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2023 blogs for SVPT Fitness

Spring into Action: How to Kickstart Your Fitness Routine

Spring presents a perfect opportunity to rejuvenate your fitness routine. As the days get longer and temperatures rise, you have more opportunities to engage in various outdoor activities or even hire a private certified personal trainer indoors at your favourite fitness facility, like S.V.P.T. However, starting a fitness routine can be daunting, especially if you’ve been inactive during winter. So here are some tips to help you kickstart your spring fitness routine successfully.

Set clear, achievable goals

Define what you want to achieve. Are you looking to lose weight, gain muscle, improve flexibility, or run a marathon? Be sure to incorporate a mix of cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises to create a well-rounded routine. Consider working with a personal trainer for expert fitness coaching to help guide you and provide motivation. Setting clear, achievable goals will help keep you focused and motivated. Ensure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound). This could be as simple as committing to a 30-minute walk every day or as ambitious as preparing for a half-marathon by summer. Put a timeline on it, so it’s something to work towards each time you exercise. 

Start slowly and gradually build up

If you’ve been inactive, your body needs time to adjust to the new routine. Start with light exercises like walking or yoga, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. A gradual approach reduces the risk of injury and increases the likelihood of maintaining your fitness routine. You were different from where you were last year, so remember this when you start. Slow and steady will always win the race. 

Create a routine and stick to it

Consistency is key when it comes to fitness. Set aside specific times for exercise and make it a part of your daily routine, like an important appointment, and this appointment is non-negotiable. It might be challenging initially, but your body will adapt over time, and it will become a habit. 

Incorporate variety into your workouts

Doing the same exercise every day can get boring, leading to a fitness plateau. Incorporate variety into your workouts to keep them interesting and to challenge different muscle groups. You can alternate between cardio exercises, strength training, flexibility exercises, and balance workouts. Also, find activities that you enjoy and look forward to doing. Whether dancing, swimming, hiking, or joining a sports team, participating in activities you enjoy will make it easier to stick to your fitness routine. Consider trying new workouts and mixing up your routine to keep things fresh and exciting.

Embrace outdoor activities: Spring is a great time to take your workout outdoors—activities like trail walks, stairs, cycling, or even recreational sports like basketball. 

Prioritize rest and recovery

Rest and recovery are essential for preventing injuries and allowing your body to rebuild and strengthen itself. Incorporate rest days into your fitness routine and ensure you get adequate sleep each night. Listen to your body and adjust your workout intensity and frequency as needed to prevent overtraining and burnout.

Seek support

If you’re struggling to maintain your fitness routine or need advice, don’t be afraid to seek support from a fitness professional. At S.V.P.T., our certified personal trainers can create personalized training sessions to help you reach your fitness goals safely and effectively. Many trainees start at S.V.P.T. to learn proper programming and exercise form in a welcoming fitness community of like-minded people of all ages and fitness levels. You will get support, expertise and a lot of high-fives to help you stay motivated and inspired to reach your fitness goals.

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT, CFSC

Benefits of Strength Training

Strength training, also known as resistance training, has so many benefits. We have always been very outspoken about why everyone should engage in strength training regardless of age or fitness level. Of course, we always think of ‘muscle’ when it comes to strength training, but there is more to it than just building or maintaining muscle mass.

World-renowned strength coach Bret Contreras made an exhaustive and extensive list of the benefits of strength training, full credit to him.

Improved Functional Performance

  • Improve ease of daily activities
  • Reduce cardiovascular demands
  • Increase strength, power, speed, endurance and stamina

Injury Prevention

  • Prevent falls, risk of bone fractures and disability
  • Prevent muscle strains during recreational activities

Stronger Body

  • Improve bone density
  • Increase and preserve muscle
  • Improve connective tissue strength
  • Improve immune system
  • Improve flexibility and mobility
  • Improve joint stability
  • Improve balance and coordination
  • Improve posture
  • Decrease pain

Decrease Risk of Disease and Illness

  • Prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
  • Prevent sarcopenia
  • Improve insulin sensitivity and prevent insulin resistance
  • Improve resting metabolic rate
  • Improve gastrointestinal transit time
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Decrease arterial stiffness
  • Decrease triglyceride levels
  • Decrease total and LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol
  • Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack
  • Reduce the risk of stroke
  • Reduce the risk of cancer
  • Reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome
  • Reduce the risk of frailty syndrome
  • Reduce the risk of obesity
  • Reduce chronic inflammation
  • Improve gut microbiome

Improved Brain / Mental Health

  • Improve cognitive function
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Increase self-efficacy
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Combat depression
  • Combat anxiety
  • Improve mood
  • Decrease emotion-related impulsivity
  • Decrease psychological stress
  • Increase sense of well being
  • Improve memory
  • Prevent neurodegeneration
  • Reduce brain atrophy
  • Increase functional brain network connectivity

Improved Life

  • Improve the quality of life, life satisfaction and happiness
  • Increase lifespan and decrease all-cause mortality risk
  • Increase sleep duration and improve quality of sleep
  • Improve appetite satiety
  • Diminish biological aging and premature death
  • Increase daily energy and reduce fatigue

At SVPT, we focus on strength training and its many forms because it is the fountain of youth and can help not just with athletics but the quality of life. Strength training can involve bodyweight, free weights, machines and resistance tubing. Many tools are available to improve the strength of your body and muscles. 

Reach out to a fitness professional today to learn the proper form and application of strength training so you can live an easier and healthier life. 

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT, CFSC

Exercise and Mental Health

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is how important our mental health is.  Many people discovered just how much exercise positively impacted their mental health during those trying years.  Exercise has been widely recognized as an effective tool for improving mental health, from releasing endorphins to reducing stress hormones and improving brain function.

Endorphins are chemicals the body produces that can improve mood and reduce pain. Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, which can lead to feelings of happiness and well-being. This is why exercise is often recommended as a way to help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. No one has ever felt worse after moving their body.

In addition to endorphins, exercise can also reduce the levels of stress hormones in the body. When we experience stress, our bodies release hormones such as cortisol, which can harm our mental health. However, exercise can help to reduce these stress hormones, leading to a decrease in anxiety and depression.

Exercise also has a positive impact on brain function. When we exercise, blood flow to the brain increases, which can improve cognitive function and memory. This is why exercise is often recommended for older adults at risk of cognitive decline. Regular exercise can also improve the quality of sleep, which is essential for maintaining good mental health.

Another way that exercise can improve mental health is by providing a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence. When we set fitness goals and achieve them, we feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. This can lead to increased self-esteem and confidence, which can help combat depression and anxiety.

Exercise can also provide a social outlet, which is important for maintaining good mental health. Joining a fitness class or group can offer the opportunity to connect with others who share similar interests. This can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, which are common among people with mental health conditions.

Of course, we all are aware that exercise can improve overall physical health. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. These conditions are often associated with poor mental health, so by improving physical fitness through exercise, we can also improve our mental health.

For many starting, an exercise regime can seem daunting. You don’t have to feel good to start; you have to start to feel good.  Exercise does not have to be intense or time-consuming to impact mental health positively. Even light exercise, such as walking or yoga, can be beneficial. The key is finding an activity you enjoy and can incorporate into your daily routine.  Start with as little as a 10-minute walk to see and feel improvement.

Numerous studies support the positive effects of physical activity on various aspects of mental well-being. Here are a few key findings from such studies:

1. Depression: A meta-analysis by Cooney et al. (2013) found that exercise is effective in reducing symptoms of depression, particularly for those with mild-to-moderate depression. The study concluded that exercise could be used as a treatment alongside medication and therapy. (Reference: Cooney, G. M., Dwan, K., Greig, C. A., Lawlor, D. A., Rimer, J., Waugh, F. R., … & Mead, G. E. (2013). Exercise for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (9).)

2. Anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis by Herring et al. (2010) concluded that exercise interventions could significantly reduce anxiety symptoms. The effects were found to be similar across different types of exercise and intensity levels. (Reference: Herring, M. P., O’Connor, P. J., & Dishman, R. K. (2010). The effect of exercise training on anxiety symptoms among patients: a systematic review. Archives of internal medicine, 170(4), 321-331.)

3. Stress reduction: A study by Rimmele et al. (2009) showed that exercise can buffer the effects of stress on the brain, leading to reduced stress-related disorders. The researchers found that participants who exercised regularly had a better stress response than those who were sedentary. (Reference: Rimmele, U., Zellweger, B. C., Marti, B., Seiler, R., Mohiyeddini, C., Ehlert, U., & Heinrichs, M. (2009). Trained men show lower cortisol, heart rate and psychological responses to psychosocial stress than untrained men. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34(6), 818-825.)

4. Cognitive function: A meta-analysis by Northey et al. (2017) found that exercise can improve cognitive function, specifically in attention, processing speed, and memory. The study highlighted the importance of incorporating aerobic and resistance training to maximize mental benefits. (Reference: Northey, J. M., Cherbuin, N., Pumpa, K. L., Smee, D. J., & Rattray, B. (2018). Exercise interventions for cognitive function in adults older than 50: a systematic review with meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 52(3), 154-160.)

5. Quality of life and self-esteem: A systematic review by Biddle and Asare (2011) concluded that exercise could enhance self-esteem and overall quality of life. The study found that physical activity benefits mental health across all age groups, including children, adolescents, and adults. (Reference: Biddle, S. J., & Asare, M. (2011). Physical activity and mental health in children and adolescents: a review of reviews. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45(11), 886-895.)

While exercise is essential for improving mental health, it is not a substitute for professional treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. They can provide the support and guidance you need to manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being.

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT, CFSC

Partner Personal Training

Partner Personal Training:  Fitness for Two!

Who wouldn’t love having someone support you in your training sessions? Partner personal training is a great fitness option for benefiting from the expertise of a certified personal trainer while saving some money and having fitness fun with another person.

You and a family member, spouse, friend, or co-worker exercise together under the guidance and expertise of a certified personal trainer. The personal trainer provides customized training programs and accountability to keep you motivated and on track to crush your fitness goals. Having someone join you on your fitness journey can also offer a more cost-effective way to access personal training regularly, as it splits costs between two people.

Some of the best benefits of partner personal training in a private gym:


Having a partner during your workout can be a great way to stay motivated and accountable. You can coach and push each other through those hard days. In addition, you are more likely to remain committed to your fitness goals and reach new performance levels with a training partner.

Better Results

When you are more committed to showing up to your training sessions because you have a partner waiting for you, you will be more consistent. And we all know that consistency is the secret sauce to success. 

Improved Workout Experience

Partner personal training provides a more social and interactive workout experience than working out alone. The shared experience with a partner can make exercise more enjoyable and provide a source of support and encouragement. Who doesn’t love a high five after crushing a challenging exercise? 

Increased Confidence

Partner personal training can help increase confidence and self-esteem. The progress and results achieved from crushing challenging exercises can provide a sense of accomplishment and boost self-confidence. Additionally, working out with a partner can offer a supportive and encouraging environment, further boosting confidence and self-esteem. 

Budget Friendly

Partner training can be cost-effective, making hiring a personal trainer more accessible regularly and considerably less than private or one-on-one personal training. You will be sharing the cost of a personal trainer, splitting the cost in half. 

Fun Factor

Working out with a friend can keep exercise interesting and fun. It can help break up the monotony of training alone and give you something to look forward to. Additionally, partner training can add an element of friendly competition, increasing motivation, and pushing each other to excellence while creating a sense of camaraderie.


Everyone has bad days and is unmotivated to exercise sometimes. Having someone there with you before and during those hard days can help provide emotional support that may be hard to find working out on your own. Partners can help each other stay motivated, push through difficult exercises and days, and celebrate achievements together.  More high fives!!

Improved Relationships

If your training partner is a friend, spouse or family member, partner personal training can allow partners to bond and improve their relationship. The shared experience of working towards a common goal can bring partners closer together and provide a source of support and encouragement for each other.

Overall, partner personal training can be a fun and effective way to achieve fitness goals while building a solid and supportive relationship with a workout buddy. Partner personal training provides a comprehensive and personalized approach to fitness that can help you reach fitness goals effectively and efficiently while improving your overall well-being.

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT, CFSC

The Role of Cardiovascular Training in Your Fitness Routine

Cardiovascular training, or cardio, is essential to any fitness routine. It involves exercise that increases your heart and breathing rates, such as running, cycling, swimming, brisk walking, or circuit training. Cardiovascular training provides numerous benefits for your health and fitness, including improving heart health, reducing stress, and boosting energy levels. In this blog post, I’ll dive into The Role of Cardiovascular Training in Your Fitness Routine. 

One of the main benefits of cardiovascular training is that it improves heart health. When you engage in cardio exercises, your heart rate increases, making your heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood. This can help lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, and improve your overall cardiovascular health.

Another benefit of cardiovascular training is that it can help reduce stress. When you bump your heart rate, your body releases endorphins, natural mood-boosting chemicals. This can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve your overall mental health. Additionally, the rhythmic nature of cardio exercises, such as running or cycling, can also be meditative and calming.

Cardio can also help boost your energy levels. Your body releases adrenaline and other hormones to help you feel more alert and energized. Additionally, regular cardio training can help improve your endurance, making it easier to perform everyday activities and activities you enjoy. Cardio makes life easier!  No one wants to be out of breath doing daily tasks. 

So how much cardio should you do, and at what intensity?  We like to surf the curve of cardio intensity.  Moderate-intensity exercises, such as resistance training, brisk walking or cycling, should feel challenging but still allow you to hold a conversation. Vigorous-intensity exercise, such as running or high-intensity interval training (HIIT), should feel hard and make it difficult to have a conversation. Both types of exercise can benefit, but it’s essential to work within your fitness level and gradually increase the intensity over time.

Most people have a fitness tracker and can use your heart rate as a monitor for intensity.  There are several different heart rate zones, each corresponding to a different level of effort and providing additional training benefits. In addition, using a heart rate monitor can help you scale up or down.

The five main heart rate zones are:

  1. Zone 1: Very Light (50-60% of maximum heart rate). This zone is for warm-up, cool-down, and recovery. It is a low-intensity zone that can be maintained for long periods. This zone is ideal for beginners and those looking to improve their cardiovascular fitness.
  1. Zone 2: Light (60-70% of maximum heart rate). This zone is for endurance training and is ideal for building an aerobic fitness base.  This zone is the foundation that allows you to do more work or train longer.  It is the most important zone, allowing you to work in the other zones longer.  It can be sustained longer than Zone 1 but allows for comfortable conversation.
  1. Zone 3: Moderate (70-80% of maximum heart rate). This zone can increase the strength and efficiency of the heart and lungs. This zone requires moderate effort, and you should be able to breathe comfortably but feel that you exert moderate effort. Zone 3 can help to increase the strength and efficiency of your heart and lungs, improving your body’s ability to transport and utilize oxygen during exercise.
  1. Zone 4: Hard (80-90% of maximum heart rate). This zone is for anaerobic training and is ideal for improving speed, power, and muscular endurance. Training in this zone increases the body’s ability to tolerate and recover from high-intensity exercise. This zone requires a high level of effort and can only be sustained for shorter periods. Zone 4 is typically where HIIT should occur. 
  1. Zone 5: Maximum (90-100% of maximum heart rate) This zone is for peak performance and is used for interval training, high-intensity training, and competition. Exercise in this zone improves maximum oxygen uptake and increases speed and power. However, this zone requires maximum effort and can only be sustained for very short periods.

It is important to note that maximum heart rate varies from person to person and can be influenced by age, fitness level, and genetics. A general formula for estimating the maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. However, consulting with a healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program is recommended, especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking medication that may affect your heart rate.

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) provides physical activity guidelines for different age groups and populations. For example, the CSEP recommends that adults aged 18-64 engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more.

Generally, we tell clients to add Zone 2 training a few times a week for periods of up to 30-45 minutes and add in Zone 3 and 4 a few times a week.  But don’t be afraid of Zone 5. Of course, this depends on your current fitness and health status, so consult a fitness professional to help you navigate. 

When choosing a type of cardio exercise, it’s essential to consider your interests, goals, and fitness level. Running, cycling, swimming, stairs, and brisk walking are all popular forms of cardiovascular training. Other options include dance and group fitness classes focusing on interval training. It’s important to choose an exercise you enjoy and can maintain consistently over time.

In addition to traditional cardio exercises, there are many ways to incorporate cardiovascular training into your daily life. For example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking or cycling to work, and doing household chores such as vacuuming or gardening can provide a cardiovascular workout. Additionally, incorporating intervals of higher-intensity exercise into your daily activities, such as walking or jogging intervals, can also provide cardiovascular benefits.

Overall, cardiovascular training is an essential component of any fitness routine. It provides numerous benefits for your physical and mental health, including improving heart health, reducing stress, and boosting energy levels. However, when incorporating cardiovascular training into your routine, it’s important to consider the type, duration, and intensity of the exercise and choose activities you enjoy and can maintain consistently over time.

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT, CFSC

Benefits of Small Group Training

Small group personal training or semi-private personal training has become increasingly popular in recent years as an alternative to traditional one-on-one private personal training. Small group training, also known as small group classes, typically involves a group of 8-10 clients working with one personal trainer.  Semi-private personal training consists of 3-4 clients with one personal trainer. Both types of training offer similar and numerous benefits over traditional one-on-one personal training.

At SVPT, we have always maintained that small group training or small group classes are where clients do the SAME training (like a metabolic conditioning or mobility class) under the instruction of a certified personal trainer (not a “fitness instructor”). In contrast, semi-private personal training is where clients do their own customized training program on their own under the guidance of a certified personal trainer.

Both small group training and semi-private personal training have many of the same benefits for clients:

  • Personalized attention: In a small group setting, trainers can provide more quality instruction and personalized attention to each participant, allowing them to better understand and address individual needs, goals, and limitations.
  • Cost-effective: Small group training and semi-private personal training are more affordable than one-on-one personal training, making it a more accessible option for many people looking for guidance on improving their fitness.
  • Motivation and accountability: A small group’s social dynamic can foster camaraderie and encouragement. Participants can encourage and support each other, creating a positive atmosphere and helping to hold each other accountable for attendance and effort.
  • Variety and creativity: Trainers can design varied and creative workouts for small group sessions, incorporating different exercises and equipment. This can help keep participants engaged and excited about their activities.
  • Increased social interaction: Small group training offers the chance to meet new people and develop friendships, which can lead to a more enjoyable and supportive workout environment.
  • Healthy competition: Friendly competition within a small group can drive participants to push themselves harder and achieve significant results while maintaining a supportive and collaborative atmosphere.
  • Enhanced safety: The increased supervision in small group training classes can help ensure proper exercise technique, reducing the risk of injury.

Many clients at SVPT use a combination of private personal training sessions with either small group training and/or semi-private personal training.  Some clients see a trainer for a private personal training session once or twice a week for more individualized attention and then attend a semi-private personal training session for some fun with others while still doing their own customized training program.  This gives a great blend of private sessions with group motivation. 

For 15 years, we have been in the business of high-quality fitness services.  Our small group classes only have 10 people so you can be assured the trainer will be making sure you are performing the exercises with proper form to avoid injury, and we were the first to bring semi-private personal training to private gyms in Edmonton.  We will continue to raise the bar when it comes to personal training services in Edmonton. 

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT, CFSC

The Best Time to Exercise

The Best Time to Exercise

Exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle, and its timing can impact its effectiveness.  While everyone’s schedule and lifestyle are different, some general guidelines can be followed to determine the best time to exercise.

In the simplest terms, the answer is – whenever you can fit it in with consistent effort and presence.  As a personal trainer of 19 years, I have experienced a lot of clients’ successes and failures.  One of the most significant issues I see with clients is trying to include exercise at a time that doesn’t fit their current lifestyle. 

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best time to exercise is your personal schedule and energy levels.

If you are not a morning person, you will not be excited to get out of bed extra early to move your body.  While you think you can push through and get it done, it will be short-lived.  We don’t want short-lived; we want long-term and a workout that is sustainable.  You are who you are, and that’s ok!  Afternoons or evenings might be your jam, and that is great!  Don’t let social media shame you for not exercising in the morning, and don’t ever compare yourself to what others might be doing!

Life is all about change, and exercise time preference will change with your commitments and the seasons.  If you are a morning exerciser in the summer but find better energy to exercise in the afternoon in the winter, that is perfectly acceptable! Come the summer, you might become a morning person because the sun is up so early. 

Pros of Morning Exercise

Improved Energy for The Day: Regular morning workouts help to energize your body and sharpen your concentration for the day, which makes staying productive during work hours easier.

Adherence for Longevity: Working out in the morning helps to establish an exercise routine and allows you to get it out of the way so that you don’t have to think about it later.  You will be less likely to skip workouts because of things happening in life, which leads to more consistency overall.

Good Mood: Morning exercise produces hormones, such as endorphins, which reduce stress levels, enhance your mood and encourage making better choices during the day.

Cons of Morning Exercise

More Likely to Hit Snooze: It is easy to sleep through your alarm or hit snooze if you didn’t get enough sleep, ruining your exercise plans for the day.

Sleep Debt:  If getting to bed early so you can get up early to train is an obstacle, and you need more sleep, eventually, you will hit a wall from consistently being tired and sleep deprived. 

Lower Energy:  Many need help getting the energy going first thing in the morning, which will lead to less intense sessions or a struggle to be engaged in the session.

Pros of Afternoon/Evening Exercise

Better Performance: Working out in the evening may improve performance and increase strength because your body is more warmed up.  This is especially beneficial for athletes or those taking part in competitive sports.

Improved Sleep Quality: Lower-intensity exercise, such as yoga, in the evening can help you get better sleep as it can help you decompress, leading to more restorative sleep.

Reduced Stress: Evening workouts are a great way to reduce stress and provide a sense of balance.  Exercise the day’s stresses away!

Greater Enjoyment: It may feel more comfortable and less rushed for some in the evenings or afternoons because there are no pressing obligations.

Break Up the Day:  An afternoon workout can give you a mental and physical break from long work hours and recharge you for the rest of the day.

Pros to Afternoon/Evening Exercise

Too Much Simulation Before Bedtime: High-intensity exercise increases your heart rate and can cause an adrenaline rush, making it hard to relax before bed.

Lower Quality Sleep: Studies have shown that exercising too close to bedtime can reduce sleep quality and make you more likely to suffer from interrupted sleep.

Interference With Other Responsibilities: Exercising late in the evening can cut into the time you would typically use for other essential tasks such as studying, time with the kids or family, or preparing for the next day.

The best time of day to exercise depends on several factors, including your personal schedule and energy levels, your sleep schedule, and the type of exercise you are doing.  It comes down to a time that works best for you and your lifestyle that allows you to be consistent.  If you want to get up at 5 am and get it done, it works – fantastic.  If you have to exercise after the kids go to bed at 8 pm – excellent.  While there are some general guidelines to follow, the most important thing is to find a time that works for you that allows you to make exercise a habit.

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT, CFSC

Making Exercise and Movement a Habit

Making Exercise and Movement a Habit:  The Secret Sauce to a Healthy Life

Exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It helps improve cardiovascular health, maintains a healthy weight, and boosts energy levels. Yet, despite its many benefits, many people struggle to make exercise a regular part of their daily routine.

Start Small

One of the most common reasons people give up on exercising is because they start too fast, with too much intensity or volume. To avoid burnout, it’s best to start small and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. For example, start with a short walk for 10-15 minutes, then gradually increase the time and distance as your fitness level improves. If resistance training is something you are starting with, start with two days a week, with a few sets per exercise, gradually increasing the reps, sets and weight. 

Set a Specific Goal

Setting specific goals can help you stay motivated and on track. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, your goal could be to run a 5K in three months or to complete a set number of push-ups in a specific time. A plan will give you something to work towards and help you stay focused and motivated.

Schedule Your Workouts

Like any other important task, scheduling your workouts into your daily routine is essential. Treat your workout as an appointment with yourself, and make it non-negotiable. Choose a time that works best for you, whether first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or after work (Checkout our blog on when the best time to exercise is for tips).

Find an Exercise Buddy

Having a workout partner can be a great motivator. Find someone who has similar fitness goals, and make plans to exercise together. Having someone to exercise with can make your workouts more fun, and you’ll be less likely to skip a workout if you know someone is counting on you.

Track Your Progress

Tracking your progress can be a great motivator. Keep a journal to record your workouts and track your progress over time. Seeing your progress can be a great source of motivation and help you stay on track.

Mix It Up

Doing the same type of workout can get boring, so try mixing it up. For example, try different types of exercise, such as running, cycling, swimming, or yoga, to keep your workouts interesting. You can also try other activities at different times of the day to see what works best for you.

Make It a Lifestyle Change

Finally, the key to making exercise a habit is to make it a lifestyle change. Exercise should become a regular part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast. Make it a non-negotiable part of your day, and you’ll be more likely to stick to it in the long term.

Making exercise a habit takes time, effort, and discipline. But, with the right mindset, you can make exercise a regular part of your daily routine and enjoy all the benefits that come with it. You just need to SHOW UP.  Soon you will be on your way to making exercise a habit that you can stick to for the long term.

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT, CFSC

Sustainable Workouts and Training

When you want to make fitness a part of your lifestyle, you have to consider that whatever you choose, it needs to be exercise and physical activity that is effective, safe and sustainable. This involves choosing exercise and activities you enjoy, incorporating a variety of workouts, and allowing time for rest and recovery. It’s also important to focus on building healthy habits, including balanced nutrition, stress management techniques, and quality sleep, as these factors can significantly impact your overall fitness success.

It is a common misconception that the harder and more intense a fitness routine is, the better the results will be. While pushing your body to its limits can undoubtedly be a challenging and rewarding experience, it is essential to understand that a hardcore fitness routine does not necessarily mean better results and is not sustainable long term. 

A sustainable workout regime can be maintained over the long term, providing ongoing health and fitness benefits without causing burnout, injury, or excessive stress. Sustainable exercise can surf the curve of intensity and challenge, but for the most part, it should be moderate intensity.  Moderate-intensity exercise has been proven to be more successful for long-term fitness results. 

Key elements of a sustainable workout regime include:


It would be best if you defined your fitness goals so that the plan would suit the desired outcome. For example, if you want to get stronger, you must include strength or resistance training.  If you want to improve cardiovascular health, you must include cardio. If you have no goals, you will pinball from workout to workout, which is not sustainable.

Professional Guidance

If you are new to exercise or have specific fitness goals, consider working with a certified personal trainer or coach who can help you design a safe and effective training program tailored to your needs, goals, lifestyle and history.  A customized training plan can make the workout more enjoyable and increase the likelihood of sticking to it over time.


Whether it’s weight lifting, kickboxing, yoga, or dance, finding the exercise we want can influence how sustainable it is.  Positive experiences from movement and training are essential for sustainability and consistency.  Finding something you enjoy isn’t a chore to complete; it’s something you look forward to.


A sustainable workout regime requires consistent effort and dedication. Regular exercise, even if it’s just a few times a week, is more effective than sporadic, random hardcore workouts.  Fitness training that is not sustainable for long-term success includes activities that are too intense, too frequent, or too focused on short-term results. In addition, it is more challenging to be consistent when a workout plan is constantly crushing your soul and body. 


To avoid boredom and plateauing, a sustainable fitness program should incorporate progressive challenges, such as increasing the weight, reps, or challenge of exercises and activity over time.  Once your body adapts, and the movement doesn’t challenge you, you must progress the training to make it challenging again.  If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. 

Rest and Recovery

Rest is part of the plan! Adequate rest and recovery are critical to avoid burnout and injury. Incorporating rest days and getting enough sleep and proper nutrition can help the body recover and perform better in the long term.


Ensure that you exercise in a supportive environment that makes you want to return.  This can include having a workout buddy or just a class or gym with a positive and fun vibe. You can still be serious about your fitness progress while having fun. 

By following these steps, you can create a sustainable training program that is effective, enjoyable, and that will stick long term so you can reap the mental and physical benefits of moving your body.

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT, CFSC

The Cost of a Personal Trainer

You get what you pay for; quality and luxury will always cost more. 

This especially applies to personal training and personal trainers. A formally educated personal trainer will ALWAYS be a better investment than a weekend certified trainer and, unfortunately, more expensive. However, consider when hiring a formally educated personal trainer that you are not just paying for that 1-hour service; you also are paying for their years of experience, formal education, certification and continuing fitness education that helps create high-quality, high-value sessions.

A formally educated certified personal trainer typically has a more comprehensive and in-depth understanding of exercise science, anatomy, physiology, and other fields. They usually hold a degree in exercise science, kinesiology, or a related discipline, which requires several years of study and hands-on experience. As a result, they are typically better equipped to create individualized training programs based on a client’s specific needs and goals, considering any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries. They also tend to have better problem-solving skills and a more nuanced understanding of adjusting exercises and programming to accommodate different types of clients.

In contrast, a weekend certified trainer has only completed a short course or workshop covering very basic personal training topics. As a result, has a different depth of knowledge or experience than a formally educated personal trainer. A formally educated personal trainer will cost more because they invest in more comprehensive education and continuing education. 

Think of hiring a certified personal trainer as an investment. Ideally, you want to put your money into an investment with a great return over time. What does that return entail? You should learn proper training techniques and programming, experience physical improvements, and feel supported and heard in every session. We expect you to leave the nest eventually, and we want you to do so confidently. Our job is to teach you how to train correctly and effectively on your own. You should feel empowered to walk into any gym and know what to do and how to do it safely and effectively.

We have been in the personal training business for 15 years and have had clients leave to try a more budget-friendly trainer and return because they did not get the return on investment. They wasted their time and money with a trainer needing the knowledge, expertise or experience that our certified personal trainers have. Better quality equals a better return on investment. If you hire a $30 per hour, weekend certified personal trainer, you will get a $30 per hour weekend certified quality of training and experience. 

While we understand that being able to afford a personal trainer is not in everyone’s budget, it is one of those investments that, if you spend wisely, you will have significant long-term returns. The better the investment, the better the returns; crappy investments have crappy returns. There is nothing more frustrating than wasting money and time.

We do understand that having a certified personal trainer 3-5x a week isn’t an option financially for many people, which is why we have created many opportunities for our clients to give them accessibility to high-quality personal training, including:

  • Partner Personal Training – you and a friend, spouse, or family member share a trainer’s cost while doing your own customized training program
  • Semi-Private Personal Training – you and 2-3 others share a personal trainer while doing your own customized training program
  • Homework – when you purchase a private or partner personal training package, you get homework to do on days you don’t see us, so even if you don’t see us, you can still be assured your programming is safe and effective, and you are continuing to progress to your fitness goals
  • Small Group Classes – we offer small group classes of up to 10 people maximum for you to work on conditioning and mobility outside of your personal training sessions, so you can be assured you are still progressing toward your fitness goals;  classes are specifically programmed to compliment the private sessions with your trainer.

We also have many clients come and see us for 6-8 sessions, learn a new custom training program, then do it on their own for a few months and return for a new program once they have mastered that program. This is a great way to keep fitness and training progressing while knowing you are training safely and effectively. 

Whatever your fitness goals, and if you are a beginner or an advanced trainee, you are worth the quality investment into your health, fitness and longevity. You get one body in life, and your body and health can dictate your quality of life, so invest in your body and health wisely.   

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT, CFSC