September 30, 2010
September 28, 2010
When I used to picture training for power, I imagined pulling a car down the street or lifting big tires for a strongman competition. You know, where the guys are built like barns, and they push, pull and carry unbelievable amounts of weight. Well, I want to be strong but I don't need to be THAT strong!
September 27, 2010
Well folks, I did it. I ran my first half marathon, and I did very well. I was training for a finishing time between 2:15-30, and wound up crossing the line at 2:07 gun time, 2:01 chip time. Wow! I'm very proud of myself.
September 25, 2010
The Scotiabank half/marathon is tomorrow, and I'll be participating in the half this year! I'm more pumped and excited, rather than nervous, and this is great! It means that I'm ready and feeling confident.
I can't wait to get out there and run my race. There has been a lot of planning and prep for this event, and of course most important of all, is what I'll eat for breakfast. I have to leave very early so I need something healthy, filling and FAST. Here's what I've settled on:
Recipe for Easy Overnight Muesli
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup apple or orange juice or milk
1/8 cup chopped dried apricots or raisins
1/8 cup chopped almonds
1 apple, chopped
1 banana, sliced
1 cup fat free yogurt
Mix oats, juice (or milk), apricots (or raisins), yogurt, apple and almonds in a Tupperware. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Before eating serve topped with banana slices for extra energy and extra potassium for a cramp-free run!
Good Luck Racers!
September 23, 2010
It is officially Autumn now, and many exercise enthusiasts see the change of seasons as the end of their outdoor fitness regimen. Before you pack it in, and take your workouts to the gym, try these outdoor activities for the cooler weather.
Five Fun Fall Activities
Riding a bike is way better in the fall. Spending a day on a bike in the middle of the summer is too hot and uncomfortable but fall time is just right. Even if you have to pull on a sweater it's worth it to hit up some trails, and enjoy the leaves changing colour. Watching the squirrels carrying acorns back to their nests for winter preparation, and watching flocks of geese flying south is a lot of fun. If you bike for speed and distance, oppose to leisure, you will stay cool longer.
Football, basketball, and soccer are fantastic fall sports. The summer may be best for volleyball and swimming at the beach but nothing beats playing a long game with your friends or family, and then going home to autumn inspired stews and soups!
3. Outdoor Training and Bootcamp
Fall is the perfect season for moving your personal training outdoors. Or join a morning bootcamp and get your workout finished before you start the day. I offer outdoor personal training in Toronto. Check out my rates and services.
In the summer you can only run early in the morning or after sunset, to comfortably run without humidity. In the fall run whenever you like! Running is an excellent cardiovascular activity to burn fat, increase lung capacity, and develop strong legs and buns. It's not too late to sign up for the fall races in Toronto!
5. Walking and hiking
Visiting a ravine, conservation park or even walking in your neighbourhood is great for fitness without the impact of running, or needing a bike for cycling. Everybody should walk for an accumulated hour a day and when the temperature is just right, and the season is beautiful, there's no better time!
There's still time to get in shape (or stay fit!) even though the summer has passed. Get out there, and be active!
September 21, 2010
September 20, 2010
"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming."
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
"Success, happiness, peace of mind and fulfillment - the most priceless of human treasures - are available to all among us, without exception, who make things happen - who make "good" things happen - in the world around them."
"When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere."
-François de la Rochefoucauld
"Peace is not something you wish for; It's something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away."
September 18, 2010
Time to completion: 45 minutes
Level: Intermediate. Beginners can take at their own pace. Listen to your body!
Jog on the spot 2 minutes
20 arm circles forward. Start with tiny circles and gradually increase the size.
20 arm circles backwards. Start tiny, gradually increase range of motion.
20 body weight squats
Hold last squat and twist from the torso, 20 times
Ankle and wrist rotations
The EVERYTHING Workout
1. Five sun salutations (mountain pose, swan dive forward into standing fold, go to flat back, fold back down, jump into plank, lower into chaturanga, upward dog, back to plank, downward dog, look up, jump or step to hands, flat back, forward bend, reverse swan dive back into mountain.
2. 10 burpees with a push up.
3. Squats with weight.
4. Push ups.
5. Mountain climbers, 30 seconds.
6. 2 arm bent row.
7. Punches, 1 min.
8. Alternating front kicks, 1 min.
9. Bicep curls on knees.
10. Lateral raise.
11. Walking lunges with weight.
12. Invisible jump rope, 30 seconds.
13. Jumping jacks, 30 seconds.
14. Side kicks, 30 seconds each side.
15. Overhead extension
16. Wall sit, 1 min.
17. Five Sun Salutations
18. Alternating low back extension.
19. Bicycle Crunches.
20. Front plank, 1 min.
Full body stretch for every muscle. Hold each stretch 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. For the yoga enthusiasts seated twists, forward bends, pigeon and child's pose make a great end to this workout.
September 16, 2010
Classes whether at a gym or studio, are a great motivator to keep your workouts consistent. Classes will push you farther than you would go on your own, and are an inexpensive alternative or supplement, to your personal training sessions.
Five Fantiastic Classes to Try
1. BodyPump at Goodlife
It seems like everywhere I turn someone is raving about BodyPump classes at Goodlife. These workouts incorporate weight lifting into the traditional gym fitness class. Side effects of this class may include fatigued muscles and great results.
2. Ashtanga yoga at Downward Dog
Even if you don't live in Toronto, or can't make it out to an hour and a half class at a Downward Dog studio, Ashtanga or power yoga, is a great workout that strengthens, tones and lengthens muscles. I used to be a student at Downward Dog and found their instructors knowledgeable and professional. The studio has a great atmosphere, and classes are offered throughout the day for your convenience.
3. Martial Arts
Most studios offer a trial class to get you started. I tried an Aikido class and couldn't walk for a week. That was from the warm up alone! Not only do martial arts studios teach you how to defend yourself they offer challenging workouts, that build a mean physique. Some studios are even equipped with their own gyms.
Whether it be hip hop, salsa or belly dancing, dance classes will free your body, mind and soul.
Learn new ways to impress your friends and family while toning, burning fat and gently strengthening your body. I'm a student at Hannan's Dance studio and definitely recommend their facility for amazing teachers, great classes, and fair prices.
5. Group Personal Training
Is it a class or is it personal training? It's both! The wonderful thing about small group personal training is the middle ground between a big class with no personal attention, and a better price than one on one. Small group personal training can also be convenient for you, in your home, backyard or condo facilities. I offer group training, so gather some friends together and try it out!
These five types of classes could be a one time thing, or you may find a new passion. Many people go to a martial arts, dance or personal training class not expecting much but soon find that they can't get enough!
September 14, 2010
The most common exercises that have been used in strength training regimens for decades, have stuck around because they're effective! Of course, performing the same exercises becomes not only stale, but they lose their effectiveness as the body adapts. The classic exercises: bicep curl, push ups, dips, and squats can be modified to liven up the workout, utilize more muscle groups, and raise the heart rate for more fat burning potential.
September 13, 2010
I write a lot about nutrition because (I like to eat!) it's equally important in achieving fitness results as exercising. Cooking isn't always the easiest option, with busy lifestyle, and simply not enjoying the process of preparing food. Convenience is key for many, and fortunately, nutrition is best when left as simple as possible.
Here are five very simple small meal ideas:
1. Pita Pizza. Spread canned diced tomatoes on a pita and season as you like, with pepper, basil, oregano etc. Spread a thin layer of shredded cheese. Add the toppings of your choice. Jalapeno peppers, mushrooms, green/red pepper, spinach diced onions and mushrooms are a few suggestions. Bake at 350F for 4-5 minutes.
2. Eat French. At the supermarket grab a whole grain baguette or bun, cheese and red grapes. This small meal is loaded with nutrition: Fiber, anti-oxidant fruit, healthy fats and protein. Just be sure to eat the cheese in moderation!
3. Egg Muffin. A healthified version of the fast food favourite. You can microwave an egg for 1 min. Add to a toasted whole grain English Muffin with a bit of cheese, thinly sliced turkey (or veggie alternative) and tomato. Season to taste.
4. Lunchtime cottage cheese. A good sized portion of cottage cheese (3/4 cup is ideal), diced tomatoes, and chopped scallion. Add some pepper. This high protein lunch keeps you surprisingly full! If you need more, eat it on a slice of toast or with a side of raw carrots.
5. Sandwiches. Everybody knows how to make a sandwich. I love PB and banana or AB (almond butter) and apple. These two contain healthy fats, fiber, protein, and fruit. Serve on whole grain bread.
Eating healthy doesn't have to mean a trip to an overpriced specialty food store, surrounded by items you have never heard of. Healthy nutrition can start with the staples you have on hand, and foods that are readily available in the corner store. Eating healthy means you can eat more often, feel satisfied, and lose the weight you have been wanting to drop.
Eat More and Weigh Less!
September 11, 2010
A compound exercise is defined as a multi-joint movement. Unlike a bicep curl, which is an isolating exercise, and only works one muscle at a time, a compound exercise works two or more muscle groups. The classic example is a bench press. However, there are compound exercises that seriously raise your heart rate, burn fat, and still strengthen and tone the body.
September 9, 2010
With speed + distance, walking is a very effective weight loss, and general health activity. Walking totes the same benefits of running, with the added bonus of being low impact. Not to mention you can walk and talk more easily with a friend than running together!
September 7, 2010
September 5, 2010
I was introduced to almond butter a little while back, and fell in love! Almond butter has the look and consistency of peanut butter but a little darker, and of course, made from almonds! Almond butter is absolutely delicious and can be used in sandwiches with fruit, jelly, or on its own. It can also be mixed into oatmeal, (my fave!) flax meal, stirfry and stews.
September 3, 2010
September 1, 2010
There are many diets on the market that restrict food groups, or eliminate them altogether! While this is not an ideal way to lose weight, cutting back on certain foods, like carbs can help you to lose weight.
What are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are sugars and when they are not burned by activity they are stored as fat. By replacing extra carbs with protein, (not stored as fat) or vegetables, which are carbs but easily digestible and lower in calories and sugars, you will lose weight gradually and healthily over a short period of time.
Carbohydrates or carbs, are the fuel for your body. They feed your brain, give the body energy, and should make up a large portion of your diet.
So Why Reduce?
Carbohydrates are commonly, inadvertently overeaten. A portion of rice or pasta is much smaller than you might think. In addition to larger portion sizes, it's common to serve carb dishes with more carb fueled foods such as beans or bread.
-A friend mentioned she makes burritos but instead of wrapping in tortilla, wrap in a big piece of lettuce. This way the filling (what counts most of all!) such as cheese, beans, veggies, lean ground beef (or vegetarian substitute) are still there, and delicious, but without the extra calories from the tortilla shell.
-Dip veggies into hummus or yogurt instead of bread.
-Reduce pasta portion by half, serve with lean, skinless meat or alternative, and vegetables.
-Have an open faced sandwich with one slice of bread. This leaves room for a side such as cottage cheese, salad or hard boiled eggs.
If you have trouble dropping weight, or you have plateaued, try reducing your carb intake for a few weeks. The results will be surprising!