Category Archives: Exercise

Some Motivation to Start your Week

Hello everyone!

I sincerely apologize for the delay in writing a blog post. I recently got a new job as a personal trainer so I’ve been busy with meetings and such. Here’s a great quote I saw and had to share it with all of you. It’s quite motivating! Do something today to reach your goals!!

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8 Easy Ways to Stand More

  1. Walk more at work: Park your car farther away from your building; use stairs not elevators; take a long route to the restroom or mail room.
  2. While computing, set a timer to remind you to stand up and stretch every half hour; take this time to pick-up and clean your work area.
  3. Stand up when you talk on the phone.
  4. Don’t send emails if the recipient is near; walk over and talk to him or her.
  5. Avoid long sitting commutes by standing on the bus, subway or train.
  6. When watching TV, lose the remote; get up to change the channels.
  7. Stand or exercise while you watch TV, or just stand and move around during pesky commercial breaks.
  8. During intense gaming, stand up in between sessions and screen loads.

Suggestions from: juststand.org

The Health Hazards of Sitting – In picture form!

I realize there are lots of words to this but still take a look. Countless of times we hear sitting is bad for you, but we don’t always know all the repercussions. Take a look at this picture and use it as motivation to get up and move as much as possible!

The picture wouldn’t upload on the blog so check it out in the link below:

http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/the-health-hazards-of-sitting/750/?utm_content=buffer81fc9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Inactivty & the Brain

I’m sure you’ve heard many times that being active is great for your brain, but did you know that being inactive is actually bad for your brain? Your brain is something that is ever changing — it doesn’t just stop evolving once you hit a certain age. How do you do something like this? You exercise! I read a really cool article called How Inactivity Changes the Brain from Well which is based off of a study found in The Journal of Comparative Neurology. This study was done on rats (yes, I know rats… but they said they the results are likely to have implications for humans as well) by scientists Wayne State University School of Medicine. Here’s a quick summary on what they found:

  • 12 Dozen Rats
  • 1/2 rats had a running wheel where they could run anytime they wanted while 1/2 didn’t have the wheel and had to remain sedentary
  • 3 months later, a dye was injected into the rats that would illuminate certain parts of the brain, specifically that affecting the heart and lungs
  • Active rat’s neurons were still shaped the same as they were when the study started
  • Inactive rats’ nerouns changed in a way that would make them easily over-stimulated leading to a potential increase in blood pressure which potentially could lead to heart disease
  • “This finding is important because it adds to our understanding of how, at a cellular level, inactivity increases the risk of heart disease, Dr. Mueller said. But even more intriguing, the results underscore that inactivity can change the structure and functioning of the brain, just as activity does.”

Research done by:

  1. Nicholas A. Mischel1,
  2. Ida J. Llewellyn-Smith1,2,
  3. Patrick J. Mueller1,*

Article first published online: 20 DEC 2013

DOI: 10.1002/cne.23464

Want more information? Check out the study’s abstract and the full study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24114875

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cne.23464/abstract;jsessionid=6AD3A6FF01EE4E469863C34EADE28869.f03t01

Check out the article here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/how-inactivity-changes-the-brain/?_php=true&_type=blogs&partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

The Mini Elliptical – Your Answer to not gaining weight while Sitting at Work?

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say “I don’t have time to work out” or “I keep gaining weight because I sit at my desk all day long. I can’t help it. I have a desk job”… I would be a very rich girl. Finally I’d be able to afford my Lamborghini (but that’s beside the point). So often people use sitting at their desk job an excuse for not working out. Sometimes it’s a viable excuse but sometimes it really is just that — an excuse. To all those people who are looking to workout/not gain weight while at work, researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine may have the answer to your problems… the SMALL ELLIPTICAL EXERCISE DEVICE!

Researchers have found that most Americans gain 1-2 pounds per year through being sedentary by spending 11 hours a day sitting (taking into account transportation, sitting in front of a computer and sitting in front of a TV). Researchers at Penn State selected 32 participants to use this device while they were sitting at work. Variables such as heart rate and energy produced were examined while participants used this machine. Results from this study found that 86% of individuals who used this machine worked hard enough to not have the 1-2 lbs of weight gain at the end of the year. The other 14 percent of people could have similar/the same affects if they increased their speed while being on the elliptical. Pretty cool, huh? (Rovniak et al, 2014)

Penn State (2014, January 22). Small elliptical exercise device may promote activity while sitting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 23, 2014, from http://www.sciencedaily.com
­ /releases/2014/01/140122091944.htm#%2EUuEjskWUJ6c%2Etwitter

Just as an FYI, I looked up this nifty little machines and they cost approximately $150. I’d say it’s worth the try if you’re looking for a way to be healthier while at work and being sedentary.

For more information, check out the article on Science Daily: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122091944.htm#%2EUuEjskWUJ6c%2Etwitter

13 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise from Greatist

Unfortunately, I’ve been struggling with a  bit of writers block lately. I’ve got so much on the go right now that my brain doesn’t have time to really stop and think. That and mix in over a months worth of terrible sleeps (haven’t slept through the night since 2013… maybe early December?) and you got writers block. Last night before I was “falling” asleep, I saw a friend posted this on her facebook: “13 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise”. Some of these you may have heard, but some you maybe have not. Check out Greatist’s list below:

  1. Reduce Stress
  2. Boost Happy chemicals (anyone remember Legally Blonde? “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”)
  3. Improve self-confidence
  4. Enjoy the great outdoors
  5. Prevent cognitive decline
  6. Alleviate anxiety (I can definitely attest to that)
  7. Boost brainpower
  8. Sharpen memory
  9. Help control addiction
  10. Increase relaxation
  11. Get more done
  12. Tap into creativity
  13. Inspire others

With a list like that, what are you waiting for? Get off your hineys and start moving. I say that with love and because I care 🙂

Check out the link for more information: http://greatist.com/fitness/13-awesome-mental-health-benefits-exercise

Setting Goals for the New Year

When setting goals for the New Year or for New Years Resolutions, it’s very crucial to success to set goals in the right way. Often times people set unrealistic goals for the new year and end up being extremely disappointed and discouraged. For example, people say, “I’d like to lose 15 pounds in two weeks”. Doing something like this is extremely difficult and nearly impossible, leaving you feel defeated and burying your face in a tub of ice cream. I DO NOT want this to happen to you. I want you to set easily attainable goals so that you will increase your confidence and self-efficacy. Together, we can do this. If you need any  help with setting goals, feel free to email me or even comment on here.

Make sure your goals follow the S.M.A.R.T. guidelines:

S – Specific — don’t say “to lose weight”… instead say “to lose 5 pounds” and don’t say “to be active”… instead say “I want to go to on a walk every night after dinner with my wife”

M – Measurable — can you measure it… to say my goal is to lose weight, that’s not enough. You need to put some sort of number to it. How do you know you’re losing weight? How do you know how much you have to lose? So say, to lose 5 pounds in two weeks. By having the number “5 pounds”, you can keep track of your goals and see if you’re on track to reach your goal or not.

A – Actionable — based on things a client will do — I will lose 5 pounds by exercising at least 30 minutes per day

R – Relevant — Must be important and meaningful to the client. Getting to success is motivating in itself — make sure you are doing things that are working towards your goal and not doing things like eating at McDonalds… how can you reach your goal if you are busy eating at McDonalds?

T – Timed — Put a date on it! — To just say you’re doing to lose 5 pounds by working on 30 minutes every day isn’t enough… set a date of when you want to reach this goal by. Again, make sure this is realistic. Unless you have liposuction, no one can really lose 30 pounds in one week. It’s quite difficult to do. The ideal amount of weight loss per week is 1-2 lbs/week. Keep this is in mind.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away. Remember, this type of goal setting can be applied to any type of goal. I used the weight loss example because it is often on people’s New Years Resolutions. Make this year the best year to be healthy, fit and active. You can do it!

Food for Thought: Just Push Yourself

First of all, I just want to say it’s… FRIDAY!! What does that mean? It’s the weekend!!

Something I wanted to share with you all is a few thoughts I had last night and this morning. As you probably know by now, I am very into the health and fitness industry. I am a newly Registered Kinesiologist and I am pursuing my certificate to become a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Health Coach. I LOVE motivating people to exercise and eat healthy. I know that seeing someone go from being sedentary to being active and just becoming happier and healthier is why I was put on this earth. I’m almost on an emotional high when I help people become active. Okay, enough about that… I’ll get to my point.

Despite my background and love for exercise and being healthy, I do still have to push myself to do exercise. I know it’s good for me, I know I’ll feel amazing after, but I still feel like I need that push. Last night, after work, I felt so burned out and tired. I even fell asleep for probably 5 minutes (SUPER POWER NAP!!). When I woke up from this SPN, I did not want to exercise. What did I do though? I pictured myself being on the beach… 16 days from yesterday and asked myself… would I be happy and satisfied with the way that I looked currently? The answer was no. Then I pictured myself sticking to my exercise routine and how I’d look… would I be happier with the way I looked then? Much more. Would I feel better after I exercised? Definitely. So, what did I do? Before I could change my mind, I whipped on my workout clothes, put on my running shoes, turned on my workout DVD so I could hear the music in the background while I set up my equipment and went to town. I completed the Tone It Up High Intensity Interval Training DVD2. How did I feel once I completed the workout? Awesome. I’m so glad I did it! I’m so glad I pushed myself to the next level to complete. Losing weight and exercising is not easy. One thought that came across my mind was “I wish there was a fast and easy fix and I didn’t have to go through the rigmarole to reach my goals”. Change is not easy. Doing exercise is not the most comfortable thing in the world, but you wanna know what? It gets easier. The harder you push, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Again, I’ll get to the basic point. Don’t feel like exercising? You are not alone. I’m sure even the professionals will tell you it’s so tempting to lay in bed or sit there and watch tv instead of spending 40 minutes doing High Intensity Interval Training. We are not perfect and don’t expect you to be perfect either. What should you do? Just push yourself that little bit more and you will be so happy you did it. Exercise is for you! It’s your time to do things for yourself — your time to feel better, function more optimally, look better and increase your self esteem. I know I said this once recently but remember the quote: “I totally regret that workout”  said NO ONE EVER!

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone. Push yourself, be yourself…. you can do it!

This is the video I was doing with the girls last night... boy was it awesome!

This is the video I was doing with the girls last night… boy was it awesome! Yes, I looked that sweaty and was red-faced.

 

Top 3 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

I am a huge fan of the Tone It Up girls, Karena and Katrina. I love their Nutrition plan, their exercises and how motivating they are. They offer a great method of social support through a Tone It Up Community where you can post what you’ve eaten for the day, what exercises you have completed, questions you have and even just to say “AHH! I’M LACKING MOTIVATION!!!”

Katrina posted an awesome video on the TIU website about 3 ways to boost your metabolism. I strongly encourage you check out their webpage. They are extremely motivating and quite knowledgeable. Here are the main points from the video. If you check out the video, let me know what you think!katrina-hodgson-tone-it-up-karena-dawn-toneitup-girls-13

Top 3 Ways to Boost your Metabolism:

1. HYDRATION!!!

– If you are chronically dehydrated, you can gain up to 10 pounds in 1 year
– If you are not properly hydrated, your body cannot function
– K&K recommendation: drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water  (ex. if you weigh 150 lbs, drink 75 oz of water) and for every 30 minutes of activity you do, drink an extra 8 oz of water
– Interesting fact from K&K: You can gain this 10 pounds even if you are eating a good diet and exercising. This may be the key to helping you lose those stubborn last few pounds!

2. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

– Increases your metabolism for the rest of the day. Why? Because of EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption)
– What is EPOC? Since your body temperature is higher, it has to work hard to get back to a normal state and uses nutrients (Side note: I did a HIIT workout on Sunday and I was extremely red faced for at least 30 minutes after the workout… oh baby!)
– Turns us into a fat burning machine

3. Lean Clean and Green Foods

– Nutrient dense foods your bodies love: eat a certain parts of the day
– Lean meats, clean foods (process free) and green (tons of veggies, fruits – antioxidants etc)
– When you have protein- thermic effect on your body… you burn calories while you eat protein

Check out Karena & Katrina’s website: www.toneitup.com I love love love these girls! Such inspirations for me!

http://toneitup.com/2013/11/new-video-top-3-ways-to-boost-your-metabolism/

 

Find What you Like and Just Move!

I recently had a conversation with the ladies that I work with at my office about different types of activities that we like to do for exercise. It’s funny how each of us were so different. For example, one lady likes to run on the treadmill for cardio, the next one said she preferred water aerobics, another said she hated water aerobics and I mentioned how I like exercise classes but hate solely running on the treadmill. All completely different responses! What one person likes, the other hates. This got me to thinking again how it’s important to not tell someone what to do, but let them find what types of activities they like and to stick with it. There is no rule stating “Thou must run on the treadmill to gain benefits of exercise”. You just have to move! Just because you like to do something, doesn’t mean your spouse, friend, sibling etc. will like it too. I could (and have) promoted zumba until I was blue in the face, because that’s truly an exercise I love. This same exercise I love could be torturous for the uncoordinated and socially nervous individual.

What’s my point? If you’re trying to help someone become more active, DO NOT and I repeat, DO NOT tell them what to do. Sure, you can make suggestions because there may be activities out there they have no idea about (i.e. intramural sports, community centre facilities, bootcamp classes at the park, snowshoeing clubs, mall walking clubs etc.).

Time and time again I have read and learned that when it comes to exercise, no one likes being told what to do. We all like to be autonomous and make our own decisions about our lives. We like being in control. If you want to hear more about the psychology behind it, check out the Self Determination Theory (created way before my time in the 70’s-80’s 😉 I wasn’t even thought of at that point). Here’s a quick example: If you’re a smoker, don’t you feel super defensive if someone tells you to quit? It’s not as simply as:
Person A: Quit Smoking.
Person B: Okay.
If that was the case, I’d be telling you all right now, “Go out and get at least an hour a day of moderate to vigorous activity”. How many of you are up and off your bums right now? Believe it or not, if you tell someone what to do, the exact opposite will happen. They’ll think of reasons why they don’t want to do it and they won’t do it. Why? They are controlling their life by saying no. They are making the decision to not do what you just told them to do instead of complying to your request.

I may be naïve in thinking that everyone must like something in order to be active, but I feel as though it has to be true. Please, find what you like and just move. Make this newly Registered Kinesiologist happy and try different activities so you can get the benefits of exercise. There are countless of benefits exercise for health and it also helps boost your mood and look your best.

Yes it’s hard, but JUST MOVE!

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