Monday, March 23, 2020

It is important to follow the new normal rules, but don't forget about your mental and physical health.


Do you know what else is important?

Self-Isolation, travel bans, social distancing, working from home, unemployment, recreation centres closing, and stockpiling supplies. This is our new reality. And all of these things are necessary if we want to have a healthy population and we don’t want this disease to take more lives.
Do you know what else is important? Exercise, socialization, routines, a sense of purpose and activities to look forward to etc. Depression and anxiety is a reality as well and if we aren’t careful during this time the effects of depression and anxiety may have a large impact on our society as well.
What can you do right now to keep a positive outlook over the next few months until this virus dies out?
  • Exercise every day- You may not be able to go to your local gym now, but you can make a point of going for a walk or a run every day. And maybe you go for a long walk one day and a short, fast walk the next. Do some yoga at home in front of the TV. Try some bodyweight exercises daily in your living room.
  • Unemployed? Forced to stay at home? Self-Isolating?- Now is a great time to work on that home project that you always wanted to tackle. Great news. You now have time to paint that spare bedroom.
  • Have you always wanted to learn a second language? Try Duolingo. It is a free app.
  • We have more time for family now. Set aside time every day to “play” with your family. Try a new board game. Play some video games with your kids.
  • Time with friends? Kill two birds with one stone. Get out for a daily walk or a run. Encourage a friend or two to join you. Map out a 5k loop. Time your loop and see if you can increase that time over the coming weeks. Maybe map out 3 different routes for some variety.
Yes, we do need to stop this virus. At the same time, we need to take care of our physical and mental health in the meantime. It is more important to take care of our health now more than ever.
My advice? Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.
Until next time…

Keep Fit ‘N’ Well.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Exercise Coach, In-Home Personal Training in Edmonton Alberta, Eating Healthy

Eating Healthy

As a personal trainer, I am pretty passionate about health and fitness. I would have chosen a living with better hours if I wasn't.
I find the media is always several years (five to ten years) behind current studies in the industry. Over the past few months, you may have noticed more and more commercials and talk in the media around plant-based eating. You are going to be seeing more and more of this kind of message in the media and it isn’t going to go away. Even the new Canada Food Guide has ignored the lobby groups and recommended what the registered dietitians feel is right based on science rather than recommending foods based on which lobby group pays them the most. It isn’t that you need to become a vegan, it is more about crowding out unhealthy saturated fats, trans fats, and refined carbohydrates and introducing more plant-based foods.
The Canada Food Guide is now encouraging people to consume plant-based proteins. With that, based on the public response you would think the government is trying to control us and turn us into zombies. No, plant-based proteins are simply better for our health and the environment and they are less expensive than beef, fish or chicken.
I have heard a lot over the years regarding the debate over refined sugars, saturated fats, meat and dairy and how much these choices contribute to obesity, heart disease, type two diabetes, cancers, and various other diseases. One thing I have never heard is anyone representing any diet recommending that you shouldn’t eat vegetables. I have never heard the likes of “Poor Fred, look at him, he is a heart attack waiting to happen. Well, what do you expect from a guy who loves his vegetables, nuts, and legumes? He looks so unhealthy. He is a walking heart attack.” I've simply never heard of that.
And yes, the typical response when I say something like that is "I heard of a jogger who had a heart attack while jogging". Yes, we have all heard about that unfortunate individual and yes, you will always be able to find one or two cases here and there of an athlete who has a genetic heart condition and dies prematurely. You will also find one or two cases like Bob Hope who drank and smoked all his life and lived a long life. I think reasonable, logical people understand that people like that are the minority. The others aren't so lucky and don't tend to live into their 70's much less their 90's.
When you look at heart disease being the number one killer in North America and the number of people who eat whole foods and focus on a plant-based diet vs how many people who die of heart disease who are either obese, have horribly unhealthy diets and don't exercise, I think you will find that the argument that you know a person who lived a healthy lifestyle and died early so what's the point in me eating healthy is about as intelligent as suggesting that people shouldn't look both ways before they cross a busy highway because they know a guy who never looks both ways before crossing a busy street and he is still alive.
I grew up on a farm and I hope we still have farms for hundreds of years to come. I just hope that we start spending more of our land resources on food to feed humans and less of our land to feed the animals that we eat.

I encourage all of you to focus on whole foods and plant-based proteins thus crowding out and consuming less meat, dairy, refined foods and man-made foods that have concentrated amounts of sugar in them.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Fitness - Personal Training, In-Home Personal Training in Edmonton Alberta, Walking or Lifting Weights,

What are the benefits of Drinking Water?

Are you sick? Have you heard “bed rest and drink plenty of fluids”? What about that awful calf cramp you get in the middle of the night. One of the first things I ask when people get cramps is “how much water do you drink?” What about headaches? Do you get a lot of headaches? If so, what is a common first line of defence for headaches…Drink 8 oz of water. Sometimes one might wonder if it is the Tylenol or Advil that cured the headache or the 8oz of water that we consumed while taking the pill.
There is no set amount of water you should drink in a day. If you consume a diet with a lot of water-rich vegetables and fruit or consume a lot of soups (providing the soups you choose aren’t too salty) you can get a lot of water out of your diet. Also depending upon whether you are in an environment where you perspire a lot or a cold environment will have an impact over how much water we need to consume as well.
That being said, we do require a lot of water for optimum health. Water helps with your skin, digestion, helps keep us alert during the day, it can help prevent constipation, headaches, nausea, It helps with jetlag, helps to relieve hangovers and helps to smooth out a host of other issues. Water also affects stretch receptors in our stomach to tell us that we aren’t hungry. In doing so we might not overeat so drinking a lot of water goes hand in hand with weight loss.
I don’t like to count how much water I drink, but I do make sure I have a water bottle at my desk, in the console of my car, while I travel and I especially like drinking water first thing in the morning when I get up. I find if a water bottle is in front of me I continually sip on water throughout the day. It is a habit now and I kind of feel lost without my water bottle everywhere I go.
My secret tip is cranberry tea. Cranberry tea is delicious. In the evenings when I am bored and think I am hungry I make myself some cranberry tea. The warm liquid satisfies my temptation to eat and again it is delicious and doesn’t carry with it any sugar or empty calories.

So, drink lots of water. Other than going to the bathroom more often, there are only upsides.

Until Next time...
Greg

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Fitness - Personal Training, In-Home Personal Training in Edmonton Alberta, Senior Exercise,

I am over 55 and can't lose weight, can a personal trainer help? How?

Many of us have always had to watch what we eat. Then as we hit 40 and 50 and beyond it seems as though all we have to do is look at a doughnut sideways and we gain three pounds.
The right personal trainer can certainly help. There are many variables to weight loss obstacles. For some, it may be a combination of eating habits and lack of exercise and all they have to do is eat relatively healthy and exercise regularly and their weight comes off. If your biggest obstacle is regular exercise, regularly scheduled appointments with most any personal trainer is going to help.
As we age our metabolism tends to slow down, our hormone production may slow down as well, our activity levels are often lower due to the stresses and time demands on a full-time job and raising a family. Work-life and family life can squeeze out time that was once spent playing sports five days a week to maybe once a week or no strenuous activity at all. That certainly takes a toll on a persons’ weight.
Also, unfortunately, many personal trainers are at the stage of their lives where they are in their 20’s and can’t relate to why people could possibly be overweight as the young twenty-something personal trainers can eat anything they want and not gain an ounce. And that is why for the best weight loss results people need an effective exercise program that is followed daily with a clean eating nutritional plan that is specific to the person who needs to lose weight. That combined with the right personal trainer who is knowledgeable in nutrition and keeps in touch with his or her clients on a regular basis. Every day if need be to help keep their clients on track.
Nutrition can get tricky as there are a lot of reasons why people eat whether it be social, stress, habit, environmental or cultural. As a personal trainer, I educate myself more on nutrition and eating habits than I do on exercise. I am in contact with some of my clients every day discussing their eating habits. My suggestion is to start with one change. Work on that change for as long as it takes until it becomes absolute second nature. Then start on another habit. It may not be the “lose 30 pounds in two months” diet, where people lose weight during their diet, then gain it all back plus more two months later. Improving your nutritional habits over time compounds on one another resulting in permanent weight loss.
For example. My focus with one of my habits was taking water everywhere I went. Another habit was not eating corn products anymore. Another one was following the five to one fibre rule, where 20% of all of my meals are fibre. My last habit is cooking everything from scratch. I don’t eat anything from a can anymore. I can continue to form better nutritional habits. We all can. The right personal trainer will not only help you with a safe and effective exercise routine. He or she will also help you with your daily nutritional habits as well.

Until next time. Keep… Fit ‘N’ Well.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Fitness - Personal Training, In-Home Personal Training in Edmonton Alberta, Recovery Exercise,

Recovery Time for Exercise

It is important to give your body a rest. That doesn’t mean that you don’t exercise two days in a row. It might mean that you run one day then swim the next and you don’t weight train the same muscle groups two days in a row. Rest is important for your muscles. We create small tears in our muscles when we work out and they need a chance to rest and heal so they can get stronger.
The answer is to listen to your body. If you are sore after a leg work out a good remedy is a swim, walk or a bike ride to get the lactic acid in your legs moving so your stiffness goes away quicker. You definitely don’t work your legs two days in a row, but that doesn’t mean that you get a pass and get to sit on the couch all day and rest because your legs hurt.
I like to combine my cardio and weight routines so if I have a hard upper body work out one day, I swim the next so my cardio routine helps dissipate the lactic acid. After a hard legs work out, a longer bike session at a slightly lower intensity will help alleviate that leg soreness. After the bike ride as a warm up, it is back to some upper body exercises.

Just listen to your body. A little soreness in the muscles the day after a workout is a good thing. Soreness in your joints the next day? Not so good, but that’s a topic for another day.


-Greg

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Fitness - Personal Training, In-Home Personal Training in Edmonton Alberta, Exercises at 60,

Jogging? Biking? Swimming? What is the best?

Safe cardio is relevant to what you are accustomed to. If you normally jog 3 times a week and have been jogging three times a week for the past 20 years and your joints aren’t complaining, then keep jogging three times a week. If however at 60 you take up jogging, that is a completely different story. Listen to your body. At 60 you might want to walk for ten minutes and jog for a minute and try 3 of those intervals to start. The next day or two will tell you where you stand. If any of your joints are really sore in the next day or two then you may have done too much and you should scale back. If they aren’t sore, you know you have a good starting point.
Biking is great. It develops the quads and your quads help to bear some of the impacts when you are jogging. Biking is also an activity that is low impact, so jogging on one day then biking the next makes for a good routine.
Swimming is also wonderful! I swim the front crawl for a kilometre, four times a week. It is low/no impact, works your entire body and is great for limbering up your body. I stretch in the hot tub for ten minutes, then I hit the pool. After my 1 km swim, I feel re-energized and limber. Of course not many people like swimming, but if there is a pool near-by I strongly recommend it.

Engaging in a variety of different cardiovascular activities each week is really the best. That way you don’t get burned out from just running or just biking. And you are less likely to develop injuries, especially if you add a swim day or two into the mix. For me, I look forward to my workouts when I vary them. It is when I do the same thing over and over that I get mentally tired of exercise. The more I vary my routines, the more I look forward to them.
If you are interested in some guidance from a personal trainer, contact us today.

Until next time keep...

Greg

Friday, December 13, 2019

Effective Methods in lowering Heart Rate...

Beans Vs. Exercise
In today's world of exercise, people tend to get caught up in gadgets like heart rate monitors. They are also very concerned with their aesthetics. Unfortunately too many of us don't concern ourselves enough with our actual health.

In this study beans vs exercise, Dr. Greger shows how consuming a cup of beans, lentils or legumes once a day is effective for lowering your resting heart rate.

So, if you exercise regularly and consume beans, lentils and legumes daily, you can throw that inaccurate heart rate monitor away and not worry about it. And if being lean and fit is your goal then consuming a mostly plant-based diet is going to be a more nutritious and effective way of helping you achieve that goal.

Heart rate monitors can be a fun way of checking to see a ball-park figure of where your heart rate is, but I wouldn't take the results as verbatim. Expect them to be up to at least 5 beats a minute off. If you are a serious runner, as this article suggests, you are better off to wear the more accurate heart rate chest strap
and have your watch read the results from the strap. Also take into consideration that when you are lifting weights and twisting your wrists, sometimes the heart rate monitor stops picking up your heart rate for short periods of time, thus displaying an inaccurate result of your over all work out and skewing the results even further.

Until next time...

Keep Fit 'N' Well.

Greg