I am one of the owners of Le Fitness Loft. People would think I am a gym buff; someone who works out every day of the week. Someone who watches everything that goes into my mouth.
Someone who is addicted to pumping iron all day.
The truth? I had never done a weight training program until I was in university. I work in a gym, but I don’t always workout in it! I love ice cream and pizza.
And I don’t get my motivation to stay fit by beating my personal bests with weights.
So how do I stay fit? I’m a huge believer in doing what makes you happy and if hitting the gym is it then great, but for many it is not! This is not to say that I don’t like working out now, because I do! I wouldn’t push people to train if I didn’t. And I strongly believe that one of the main benefits of going to a gym is to have your trainer/kinesiologist evaluate you in order to see your progression and set realistic goals in a safe and healthy way to keep you motivated.
But there are so many ways to support our gym workouts with what’s around you, without having to always use gym equipment.
As I mentioned, setting goals is a key factor in achieving your health objectives. Goals can be short term, long term, specific or general but they are necessary in order to stay motivated. I personally find my motivation through my clients and through setting specific goals for myself.
Several years ago I realized, while working out with a client, that her cardio endurance was stronger than mine and I, the kinesiologist and trainer, was trying to catch my breath keeping up to her. This did not sit well with my stubborn brain, so what did I do? I registered for my first half marathon and had 4 months to get to a level that would allow me to complete those 21 kilometers. I set weekly distances that I had to run, and supported my cardio with strength training in the gym.
I had a friend and co-worker look over my plan and give me her opinion and suggestions as well, which helped me incredibly, knowing that she was following me and pushing me to the end. I did that half marathon faster than expected along with 3 more since then! Knowing that I had a date in order to achieve something is what kept me going and made me achieve that goal.
Aside from goal-setting I mentioned that doing what you love is important in order to succeed.
Recently, a client of mine expressed that she despises going to the gym. This is someone I see at the Loft two times a week and have been doing so, trying to conquer some health issues, for over a year and a half. I knew it was never her favorite thing to do, but never thought it was such hatred. Throughout that hour long session I made it my mission to find a way for her to accomplish her goals and start liking the journey (or at least not hating it!).
As our session winded down I decided that our next appointment was not going to be at the Loft. I would meet her at centennial park where we would be surrounded by nature, have the necessary tools to do a mini workout (park bench, hill and jungle gym are perfect!), take a 2km walk around the lake
and hopefully broaden her view on what ‘exercise’ meant. The thought of not having to use any dumbbells, cables or elastics made her not only thankful but excited for our next workout…success!
I have played sports my entire life and this has allowed me to maintain good health and fitness. I can’t imagine my life without playing soccer every week or skiing every snowfall. But aside from training in my own gym, one of my favorite activities that keeps me moving is hiking, which is how I came up with the idea of meeting that client at the park. This is one hobby anyone can do, that requires no athletic talent and more and more I am suggesting it to clients and friends. It not only gets you outside and gets your heart rate up, but it is an amazing way to clear your head, de-stress and explore the outdoors whether you be in your home town or out traveling the world! Not to mention, for the most part, IT’S FREE! All you need is a pair of running shoes or hiking boots and you are on your way to improving your health. Hiking doesn’t have to be up a steep hill or through the deep woods. Even taking your dog for a long stroll around a park can be considered a little hike!
There are several people out there who hate walking into gyms, for various reasons. For those of you like my client I suggest getting advice and setting some specific goals with a professional, especially for those of you with health problems. And although hitting the gym is amazing for you and I strongly believe everyone should try it, using what is around you to reach your health goals is a great way to get there too!
Here’s a list of some of my favorite spots to take a hike:
Pierrefonds: Great in all seasons with a beach, trails, x-country ski rentals, picnic areas and
Rigaud: Great hiking in the summer and an awesome view at the top. If you have a pup, go up
the ski hill side!
-Bois de Belle-Riviere
Mirabel: Beautiful park with tons of activities in all seasons (skating, fishing, Frisbee, golf,
trails….you can even rent cabins!) Dogs allowed!
-Schuyler Falls (a bit of a drive)
Adirondacks, New York State: If you’re willing to drive about 2 hours this areas has AMAZING hikes of all levels.
Lyons Mountain (medium) and Tabletop (hard) are two hikes that have insane views!
co-owner of Le Fitness Loft
2060 Place Transcanadienne
Dorval, QC, H9P 2N4