Fitness & Health

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Five tips from an athletic trainer to help you stay on track

Photo credit: Marta Kierkus

January has come and gone. Most of the excitement about the New Year has passed. So, how are your 2015 resolutions coming along? If the answer is “not so well,” there are still 11 months left to reach your goals. One of the most popular resolutions is healthy living.

We touched base with certified trainer and fourth-year human kinetics student Ariane Lachance-Scantland for tips on how to stay motivated and keep your fitness resolutions.

1. Add it to your schedule

For working out to be part of your lifestyle, it needs to become second nature. Write down training sessions in an agenda to make it become a habit. Treat it as an appointment that can’t be cancelled to help keep it a priority. Convenience is key when introducing a lifestyle change. Find practical training times such as before or after class to make them manageable.

2. Find a workout that’s right for you

After scheduling times, determine the type of training you enjoy. The weight room is not for everyone. Playing sports, taking classes, or circuit training at home are great alternatives to the dreaded crowded gym. Lachance-Scantland also suggests including variety in your workouts. Not only is it beneficial for your body, it keeps workouts exciting. Sports Services offers many options when it comes to staying fit. Montpetit Hall and the Minto Sports Complex offer fitness centres, squash courts, gymnasiums, and dance studios.

3. Don’t make excuses

Let’s face it: we all have our off days. School, time, and fatigue are all excuses that can deter us from going to the gym. But anything is better than nothing. A shorter or less intense workout helps to maintain fitness level. Besides, you’ll always be pleased that you completed a workout.

4. Educate yourself

“The clients who see the quickest results are those who are implicated in the process,” says Lachance-Scantland. “Asking questions and learning about healthy living always helps to achieve your fitness goals.”

You have easy access to training material online. Just make sure it’s from a reputable source. Knowing the benefits of an exercise helps to perform it better, and to appreciate it more. Not to mention, understanding the basics can come in handy. When a gym is crowded and your station or materials are taken, knowing alternative exercises makes workouts go faster and smoother.

5. Focus on yourself

Whatever you do, don’t look at others while you’re training. It’s so tempting to compare body masses and workouts. At this point, all you need to understand is your training and the benefits it brings to you. There’s no time to waste trying to copy others. Chances are you have a class to attend, assignments to complete, or a bus to catch.

These tips are useless if you aren’t being honest with yourself first. It’s more than the number on the scale; there are underlying reasons for wanting to lead a healthier life. And if you know accountability will be a problem, consider hiring a trainer, or teaming up with a buddy with similar goals and dedication.