Living a healthier lifestyle in 2014

Andrew Wagstaff
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Setting goals and finding balance

AMHERST – It’s the middle of January. Have you tossed your New Year’s resolutions by the wayside yet?
Many people choose this time of year to commit to becoming healthier, but success in that area calls for both a reasonable and balanced approach, according to representatives from one local nutrition consultant.

Janine Black (left) and Christine MacDonald at Simply for Life hear a lot about New Year’s resolutions at this time of year, and say a balanced approach between nutrition and exercise with realistic goals is the best way to go.

“It’s not always as simple as just saying, ‘This is what I’m going to do’,” said Christine MacDonald, sales manager at Simply for Life. “You have to set a goal and make a plan, implement that plan and constantly revisit it.”

Simply for Life receives a lot of calls this year from people making New Year’s resolutions, according to dietitian Janine Black, who said their key message is always focused on motivation and accountability, and setting short-term goals along with their overall goal.

“With any resolutions, we sometimes set the bar too high, so it’s important to look at short-term goals,” she said. “The long-term goal may be to lose 30 pounds, but the short-term goal may be more specific. What can we focus on to help you lose those 30 pounds? It might be eating more vegetables every day with supper, or drinking at least two litres of water every day.

It’s about looking at those small habits we do every day to help us achieve those goals,” she added.

It takes three weeks to establish something as a habit, according to Black, who said it is important to keep working at those small habits over time so they become first nature.

As far as weight loss and weight management goes, proper nutrition is 80 per cent of the effort, while exercise balances out the remaining 20 per cent, she explained. But the benefits of exercise go far beyond weight loss, improving things such as muscle tone, bon density, energy and stress levels, and more.

In fact, this balanced approach to wellness has brought Simply for Life into partnership with New Figure Fitness, the women’s fitness centre in the same building at 16 Church Street (Simply for Life plans to relocate in February).

Following a nutrition consultation with a training circuit at the gym is not only convenient, but makes sense, said MacDonald.

“We’re definitely getting phone calls and interest in it,” she said. “For us it’s interesting to see women calling, because it’s an all-women’s gym. It’s a great concept to have both within the same building.”

Twitter: @ADNandrew

Geographic location: Church Street

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