Wellness

Wellness

Holiday Guide to Healthy Living


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Even if you’ve been staying on track with your healthy eating goals all year, it’s a slippery slope after the Thanksgiving dinner, Halloween candy,  and eventually the December holiday parties.  It is of course no surprise that people tend to gain weight over the holidays.

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One way to start your day on a healthy note is by eating breakfast. Not just any breakfast but a large nutritious breakfast. It may sound counter intuitive since you’re planning on having a big meal later, but filling up on something healthy will prevent you from overindulging later on.

Your schedule might be filled up with parties and quality time with family but the best way to stay on top your fitness this holidays, is to make sure you reserve quality time for your work out during the holidays. Try to put in 20 mins of workout in the morning, that will help combat the feeling of sluggishness but instead energize you.

Additionally, do not show up hungry to a holiday party or dinner. The reason being, leaving your stomach empty till the dinner forces you to overindulge in unnecessary calories. Many people think they need to save their body for the party calories but this isn’t very helpful. In the same vein, consider pitching in for dinner parties to ensure a healthy option for you and other guests.  If you are hosting a holiday party, make sure to provide healthy alternatives. If you are attending another party, ask the host if they would like additional dishes and create a healthy version of a holiday dish.

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Most importantly this holidays, know your triggers. During the holidays, there are plenty triggers that can easily lead you to a path of unhealthy decisions. If for example, alcohol is your trigger to bad decisions, be careful of the wine consumption. If sugar, or desserts are your triggers, maintain a one serve size. In summary, do everything in moderation to avoid a slippery slope of bad decisions.

Fitness, Wellness

Lets Talk Fitness Fears


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It’s no secret that the benefits of a healthy lifestyle extend far beyond mere physical fitness. You’ve probably red countless articles online on the benefits of exercise and fitness. But for some people knowing in your head that fitness is good and actually getting involved with it are two very different things.

Here are some common fitness fears and how you can overcome them.

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Lack of time

The number one reason people state for not living healthy and exercising, is lack of time. It is usually an excuse of being occupied with work or kids. However this excuse is not sufficient.

For starters, there are various ways in which stay at home parents could stay on top of their fitness routine. Fitness never has to be a major time commitment that most people imagine it to be. There are various opportunities to stay on top of your fitness – whether it’s going for a walk during your lunch break or twenty minutes in the gym instead of waiting in the train station.

Self Consciousness

A big and valid hurdle for some people to tackle before fitness is self consciousness or fear of looking stupid. If you struggle with low self esteem, social anxiety or body image issues then heading down to the gym or even just going for a run round your neighborhood can be an intimidating prospect. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere and everyone was new to fitness at some point. Do not worry about what other people think an instead focus on having a great time exercising.

Lack of patience

If you’re just starting out on a weight loss or fitness program it can easily seem like you have a real mountain to climb. You might feel like you are surrounded by people with ideal bodies and unable to see any way you can ever reach that level. However remember that no real change comes overnight, especially not a lasting change. There are no shortcuts in fitness, therefore must view your journey as a gradual process.

Fear of Failure

A similar fear to not thinking you can change is not thinking you can change enough or at all. You might have set yourself fitness goals and now find yourself reluctant to try and hit them for fear that you’ll fall short. Remember that goals and targets are motivation tools not measure of success or failure. The key is celebrating every success, however small.

Fear of Change

Most importantly, people sometimes aren’t fully committed to change. You might think that fitness is a good idea, but find yourself dreading the effort involved. However this is perfectly natural. But remember that starting out in your own little ways, will gradually bring changes that will make a big difference while paving the way for bigger improvements when you’re ready.

Having someone to help guide you along the way could be the difference between procrastination and progress!

Wellness

Exercise and Bone Health


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Osteoporosis is Latin for “porous bone”.  It is a condition with no outward symptoms, that causes the bones to become weak and fragile.   Bone is a living growing tissue.  When we are young we gain more bone than we lose until the maximum density at about age 30 is reached.  After about age 35 a loss begins, Prevention and treatment can involve weight bearing exercises.  Risk factors include being female, being older, family history, low body weight, alcohol intake and smoking.  Certain race/ethnicities are generally believed to be at a higher risk.  Other risk factors are hormonal stage of life, poor diet such as low calcium and vitamin D levels, and infrequent weight bearing activities.  Recent research suggests that eating foods rich in calcium is a better method for increasing your intake that only supplements. Different calcium supplements are different forms, and some are best taken in conjunction with other vitamins and minerals.  The majority of the population does not get the recommended amount of calcium.  When this happens than your body will use the supply from your bones to support the other functions that it is needed for.   Overall digestive health is important to the absorption of the mineral as well.  Certain medications can be contributors to bone loss, certain illnesses that can impact digestion and absorption can contribute as well.  For more information on risk factors and bone mineral density testing visit Osteoporosis Canada.  On of the  fracture prediction tools available that have been tested in the Canadian population :WHO Fracture Risk Calculation Tool (FRAX®) for Canada

It is possible to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis through a healthy lifestyle. Exercises that focus on balance training are beneficial to reduce the risk of injury.  If you have osteoporosis there are there are movements and exercises you should be aware of to minimize injury.  Basic bone health for all individuals includes regular weight bearing and resistance type exercise as well as adequate vitamin and mineral intake.

https://osteoporosis.ca/https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/chronic-diseases/osteoporosis.html

Fitness, Wellness

Why Water Fitness?


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Water exercise is a great way to stay active, regardless of your current activity level, age and body shape.  It is low impact and thus easy on the joints, supportive of being in an upright position, and decreases the concerns of overheating.  Moving in the water could be for the purpose of increasing resistance and can be made to be challenging for more advanced exercisers.  Movement in the water can make use of buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, viscosity and cooling properties and can be used to help a body be less weight bearing and is useful for those seeking rehabilitation from surgery or injury.  It is also an option for special populations such as pregnant women, those who are very overweight, have movement restrictions or disorders, or have been sedentary.  The amount of benefit provided by buoyancy for exercise depends on the depth of the water.   In the situation of recovery this could mean changing where you are positioned in the water during the healing process.  Hydrostatic pressure – the pressure exerted by fluid to an object can provide benefits for persons with swelling due to injury, edema from pregnancy, or cardiac concerns.  Any edema or swelling of a joint is decreased as the pressure forces fluid inside the body to increase movement.    The viscosity of the water molecules provide resistance in every direction.  Your body must exert muscular force much greater to push through the water than through the air.   There are other different variables to consider as well, for those who have certain movement disorders, it is recommended to exercise in warmer water.    If you have never tried water exercise before, consider the benefits of improved cardiac health, improved body composition, reduced stress through exercise, (and also if you are concerned about an injury, joint problems, loss of balance, etc.)  improved musculoskeletal fitness.  As with any fitness plan talk to your healthcare provider before getting started.  I can offer guidelines, resources, and recommended programs.

Wellness

3 Cheap Ways to Workout


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Walking Workouts

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We all generally walk during our day and increasing the number of steps you take per day and the efficiency of your walk may be more simple than you realize. Walking is one of the best exercises on the planet as it costs nothing and is readily available to most people. Simply walking for just 10-15 minutes increases cardiovascular function, aids muscle strength in the hips, legs and core and may help to reduce stress. Simply add in a few walking lunges or a short jog every 10 steps.

Body resistance training

Body resistance exercises require no equipment whatsoever and can be just as challenging as hitting the gym. Working out at home has never been easier. Perform floor exercises such as push-ups, bridge exercises and leg lifts to strengthen and tone your tummy, thighs, glutes and core. Standing routines to exercise your heart and lungs with a home-based cardiovascular workout and overhead activities such as shoulder presses and arm raises, to strengthen and tone the upper arms, back and shoulders.

Skipping

Skipping is an extremely popular exercise among athletes and trainers. In fact, it may well be one of the most efficient and convenient exercises for fat burning. Studies show that skipping for 30 minutes can burn over 300 calories, compared to cycling and swimming which came in under 150 calories. The best part is, even if you don’t have a rope, moving your arms in a skipping fashion can still be effective. If you are just starting out with skipping, begin at a level that you are comfortable with and slowly increase your time and endurance over time.