not really something they want to do. Like flossing and mammograms.

Exercise is not a chore, its a privilege. If you are healthy and able enough to move your body you are lucky. Our bodies were designed to move, not to sit at a desk for hours. Stop seeing exercise as something you should do and start seeing it as something you get to do.

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I realize that having a busy schedule can mean not having much time for yourself, which can make you feel like your scarce free time should not be squandered on a treadmill. Fair enough! But if you shift your idea of exercise  so that you see your workout time as me-time – time you have to invigorate your mind, body and spirit and just be in the moment – I can guarantee you will find it easy to achieve regular exercise.

So this year when you make your New Year’s resolution, don’t think you have to force yourself to do something that sucks (working out) and refrain from indulging in dietary debauchery (pasta with cream sauce and cheese). Instead just focus on enjoying moving your body and eating fresh, green, balanced meals and I promise your cravings for cheesy pasta and couch-time will subside!

This year, do something different and treat yourself to some Private Coaching sessions to help transform your mind and body.


3 Rockin’ Ways to Motivate Yourself to Workout

Looking for new motivation to exercise this Winter? It can be tempting to give in to the Holiday silliness of frantic shopping, obligatory Christmas parties and all out gluttony, all the while avoiding your workouts. But since giving yourself an extra boost of fitness motivation will keep you sane this Winter, I wanted to share my 3 favourite ways to get excited about working out:

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1) Buy yourself nice workout gear
This actually makes quite a difference in how you feel about exercising. If you are working out in old, crappy, stained t-shirts and stretched out yoga pants, you probably don’t feel or look your best during exercise.

While you certainly don’t need flashy new workout clothes, if you feel good about your appearance when your exercising, you are creating a positive association with working out. And if you feel good while working out, you will want to do it more often.

Of course, you don’t want this to become just another excuse not to exercise (I can’t start working out until I have a whole new gym wardrobe…), but you generally want to avoid wearing fitness clothing that is physically uncomfortable or that makes you feel self conscious (like what the lady above is wearing).

2) Try something new!
Break out of your shell and try something different – something that scares you a bit – like pole dancing or indoor rock climbing. Not only will this shake you out of your workout slump and challenge your body in new ways, but it will keep your mind present and focused – you may even forget that you are “exercising.”

For Christmas I bought myself a go-go dancing DVD. I don’t know how much of a workout it will actually be, but I think it will be a nice change of pace from my usual workout routines (plus, the YouTube video for it kind of cracked me up 😉

3) Download new music, often
Frequently changing and updating your ipod with motivating music will have you looking forward to your workout time. There is nothing worse than being stuck listening to the same horrid Lady Gaga song that you’ve already heard 1000 times while your running on the treadmill.

Choose music that energizes you and change it often to avoid boredom. Or better yet, switch ipods with your workout buddy every now and then just to mix things up.

Good luck this Holiday Season! In the comments box below, let me know how you like to keep yourself motivated to workout during the Winter months….

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How To Love Exercise

Believe it or not, your workout can be a very enjoyable part of your day and not just another thing you have to do. Here are my top 5 fitness tips for making exercise something you can actually look forward to:

1) Mix it up! Don’t just do one kind of exercise. If you go for a run on Monday, do weights on Tuesday and enjoy a yoga class on Wednesday. Not only will your body be challenged by the variety, but it will thank you as you won’t be putting repeated stress on the same joints day after day. And you are less likely to get bored if you change things up.

2) Aim for 20-30 min a day, everyday. It is better to a little exercise more often than doing one long workout a week. This way, it is easier to make exercise a regular, everyday habit. And with 20-30 min it is not some daunting, unachievable task.

3) Workout in an environment that you enjoy. If you don’t like The Gym, don’t go. Figure out a way to workout at home or outdoors. Or take a dance fitness class, go swimming or do some yoga in your backyard. Many people have this idea that if you aren’t on a treadmill at the gym, it doesn’t count as exercise. There are many different ways to move your body and burn calories, so choose something that energizes you!

4) Listen to your favorite music. Take the time to regularly update your ipod so you always have new music to enjoy. This can be a great motivator to workout!

 5) Think of your exercise time as me-time. This is the time when you can clear your mind and focus on yourself. Its like a trip to the spa….but not quite as relaxing!

Do you have any secret tricks for making your workout time enjoyable? If so, what are they?

Why Exercise?

There are plenty of scientific reasons why exercise is good for you, but I won’t bore you with those. Let me get straight to the juicy facts and tell you what you really want to know.

It has been a long kept secret that exercise enhances the three most important things in life – food, sex and sleep.

Food – Those who workout regularly know that food simply tastes better after some invigorating exercise. Regularly moving around increases your appetite and the hungrier you are, the better your food will taste. Also, since you just burned a ton of calories you will feel good about rewarding your body with a nutritious, delicious meal.

Sex – There are lots of science-y explanations for this one. Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen in the body, which makes most people feel sexier. But being fit usually means you enjoy being in your body and are more confident about the way you look, making it easier to unleash your inner Aphrodite.

Sleep – When you take the time to give your body the exercise it needs on a daily basis, not only will you fall asleep more easily, but you will enjoy a more restful, restorative sleep. Workouts damage muscle tissues (in a good way) and sleep is needed to repair them and build muscle.

If you don’t believe me, try it out for yourself! Get at least 20-30 min of exercise every day for two weeks and pay attention to how your experience of daily life changes. Hopefully, by the end of the two weeks you won’t be asking “why exercise?” but “why not exercise?!”