It’s that time of year – people across Toronto and beyond are setting ambitious fitness goals for 2017. If you really want to succeed this year though, you need more than a resolution.
You need a practical plan – and we’ve got one for you. Put these six tips into practice – and use our free habit tracker (which you can download below), and you’ll dramatically increase the chances that you’ll create lasting positive change this year.
This is embarrassing to say but, even though I own a fitness company, I haven’t always been the fittest looking guy.
A decade ago, working out was my life. I dabbled in strongman training and got to a point where I could deadlift 725lbs and held a record in the 800 pound tire flip.
Even after my dreams of being the next Magnus ver Magnusson waned, I remained firmly committed to fitness and strength training. But, as it does for so many people, life got busy. Kids came along, my business grew and demanded more of my time and energy and, somewhere along the way, I stopped prioritizing my own fitness.
The Body Mass Index - or BMI - is an algorithm of weight and height that was created by insurance companies many decades ago to help determine a person's risk for disease or mortality.
Fast forward to the present day and it's commonly used as a measure of health - but it shouldn't be. From a fitness perspective, this simply doesn't make sense because it doesn't factor in muscle mass or bone density. A person who is lean and muscular but has big bones could have a very high BMI. And on the flip side, someone with a healthy BMI can be 'skinny fat' and unhealthy. (Here's a detailed article about its shortcomings, if you're interested in more detail.)
So if the BMI isn't reliable, what IS a good measure?
If you search Instagram (or just about anywhere else) for "fitness", you'll be bombarded with chiseled bodies, videos of people lifting huge heavy weights, and (far too many) toned-ab selfies.
It suggests that fitness is an extreme, all-or-nothing thing. Which it isn't. And that's why you won't find any greasy posed muscles in our feed. We believe that success looks different for each of us, and is about more than what you see on the outside.
One of our favourite 'traditions' at Nielsen Fitness is to capture - and celebrate - our clients' goals as they achieve them. Here are some recent ones that our clients gave us their blessing to share with you.
We think they're a great reminder that fitness is for everyone and success can take so many different forms.
Want to join these healthy folks? Click here to learn more about our process, and here to read about how we're different. When you're ready, give us a shout and we'll come to you for a free, no-obligation consultation and mini workout.
Statistics say that the average gym membership costs around $60 (although I’m certain that number is higher here in Toronto) and that 67% of people with gym memberships never use them. Many of our clients come to us after trying out a commercial gym and deciding it wasn't for them. The most common reasons why include...
A goal is a dream with a plan, as they say. But setting a goal isn't as simple as you may think - if you want to achieve it, that is.
Here's our formula for setting fitness goals that stick. It is based upon the widely-used SMART goals model, and we use it with our clients all the time.
Here we are - the first week back to school/work/reality for the fall season. As much as I love summer, I also really like September for the fresh new start it brings (not to mention perfect outdoor workout weather!). If you've been off the workout wagon for the summer months, now's the time to re-commit and get back on track.
Everyone wants to lose weight these days – and I have a problem with that. Are you surprised to hear that from a personal trainer? Hear me out.
“Weight loss” is not universally a good thing. When you lose weight, you lose a combination of water, fat, and muscle. This is inevitable – nobody loses pure fat – but the goal is to lose as much fat as possible, and as little water and muscle. In fact, you should work at adding muscle, while losing fat - but we'll get to that in a minute.
Unfortunately, most weight loss programs, products, and diets ignore the distinction between weight loss and fat loss, and focus solely on the number on the scale. The end result is a loss of muscle - to the tune of about 50% - and a really messed up metabolism.
Doctors and specialists collaborate to provide the best medical care possible for patients. So - shouldn't other members of your health care team do the same? We think so.
Poul Nielsen is the owner and operator of Nielsen Fitness, Toronto's leading team of in-home personal trainers. He has 16 years' experience in the fitness industry and has taught courses in Fitness and Lifestyle Management at George Brown College.
In addition to exercise (obviously), he loves spending time with his family, playing the guitar, strong coffee - and dark chocolate!