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Written by: Melanie Darbyshire

It’s a new year, and for many of us, a time to start living better. This can mean different things to different folks but for a lot of people it involves two key changes: eating better and exercising more. Whether you’ve resolved to overhaul your diet, lose weight, gain muscle or just move your butt more, like most things in life, having the help of others (professional or not) can make the goal that much more achievable.

Help with Your Fitness Goals

There are many options for enlisting the help of others when trying to meet your fitness goals:

Hire a Personal Trainer – For those with a little more cash to spend, a personal trainer can be an excellent investment. One-on-one tailored sessions ensure you are challenged according to your needs and goals, while certified coaches motivate and teach you how to train consistently. They also hold you accountable for your own fitness and can provide detailed and customized fitness plans. A big bonus: they work around your schedule!

Whether through your local gym (many of which offer a free initial consultation to members) or in the comfort of your home, a personal trainer might be just what you need to meet your 2017 fitness goals.

Group Training with a Fitness Instructor – The list of group fitness classes seems to grow by the minute – from aerobics, to yoga and pilates, to Barre, to circuit training, to outdoor bootcamps to spin – there is a class to suit just about anyone these days. Working out in a group has many benefits: you are guided/assisted by a professional; you are motivated by others in the class; and, best of all, it’s more fun!

Fitness classes are offered in most traditional gyms and in exercise-specific studios. Whatever you choose, make sure that the class is easily accessible to you (ie. close to your home or work) and offers times that work with your schedule – you’ll be much less likely to skip class if it’s convenient.

Exercise with a Friend – This is typically the easiest and least expensive option. Find someone you are comfortable with, like a close friend, a neighbour or a co-worker, and head out for a walk, play tennis, or go for a run. Or head to the mountains for a ski or a snowshoe. Or, double down and sign up for a fitness class together.

With another person to hold you accountable and make it more enjoyable, staying fit will be less of a chore and more of something to look forward to.

Help with Your Diet Goals

With all the information that exists today regarding what we should and shouldn’t eat, determining the proper diet can be about as enjoyable as slicing raw onions. Happily, there are many people who can help you figure it out.

 Enlist an Expert – Nutrition professionals, including Registered Dieticians, Registered Nutritionists and Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultants, can help you understand what, when and how much to eat. Using professional knowledge and experience, they can determine meal plans, provide recipes and provide helpful tips and tricks to keep you on the right track.

While they can be costly, try to find options that are less expensive or free. For example, Made Foods offers the services of its Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant – Jenn Hruby – complimentary to its customers. After meeting one-on-one, Hruby designs meal plans for clients based on their specific lifestyle needs and wants.

Consume Meals from Quality Purveyors – If you don’t/can’t cook, get your meals from a business that makes real, nutritious and fresh food… like Made Foods! Made with locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients (many of which are organic and non-GMO), the options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are plentiful, with new menu items being added all the time. Online ordering and the delivery service make it an extremely convenient option.

Enlist the Help of a (Health Nut) Friend – Most of us know someone (or a few people) who can accurately be described as a health nut. The people who always carry healthy snacks with them, who pack their own lunches for work, who workout religiously, and who consider fried fast food inedible. And while we may find their adherence to a healthy diet nauseating, they can likely teach us a thing or two.

Flatter them and ask what foods they eat, what foods they avoid, how much they eat and when. Get them to share their healthy tips and tricks with you. Given their devotion to healthy eating, they will no doubt be more than happy to talk to you – and while you don’t have to take all their advice, a thing or two, at the very least, will be helpful.

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