Let’s get physical
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I was recently interviewed by Aaliya Essa for her article Let’s get Physical that was published in Condoliving magazine. Check it out….

Home is where your health starts


Photo by Aaliya Essa

Ironic as it may seem, life can get in the way of good health. When you’re too busy with the day-to-day grind, getting fit tends to take a back seat and all the New Year’s resolutions to start living a healthy life become nothing but a distant memory by August.

Time management and rearranging our priorities is important in maintaining a well-balanced life, but mustering the will power to get started is key. Fitness experts say it’s easy enough when you get started and you don’t even need a gym membership to stay healthy, as exercising at home can be as simple as walking up the stairs a few times. The challenge is getting off the couch and getting started.

People are busier than they have ever been. When we get stretched the top things we drop from our list of priorities are exercise, eating right, and getting enough sleep, says Michelle Cederberg, author of the self-help book, Energy Now!

Cederberg explains that this behaviour stems from the compulsion to tend first to what we consider to be time-sensitive. We forsake healthy living for getting ahead: working at your desk instead of working out, ordering take-out versus making dinner at home, and staying up late rather than getting an adequate amount of sleep.

The reality is that a well-balanced lifestyle “takes effort,” says Cederberg. “We all need to have energy in order to succeed, and that starts at home, with your health plan, with your sleep, with exercise, with down time and all the comforts that you get at home.”

Energize yourself

It’s a vicious cycle: where do you get the energy to energize? This is what Cederberg discusses in her book, and she says the best way to achieve your healthy lifestyle is to start small.

Starting with simple goals to establish a health-oriented habit is the first step. A well-structured day, that’s where the energy comes from, she says, adding that everything you need is within yourself and in your home environment.

“If we can prioritize a healthy home environment — and have enough personal time, then it doesn’t seem like such a stretch to take care of ourselves with exercise and all those other things,” she says.

Home gym

Exercise is a key component to a balanced lifestyle and the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends a 60-minute daily workout for children and at least 150 minutes a week for adults.

Exercising fuels your body with energy, which will increase your strength and endurance, and will benefit your health immensely. A workout can be broken into two 30-minutes segments, once in the morning and another later in the day.

The best thing is that you don’t really need a gym membership to keep an exercise regimen. Even those on a tight budget don’t really need to buy extra exercise equipment to achieve their health goals.

Utilizing furniture in the home can assist with many exercises, “chairs, couches, even the bed can be used in a workout,” says Kori Leigh Hagel, a nutritionist and personal trainer at Anytime Fitness.

Fitness anywhere

Hagel suggests using sundry, everyday items found in the home including soup cans and milk jugs as weights, and furniture for exercise equipment. “Exercises such as lunges, dips, push-ups, sit-ups, and the plank can be effective for the body, and can easily be done in the home,” says Hagel.

Dips, for example, are an easy exercise for the triceps, which can be accomplished by simply pushing against furniture.

First ensure that the couch, bed, or chair is stable and won’t move while in use, and then simply hold onto the base of the frame and bring your bottom almost to the ground, and then push back up, inhale as you go down, and exhale as you move back up. Try to keep the shoulders pulled back to avoid applying strain to the neck and arms, for beginners 10 repetitions per day is a good start.

For more information on how to perform these exercises speak to a trainer, as they can assist with the proper movements and positions for the best results. Another great source for information on various exercises is YouTube, where a simple search for “exercise at home” will get you a variety of video clips to choose from.

Eat healthy

The importance of working out is parallel with nutrition, “Don’t assume that if you are exercising and/or you are at a healthy weight that you don’t have to worry about what you eat,” says Andrea Holwegner, President of Health Stand Nutrition Inc.

Holwegner explains, “Your body is like a car, and nutrition is the gas, oil, and other components of your car that make it run properly. Your car will run for a while if you don’t fill it with fuel or forget to change the oil, but eventually it will break down.” This is the basic understanding of the need for proper nutrition for the body.

Ever heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, well, it’s true. “Breakfast gives your brain the essential energy it needs for a full day ahead, and breakfast eaters tend to struggle with their weight less than breakfast skippers,” says Holwegner.

A good breakfast is comprised with these three essentials: grains/starches, fruits/vegetables, and protein. The goal for the day, with every meal, is to incorporate: plenty of green vegetables, an assortment of fruits, carbohydrates such as whole-grain pastas, rice, and tortillas, and protein. For meal suggestions and a variety of recipes, check out https://www.healthstandnutrition.com/blog/

Health begins at home

Statistics Canada posted that one in four Canadians is considered clinically obese; in U.S. the ratio is one in three. The number of health concerns such as Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise among adults and children, directly related to the amount of consumption and the type of food being consumed.

No one wants to be part of that statistic, and Cederberg says you don’t have to be by learning the importance of a healthy lifestyle, stress management, and time for leisure, and how to find success in these through small steps.

“Action doesn’t need to happen in giant leaps to qualify as success,” she says in her book. “You want more energy and you can get that by simply taking small steps every day in one or two key energy-boosting areas in your life.”

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Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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