The past year has been challenging for countless reasons, so there is no shame in having bought the largest Toblerone on sale at the local grocery store, and eating it by oneself over the holiday season.
For some, that might be a feeling worth sitting in until things start to turn around, and that is perfectly fine.
But for those who want to lead a healthier existence in 2021, there are smart ways to get started.
Maple Ridge’s Vince Martin is a former powerlifting champ who was recently named coach-of-the-year in The News’ A-List special publication.
He said he has coached many people who have come to him with New Years resolutions.
“It’s all about the fine balance,” Martin said. “It can be a slow process getting to where you’re aiming to be.”
He encourages his clients to stay away from extremes like crash diets and workout plans that see people spending every day of the week in the gym.
“Everybody wants the miracle cure, or some fancy supplements to get them to where they want to go, but they don’t often work, and it’s often disappointing in the end,” he said.
Martin recommends having a solid plan, with attainable goals, and most importantly self-accountability.
“There are going to be pitfalls,” he said. “Life happens, but you need to ask yourself beforehand, how you’re going to stay on track.”
Martin said eating is the most important part of the equation, and recommends coming up with a diet that will fuel you correctly, while leaving you satisfied.
“You have to be able to feed the machine, so it doesn’t break down,” he said.
Almost as important is proper sleep and rest.
Not only do muscles repair themselves while sleeping, but mood is greatly improved by a solid eight hour snooze too.
It is fair to say, putting a solid effort into a workout, is a lot easier when not grumpy.
For many, working out at a gym does not hold the same appeal as it did prior to the pandemic, so some are looking online to find workouts to complete.
Martin recommends those who peruse YouTube to look for tips stay away from exercises they are not used to.
“If you’re going to attempt to learn a new technique you discover online, there’s a good chance it’s not going to work out well for you,” he said.
“An online video doesn’t show the finer details that are specific for your body type.
“A professional trainer that has the experience behind them can see what works best for you, and adjust accordingly to how you are built.”
Maple Ridge Crossfit trainer, Alissa Betts, recommends that people just make a point of moving their body.
“You don’t need a bunch of weights, and you don’t need to do this crazy regimen,” the former college basketball player said.
“I don’t give people advice on lifting weights because I’m not there to watch them, and I don’t want people to get hurt.”
Betts said simple workouts like squats, sit-ups, push-ups, and lunges, are a good idea for those starting off their New Years fitness plans at home.
“Anything that just uses your body weight is enough to get a good workout in,” she said, “You really don’t need too much.”
Betts also implores people getting back into fitness to not be too hard on themselves.
“You have to be realistic about your goals, and maybe that’s just being healthier in general – not necessarily to look a certain way – you just want to feel good about yourself,” she said.
‘People always say, ‘I want to diet, and I want to be in good shape,’ but I tell them to pick one at a time. Build a base, and go from there.”
From Betts’ experience, when clients try to do everything at once at the start of the year, the plan lasts until February and then does not work any more.
“It’s all about baby steps, being nice to yourself, and setting realistic goals,” she said.
“You have to listen to you body, and don’t do too much too soon.”
She tells clients to pick and exercise like burpees and see how many they can do in a minute, and then try and beat that in two weeks time.
A great idea to get things going is to find a support system, Betts pointed out.
“Whether it’s a husband, a sibling, or a friend that you just touch base with; it’s much easier with a partner,” she said.
“Working out’s got to be fun and you can’t look at it as a chore. As soon as you say ‘I have to work out,’ then it make it harder to stick with it.”