Wednesday, May 27, 2020

What Intensity Should we Work Out at for Maximum Weight Loss Benefits?

Personal Training in Edmonton, Weight Loss, stay fit

So what sort of intensity should you work out in?

I get that question a lot and will briefly explain the principle. In a nutshell, we have two main sources of energy in our bodies that are used for exercise. Energy stored in the form of fat and energy stored in our muscles in the form of muscle glycogen. The higher your exercise intensity, the more calories you will burn and of those calories burned, most of those calories will be burned from muscle glycogen stores where fewer will be burned off from your fat stores…
So why would I work out at a high intensity if most of the calories are going to be burned from muscle glycogen stores?
You will burn more total calories when you work out at a high intensity versus a low intensity. For instance, if you ran for an hour you might burn 700 calories. Of those 700 calories, 40% may burn from your fat stores while about 60% will burn from your muscle glycogen stores. On the other hand, if you walk for an hour that calculation reverses where approximately 60% of your calories may burn from your fat stores and 40% may burn from your muscle glycogen stores. But your total calories burned while going for an hour-long leisurely walk may only amount to 100 total calories. The catch here is 40% of 700 (an hour running at a relatively high intensity) is more than 60% of 100. (An hour walking leisurely).
So what sort of intensity should you work out in?
That depends upon your current fitness level, how often you exercise, how much time you have to exercise, what your fitness goals are and the state of your health. Some people may not be healthy enough to work out at a high intensity. Or if they don’t have a history of regular current exercise then exercising the first day at a high intensity could be a poor decision as that could cause a lot of muscular discomfort for several days until the pain of the lactic acid in the muscles goes away.
My advice is to take it slowly and do a little bit each day, listen to your body and try to vary your exercises. As you become more fit, increase your intensity. Working out for a long duration at a low intensity one day and a short duration at a high intensity the next day offers the best of both worlds. More importantly, just keep moving every day.

Until next time, keep…
Fit ‘N’ Well.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Which cardiovascular activity is the most effective?

Fit 'N' Well Personal Training Inc, Edmonton, Alberta

Add some variety and make sure you actively engage in an activity every day

A lot of people ask me what cardiovascular activity is the most effective. So much of the answer depends upon the person and what their body is accustomed to. For example, for someone who runs or walks daily, that activity is easy for them. If they aren’t a good swimmer and they spend 30 minutes in the pool swimming laps, they might burn more energy swimming than running for the same period of time. While the answer is different person to person, it is best to do a variety of cardiovascular activities.
If you plan on going to the gym to work out, you might want to divide it up and spend an equal amount of time on the bike, elliptical and treadmill. Or you may decide to spend time on the treadmill one day then the bike the next. Each mode of exercise works your muscles differently and has different advantages and disadvantages. For example, running is great because running puts a lot of stress on your bones and joints. This stress causes your bones to become stronger. On the flip side, too much running can wear out the joints in your knees, hips, low back and ankles. The bike is great because you can rest your body weight on the seat of your bike so there is very little stress on your bones and joints.
The problem with the bike is there is very little stress on your bones and joints so you aren’t doing your bone density any favours and you aren’t likely going to burn as many calories as you will if you were running. Doing the same activity day in and day out can get monotonous, so keep it fresh. Add some variety and make sure you actively engage in an activity every day that will increase your heart rate for at least 20 minutes.

Until next time, keep Fit ‘N’ Well.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Coming out of Hibernation- Hit the Ground Running!

Fitness - Personal Training, In-Home Personal Training in Edmonton Alberta, New Normal, Pandemic,

What is our new normal?

We have all had our lives turned upside down in one way or another. Some people were stressed about their finances and wondering how they were going to pay the bills while others might wonder what will happen if they get sick. Anyone with serious health or respiratory considerations must be thinking every day “what happens to me if I catch this thing?”. Others are missing time with their family and friends.
Fast forward eight or nine weeks and governments around the world are ready to open back up the economy. As much as we are all ready to get back to work and life as usual I think there is a small part of us that has enjoyed fewer work responsibilities, more family time or more time for family. Time to read that book or leisurely exercise or learn a new language, housework, spring cleaning, renovating or catching up on Netflix.
Regardless of what you have been doing, change is coming. Any change is stressful. Soon we will all be back at work and that change is stressful too. Will our job be waiting for us and if it is will it be in the same capacity as before? Will there be a job to go back to work to?
Employers will be hoping all of their employees will be coming back. For the past 20 plus years I have been working 14-16 hours a day on my small companies. If I had the energy I could work 20 hours a day and never catch up. For the past eight weeks I have been leisurely working eight-hour days. In that way the past eight weeks has been great! Now I will be wondering how I will feel going back to my 14-16 hour days. I didn’t know the difference before and just worked but with all of this time off how am I going to feel about working all of those hours again? Where will the energy come from. Will my staff come back? Is it time I scaled back on my work life? Lately eight hour work days have been tiring enough! 😊
It may be a different stress, but transitioning back to work will be stressful in its own way.
Before we get to that spot I think it is important to reflect on what the stressors will be and what we can proactively do so we can hit the ground running.
For me I am going to start going to bed early and will be setting my alarm for 4:45 a.m. again. I’ll work until 8p.m. out of principle so I have the resilience I am going to need when I go back to work full-time. I am going to schedule my exercise time for the same time every day so when my schedule is full I won’t miss out on my much needed exercise. I am going to schedule in two grocery visits per week as appointments so I don’t end up eating poorly. And I will schedule time in to cook my healthy meals.
This approach doesn’t have anything to do with squats or bicep curls, nutrition or getting enough rest. Setting up a proactive schedule so you can hit the ground running in our fast paced society will help with reducing your stress so you can enjoy a more seamless transition back to work. What are you going to do so you are ready for your transition back into “real life”?

Good luck and keep “Fit ‘N’ Well”.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Fitness - Personal Training, In-Home Personal Training in Edmonton Alberta, Immune System, COVID-19, NCov,

What are the foods I can consume to strengthen my immune system against the Covid 19 virus?

To improve your immune system to avoid the covid 19 virus, I would recommend that you drink a lot of water. This will remind you to go to the bathroom regularly. When you go to the bathroom, wash your hands really well with soap and warm water for 20 seconds each time. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night, don’t drink alcohol to excess. Stick to a drink or two on a weekend or have no alcohol at all. And eat a variety of vegetables at each meal. Eat fruits, consume nuts, legumes and beans, avoid processed foods, limit animal proteins and exercise for at least half an hour every day.
Just because you eat a few vegetables for a few weeks, that isn’t going to give your immune system super-human powers. Especially if your body is used to eating fast food and processed food that is void a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. It can take months and even years of constant healthy nutritionally sound eating and great exercise habits to really make a huge impact on your health. Start eating your vegetables and fruits and nuts, seeds and whole grains today and keep eating them every day. And as you develop better eating habits you will crave healthier choices. As you continue to make healthier eating decisions your immune system may continue to improve, but that won’t happen overnight. This process is just that it is a process. It will continue for many years to come. Feed your body properly and this will give your health a chance to continue improving. And you will need to continue with this healthy lifestyle so you not only have a stronger immunity against covid 19 but against cancer, the common flu, common cold or the next super-virus that affects the world’s population. Not to mention your risk of heart disease goes down dramatically as does heart-related diseases such as diabetes, gout and other obesity-related diseases.
If you do all of these things will you still get the virus?
Yes, if you are exposed to it and you have a strong immune system, you may still get sick, but thanks to your lifestyle choices you will likely get over this virus or the next one quicker. And the longer you have been living a healthy lifestyle the better chance you have of getting over it more quickly.

You can cram for a biology final on your last weekend in high school and it is possible you will pass or even get a good grade. You can’t cram for great health in a weekend any more than a farmer can cultivate, seed, weed and harvest a crop of corn in a weekend.
Until next time. Keep...

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Natural High...

Activity is a real mood booster. Literally. Exercise creates a chemical reaction in your body by releasing endorphins. Endorphins then interact with the receptors in your brain. Once that chemical reaction gets going we tend to have a better outlook on life, the things that were getting us down may not affect us as much and the pain we are in might not be quite as painful. For some it is almost like “getting high”.

Before my personal training days I used to run a lot. They talk about the “runners high”. Sure enough after about 30 minutes of running I would notice a difference in my mood. Almost as if someone had slipped me some kind of drug and it was just kicking in at the 30 minute mark. That runners high gives me a confidence boost and elevates my mood. I don’t notice this feeling from lifting weights in the same way that I notice it from doing half an hour of cardiovascular activity. My main cardiovascular exercise of choice now is swimming. With all of the swimming pools closed at the moment, I have had to go mix things up a bit and get my cardiovascular work outs in different ways.

Sunlight is another endorphin booster. My mood just naturally improves when I am outside.

With people being cooped up in the house for long periods we have all kinds of reasons to look for some mood enhancers. Between cabin fever, the stress of the unknown and financial and employment issues to worry about, the lack of exercise, lack of routine etc. All of this combined can be a real downer. Unfortunately some people at this time may turn to food, alcohol or other ingested drugs to help their situation and elevate their moods. Unfortunately those temporary solutions come with side effects. Alcohol is a depressant. Inhaling smoke is bad for your lungs and binge eating is bad for numerous obvious reasons.

During this time I need to take care of my mental state.

My response that has helped me is photographing animals.
The photography has given me something to look forward to each day.
It gets me outside in the fresh air.
The equipment is heavy so walking with 30 pounds of camera equipment is great exercise.
And just being in nature in itself for me is a mood enhancer.
And yes, I have been inviting a couple photography friends to join me. Not to worry, we maintain our 6 foot distance from one another. And we are still receiving the benefit of another form of endorphin release. We are enjoying one another’s company at a distance while exercising and doing something we enjoy.

I am a bit of a health fanatic. I eat well. I exercise daily and I try not to ingest anything that doesn’t give my body the nutrients it needs. I hope I am a good example for those around me so they take care of their health as well. Yesterday when I was packing my camera gear into the car my wife asked me where I was going at 4p.m. in the afternoon. She was a little perplexed when I told her I was going outside to get high and asked her if she would like to join me.

During this time when we are spending a lot of time at home. Each of us need to figure out what works for us as individuals so we keep mentally and physically active.

Stay safe everyone and keep “Fit ‘N’ Well”.


Monday, March 30, 2020

Fitness - Personal Training, In-Home Personal Training in Edmonton Alberta, Immune System, Routines,

How to Set-up Routines

In this “new normal” of people working from home, it is easier than ever to forget to exercise. Have you ever noticed that the more time you have the less you get done? Don’t worry this is human nature. When we have a small window of time to get something done we are less likely to put it on the back burner and procrastinate. If we only have a 1 hour window in the day to exercise as a general rule most people are much more likely to exercise.
So, if you find yourself working from home and forgetting to exercise, pick a daily routine time for your daily exercise routine. And exercise faithfully at that time for the duration that you promise yourself. Whether that includes a one hour walk outside or a 30 minute yoga program or 15 minutes of constant body weight exercises. Whatever you choose to do to keep your mental and physical health in check, make sure you pick a time and stick to it.
Stay safe. Until next time…

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.