Spring is a chance to make fresh start! If your clients’ New Years Resolutions didn’t take so well in January, then now is the time to try again. With more daylight and milder days, our moods seem to lift and long with it, our energy levels. Spring is a time of renewal, revitalization and rejuvenation, so it’s a perfect time to help our clients make some real changes in fitness and nutrition. Think of it as spring-cleaning their fitness and nutrition programs.
Take time to talk to your clients, and help them to set some new goals, targets and rewards for the upcoming season. Perhaps their gym program is getting a little stale and could use a redesign to spring new life into it, and motivate your clients to stay focused. Suggest that they try something new and outdoors now that the weather is nicer, such as training for a triathlon, a hiking or portaging trip, or mountain bike race. Maybe you’ll be inspired to train along with them. By refocusing their fitness goals with them their results will be greater.
The other area that may also need some “spring-cleaning” is your client’s nutrition plan; after-all, nutrition is a huge component of health and fitness. Now is the perfect time to challenge them to a spring cleanse. It doesn’t have to be complicated and you can participate along with them for added support. Cleanse can be great for promoting health as well as, encouraging weight-loss and promoting vitality.
First, set the duration. My suggestion is somewhere between 14-30 days. If you or your clients have never tried a cleanse before than start small, even a week will work, as you don’t want them to feel overwhelmed. If they are more experienced then try for a full 30 days for optimal results.
Next, set the boundaries. A great way to start cleansing is a simple elimination diet. Depending on your clients current diet and goals they may want to pick 1-3 foods or drinks to avoid for the duration cleanse, such as coffee, black tea, alcohol, refined sugar, packaged juices, chocolate, chips and processed snack foods. If they are up for a bigger challenge then try the following, plus any foods that are suspected allergens. Foods to avoid: Dairy, wheat and gluten, breads and flours, soy, sugar (even honey and maple syrup, dried fruits, but small amounts of fresh fruit are ok), alcohol, caffeine, red meat. You maybe asking yourself what’s left for your and your clients to eat if you’re giving up all of the above, but there are endless options of fresh seasonal vegetables, fruit, non-gluten whole grains, legumes, organic poultry, fish, raw nuts and seeds, fresh water and herbal teas. There are other ways to cleanse that utilize supplements, but a qualified practitioner such as a Nutritionist or Naturopath should oversee those.
Lastly, set the reward. Lets face it, while the health benefits of a cleanse alone are great sometimes we need more than the potential of “feeling-good” to motivate us, especially when giving up some of our favourites, so help your clients pick a non-food reward. Suggest they pick something like new workout clothes, or a spa day, or you could even offer them complementary training session to reward them for their hard work and to sweeten the pot a little.
By taking the time to work with your clients to fine-tune or change their fitness and nutrition programs you will help them stay focused and dedicated to reaching their goals.
Tara Postnikoff is a Registered Nutritional Consultant, Personal Training Specialist, and Triathlete. Tara is the owner of Healthy Eating Active Living and can be reached by email at Tara@heal-nutrition.com. For more nutrition tips visit: www.heal-nutrition.com