AWC Fitness Service Coordinator Josh Delgado, and Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer Michelle Murphy work to ensure students and faculty have the tools they need to achieve their fitness goals. Josh and Michelle have some great tips on how to tackle training goals after the holiday season.
- Create a meal plan
Putting structure into your meals and routine provides a clearer understanding of your goals and how to achieve them. Thinking about events, parties or holiday dinners beforehand will help you track what you’re eating and just how much you’re indulging.
- Keep a food journal
Michelle: “portion control is important and food journaling helps keep you accountable for how much you’re eating, giving you a mental check. Sometimes your plan is to indulge but you have to understand what that means tomorrow or next week whether it’s more physical activity to help keep that balance because balance is very important.”
- Everything in moderation
Michelle and Josh both agree that “cheat meals” are physiologically healthy. “Having [a cheat meal] to satisfy you is good for all of us,” Josh believes. “Keeping in mind your mental happiness and emotional needs is always the bigger picture.”
- Keep your goals in mind
It’s easy to fall behind on diet and exercise but having a clear picture of what you want to achieve, with a constant reminder, will help you in the long run. Michelle recommends putting your goals on your refrigerator to help keep your goals where you will see them. “Remind yourself why you’re going to keep yourself in check and why you want to keep those portions in control.”
- Listen to your body
People will skip meals to prepare to feast on larger portions, which is harmful to your body in many different ways. Starving yourself for any reason can have extreme adverse effects to your everyday life, including losing the ability to know when your body is full, overeating, eating too fast and causing an imbalance to your hormones.
Josh: “Eating isn’t just calories in and calories out. If the hunger hormones rise too much, it might play a role on how your body will metabolize the energy or burn fat afterwards.”
Michelle: “Fasting before any dinner is not recommended because in the end you’ll do more harm than good.”
- Any amount of activity is healthy
Finding ways to relax and stay active isn’t as hard as it might sound, even for those who don’t have the means to visit the gym. Pushing yourself to venture out to get your morning coffee or visiting holiday markets are a good way to get yourself out of the house and walking around. Michelle: “There’s physical activity and then there is exercise and the difference between the two is the purpose behind it. Just having a goal helps motivates you. Instead of thinking about being more active for the day, think, ‘I want to get 10,000 steps today’ and it will allow you to go that extra bit to reach your own goals.”
- Believe in yourself in your goals
It’s easy to give up when you aren’t seeing the results immediately, but everything takes time and is a process.
Michelle: “Getting in shape is never a linear process, and there will always be ups and downs and it’s how you react to the challenges that makes the difference. When you do fall off track, you need to accept it, acknowledge it and then move on, not beating yourself up about it otherwise you’re not doing yourself any favours. You’re going to be able to get through this and maintain it in the long run.”
With the proper motivation, any goals you may set out to achieve are possible. Having strong support systems like Josh and Michelle and the other AWC personal trainers, can be helpful for anyone trying to get back on track with the overall quality of their life.
Free fitness consultations are being offered with the fitness coordinator and personal trainers. More information about session pricing or fitness classes can be found at the Athletics and Wellness Centre, or online at myAWC.ca.