I cannot be fully and completely myself without exercise in my life. If I take more than a week off from exercise, I get squirrelly and even grumpy. It is what keeps my soul and mind balanced, not to mention by body relatively fit!
I was really excited when Adina Goldman, my editor at iVillage Canada, asked me to write an article on how to get addicted to exercise. It gave me serious pause. I do believe there is a bit of a recipe to making exercise an essential component of our day to day existence, not seen as an extra thing on top of everything else we do, but something essential for peace of mind. I'm not talking about being obsessive compulsive about exercise like ignoring injuries, sickness or not adjusting to your energy or stress levels and choosing activities that are healthy to improve balance.
There are many misconceptions about getting older that proliferate our society. To me, the most distressing belief about getting older is that we can't do everything we want to do, that we have to be more 'careful' with how we use our bodies and that our worlds start to shrink as a result. This belief leads to decreased vitality as we have less and less time to make the most out of our lives. I say, screw that! As we get older, our life experiences can help us get wiser. I think it would suck not to use this hard earned wisdom to enjoy life and milk it as much as possible.
So I choose to not adopt this belief about getting older. I have many clients over 60 who blow this societal norm out of the water.
Here's an amazing woman who also proves that resigning to decreased vitality as we age is bullshite.
If you're not exercising now, just know that the path you're choosing will definitely lead to a limited life as you get older. And if you're not doing regular strength training work, your body WILL fall apart. Pain will start being a more common experience. You will gradually start favoring nagging injuries. Your muscles will atrophy and eventually things that were once easy for you to do, like getting up off the ground or even a chair, will be a distant memory.
I love finding ways to pick up my spirits in a quick way, especially when I'm not feeling totally myself and I've got a client about to walk through the door. Or I've had a crummy day and I'm about to pick up my daughter. I do believe 100% for taking responsibility for our emotional state of being. We all need a tool kit to access for attitude adjustments or a refocus to get us out of feeling sorry for ourselves. Plus finding things that help us keep our chin up leads us away from unhealthy coping mechanisms which will only lead us further and further away from making the most out of the precious lives we are given.
I found this short and sweet 2 minute pick me up. Yes, it's brought to us by Hollywood but it also made me remember all those great movies that have brought me so much enjoyment.
Take a peek!
It's like a 2 minute motivational workout for our attitude!
My most recent column at iVillage Canada is all about the muffin top. I give away the tips I share with my individual high paying clients with everyone in the categories of fitness, food and fashion. Take a peek!
My favourite muffin top exercise is the plank rotation, a sure fire way to ring out our middles and create a nice tight mid-section. Visit iVillage Canada for the description of the exercise.
But remember, muffin top shrinking is multi faceted. Make sure you start with looking at your holistic lifestyle in an honest way, blinders off, denial off to the side. And if you think I naturally don't have to work at not having a muffin top, I'd love to show you a picture of myself 10 years ago after 2 years of lack of exercise and over indulgence. I speak from experience. That was the last time in my life I ever want to feel that way!
By the way, these pics were taken in my bros back yard in Victoria on a golf course.
These tips apply to anyone who wants to exercise in this heat. Some people may notice that they feel more tired for a workout even when they go inside to workout in air conditioning. At least, many of my Urbanfitt clients have observed this. This could be because they are starting their workout dehydrated.
So check out Kyle's hydration tips to make sure you stay away from heat stroke and get the most out of your workout. Plus there are some gear tips in there, even some new fan dangled running gear.
But as a teaser, here's Kyle running cocktail recipe. Great for during or after a run. Drinking straight water can make absorption difficult during a workout so try this! A bit of sugar and salt can speed up absorption.
In a 1 litre container mix the following: 1.5 cups orange or apple juice Pinch of salt Tablespoon of protein powder Water
Now go to the article for the rest of these very important tips to make sure your summer training is maximized!
Last week my guy and I went to my favourite restaurant, Foxley (207 Ossington Ave) for some chow. It was, of course, yum yum for my tum. One of the newer things on the menu was a kale salad. Kale has been referred to as "The Queen of the Greens" but I've never eaten raw kale so I had no idea what to expect.
Unlike spinach or chard, kale doesn't contain oxalic acid, which prevents the body from absorbing calcium. Kale is the richest of the greens in the phytochemical lutein. Known mostly for its prevention of eye disease, lutein is now thought to be more protective against cancer than beta-carotein. Kale is also one of the highest sources of antioxidant flavonoids which help ward off heart disease and regulate blood pressure. Kale has many benefits for women. It helps regulate estrogen, and wards off many forms of cancer including breast. The calcium in kale is more absorbable than the calcium in milk so it helps protect against osteoporosis, arthritis, and bone loss. Before and during pregnancy, kale supplies important minerals like calcium and iron. It also provides folic acid which is necessary for proper development of the baby's nervous system. While nursing, kale and other leafy greens increase breastmilk supply. Taken from Veg Family, The Magazine for Vegan Family Living
It was so good that I've decided I have to replicate the experience to the best of my abilities.
3 tablespoons olive oil 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon dijon mustard 2 teaspoons maple syrup Salt and pepper
I tend to follow the eat cold food when it's warm out and warm food when it's cold out. I make a mean salad and eat salad almost every night in the summer. I get tired of the same old green salad with tomatoes. If you've got any salad ideas that are out of the box, post them here!
In addition to the Foxley kale salad, my other fave is the Tangled Thai Salad with crispy tofu from Fresh. I won't even try to replicate that.
Eating a healthy salad every day is also an excellent way to fill up on fibre before more calorie dense foods with potentially fewer nutritional benefits (i.e. weight control). And green stuff is just plain good for you!
I have many morning clients that have learned their lesson in terms of not eating anything before a training session.
They hit a wall much sooner in their session which, in effect, is a waste of their precious money and time.
They end up feeling dizzy or nauseous because blood sugar levels are so low in the morning much less add a hard workout on top of that.
They don't build lean body mass as easily because they can't lift as much or work as hard.
I love how people spend so much time debating the "how to burn more fat debate". It's simple as hell. If you feel like you need to grunt or whine and you're sweating, chances are you're burning the butter. But if you don't have any fuel in your body to rev up your engine high enough to grunt and sweat, then less fat burning will happen.
ANAHAD O'CONNOR from The New York Times dug around a little bit deeper to answer this question.
After reviewing years of research on the subject, a report published this year in Strength and Conditioning Journal concluded that the body burns roughly the same amount of fat regardless of whether you eat before a workout. But you’re likely to lose muscle by exercising in a depleted state, the report found, and without fuel to aid the workout, exercise intensity and overall calorie burn will be reduced.
But the simple question is, would you want to race a car that has an empty fuel tank?
Here's a teaser of my most recent column on iVillage Canada!
Just an FYI I totally geeked out on sandbags for this one. Was up late researching and digging around for the latest and greatest exercises. The ones in the article I chose are good starters and pretty simple to do. Just remember to stay on top of your spinal alignment and posture and don't let your shoulders roll in. Most of all have fun and feel the sweat drip off you!!!
Sandbag training has been taking the fitness industry by storm after being featured on The Biggest Loser and Losing it with Jillian Michaels and has made its way into celebrity workouts like LL Cool J, Courtney Cox, Julianne Moore, and Sean "Puffy" Combs.
The truth is that sandbags have been around for hundreds of years as an integral training tool for athletes of all cultures because they’re inexpensive and versatile.