As you know, I entered 2015 with a strong focus on wellness – mind, body & spirit, so it was serendipitous that I found myself seated with Eva Redpath, Canada's only Nike Master Trainer, at an event early this year. Since that meeting, I've regularly attended her weekly Nike Training Club (NTC) classes and have dropped in to her new Equinox Barre Burn class. Eva's enthusiasm, strength and choreography have earned her a legion of well-toned fans and today the Master Trainer shares her tips for staying fit and motivated on your own.
But first, in my experience, one of the biggest aids in training is music; so turn up Eva's fave playlist, created by her friend DJ Feel Good Smalls, and read below to kick start (or kick up) your fitness regimen.
How many often do you recommend that the average person work out?
It really comes down to the goals the person is aiming to achieve. I typically tell my clients: “Ask yourself what you WANT to achieve – is it weight loss, more muscle tone, better energy? Then ask yourself again what are you prepared to DO to in order achieve your goal (s).” For example, up your cardio to 4x/week with strength training at least 2x/week. Replace processed foods with non-starchy veggies instead too.
Bottom line, you have to be honest with yourself, and this includes setting goals based in reality and not in an “ideal world”. Realistic goal setting means attaching achievable markers, not ‘I want Beyonce’s thighs….’More like, ‘I would like tone my legs so they are stronger and leaner.’ When forced to contrast an ideal world with the real world, you are more likely to recognize potential conflicts. So instead of being surprised by the competing demands, you can set a realistic plan to achieve your goals that you can actually commit to.
Do you supplement with "slower" practices (e.g. yoga, Pilates, swimming, etc)
Variety is definitely key. Without it, your muscles can plateau, get lazy and/or become over-strained. That’s why I'm all for a day of "rest" or active recovery, something to restore the body. As well as regularly switching-up workouts to include lower impactful exercise such as yoga. Regular sleep, proper nutrition and refueling - are all essentials too.
How can time-starved people (everyone!) realistically incorporate fitness into their daily lives?
Implementing a healthy lifestyle can set the example for those around you. So do it for yourself – yes, but keep in-mind the positive influence you’ll have on others. For time-starved people (aren’t we all!), focus on short-term fitness goals. Be honest with yourself, be realistic. Look at what your current situation is and/or demands of your time – be it work, family, relationships, etc. Find the windows of time you can schedule your fitness in – realistically. For many of us, this might mean getting up an hour earlier. For others, it might include meeting with a trainer to stay on-track. Other factors to consider: Is your chosen activity affordable and available to you? Do your research for a location and activity that fits into the routine that you already have. Make it a flawless addition rather then a daunting task. Try making it a choice as something you look forward to as well! There are plenty of interesting and FUN ways of staying fit. For example, a chance for me to get outdoors in nature is a huge motivator. Whatever works for you, just make a choice that serves you - and remember anything is better then nothing. As little as 15minutes a day can turn itself into a healthy habit. The longer and more intensely you exercise, the greater the benefit.
What is the practice you recommend for someone who can't make it to the gym?
If you can't make it to my classes at Equinox, try a fitness app! Using an app can help guide you through your fitness journey. It can help you track your progress, instruct you on proper form and keep you motivated. My favourite is of course, N+TC app. It’s totally portable, and comes loaded with a huge variety of workouts to make you sweat and perform your best. Simply pick your time, ie: 15, 30 or 45-minutes, your goal – get toned, get lean, get strong…and then follow along the most amazing workouts inspired by athletes and Nike Master Trainers (like me!). You can even set yourself up on a 4-week training program which incorporates running and classes.
Is either strength training or cardio more important than the other?
Both are important indeed! Hence why I recommend HIIT workouts to get the most out of your workouts. When you’re looking to tone your whole body, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the fastest way to see results. A HIIT workout burns more calories and demands full body movement aimed to improve explosiveness, as well as strengthen and tone legs, arms and core. Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of high intensity training (done three times a week) than jogging on the treadmill for an hour. Not only that, but you’ll burn more calories…even after you’re done working out. The effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body's repair cycle into hyperdrive. That means you burn more calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout.
Eva's Wise Words of Wisdom
Choose a goal and put pen to paper. The act of writing down your goal can be powerful enough to keep you committed and focused. Ask yourself what you WANT to do, then ask yourself again what you WILL do, be honest with yourself – set goals based in reality and not in an “ideal world”. No body is ‘perfect’, so forgive yourself and stop the mind chatter that tells you otherwise.
Baby steps can go a long way – so quit the need to do several things at once and set yourintentions to one small goal at a time. Next, break down goals into mini challenges to keep you motivated along the way. You are far more likely to succeed with a series of smaller steps that will lead you to your big finale! Oh, and please, celebrate your health and happiness each and every day. Feel blessed knowing you have the option to be active and make healthier choices – without sacrificing your well-being. So if dark chocolate is your ‘thing’, by all means, enjoy it in moderation! Life is too short otherwise.