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10 tips to help make 2014 your fittest

Written by: Cary Castagna, QMI Agency
Dec. 27, 2013

QMI Agency


 

I’m certainly no Richard Simmons. (Don’t even try to imagine me in a sequined tank top with candy-striped Dolfin shorts), but I’d like to think I’m helping to make the world a fitter place through this weekly newspaper column. Keeping Fit, in its 10th year of publication with Sun Media, is equal parts information and inspiration — all in the name of perspiration. So, to help make the coming year your fittest yet, here’s a compilation of the Top 10 tips from fitness experts who spoke to Keeping Fit in 2013.

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Schedule your workouts

Dai Manuel, uber-fit COO of B.C.-based exercise equipment store Fitness Town says that many would-be workout enthusiasts tell him that they don’t have time to exercise. But he doesn’t buy that flimsy excuse.

“I’m busy, too. But I always find time to work my workout in because I know how it makes me feel,” he explains. “You book it. Put it in your agenda and say, ‘That’s my hour.’”

Be passionate

Passion is the No. 1 ingredient to success, opines Sylwia Wiesenberg, creator of a unique exercise brand known as Tonique Fitness.

“I wake up every morning, and I never ever — even if I’m sick and have a temperature of 102 degrees — I never stop. I say, ‘I’m doing this because I love it.’ I never have regrets. I never question myself. When people try to criticize me, I just don’t listen to them.”

Be adventurous

Variety makes for an effective fitness regimen, suggests Assata McKenzie, a Toronto-based personal trainer with GoodLife Fitness.

“Try something new — Zumba or a martial arts class,” she says. “You never know, you might just like it.”

Train early

If you can, work out in the morning, urges celebrity trainer Simone De La Rue.

“Try to get it out of the way,” she advises. “By the afternoon or evening, you’re going to be less motivated.”

Train smart

Jet Black, the most muscular contestant on the summer’s inaugural edition of The Amazing Race Canada, recommends a smarter-not-harder fitness philosophy.

“I’m doing less (nowadays), but I know what I’m doing is more effective and I’m still at a point where I enjoy it,” he says. “If I felt that I had to go and kill myself for a couple of hours a day, it wouldn’t be any fun and the reality is I wouldn’t get off the couch.”

Fuel up correctly

Kara Monaco, the 2006 Playboy Playmate of the Year, notes that there is no substitute for good nutrition.

“If you want to be in shape fitness-wise, the biggest thing is you have to eat really clean,” she says. “That’s a huge part of it. That’s probably like 70% of it.”

Go natural

Vinny Guadagnino opts for plenty of fish, vegetables and other natural foods as much as possible, while eschewing starchy carbs.

“Each time you’re about to go eat something, ask yourself, ‘Did my ancestors eat this?’ Once you eat only those foods that you’re naturally supposed to eat, then you lose a lot.”

Try the 80/20 rule

Jillian Michaels, tough-love trainer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, preaches what she calls the 80/20 rule, which entails making a wise nutritional choice 80% of the time.

“So 20% of your daily calories are treat foods. Or every fifth meal is a treat meal,” she explains. “You find that balance but you don’t feel deprived and you still lose weight.”

Use your hands

Confused about portion sizes? Eat-Clean Diet maven Tosca Reno says a good rule of thumb is to use your hands as measuring tools.

She shares the following guide:

  • A serving of lean protein should fit in your palm.
  • A serving of leafy greens should fit in two open hands cupped together. 
  • A serving of denser veggies (such as beets and Brussels sprouts) should fit in one open hand.
  • A serving of whole grains should fit in one cupped hand.

Be positive

Dr. Levi Harrison, L.A.-based orthopaedic surgeon and fitness expert, prescribes positivity for good overall health.

“You are what you think,” he adds. “So you have to watch what you’re thinking.”

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