100 Reasons To Start Fresh In 2013

by | Jan 2, 2013 | Article, Workouts and Exercises.

Kathleen Trotter contributed to this article in the Huffington Post. Last year, 51 per cent of polled Canadians made New Year’s resolutions and most of them focused on eating healthier, flossing and even saving the world. A recent study from the University of Scranton found the top resolution for polled respondents was to lose weight, followed by getting more organized and spending less money, according to Statistics Brain.

But before you start making a list of the top trendy exercises or recipes you want to try out this year, make sure you have a reason behind making resolutions.

“Maybe you want to fit in to your ‘skinny jeans’ again, or maybe you want to be there to see your grandchildren walk down the aisle. Take time to remind yourself why you’re eating healthy and working out. When your reasons mean something to you and are important, you are more likely to succeed,” says Belinda Morrison, personal trainer and president of Be More Fitness, based in Calgary, Alta.

Morrison suggests writing your resolutions and placing them where you can see them, scheduling classes or exercises in a weekly agenda and thinking about bite-sized goals rather than larger ones.

“Start small, maybe twice per week and after a month, try moving up to three times a week of exercising. Or make one small change a day, soon you will see big changes in how you look and feel,” Morrison tells the Huffington Post Canada.

o help you out, we asked personal trainers, athletes, nutritionists, dietitians and health experts across the country to share their best tips for starting a new year. Remember, always go at your own pace, and if you’re worried about trying a new food or exercise routine, consult with an expert first.

Ready to be inspired? Here are 100 health tips to kick-off 2013:

1. Start Now:

TIP FOR 2013: “Start now! Not tomorrow, not next week, not next Monday. Why wait to feel proud of what you’re doing for yourself? Take control and make a difference now.”

THE EXPERT: Jennifer Raven, director of fitness and group exercise at the Toronto Athletic Club.

2. Seek Help With Pride:

TIP FOR 2013:“No champion ever became a champion without help and guidance. This can come in the form of a coach, a trainer, an instructor, a friend, a book, a website or even a blog.”

THE EXPERT: Kyla Gagnon, personal fitness trainer of Inside Out Fitness, based in Victoria, B.C.

3. Find Your Reasons:

TIP FOR 2013: “Make a list of three reasons why it is important for you to maintain great health and post your list where you can see it every day. This is your motivation to stay on track with your goals.”

THE EXPERT: Andrea Doepker-Gavidia, trainer and owner of Train For Life Fitness & Lifestyle Consulting, based in Saskatoon, Sask.

4. Get Back To The Basics:

TIP FOR 2013: “Everything our bodies do can be broken down into essential movements: squat, lunge, push, pull, and rotate. Functional movements work with these natural motions to improve joint stability, mobility and improve your quality of life.”

THE EXPERT: Craig McNamee and Adam Reynolds, personal fitness trainers at Catalyst Health, in Toronto, Ont.

5. Take Risks:

TIP FOR 2013: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Don’t approach 2013 in this manner. Taking a risk is all about opening yourself up to a change and accepting the need for change. Avoiding risk is one of the most powerful reasons we don’t reach our potential.”

6. Eat Carbs At The Right Time:

TIP FOR 2013: “Consume most of your carbohydrates for the day after you exercise. Carbohydrates are energy and excess energy gets stored when it’s not being used. Where does that excess energy get stored? In your fat cells.”

THE EXPERT: Jean-Luc Boissonneault, personal trainer and CEO of Free Form Fitness, based in Ottawa, Ont.

7. Think Green:

TIP FOR 2013: “Add in cruciferous vegetables — think broccoli, kale, cabbage and Brussels spouts. Cruciferous veggies are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre, and phytochemicals and have been linked to lower cancer risks.”

THE EXPERT:Danielle Felip, holistic nutritionist, based in Toronto.

8. Don’t Forget To Have Fun:

TIP FOR 2013: “Once a week, plan a fun workout, something that you actually look forward to. Take a dance class, join a sports team, or go on an active date with your partner. You are way more likely to exercise if it is something you enjoy.”

THE EXPERT:Kathleen Trotter, personal trainer, based in Toronto.

9. Clear The Crap:

TIP FOR 2013: “It’s essential when you are moving towards a healthier lifestyle to remove all things that steer you away from that goal. The first step towards healthier eating is to clear your cupboards of all your junk foods. Remove chips, microwave popcorn, cookies, snack packs, chocolates and refined sugars. This doesn’t mean you can never eat these foods again. Limit your treats to one day or one meal a week where you go out of your way to get these foods.”

THE EXPERT: Sammy Kennedy, CEO and fitness trainer of Booty Camp Fitness.

10. Get Enough Protein:

TIP FOR 2013: “Make sure you get enough protein per day. Protein is the building block for your body to build stronger muscles. More muscle makes you feel stronger, healthier and burns more calories per unit of time. An active individual should have a minimum daily intake of one gram of protein per kg of his or her body weight — and a gram per pound of his or her body weight would be ideal.”

THE EXPERT: Jason Gee, personal trainer at Personal Fitness Consulting, based in Toronto, Ont.

11. Get Enough Snooze Time:

TIP FOR 2013: “Never mind the old axiom, ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’. Poor sleep is implicated in poor cognition, poor adaptation to exercise, fatigue, irritability and weight gain due to messing with the hormones that regulate our appetites. Get your quality Z’s and you’ll reduce stress, increase alertness, and make your exercise more productive and more tolerable.”

THE EXPERT: Cris LaBossiere, certified cycling coach and personal trainer of Rhino Fitness, based in Winnipeg, Man.

12. Find A Buddy:

TIP FOR 2013: “Accountability measures are important — it’s human nature to stay where you’re comfortable and this can lead to complacency. When you share your plan with others, your success rate naturally rises. Often, when left to our own devices we can succumb to procrastination and become unmotivated. Finding a workout partner who has similar goals and interests can take your fitness plan from flat lining to fun.”

THE EXPERT:Brent Bishop, fitness expert based in Toronto, Ont.

13. Eat Naked:

TIP FOR 2013: “Do you ever come home after work and take off your work clothes and put on the comfy sweats? And soon after that you sit down to eat, guilt-free because your belt line isn’t reprimanding you for overindulging? Restrictive clothing helps you gauge your stomach expanding from over-eating. Better yet, eat naked! That’s right. Take off your clothes and then eat. If you think you need to lose weight or tone up, then eating naked pretty well guarantees you will not eat as much. Sound ridiculous? Try it.”

THE EXPERT: Amir Nevo, exercise physiologist of Health Wave, based in Halifax, N.S.

14. Drink More Water:

TIP FOR 2013: “Most people are chronically dehydrated and hunger can actually be one of the first signs. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces every day. This will keep your body well hydrated, keep your metabolism humming and keep your skin glowing.”

THE EXPERT: Angela Peters, personal trainer and holistic nutrition coach of Hol-Fit.com,, based in London, Ont.

15. Take A Walk:

TIP FOR 2013: “Adding 15 to 20 minutes of walking can be as easy as walking to work or taking a lunch time walk. Eventually, you should work your way up for longer 30 to 60 minute walks. Brisk walking can burn 250 to 300 calories per hour.”

THE EXPERT: Patsy McLean, group exercise director and certified personal trainer at the Adelaide Club, in Toronto, Ont.

16. Create Bite-Sized Goals:

TIP FOR 2013: “A common error in New Year’s resolutions is to set lofty goals that we fall short of, ending in a negative experiences. Set bite-sized, near-term goals in the fields of exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle that can be built upon once successfully sustained for a two-week term or longer.”

THE EXPERT: Vanessa Ast Biller, personal trainer at Vastfit, in Toronto, Ont.

17. Get Active After Dinner:

TIP FOR 2013: “Leave the stresses of the day behind and find time every evening to do something active. Walk the dog, head to the park with the family, ride your bike, play with your kids, or crank up the tunes and vacuum the house! You’ll have more energy, will sleep better and will feel a lot better about hitting the sofa to take in a favourite show.”

THE EXPERT: Kelly Murumets, CEO of ParticipACTION.

18. Take 10 Minutes:

TIP FOR 2013: “Do something physical and move for just 10 minutes a day. You will start to feel better and then want to move more.”

THE EXPERT: Elisabeth Halfpapp, co-creator of Exhale Core Fusion.

19. Think Realistically :

TIP FOR 2013: “Don’t start anything you can’t commit to forever. People often start with a lot of motivation and pick hardcore or intensive exercise programs that require them to alter their schedule or lifestyle in order to commit to them. Over time, life will get in the way and you probably won’t be able to stick to that one-to-two hour daily plan. Make sure the fitness plan and schedule you choose fits into your life right now.”

THE EXPERT: Nicole Nichols, award-winning trainer from SparkPeople.com.

20. Eat Breakfast:

TIP FOR 2013: “We’ve all heard this one before but it’s a good standard to abide by. Not only will it kick start your metabolism from your night of rest, it will help prevent you from making poor food choices because you’re so hungry in another hour or so. Choose protein riches foods like eggs or Greek yogurt with nuts or high fibre cereal to help start your day.”

THE EXPERT: Mary Ann Lee, assistant director of personal training at the Adelaide Club, in Toronto.

21. Sign Up Ahead:

TIP FOR 2013: “Sign up for your fitness classes online beforehand. This way, you’ve made the commitment in advance, and are less likely to get emotionally attached to your couch and bowl of popcorn. Plus, many studios these days will charge your card for the class when you sign up, so if you’re a ‘no show’, you pay anyways. That financial incentive can be very powerful.”


THE EXPERT: Elise Joan, yoga instructor and trainer in Dr. Lisa: Yoga Blast.

22. Dance Like You Mean It:

TIP FOR 2013: “Dancing doesn’t require any special equipment, just a great playlist of tunes that get you moving and grooving. A dance workout can be part of your social agenda — plan a once a week dance night with friends and you won’t even realize you’re working out, you’re just creating fun memories while you burn calories.”

THE EXPERT: Shannon Crane, pole dance instructor and owner of Brass Vixens, in Toronto, Ont.

23. Take A Break:

TIP FOR 2013: “Rest. This is where we actually make gains and get stronger from our workouts. Everyone is different but when your head is telling you that you need a break, take it. Don’t do back to back hard efforts. If you really go hard one day, pull back a little the next or take a complete rest.”

THE EXPERT: Mike Porter, owner of Cadence Cycling Studio,in Vancouver, B.C.

24. The Twist:

TIP FOR 2013: “Twisting seated, standing and even lying down is highly beneficial for our bodies. Try this movement out by standing with feet together, deeply bent knees and bring palms together. Twist your entire torso to the right so the left elbow and right thigh can press against the body, deeply breathe and twist further and repeat on left side.”

THE EXPERT: Amber J, owner of MISFITSTUDIO,in Toronto, Ont.

25. Eat Close To The Farm:

TIP FOR 2013: “Think about foods that are grown locally. Fresh vegetables, fruit, if you eat meat — grass-grain fed animals, organic free range nuts, seeds and healthy whole grains are all good options.”

THE EXPERT: Marci Figuer, trainer and owner of Detox Club, in Toronto, Ont.

26. Eat Differently In Restaurants:

TIP FOR 2013: “When ordering, ask for half of your meal boxed to go. Eating smaller portions results in weight loss. Due to how large our portions are these days, caloric intake can lead to fat gain. So ask your server to box up half of your meal before even bringing it to the table and have that a little later for a second meal.”

THE EXPERT: Paul Katami of Ultimate Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners.

27. Reconnect With Nature:

TIP FOR 2013: “Make sure to reconnect with your environment. Stop and smell the roses…take in the beauty of the blessings that are around you and what our universe has provided.”

THE EXPERT: Evette Shuk, instructor of Canyon Ranch: Yoga for Strength & Energy.

28. Eat Kale:

TIP FOR 2013: “I consider this vegetable to be a superfood — it is very nutrient dense, it’s a cancer fighter, very rich in phytochemicals and calcium which is more absorbed by the body than calcium found in milk. It is also very rich in iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, vitamin c, vitamin B’s, vitamin E, vitamin K and countless other vitamins and minerals!”

THE EXPERT: Denise Henry, owner and nutritionist of Gail’s Weight Loss And Nutrition Centre, based in Saskatoon, Sask.

29. Take It Slowly:

TIP FOR 2013: “The biggest New Year’s mistake is getting out of the gates too fast. Start your routine within your comfort zone. If you have been sedate in the past year, try light training twice a week to start and pick it up when you are ready. If you are really sore the first week of training you are less likely to keep it up. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

THE EXPERTS: Christopher Robbins and Ellie Martens, personal trainers and owners of Lift Fitness, in Winnipeg, Man.

30. Boot One Bad Habit:

TIP FOR 2013: “Drink too much pop? Love the late afternoon sugar fix? Not a problem. Don’t remove pop from your diet, start drinking water when you would usually have pop. Have a afternoon snack of Greek yogurt and almonds instead of a chocolate bar. It’s a paradigm shift. You are not going to remove things from your diet, you are simply going to stop having them around. If someone offers it to you, decide if you want it. If you really do want it, have it.”

THE EXPERT: Jordan Cieciwa, personal strength coach and trainer of One Fit City, based in Winnipeg, Man.

31. Chew Your Food:

TIP FOR 2013: “Slow down when you eat, focus on chewing each bite for 15 to 20 seconds. This will create better digestion, reduce bloating and portion size!”

THE EXPERT: Angela Peters, personal trainer and holistic nutrition coach of Hol-Fit.com,, based in London, Ont.

32. Be Aware Of Your Mood:

TIP FOR 2013: “While most of us are aware that exercising can work as a great anti-depressant, it can also work in the opposite direction and cause anxiety over workout schedules and lead you to feel depressed. Make sure your exercises aren’t altering your stress levels or mood.”

THE EXPERT:Hermeet Suri, holistic nutritionist from Mississauga, Ont.

33. Get A Pedometer:

TIP FOR 2013: Buy yourself a pedometer and aim to get at least 10,000 steps a day — preferably more. By taking the stairs, walking to and from work, running errands on foot, taking a walking break at lunch and taking a brisk walk after dinner, you’ll be well on your way.”

THE EXPERT: Kelly Murumets, CEO of ParticipACTION.

34. Stretch — All The Time:

TIP FOR 2013: “Incorporate stretching into day-to-day activities. Don’t roll out of bed — arch your back or kick start circulation with lifting your legs to push off your blankets. Use the side of the bed as a brace and bend over to stretch your back and neck. Stretching helps to lengthen muscles and give a lean, tone look to your body. Don’t waste any opportunity to engage your muscles.”

THE EXPERT: Shannon Crane, pole dance instructor and owner of Brass Vixens, in Toronto Ont.

35. Try A Burpee … With A Push-Up:

TIP FOR 2013: “It’s grueling and repetitive, but can be done anywhere at any time and is a full body workout for strength, conditioning and cardiovascular improvement.” To perform a burpee, jump up, go into a squat position and fall front into a push-up.

THE EXPERT: Dai Manuel, COO and fitness expert of Fitness Town,, based in Vancouver, B.C.

36. Make ‘You’ Time:

TIP FOR 2013: “Take some time for you. Learn to carve 10 minutes out of the day to treat yourself to ‘you’ time. Learn a few meditations that help you visualize your success. No phone, no email, just you and 10 minutes.”

THE EXPERT: Paul Katami of Ultimate Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners.

37. Eat Seasonally:

TIP FOR 2013: “Eat a variety of foods that are in season and add more vegetables to your diet and fill your plate with colourful foods.”

THE EXPERT: Evette Shuk, instructor of Canyon Ranch: Yoga for Strength & Energy.

38. Think About Your Health:

TIP FOR 2013: “Exercise is a great way to manage and prevent many health conditions such as type two diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Ask your fitness and health professionals what is the best exercise prescription for your particular health concerns.”

THE EXPERT: Andrea Doepker-Gavidia, trainer and owner of Train For Life Fitness & Lifestyle Consulting, in Saskatoon, Sask.

39. Do The Math: BMI:

TIP FOR 2013: “A recent study showed that 1 in 4 Canadians are obese. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a mathematical ratio that compares a person’s height and weight to diagnose possible obesity. It is best to maintain a BMI within the normal range of 18.5 to 24.9.” To find out your BMI, use this calculator.

THE EXPERT: Experts at The Cleveland Clinic Canada, based in Toronto.

40. Don’t Limit Yourself. Ever:

TIP FOR 2013: “Your actual potential is unknown. With proper training and a positive attitude, you can more than likely achieve much more than you expect.”

THE EXPERT: Mike Porter, owner of Cadence Cycling Studio,in Vancouver, B.C.

41. Makeover Your Fridge:

TIP FOR 2013: “Give your fridge and pantry a makeover. Discard old jams, sauces, crackers, and

THE EXPERT: Nathan Bogya, personal trainer of Bridge City Fitness, based in Saskatoon, Sask.

45. Don’t Think ‘Perfect’:

TIP FOR 2013: “Due to the nature of life, your diet plan may stray from what you had initially intended. All you can do is your best. This is where you also need to take a quick glance in the mirror and hopefully realize that this is still better than before an action plan was developed. If not, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the game plan.”

THE EXPERT: Chris Wilmot, owner and personal trainer of Functional Fitness, in Halifax, N.S.

46. Invest In Shoes:

TIP FOR 2013: “Get proper gear to work out in, especially investing in good footwear or running shoes.”

THE EXPERT: Val Kirk, personal trainer of Essentially Fitness, based in Warman, Sask.

47. Save 15 Minutes After Your Workout:

TIP FOR 2013: “Finish your workouts with at least 15 minutes of sub-aerobic activity — cycling, for example is great — so you’re not sore for the next session.”

THE EXPERT:Ashley Shumate, long track speed skater and currently managing District Fitness Studio, in Regina, Sask.

48. Practice Mindful Eating:

TIP FOR 2013: “Pay attention to your body’s cues. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. Be ‘present’ while eating, savour your food choices and try not to eat while you’re distracted while driving or watching TV, for example.”

THE EXPERT:Noelle Tourney, registered dietitian based in Saskatoon, Sask.

49. Pace Yourself:

TIP FOR 2013: “If you feel tired all the time, it means that you are definitely over-training. A workout is supposed to make you feel rejuvenated, and if that is not achieved, it means that you need to turn it down by a few notches.”

THE EXPERT:Hermeet Suri, holistic nutritionist from Mississauga, Ont.

50. Brush Your Teeth After You Eat:

TIP FOR 2013: “Once you’re done your meal, brush your teeth. Sitting around tasting the delicious meal you ate will only make you want more, or will make you wait to jump to the dessert menu.”

THE EXPERT: Amir Nevo, exercise physiologist of Health Wave, based in Halifax, N.S.

51. Start A Nutrition Journal:

foods that are expired in exchange for fresh, brightly coloured seasonal fruit and veggies, and nutrient-dense options for snacking.”

THE EXPERT: Vanessa Ast Biller, personal trainer at Vastfit, in Toronto, Ont.

42. Turn Goals Into Events:

TIP FOR 2013: “Making a point of challenging yourself mentally and physically is crucial for growth. Setting and completing a tangible event that you have put hard work and training into provides both the emotional and physical satisfaction that you can truly call your own. Plan towards a future race, an expedition hike or something that genuinely inspires you.”

THE EXPERT:Brent Bishop, fitness expert based in Toronto, Ont.

43. Disconnect:

TIP FOR 2013: “Go off the grid and turn your cell phone off. Take time to disconnect with technology.”

THE EXPERT: Evette Shuk, instructor of Canyon Ranch: Yoga for Strength & Energy.

44. Document Everything:

TIP FOR 2013: “Take photos, measurements and track your workouts. How will you know how much you’re changing if you don’t know where you started? Take new photos and measurements once a month to help keep you on track.”

TIP FOR 2013: “It’s not just about calories, but where you are getting your calories from. It can be a big eye opener when you actually see what you are eating and how much of it.”

THE EXPERT: Terese Pratt, personal trainer at Choice Fitness, based in Calgary, Alta.

52. Have Sex (And Do Other Activities):

TIP FOR 2013: “Leave work at the work place and sink your mind into something peaceful or soothing. Read a book, have a bath, do a work out, indulge in a hobby or get together with friends. Have lots of sex — what a great stress reliever and a calorie burner. It is also good for the skin, and a great way to bond with your partner.”

THE EXPERT: Kim Chase, personal trainer of Chase Fitness, based in Thunder Bay, Ont.

53. Eat 5 Fruits And Veggies A Day:

TIP FOR 2013: “This may seem like a small

commitment, but for most of us it’s a huge change, and I believe it’s the single most effective healthy habit. Easiest way to get to five? If you eat three meals and two snacks a day, make it a rule that you never eat unless there is a fruit or veggie serving included.”

THE EXPERT: Wendy McCallum, food coach of Simple Balance, based in Halifax, N.S.

54. Don’t Just Focus On Weight:

TIP FOR 2013: “Focus on results that are not weight loss. Too many people get discouraged because they haven’t dropped weight in the first two weeks. Your body will be going through changes and gaining muscle in the first few weeks of working out which might even be putting weight on. Focus on how you feel and your increased energy, better sleeping habits and mentally alert.”

THE EXPERT: Tara Robbins, trainer and co-owner of Just Sweat Fitness Studio, in London, Ont.

55. Pass It On:

TIP FOR 2013: “Take what you have learned and use it to motivate and teach others. Use your newfound energy, positivity and results you have achieved and help someone else who is at the point that you started from. Be a positive role model for a healthy, active, and productive lifestyle.”

THE EXPERT: Erika Hannah, personal trainer at Trench Fitness, based in Regina, Sask.

56. Eat Chia:

TIP FOR 2013: “These little seeds are incredible! Chia seeds have a whopping 11 grams of dietary fibre per ounce. A diet high in fibre helps you lose weight, lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar levels and helps prevent constipation. When you add chia seeds to water they begin to expand and they continue to expand in your stomach, which keeps you feeling fuller longer.”

THE EXPERT: Elizabeth Campbell, holistic nutritionist at Naturally Nourished, based in Vancouver, B.C.

57. Use The 10,000 Year Rule:

TIP FOR 2013: “Here is a simply and quick nutrition tip to live by. If it wasn’t around 10,000 years ago don’t put it in your mouth. If the first three ingredients are sugar, high fructose corn syrup or something you can’t pronounce, don’t eat it. If you stick to these rules 90 per cent of the time, you will do just fine.”

58. Swap Out Your Whites:

TIP FOR 2013: “Recent research has shown that in addition to being bad for waistlines, ‘white foods’ (bread, pasta, rice, sugar, etc.) may be dangerous for your cholesterol levels. Try to choose high-fibre whole grains, such as brown rice, barley and wheat, more often. Fibre also helps improve digestion and the absorption of nutrients, and it keeps you feeling full for longer.”

THE EXPERT: Experts at The Cleveland Clinic Canada, based in Toronto, Ont.

59. Apply Your Strength:

TIP FOR 2013: “You may be strong, and you may be mobile, and you may have a great body, but what can you actually do with it? Go out and find a way to apply what you’ve achieved by playing a sport, hiking, climbing a mountain, or taking a gymnastics or circus training class. Apply your fitness to something and you’ll see where you are truly fit and truly lacking.”

THE EXPERT: Chris Ince, owner and trainer of U.N.I. Training, based in Montreal, Que.

60. Don’t Get Comfortable:

TIP FOR 2013: ‘Commit to 30 to 60 minutes of an ‘uncomfortable’ activity three to four days a week. Uncomfortable activities should make your body work out of its comfort zone and achieve great results. Some examples include circuit and resistance training or interval training, which are both calorie torching and very time efficient.”

THE EXPERT: Connie Beaulieu, personal trainer of C.U. Fit Personal Training, based in Ottawa, Ont.