Health and Fitness

How to Get Healthy in 2018, According to Local Fitness Experts

Before you make (and break) the same old resolutions, consider these tips from four local fitness and health experts.

New Year, new you—and there’s no better time to start achieving those health and fitness goals you’ve been eyeing. Before you make (and break) the same old resolutions, consider these tips from four local fitness and health experts.

1. Schedule an annual physical exam before you set any fitness goals.

Bok Santos, celebrity trainer, certified personal trainer, and coach whose client list has included Zanjoe Marudo, JC De Vera, Derek Ramsey, Kathryn Bernardo, Liza Soberano, and Denise Laurel, says you should make it a point to get an annual checkup before anything else and take that as your starting point. 

"This way, sa simula pa lang, alam mo na kung ano ang mga kailangan mo i-adjust sa body mo. Kung cholesterol ba, or insulin, or what,” adds Santos. 

2. Think of your health-based goals and value non-scale victories.

Ask yourself, what exactly are you aiming for? Chris Everingham, National Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Philippine Volcanoes, says it’s important to break down your idea of getting healthy. “Health-based goals focus on the right habits, whereas weight goals tend to focus on an arbitrary number,” he says. "When used as the only tool for improving health, [weight loss] may not encourage the right habits and behaviors."

Consider other factors: do you want to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels? Analyze your goal accordingly. Instead of blindly setting a weight loss goal, meet with your healthcare provider to discuss appropriate goals and how to go about them.

Instead of stepping on the scale, measure your progress with things like how far you can walk without losing your breath, or how easily you can lift your luggage when traveling, or even from your car trunk. 


3. Invest in consulting professionals.

According to Arnold Aninion, Men’s Physique athlete and personal trainer to celebrities like Raymond Gutierrez, Anne Curtis, Isabelle Daza, and Georgina Wilson, this is key to success. "See a physical therapist or a nutritionist if you have to and identify what exactly you want to do," says Aninion. "In any case, you have to decide for yourself and put together the best strategies to achieve your weight loss goals and then start to build your new body."

4. Trust the process.

According to Aninion, you have to accept that you won’t see results anytime soon, but you have to commit to your goals.

“If, for example, your goal is to lose weight, know that you won’t lose all the weight overnight. Be ready to put in the work and remember to trust the process because weight loss is a combination of planned dieting, well-executed workouts, and proper rest (meaning getting plenty of sleep),” says Aninion.

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5. Figure out what needs to change and adjust your habits accordingly.

Aninon stresses that part of achieving long-term changes in your health is finding the right mentality, and a combination of adjusting your lifestyle and routine.

He cites his experience with Raymond Gutierrez, who famously debuted a fitter, leaner, and stronger physique late last year. Aninion says the transformation took a lot of sacrifice, waiting, and changing of habits—even adjusting social schedules to ensure enough time for sleep, recovery, and working out.

“If you look at any of his latest photos, you have to realize they didn’t happen overnight. It took more than a year of hard work and change,” he adds. 

“We combined a lot of different lifestyle tweaks so that he could sustain the long term plan of his desired goals. Part of that was developing the right psychology and mentality so that he wouldn't be fatigued and tired of working out; instead he was always motivated to turn up and commit to his program both inside and outside the gym,” said Aninion. 

6. Aim for holistic health.

According to Dr. Gia Baquiran-Sison, MD., you should aim for health in all aspects—not just physically, but mentally and spiritually.

“Based on the definition of the World Health Organization, health is the presence of three factors: physical, mental and spiritual aspects,” says Sison. “People should aim for a holistic lifestyle and not just focus on weight loss alone. Take proactive steps. Health is indeed wealth.”

Aside from aiming to get physically fit, take steps to let go of issues that have been weighing you down, and get help if you need to. Find the time to reconnect with a spiritual practice, or find a new one that works for you and aligns with your beliefs.


7. Find a goal that works for you.

According to Nadine Tengco, diet coach to celebrities like Karen Davila, Anne Curtis, Solenn Heussaff, and Iza Calzado, you shouldn’t wait for a health wakeup call to change your lifestyle.

“This is why people who are sick act on lifestyle changes but people who are not yet ill even if they are on a reckless path of unhealthy living will require a lot of forceful will to make even the smallest of changes,” says Tengco.

Instead, she recommends more “selfish” motivators, like vanity.

“Vanity is a powerful motivator,” says Tengco. “It is not always about conceit. It can be about the joy of looking good. Looking good leads to feeling good. A lifestyle change motivated by vanity, if accomplished through healthy rituals will also deliver health. You can hit two birds with one stone.”

8. Choose a plan that fits your lifestyle and get started.


Once you’ve set your goal, the first thing you need to do is start. Don’t procrastinate, and put in the effort to show up. 

According to Aninion, no matter how busy you get, you can find a way to develop the discipline to be able to sustain your healthy resolutions.

“In the case of Georgina (Wilson), who also recently achieved her fitness goals post-partum, we developed a program that was power-based. It required a lot of aggression and each workout was very energy draining but at the same time it made her feel accomplished. The programs we chose for her kept the training short so that she could attend to her hectic schedule.”

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Patricia Atienza
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