Tuesday 24 June 2014

Strength in Numbers

The path to getting healthier can feel like a long one at times.  But like all big trips, it helps when you have good some company along for the ride.

No one is going to be more committed to your fitness journey than you, and maybe your personal trainer.  But after the session, or even after a long day at work, when we arrive home tired and wanting to unwind, that's when temptation can hit us the hardest.

And that's where the real work begins.

Here are some tips to create a support network for your training:

1) You don't need to tell the world, but tell a friend.

Have an accountability partner.  Someone who can understand the struggles you are facing and will work with you on your journey.  Maybe they can offer some support or can help you through some of the challenges you are facing.

2) Be selective with your team.

Not everyone will be happy for you when you start to take better care of yourself.  Some people will feel worse about themselves when they see your health and fitness reaching new levels.  They may unknowingly try to hold you back. 

3) Train with a group.

A group fitness class or boot camp can create a community atmosphere where members push each other to hit and surpass their goals.  That and a spirit of friendly competition always helps to boost the motivation! 

4) Celebrate the success of other people.

Congratulate others on their accomplishments.  The more you are able to encourage the success of others, the more confident you will feel about yourself and about reaching your own goals.

If you want to grow your dreams, you've got to grow your team!  Building a support network and being actively engaged in the support of others will make the process  of moving forward in your fitness far more effective and enjoyable!

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Nutrition Myth Busters

There are a lot of options and opinions out there of what we should and shouldn't be eating.  However, food and nutrition research published by IDEA is shedding light on 4 grey areas.  

Here is a summary:

1) Raw Food is not always better than Cooked Food

Sometimes, it takes a little cooking to unlock the nutrients in a food.  Raw spinach, for example, is great - but if they are slightly cooked, phytonutrients are activated which make some of the health benefits more bioavailable.

2) A little processing is sometimes OK

Don't get me wrong; adding excessive sugars, fats and sodium is a problem.  Sometimes we need a little convenience in our lives to make a healthy diet more realistic. We need to be careful with processed foods, but if we learn how to read nutrition labels properly, we can make good choices and not have to spend the whole day preparing our meals.

3) Natural means NOTHING

It is a marketing term.  Natural foods don't have labels.  And anything in a package labelled "natural" may not be the most healthy choice.  Read the labels carefully :)

4) Reducing Sugar is great - Eliminating?  Not so much

Most of us really need to REDUCE our sugar intake - but let's not eliminate it altogether.  There are as many as 257 names for sugar.  They are not all created equal and some are meant to be in our foods.  So take it all in context :)

There is a lot of information out there but as a rule, balance is key.  If you like red meat - enjoy! - but just watch your portions and how often you eat it.  Taking a little time to research is an essential part of a total fitness plan!