lifestyle

Fitness

Guide to an Organized Gym Bag


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A disorganized gym bag, can easily become an excuse to skip out on your workout routine. The thought of packing all you need for a gym session might be discouraging. So here is a guide to keep your gym bag free of clutter and easy to pack and unpack.

gym_bag

We recommend the two bag approach – having two bags for the gym.

The first bag should contain established content that doesn’t change. Such as your toiletry bag, earphones and any other must need equipment you use like skipping rope. If you drive to the gym, keep this back in the trunk of your car, or if you go to the gym during lunch break, leave it at work. This way the bag is ready and prepared for when you need to go. In your toiletry bag, keep duplicates of products you use daily such as deodorant and moisturizer.

However, for make-up,stick to one set, without duplicating as makeup tends to have a shorter shelf life than toiletries.

The second, smaller, bag should contain everything that is for that one work out only. Items such as water bottle, sweat towel and shower towel,change of clothes and gym clothes. After workout, it is easy to take out clean clothes, have a well-deserved shower and put sweaty clothes back in the bag – ready to take home and get washed. The smaller bag could live in the larger bag if there is space.

To keep your bag clutter free – use the second bag to take home any empty items that you need to replace as a prompt to take a new one to the gym. For example, if your deodorant runs out, put the empty packaging in your second bag so when you get home you can grab a new one and replace it.

The beauty of this two bag approach is not lugging all your gym stuff around, and making unpacking at the end of the day unbearable. To help you shift your behavior, treat yourself to two bags that inspire you to hit the gym and work up a sweat.

Fitness

Dance Workout? Try it today


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Many people think that dance is just for fun and doesn’t really qualify as workout. Dance workout classes are becoming increasingly popular. Classes like Cardio Hip Hop and Zumba provide an amazingly rewarding workout in a fun and relaxed way.

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Let’s take a look at the real health benefits of taking up a dance workout class

ENHANCED MUSCLE ACTIVATION

Dancing is a full-body aerobic workout. As opposed to running or cycling, it doesn’t activate only your leg muscles, but different muscle groups in your body. Depending on the type of dance fitness class you choose, you will do different combinations of high and low-impact movements. Most dance classes require building your core, since it’s the part of your body that almost always works when you dance. Apart from that, the movements require you to alternate between using your legs, glutes or arms more. Whatever group of muscles you focus on in your dance class, the rest of the body is active as well!

MUSCLE TONING

Dance workout is excellent for muscle toning without using weights. It’s especially beneficial for firming and toning your legs, glutes and obliques. Check out different dance workout classes to see which one has the class that would fit your best. For example, some zumba  workouts typically include weights so you can build muscles in your arms, legs and glutes.

WEIGHT REGULATION

Dance workout is found to be as efficient at helping you lose weight as jogging and cycling.When you’re dancing, your heart rate goes up, and is kept at that level for a period of time. During the cardio dance workout, your body burns fat faster and easier. There are very few breaks during a dance fitness session, which is why this type of workout is among the most fat-burning ones.

IMPROVED BALANCE AND COORDINATION

Dancing workouts  requires a lot of different movements while maintaining posture. The more frequently you work out, the better body control your will gain. This is especially beneficial for aging adults who struggle with coordination as they age.

MEMORY BOOST

Apart from instilling grace, dance workouts can also help you age gracefully. The minute you start moving to the beat, the sensory and motor circuits in your brain are activated. Since it’s a new activity where you learn new steps and techniques, you activate your memory to integrate new knowledge with the existing one. All of these activities happen spontaneously when dancing and they do wonders for brain power.

Fitness

Marathon Guide for Beginners


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World Health Day is just around the corner – perfect time to pick up health habits. If you are thinking of signing up to a marathon, or already have, but  never run more than a 100-meter dash, don’t despair, we have you covered

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Make sure to set realistic goals

In excitement for this new adventure, it might be tempting to get out there and start running straight away. But this will only lead to injury and disappointment. Bodies adapt at different rates, and  you’ll find that it can take up to six weeks for your body to feel comfortable with this new exercise. The best way to get, and keep, on track when marathon training is to set yourself small, achievable goals leading up to the run date.

Increase your step

When you set your goals, aim to increase the distance you run each week by 10%. This will help your body adapt to its new training regime, and the demands being placed on it. Every third or fourth week should be your ‘cutting back’ week, which means you can take it a little easier. Again, this will help reduce the chance of injury and also give you time to reassess your next month of training.

Eat right for your run

What you eat is just as important as how you train. Around three to four hours before you run eat a high-carb, low-fiber meal, such as a peanut butter sandwich, or two eggs. If you’re running for more than 60 minutes, top up your energy levels with a high-carb energy snack such as a packet of raisins. And don’t forget about energy-boosting and recovery foods post-workout. Consider Holistic nutrition.

Jewel picking pepper
Jewel is a certified Nutrition & Wellness Specialist

Stretch it out

A sore muscle is guaranteed from all this training, which can put many people off continuing their training program. Avoid this by using a foam roller, which helps to loosen up muscles and improve your range of motion. Schedule in some relaxation time too, in the form of a yoga, stretching or Pilates class to help support your body during this time.

 

Wellness

Reducing Daily Stress for Students away from Home


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College and University life can be stressful for students. It’s a complete lifestyle change. You’re moving to and living in a new environment, the pressure of making new friends and of course the workload. While attending post secondary school  is one of the most exciting times in a student’s life, it can also be one of the most stressful.

Here are simple adjustments to reduce stress while you are in school.

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Sleeping

Aim for 8 hours of sleep daily. At school, you find yourself likely staying up much later than ever, and on a semi regular basis. Whether it is a library session into the wee hours of the morning or a Sunday party, late nights are inevitable. Exhaustion is inevitable and could affect your work thus leading to stress. Try to sleep no later than midnight to be well refreshed to tackle a new day.

Exercise

Whether you join a club sports team or you go to the gym in between classes, exercise is vital. Find an activity that you enjoy doing and fit it into your schedule like you would one of your classes – even if you only have 20-30 minutes to spare. Exercise is notorious as a stress-reliever, and you can guarantee you will feel a lot better afterwards. Need guidance? Contact a personal trainer.

Avoid excess caffeine and unnatural energy

Students around the globe are guilty of over-indulging in unnatural energy boosters that pose more risk than any benefits. Coffee’s are generally safe but stay clear of energy drinks, caffeine pills and the prescription medications. It can be tempting to find the type of “support” does more harm to your body than good. Instead rest, when feeling fatigue. Otherwise you may be prone to added stress on the mind and body.

Maintain a balanced holistic diet

Rather than indulging in unnatural energy boosters… try to introduce natural energy boosters to your diet. As a university student, it is tempting to rely on takeout and junk food. However an unhealthy diet contributes to a decrease in energy levels and does not offer any long-term benefits. Consider a holistic nutrition

 

 

Wellness

February is Healthy Heart Month


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personal training using cable bands fitness workout with client

February is Heart Month,  a good time to raise awareness of what we can do to keep our hearts healthy. – and  sorry,  its not Valentine’s Day chocolates!

Heart disease affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults, and is the second leading cause of death in Canada.  The primary ways we can reduce the risk through lifestyle choices are: not smoking, dietary choices, getting enough exercise and enough sleep, stress reduction,  as well as monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  There are Government programs and partnerships to encourage and support Canadians to maintain healthy lifestyle choices.  These programs are to help prevent chronic disease in all ages in communities across Canada and include:  Run to Quit, Carrot Rewards, APPLE Schools and Kid Food Nation, in communities across Canada.

There is also more resources available concerning healthier food choices.  The Healthy Eating Strategy  outlines how  food ingredient labeling, including sugars and food colours; reducing sodium in foods; eliminating industrially produced trans fat; and restricting marketing to children., can help with disease prevention.

Canada’s Physical Activity Guide recommends that to keep it simple, you can aim for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of moderate exercise. That includes any activity that gets you moving around and breaking a slight sweat.   However, the half hour of exercise doesn’t go very far if you are sedentary for most of the other time.  If you are sitting a lot throughout the day, you should aim to get up and move around frequently.

Beyond healthy choices, cardiovascular disease is also influenced by biological and other risk factors.  Making one small change however, can make a big difference.

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/food-nutrition/healthy-eating-strategy.html?_ga=1.29210620.1938051784.1430138407

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/canada-food-guide/maintaining-healthy-habits/be-active.html