There is a lot of information and nonsense in the health and fitness industry.
With that being said, I understand it can be overwhelming and confusing. So I decided to dedicate a whole post to some of the questions that my readers have!
Thank you to all that sent in questions! If you don’t see the answers to yours, I am sorry but my answers started getting too long (surprise, surprise) and I realized that I should probably separate it into multiple parts.
So stay tuned!
Your health and fitness questions with answers:
How do you stay so motivated year round?
No one is motivated 24/7/365. There are days that I don’t feel like going to the gym eating vegetables or even being productive. But then, I remind myself of why I am doing all these things. think about your goals, now ask yourself why you want to achieve each goal. Having an end goal is great for motivation, but when you can evoke emotion is when you will find that extra will power.
And some days, you just have to do it. Even when you don’t want to. Or maybe you do need a rest. For more on motivation and whether you’re at the point that you should push through or take a rest
check out my post dedicated to motivation here.
What foods should I eat/ not eat to lose weight?
You should eat everything in moderation.
Too vague? Ok, sorry.
But, if you have been following me for a while you know that I promote living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Therefore, I do not believe in telling people to not eat certain foods. Furthermore, most people know what they should be eating less of, they just don’t. Some foods you should try to cut back on for a healthier life and weight loss include: anything processed, fast food, desserts, pop, candy… basically anything high in fat and sugar…and delicious. However, these types of foods are made to leave you wanting more, so if you can cut back on your sugar intake your body actually craves it less.
Furthermore, the more you eat healthy foods the more your body will start to crave the nutrients in those foods. Therefore leaving you craving nutritious, healthy foods.
That being said, there are foods that should be staples in your diet, even if you aren’t trying to lose weight.
Health staples include:
– Water (not necessarily a food, but should be your most consumed beverage)
– Whole grains
– Healthy fats
Whatever my goals are I aim to follow three simple nutrition guidelines everyday, and you can find them here.
What the heck should I be doing in the gym?
If you are a beginner then I suggest you try a little bit of everything and see what you like. Of course some forms of exercise are more beneficial than others. But in the long run, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing then chances of you keeping active are drastically lower.
However, for overall health, longevity and optimal body composition you will want to include strength training, cardio and flexibility. For best results you will want to aim for 2-3 days each of strength and cardio, stretching daily, or at least after every workout.
If you are pressed for time and can only workout 3 days a week then I recommend putting an emphasis on strength training, doing 10- 20 minutes of cardio after, and then a quick stretch.
When it comes to the actual workout I always focus on free weight, compound exercises (these work multiple muscles at a time opposed to isolation work).
However, unless you are comfortable in the gym and know you are using correct form/ work with a trainer, I suggest starting with the machines. Most gyms will have a machine resistance circuit that hits all of the main muscle groups. This circuit can be a great way to start, however I highly recommend getting into compound and free weight exercises. Either by reaching out to someone for help or video taping yourself and comparing them to videos of proper form online.
In the end, the most important thing you should be doing in the gym is pushing yourself.
I wrote a whole blog including tips to get results from any workout, which you can read here and make sure your workout is effective!
Seasonal tips to feel better?
I totally understand how different seasons can affect our health and wellbeing. For many people, especially us Canadians, winter can be tough. With the decreased amount of sunshine, cold weather and extra work due to snow and ice freezing on our cars and in our driveways, many people spend the whole winter waiting for spring.
However, I am a firm believer that your life is what you make it, and your experiences are directly related to your attitude. For more on how to change your whole life by changing your thoughts, head to this blog. Therefore, my best advice to feel better during the winter is to bundle up and change your attitude.
Seriously though. For me, the main reason I used to dread winter was that I was always cold. So the simple solution is to make sure that I am always dressed for the weather. This has allowed me to actually enjoy the winter instead of being a miserable hermit the whole season. Seriously, my Mom used to call me a hermit in the winter, but not anymore!
There are tonnes of winter activities, some may be more appealing to you than others, so my recommendation is to try a bunch of different ones and see what you like best.
– Ice skating (indoor public skating or get adventurous and really enjoy the fresh winter air at an outdoor trial)
– Snowboarding or skiing (downhill or cross country)
– Snowshoeing / winter hiking
– Cuddling up in your favourite blanket with a cup of tea and watching a movie, or reading a book
– Baking (I know this is a year round activity, but I tend to bake more in the winter)
– Have an outdoor campfire, bundle up and stay warm by the fire
My last recommendation is to either keep up with or start a workout routine. Many people let their fitness go down hill in the winter either because it’s too cold to venture out to the gym, or they are no longer worried about their summer bodies. However, exercise is a proven mood booster. So, even if you end up doing more at home workouts, and don’t get to the gym as often, any workout is better than no workout. Don’t know what to do at home with no equipment? I got your back, Jack. Here is a quick, no equipment needed full body cardio workout you can do anywhere
I have heard exercise can help have positive effects on our mental health. So I was wondering what kind of fitness program I should be following to see the best results?
There have been many studies done that show positive effects and decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, the studies don’t show that certain types of exercise are more beneficial than others.
This is good news because it means that you can choose whatever form of exercise you like the best. What has been proven is that exercise is not a one and done solution. For lasting results you want to ensure you continue with a regular exercise program, therefore make sure you pick a program that you can stick with. In order to get our body to release serotonin (our bodies natural anti-depressant) and get the mood enhancing effects from exercise you do want to make sure it is intense enough to increase your heart rate and challenge your body. Low intensity exercise like walking and stretching are good to help clear the mind, but you do want to get up to at least moderate intensity exercise 3 – 5 days a week for best overall results.
Thank you again for all of your questions!
Like I said, I will be doing more Q & A posts in the future! So if you don’t see the answer to your question, make sure to look for it in my up and coming posts.
Also, if you have a question that you haven’t asked yet please feel free to email me or fill in my survey here!