Energetic Vigor of "Nikki Bowman"

Hello, who are you and what sports/fitness routine do you play?

Hey! I’m Nikki Bowman :) I am a self proclaimed athlete and women's nutrition specialist. I love all things related to fitness, food and spirituality. Growing up as a kid, I didn't always have the best approach to a healthy lifestyle and as a result I struggled with many body image issues. When I was 13, my dad introduced me to the gym and began taking me on the weekends with him. Instantly, I fell in love with how weight training made me feel and how it was beginning to change my body. I also began to look at my nutrition more closely and educated myself on the constituents of a good diet so I could support my training. At 15, I had made up my mind that the health and fitness field was where I belonged and where I should establish my career. I achieved my bachelors of science in human nutrition from the University of Guelph in 2018 and am now currently working in a health food store where I assist customers with nutritional guidance and supplementary support. I love my job because it is so rewarding to help someone find empowerment in their own health. It also allows you to see the incredible impact that good nutrition and natural health supplements can truly have on one's life. I hope to continue building my knowledge of nutrition, and eventually open my own practice to assist individuals who may struggle with their body image or who wish to improve their relationship with food and exercise as this is a matter very close to my heart. 

How do you get ready to train for your sport/how do you train?

My exercise routine changes greatly depending on my mood, the time of year and how much time I have to commit to a workout but I always ensure to make it fun and interesting. Although weightlifting is my first love, I also enjoy running, yoga, dance or on my active recovery days, long walks.  I typically train 5-6 days per week with varying levels of intensity. During the winter I tend to be at the gym more often and focus my routine around a heavier lifting schedule. I will typically follow a 5 day training split where I focus on each muscle group individually as it allows me to have the best recovery between sessions. I try to limit my workouts to no more than 90 minutes although I'm known for how long I spend in the gym ( it can be more of a social experience for me some days).  In the summer I try to be outdoors as much as possible whether it be hiking, running or cycling. I will always include weight training in the warmer weather but I try to incorporate more circuit style / body weight sessions. I find that by allowing my body to cycle through different types of movement year round I am able to keep my motivation high and continue to challenge myself in new ways. One thing I've added to my training recently which I had never appreciated before is the importance of consistent and intelligent stretching. Long limber muscles are the key to injury prevention, something I'm beginning to focus on more now. stretching will also help ensure that you are getting the most out of every rep and set by increasing the amount of blood flow and oxygen available to your muscles. Foam rolling is my guilty pleasure, I love to spend an hour twice each week working out any knots or tender spots, I view it as part of my mandatory self care routine. 

After a workout/game, how do you recover your body? What do you do to get your body in shape? What type of diet do you eat? 

In addition to foam rolling and stretching, I try to take at least one bath a week using epsom salts and soak for 30 mins to reduce any inflammation in my legs. It's also an amazing way to unwind and destress after a long week. I recently started a nightly ritual of putting my feet upon a wall to help with blood flow  and while I'm not sure if it's placebo. I have noticed better circulation in my toes which are always cold! 

I also believe that nutrition plays an extremely important role in the body's ability to recover from exercise. Coming from a body building background, I was always taught that the pre and post workout meals were the most important all as they dictated the quality of workout you would have. For this reason, I always make sure to have something in my stomach before a workout. I've tried fasted training and it just doesn't agree with my body. So even if I'm not hungry before a morning training session, I will have something small like some nuts and fruit to get me through. Ideally, I try to get in one complete meal before the gym with a good source of both protein and carbs as it allows me to perform my best. Some of my favorite combos are rice cakes with pb and banana with a sprinkle of salt or hard boiled eggs and some toast. I've definitely become less rigid with my eating over the years and instead of stressing about getting exactly 120g of protein each day. I have shifted my focus to just aiming for each food group at every meal and really listening to what my body is asking for. I find that when my mentality around eating is more relaxed, my digestion and in turn my nutrient absorption is much better. 

How do you prevent injuries when you’re training? What type of stretches do you normally do? What’s your routine looking like?

My stretching routine is very basic however I am proud of how far I've come in terms of my flexibility. I have begun to incorporate more yoga type movements in order to put my body through greater ranges of motion and to help me improve both my posture and balance. I really enjoy doing a bit of stretching before bed as it calms the nervous system and prepares the body for a rejuvenating rest. Child's pose and downward dog are two of my favourites for an instant tension release. A great accompaniment to stretching, I have found is breath work. There are so many different techniques you can use so I would recommend trying out a few different breathing patterns to find which suits you best. Personally, I find box breathing to be the best for getting into a meditative state before sleep so it is the one i try to use the most. I also rely on the use of some natural supplements to help me with any inflammation I may be feeling. A high quality turmeric or curcumin supplement can do wonders for achy muscles and collagen is a staple in my morning elixirs for joint and bone support. Both of these additions have helped me to keep my recovery on point and my body running its best. 

If there is someone wanting to get to your level, what type of advice would you give them?

More than anything, I would say the most important thing to remember when embarking on any fitness journey is that patience is key. You are not going to achieve your goals overnight so don't get down on yourself if you don't see progress happening as quickly as you'd like. Everyone needs to go at their own pace and honor what feels best for their mind, body and soul. Even if the workout didn't feel like you gave it 100% , you still showed up for yourself and put in the effort. The hardest thing for me to learn throughout my journey was the comparison factor and how useless it is in getting you to where you want to be. Everyone on this planet is so bio individual so it only makes sense that we all have a unique way of moving, eating and living. When you get hung up on following your favorite influencers' workouts and diet plans simply because you like the way they look,  you may be sacrificing your own progress. Its much more worthwhile to use some good old trial and error to find a unique routine that is tailored to you. I used to get so down on myself while scrolling social media thinking I'd never get to where these fitness models were that it almost derailed me entirely from training at all. But as long as you stay in your own lane and pay attention to the small victories you will be well on your way to success. 

How do you structure your day now? What projects are you busy with?

Currently, my schedule is pretty consistent in terms of my work, training and home life. My position at the health food store is full time so that takes up most of my days through the week. On weekdays, I will train in the morning around 7 am or if I have a shorter day I will train in the afternoon. After work I will unwind by sharing a meal with my roommates and spending some time collaborating with them on our future endeavors. On the weekends, I fill my time with baking, getting outdoors, seeing family or doing something creative like painting. I have several cooking projects on the go including an e book on how to make beautiful smoothie bowls. The kitchen has always been an outlet for me so it feels natural to spend most of my time there when I'm not in the gym. My roommates always tease me that I should really just put my bed in our pantry. I also work closely with the Canadian supplement brand called CanPrev. I help them to create new recipes using their products which are then showcased on their website. I am currently working on a recipe blog where I will be able to upload all of my creations and recipes. Over the time we spent at home this year with the pandemic, I became much more in touch with my creative side and returned to painting, something I loved to do as a kid. For me, music and art are the best ways to express and evoke emotion and in essence they give me my zest for life. 

How has your journey on social media been? Future plans?

My journey with social media began with my Instagram account. At first it was like any other fitness inspired account but I've worked over the years to build my following of like minded individuals whose interests go far beyond the gym. I aim to use my platform as a means to inspire individuals who need a little more ‘light’ in their everyday life. I try hard to practice what I preach and I truly believe it is an accurate representation of the real me. I love to create beautiful things and share them with the world whether it be food, art, music or nature.  I see so many people trying to be carbon copies of one another in this society and I really think it speaks volumes when you are confident enough to stand out and stand up for what you believe and that in my opinion is the best way to grow a following. One day, I hope to create my own website where I can tie all of my current projects together. However, That's definitely an area I find I struggle with. I'm never short on ideas but when it comes down to actually executing the task I can get into a bit of a perpetual procrastination state. But as long as I remind myself to take it piece by piece, I know I will be able to focus my energy and achieve my goals. 

Anything else you would like to share?

One thing I am extremely grateful for is actually the time I spent in lockdown during the pandemic. Without the ability to train in a gym, I was forced to find alternative ways to exercise and with that I discovered just how much I was missing out on outside of the gym. Although fitness will always be one of my biggest passions, I don't want it to be my entire identity and for some time I became extremely immersed in it and completely lost my spark for working out. This time has taught me to be more in tune with my body and appreciate all that it does for me each day. I think this time has helped a lot of people realize how much they need to make self care a staple in their routine. After all, if you don't take care of your mind you can't expect the body to follow. 

Knowing what you know now, what do you wish you could tell yourself 10 years ago?

If there is any one thing I could tell myself 10 years ago, it would be to not waste energy worrying about things you can't change or those out of your control. I cannot tell you how much of my past that I've spent focusing on futile issues only to leave me with more anxiety and fear of the outcome. The universe is always conspiring for you and even though you may not understand why or how things are supposed to work out just trust that they will. We have all been put on this earth to find our purpose in life and for me, that is to be of service to others. Although I may not know exactly what that is going to look like, I trust that it will be revealed to me when the time is right. Each day I am given the gift of another opportunity to enhance the lives of those around me even if it's  in some small way. I know it's counting towards something and I am living out my destiny. 

How can our audience find you online? 

Find me on Instagram @nikkibowman97 sending all the love, light and juju.

Link to Nikki Bowman's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nikkibowman97

Nikki Bowman is a self-proclaimed athlete and women's nutrition specialist. She loves all things related to fitness, food, and spirituality. 


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