​​​Angus Warner
Angus Warner believes getting back into shape isn’t just about ‘doing.’ It requires thinking, reflection and planning. (Photo: stressaffect.com)

Angus Warner works in Patient Relations at UHN. But that's not the only job keeping him on his toes – he's also a fitness consultant, cycle instructor, certified scuba instructor and former competitive athlete.

Today, he says he's stopped "chasing the win" and takes pleasure in healthy activities, while also being part of a competitive cycling group, Morning Glory Cycling Club.

Warner takes pride in helping people define and work towards their personal fitness goals. For him, there isn't a goal too small or too large.

"A fitness goal has to be functional and measurable," said Warner. "It also has to be fun because at the end of the day, we aren't getting paid to do this."

Warner believes failing is part of the fitness process and people have to stop beating themselves up when they experience a misstep or what they consider a failure.

He says focusing on what went well is the most important part of any fitness journey.

  

Warner's 5 tips on achieving a fitness goal:

1) Set a goal and have an ongoing plan

Pick something you can track, measure and hold yourself accountable to. Write the goal down and share it with friends and family.

For example, if your goal is to complete a 5km run, make a plan for how you will train for that run. After you complete the run, think about your next goal.

It's important to always have another goal in mind, or as Warner puts it, "a constantly moving finish line." This way you don't run the risk of stopping after you complete your first goal.

2) Throw your schedule out the window:

If every summer you make a vow to yourself to get healthy and every summer you find yourself in the exact same place as last year – your routine isn't working for you.

To avoid making the same mistakes, Warner suggests abandoning your old habits and starting fresh.

"Working out is selfish," said Warner. "You have to start by vowing to make time for you and only you. This means taking time away from different areas of your life."

3) Evaluate what you have done in the past:

When were you last in the best shape of your life? What types of activities did you enjoy? Is it possible to get to that level of fitness again?

In most cases people return to a fitness schedule that has worked for them in the past and expect the same results. As time passes, however, the same workouts might not work for you in the same way. Warner suggests spicing up an old workout regimen you liked or joining in on fun group activity you know you will enjoy.

4) Manage your expectations

As we age, our bodies change. It might not be possible to get back into the shape we were in as a teenager, or run a marathon in the same time that we did in our 20s.

Sit down and think about what is really important to you. Is it strength, distance, completion of a race? If you are setting your mind to an image that is impossible to get to – you will be disappointed and likely stop your fitness journey.

5) Everything in moderation

If you go cold turkey and deny your favourite foods or downtime after work – you could burnout and stop your fitness routine all together.

"Go out to eat with your friends and have a drink at the cottage," said Warner. "Just do it in moderation and make better choices when you are out."

Bonus tip

Warner knows it can be expensive to stay active and a personal trainer is not in everyone's budget.

Group fitness can be a great way to work out and there are many unique opportunities to work out in the Toronto area at a discounted rate.

Try finding a cycling club, running club or discounted yoga classes. Also – for UHN staff, the Wellness Centre offers group classes at locations all across the organization.

Staff can visit the Wellness Centre​ on the Intranet for more.

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