Brace yourselves—the holidays are coming! It’s common to eat a little too much, drink a little too much, and neglect fitness routines during the busy holiday season. So instead of waking up on New Year’s Day panicking about getting serious about your health, make a plan now. Where do you start? How do you ensure your new plan is sustainable?
The first step is deciding what you want to start doing. Chat with your healthcare provider(s) about what interests you and make sure your chosen activity is safe for you.
Next, set some achievable goals. Depending on your level of fitness, your goal might be to simply walk to the end of your street and back without feeling out of breath. Someone else might want to finish a marathon. There is no wrong answer here.
After goal setting, it’s time for strategy. My number one strategy when it comes to fitness, is to find a buddy. No matter what you want to do, get a friend to join you. Walking and running are much more enjoyable when you can chat away the time with a friend. The CVR Run Club meets at the shop every Thursday at 6PM if you’re looking for running buddies. And fitness classes are great places to meet new people with goals similar to your own.
Finally, the tactics. If running is your thing, it’s not good enough to just say, “I want to start running.” You need a tried and true program. We are blessed with three options in the Valley when it comes to learn-to-run programs: Ceevacs Roadrunners have been offering Run and Walk Clinics for 25 years; Monkey Bar Gym has a brand spanking new location in Duncan and offers 5K, 10K, and half-marathon training programs; and finally there is the RunSport TC 10K training clinics offered at both Shawnigan Lake Community Centre and Fuller Lake Arena. See below for a list of local programs and fitness centres.
You’ve got your goal, your buddy, and your program. What’s left? Nutrition! Being fit is 20% training and 80% nutrition—you can’t out train a bad diet! My personal opinion is simply to choose real food most often—fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, and water! Water, water, water. If you want to eat cake, go ahead. Just bake it yourself. It will taste better and you’ll savour it more. Preferably after a workout!
Now go out there, and crush the holiday season knowing you’ve got a plan for a happy and healthy 2018!
Local learn-to-run programs:
Ceevacs Roadrunners — Now in its 25th year, Ceevacs Run and Walk clinics begin January 29, 2018.
Monkey Bar Gym — Owner Kathleen Neilson leads 5K, 10K, and half-marathon clinics with an emphasis on biomechanics, technique, injury prevention, and recovery.
RunSport TC 10K Official Training Clinics — Geared to a broad range of fitness levels, this 14 week progressive training clinic takes you all the way to the TC 10K in April.
Locally owned and operated fitness studios in the South Cowichan area:
Fit Your Way — In addition to the usual group-class suspects, try a rowing/cycling combo class! Full body workout guaranteed.
Kali Yoga — Good range of classes, experienced instructors, and a gorgeous space!
Monkey Bar Gym — Fitness for the urban jungle. Classes to condition, build power, or workout with your little monkey (a.k.a. bambinos).
Olympic Fitness — As a member of Olympic Fitness, you can gain access to the gym 24hrs a day! No excuses.
Pilates Plus — Fitness for EVERY body.
Valley Health and Fitness — Cardio, weights, classes, and child minding.
WOW Fitness — Fitness for women of all ages and sizes.
CVRD Community Centres — programs for everyone!Own a local fitness business, and not on this list? Let us know and we will get you added ASAP.