Monday, December 10, 2018
I love reading fitness articles that are based on science. Everybody is a little different so finding ways to make the science work for you and your goals can bring about interesting results and ideas. I came across an article from someone I appreciate as a sound, science based personal trainer, Russ Howe, and it brought a huge smile to my face.
What was it about?
Gummy Bears. Yes, really.
There have been different recommendations of what to do after a hard work out. Eat a bowl of pasta, drink chocolate milk, stick with a protein shake, or you can find a whole long list of best practices on Google. Each recommendation will have it’s benefits and reason for why it works. The goal is mainly to bring nourishment back into the cells that need it.
Now, back to the gummy bears, if you want to read his blog, here. He breaks down some facts about the type of sugar which is best to quickly replenish the resources your cells have used up during your workout. Then, Russ explains why Harbiro Gummy Bears after a work out can be a good choice.
It’s a fun way to give your body what it needs at that moment. If you follow a specific diet or eat “clean,” this may not work for you, but he also addresses that in a blunt science backed explanation. It’s about finding a way to nourish the body, without being excessively restrictive. Like others, when I even think about restrictions to my diet, it’s all I think about and becomes the focus of my day. It doesn’t work for me and it backfires in a big way.
Finding ways to make the science of exercise work for you is the fun part. If that is not your idea of fun, then have a chat with a personal trainer. I think if you let them, they could talk to you about it all day long, perhaps over gummy bears.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
There is so much confusion and so many recommendations regarding the best ways to live your life, lose weight, shrink your belly, and exercise. Now, there has been, what seems like, a sudden and urgent push to eliminate sitting from our daily routines. “Sitting is the new smoking” articles could be found in every mode of media.
For many individuals, sitting takes up a big portion of the day. For others, it is a way to relax and decompress from a long day or week. An evening or weekend on the couch catching up with the latest episodes on Netflix can equate to hours of zoning out, getting up only to grab something to eat or use the washroom. A person needs to relax, right? So, how bad can that be?
Well, taking care of our mental health is vital, but choosing to be sedentary is very different than relaxing in order to take care of your mental health. Research has consistently shown that exercise has a positive influence on mental health.
The studies which have raised the alarms show that lifespan decreases as the amount of sedentary behavior increases. Let me say that again, lifespan decreases as sedentary behavior increases. Synonyms for the word sedentary include: motionless, sitting, inactive, desk-bound, idle. Never has it been more scientifically proven that our bodies were made to move.
This has enormous impact on how we need to look at our days. This knowledge impacts society as a whole. This awareness needs to influence personal decisions all the way up to large organizational policies. For business owners and large corporations who want employees to live long and productive lives, that might mean giving employees options to move around and encouragement to stand and move during the day.
On a personal level, this means making movement a daily habit instead of leaving the workout to the weekend. It’s going against our instinct to take the easy way. Park a little further, take the stairs, go for that walk, perform squats during commercial breaks, bike to work. Find a way to incorporate movement. If you need some ideas, you can always chat with a personal trainer. We’d love to help you develop a plan.
Monday, December 3, 2018
Another simple and key factor to results is paying attention to when I feel good and when I’m not at my best. You would think listening to your body would be easy. When you are hungry you eat, and when you’re not, you don’t. Simple right? Social cues, our phycological state, and marketing have made that much more difficult.
What compounds the difficulty is when the food around you is designed for you to eat and consume more than what your body needs. So, this is when you need to listen even closer. Your body is telling you that what you are eating is not satisfying your nutritional needs. It is a learning process, which is the simple part, then comes some of the challenges, acting on what our body is telling us. You’ll be amazed at what your body can actually tell you when you pay attention. Intuitive eating is essentially what it’s called. Again, there’s a trick. You really need to relearn body awareness both mentally and physically to know what your body cues are telling you. Simple concept but it takes time. If you want to learn more about it check out an article by Dr.John Berardi, which gives you 4 strategies to turn “listen to your body” into useful self knowledge.
Regarding the topic, a little side note from Greg Harvey, personal trainer at Fit 'N' Well.
When I don't get enough sleep I get queasy to my stomach. In a desperate attempt to fix my stomach issues, I eat hoping to feel better. Not only do I not feel better after eating extra snacks, but I just ate extra food and it didn't solve anything. It only took me 45 years or so to figure this out, but I finally realized how important a full night's sleep is. When I don't sleep well, I gain weight. When I get regular full night's sleeps, my weight is much easier to maintain.
Long story short? Do what is necessary to get a full night's sleep. What is a full night's sleep? That is different for different people. For my wife that will be 10 hours. For me it is 7 hours. Learn how much sleep you need to perform your best, then aim for that target. That might mean controlling your caffeine in the evenings. For me it is no caffeine at all. For others it may mean no tv or electronic devices 30-60 minutes before bed. Reading for 30 minutes before sleep helps. For some not going to bed on a completely empty stomach. Bottom line? Listen to your body. Get the sleep and food that your body needs.
Friday, November 30, 2018
I’m sure we’ve all heard life is about the journey and not the destination and that the greatest part of the journey is the journey itself. I think sometimes we get a little caught up in the fast track to success and forget that getting to that success affords us astounding opportunities for learning and growth.
(My path to working as a personal trainer with Fit ‘N’ Well was certainly not straightforward, but I can sit back now and appreciate everything I experienced to get here!)
Look back to a time when you were able to successfully complete a certain goal. The best goal-setters continue to set and re-evaluate their goals because they know that life is about constant growth. The overall goal may or may not be to become The Best at something, but to continue to grow and enjoy experiences as a human being and to enjoy what you build out of your life.
Now, how do we directly relate this to fitness and living ahealthy lifestyle?
Some people thrive on setting and achieving goals; others feel anxious just thinking about what they want their goals to be, never mind the follow-through required to achieve them. If you’re new to goal-setting, my suggestion would be to break up your larger goals into smaller, more attainable goals. While this advice certainly isn’t reinventing the wheel, it is important to keep reminding yourself of the smaller goals (and the bigger picture) throughout your journey.
The art of setting a task is, in my opinion, a little undervalued. I believe that small tasks are the foundation of goal setting, and they allow you to practice mindfulness while building self-efficacy. A task is something that you can complete, and I like to think of tasks in relatively small terms, such as Go outside, (for a walk) Put in a load of laundry, Empty the dishwasher, or Turn on your computer and open the blog entry that you’re working on. I’ll admit many of my days start with one simple task: Make a cup of coffee!
As someone who has a never-ending list of things that I want/need to do, I’m frequently overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that I feel I should be doing. This sometimes results in spending more time stressing about the things I want/need to do than actually doing them.
If this sounds like you, give yourself a task for today that allows you to spend a little time working toward one of your goals. This could be a health-related goal where you want to be more active (hey, because I am a personal trainer after all!) or it could be something related to a goal in any area of your life. I think my “Task of the Day” will be to spend 30 minutes practicing my violin. Hmm… I might need another coffee first.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Quick fix diets are everywhere. You may have found one that works for you, but for the majority of people, restrictions end up doing the exact opposite of what is touted. Extreme changes may be necessary for some people. As as personal trainer I’ve learned simple small changes make the biggest difference.
Again, simple but not necessarily quick. I am a visual learner. What made a huge difference for me is learning what a proper proportion size looks like and learning to listen to my body. Proper proportions look like (some), it may really shock you. It certainly gave me better understanding of what my body really needed.
It’s all a learning process which takes time, not a quick fix.
By Annissa Brodie, Personal Trainer at Fit 'N' Well.