Personal Training, Nordic Walking, and Snow Shoeing

Tuesday

Time is hard on all of Us!

These pictures might inspire us to take our workouts seriously!


Time is hard on all of Us!

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Thursday

Well... it's good old tasty???


I have a great article for you today from one of my trusted colleagues, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Mike Geary. His recently released book, The Fat Burning Kitchen, has been helping thousands of people make great choices in the kitchen to effortlessly burn fat.  This article is about a specific spice that could help you to burn body fat and get leaner, in an indirect way...

Enjoy!

1 Unique Spice That Beats Abdominal Fat:

Ok, this spice that I'm going to mention is one of the most overlooked, but healthiest spices in the world...

You might even call it a "fat burning spice"... in a roundabout way.

And yes, it can actually help you win the battle against abdominal fat if you use it daily...I'll explain why.

Here are some other benefits of this miracle spice:

*controls blood sugar levels
*helps maintain insulin sensitivity
*a very powerful antioxidant
*may have antibacterial and antifungal properties
*and dozens of other benefits

So what is this miracle spice?

Well... it's good old tasty Cinnamon!

Although cinnamon does not directly increase fat burning (such as by increasing metabolic rate, etc), it CAN actually help you to burn off abdominal fat and get leaner through an indirect link.

Here's how...

Although cinnamon has dozens of health benefits, the main benefit that will help you to get leaner is through it's strong effect on controlling blood sugar levels in your body.

In a study published in 2003 in the medical journal Diabetes Care, groups were split into people taking 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon per day in capsule form (the equivalent of approx 1/4th to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon).

The results of the study showed that all 3 amounts of cinnamon reduced fasting blood glucose levels by 18-29% after 40 days.

Cinnamon can also increase insulin sensitivity, which essentially means that it is helping your body to control blood sugar while simultaneously allowing your body to produce less insulin.

As you know, chronically high insulin levels can make your body pack on the blubber.

How to harness this to lose more fat...

One possible way to benefit from cinnamon to lose more fat is to use cinnamon daily in your meals when you can, such as in yogurt or cottage cheese, in smoothies, oatmeal, or anything else you can think of where it would go well.

Also, you could use a cinnamon capsule before each of your meals.

This could help to control blood sugar and insulin response from your meals and thereby control your appetite and cravings throughout the day... hence, helping you to lose body fat more effectively over time.

So now you can see that not only is cinnamon a powerful antioxidant that can help you stay youthful longer, it can also help you to control blood sugar and get a leaner body!

Note: please make sure to consult your doctor before adding any new foods or spices to your nutrition plan if you are taking any medications or have food allergies.
 
Go to the link below to discover over a dozen more unique foods, spices, and weird styles of workouts that help to burn your abdominal fat faster:
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Hope you enjoyed the article.  Adding cinnamon is a simple way to add some healthy spice to your life.  I also highly recommend Omega 3 Fatty Acids as the best supplement for overall health and fat loss.

Sunday

Why your workouts may not be working out!


fun for older people

Provided by Heart and Stroke Foundation
Many people get into fitness ruts and hit plateaus after a few months of doing the same routine. The solution is simple: mix it up. Try these solutions:
Are you coasting on your aerobic activities? 
Repeatedly doing the same walk in the park or jog on the treadmill can sabotage your results. To truly boost your fitness (which enables you to burn more calories with less effort), you need to venture outside your comfort zone a couple of times a week, to the point where you can feel your heart rate increase. (Before starting any physical activity program, check with your healthcare provider first.)
  • Beginner
    Instead of taking your regular walk in the park, add a few hills or increase the speed at which you walk. Start off at your regular pace and kick it up a notch for a minute or two, then go back to your regular pace. Repeat five times.
  • Intermediate/advanced
    Similarly, zoning out on the treadmill by reading a magazine or watching TV will not challenge your aerobic fitness. Ditch the publication or turn off the tube, and then mix in some high-intensity intervals once or twice a week. For example, after warming up for 5 minutes on the treadmill, increase the speed or incline for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then recover with 1 to 3 minutes of easy-to-moderate exercise. Keep alternating for 15 to 20 minutes, then cool down.
Are you doing the same strength workout all the time?
If you do the same strength training routine over and over, your muscles will simply adapt. You're likely to hit a plateau because each exercise stimulates only a limited number of muscles. However, if you challenge your muscles from a variety of angles by adding or alternating moves periodically, you'll develop more strength.
For each muscle group, learn an additional 2 to 3 exercises, trying new angles or equipment. (It's best to get instruction from a trainer, but there are also plenty of books and videos you can access to get new ideas.) Expand your strength-training repertoire enough so that you can change your entire routine every 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Beginner
    For instance if you normally do two sets of 12 repetitions with 10-lb free weights (dumbbells), try increasing it to three sets. Or try two sets with 12-lb weights.
  • Intermediate/advanced
    If you are currently using the chest-press machine, try the dumbbell chest press or the bench press with a barbell. In other words, try different machines.
Have you been doing the same-old, same-old?
It's only natural to be intimidated by equipment you've never used or classes you've never taken. But venturing into new territory may be just the ticket to better results. If you've never tried strength training, ask a trainer or a friend to teach you a few dumbbell exercises. if you've shied away from a spinning class, hop on a bike. Getting past your fears also will give you a sense of accomplishment and confidence − and what could feel better than conquering the unknown?
Before starting any physical activity program, please check with your healthcare provider first.
This physical activity column was written by a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor and reviewed by Foundation experts.


Wednesday

Benefits of Nordic Walking



 
Many fitness walkers do not like the feeling of exerting them selves... however, the best health benefits come from moderate intensity workout rather than an easy workout. Nordic Walking raises the heart rate into the MODERATE INTENSITY ZONE without the person feeling like he/she is working any harder. It might not feel like that, but it’s very true!


Nordic Walking is...

  • For people who want more efficient workout than walking or don't like to run anymore or need more variation in their exercise routines
Ø      Nordic Walking with proper technique is 46% more effective than normal walking (Cooper Institute study in Dallas 2002).
Ø      Nordic Walking is a good cardio workout. It increases heart rate and oxygen consumption and calorie expenditure without increasing your preventive rate of exertion. It consumes about 400 calories per hour and normal walking 280 calories per hour.
Ø      Nordic Walking is really a total body workout because it involves 90% of all muscles.

  • For people who have tension in shoulder and neck region and/ or rounded shoulder
Ø      Proper arm motion can relieve neck and shoulder tension while toning upper body muscles
Ø      Rotating your torso while walking improves your posture, poles keep chest more open while keeping shoulders in correct position.

  • For people who suffer from back pain or/and bad posture
Ø      Nordic Walking is associated with increased rotation of the spine more than normal walking. Motion on the back feeds your spine because it increases blood circulation.
Ø      Nordic Walking can reduce back pain and improve spinal mobility as well as improve your posture.

  • For people with joint problems (ankle, knee, hip) or joint disease, degeneration and people who are recovering from orthopedic surgery
Ø      Nordic Walking poles provide additional stability and balance for your joint. It helps reduce stress in knees and other joints.
Ø      Nordic Walking assists in bearing your body weight

  • For people who want to lose weight
Ø      Nordic Walking is safe and effective way to lose weight.
Ø      Nordic Walking saves your joints by bearing your weight, it does not aggravate knees like running do.
Ø      Nordic Walking burns more calories than walking without feeling that you are exercising any harder.
Ø      Nordic Walking exertion is in the fat-burning zone.



Summa Summarum...
Nordic walking is suitable for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. It’s something for everybody and you can decide how hard you want to work with the walking poles.

Sunday

Three Good Exercises to Shape Up for Spring


America’s rapidly expanding waistline has become a huge concern in the past decade. Today, eight out of ten adults are overweight  and some 40 million people are considered obese. It’s not hard to see why: We eat foods that contain tightly-packed calories in smaller packaged and don’t engage in enough physical activity.  Here are 3 unique and easy exercises that will get you in shape this spring!

You have to move to lose weight

The number one cause of being overweight is inactivity. The human body is designed for physical activity. Our ancestors were hunter-gatherers who spent most of their lives on the move; their metabolic functions matched their physical lifestyle. Nowadays, we live in opposition to our nature. The reason most diets fail is because our bodies are not designed to subsist on meager foods. We are designed to consume a good amount of energy -- and then to burn that energy. Physical activity is the key to a healthy metabolism.



Exercise 1: Swimming Dragon speeds up your metabolism
This simple qigong exercise can help speed up your metabolism and reduce your appetite. Not unlike a belly dance, Swimming Dragon is a wriggling rhythmic dance of the torso, which burns energy and promotes fat burning in the abdomen.





1. In a comfortable, quiet place stand with your feet together and ankles touching, or as close together as you can get them. Bring hands over your head, with palms together and fingers pointing up. Keep your palms together during this entire exercise.
2. Inhaling, push your waist out to the right side while keeping your head and upper torso straight. Simultaneously move your right elbow to the right, so that it rests at shoulder height.
3. Exhaling, push your waist out to the left side while keeping your head and upper torso straight. Simultaneously move your left elbow fully to the left at shoulder height.
4. Repeat this movement several times. Every time you move your waist to the right, bend your knees slightly more, lowering your entire body as you squat. Be sure to keep your upper torso and head straight.
5. With each right movement, move your hands lower, keeping your palms together and fingers pointing up. When your arms reach your chest, turn your fingers toward the ground and continue the movement.
6. When your arms reach your knees, you should be squatting. 
7. Continue the movements, now rising with each right movement until you reach the standing position. When your arms reach your chest, switch the direction of your fingers so that they’re pointing up again.
Throughout this exercise, your hands should produce an S-shaped movement and your body should do a rhythmic belly dance. Remember to inhale on the rightward movement and exhale to the left. Only do this exercise on an empty stomach. Begin slowly and increase speed, warming up the whole body, but not to the point of perspiration.

Exercise 2: Arm Swing
Energy exercises like tai chi and Eight Treasures Qigong have been found to improve cardiovascular health. Here is the Arm Swing, a warm-up movement to tai chi that will invigorate your daily workout.






1. Start with your feet should-width apart. Freely swing your arms from front to back until you reach a point of natural resistance. Now let your arms swing to the front again.
2. After a couple of minutes of arm swinging, increase the work out by bending your knees and lifting your heels as your arms swing back and forth.
3. Increase your work out further by jumping off the ground as your arms swing back as though the momentum of your arms carries your body upward. Jump progressively higher each time. Swing your arms for 15 minutes. Gradually slow down and stop. Perform this exercise twice each day.

Exercise 3: Merry-Go-Around
With a daily practice of Qi Gong exercises like the Eight Treasures you can strengthen your hormonal system, help balance your blood sugar levels, and maintain your proper weight. Below I describe a simple walking exercise called “Merry-Go-Around”.
1. In a quiet outdoor setting find a thick-trunked tree (10 - 12” diameter) with at least 5 feet of clear space around the trunk in all directions. Perform the following walking exercise for 15 minutes.
2. Walk with a relaxed but steady gait, with hands raised to your trunk. With each completed circle change the position of your arms by slightly raising or lowering your hands in front or on the sides of your trunk.  
3. For the first half of the exercise walk clockwise around the tree. For the second half, walk counterclockwise.
Do the Merry-Go-Around twice each day.

How often should you exercise? It is best for all-around health to exercise 4 or more times per week, for 30 minutes each time. Even a brisk walk around your neighborhood, or the merry-go-round circle walking described above can have a wonderful effect on your energy metabolism and help you get back into shape. 

Tuesday

Friends - The benefits are difficult to measure, but they are so important!


Let's hear it for friends! In the quest for a longer and healthier life, friendships play a key role in making us happy -- and keeping us healthy. While it is well known that having a strong social network can make our lives richer and more abundant, research has shown that it can boost the immune system and cardiovascular health, and even help us live longer.
A ten-year Australian study, for example, found that older people (over the age of 70) with a large circle of friends were 22 per cent less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends. And research has also found that strong social ties are linked to better brain health and motor skills like strength, speed and dexterity. (See Social networks and brain health andSocial activity and motor skills.)
"In general, the role of friendship in our lives isn't terribly well appreciated," Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, told The New York Times. "There is just scads of stuff on families and marriage, but very little on friendship. It baffles me. Friendship has a bigger impact on our psychological well-being than family relationships."
Strong friendships help to protect us against stress, depression, anxiety and other forms of mental illness, according to the Mayo Clinic. And, in case you're wondering, the health and psychological benefits of friendship hold true for both men and women.
Expanding the network
While having a supportive social network is good for us, it's not always easy to make new friends, or for that matter, even find time for the ones we have. (See 5 tips for keeping friendships warm even when life is hectic.)
If you're looking to put yourself out there a little more, here are some basic tips for meeting new people and expanding your social network.
Get out with your pet. If you haven't noticed, pets are great conversation-starters. Seek out a popular dog park, stop to chat with the people you pass on your daily neighborhood jaunts, or make pet play dates.
Work out. Joining a fitness class or starting a walking group is good for you in more ways that one. Get fit and expand your social circle at the same time.
Just say yes. When you're invited to a party, dinner or other social event, accept the invitation -- even if you're tempted to decline because you may not know everyone there or you're worried about feeling awkward. Keep in mind that you can always leave an event if it's not enjoyable.
Volunteer or join a cause. Hospitals, museums, community centers, charitable groups, places of worship and other organizations are frequently in search of volunteers or new members. You can form strong connections when you work with people who share a mutual interest or a goal you believe in. Check out your city's website for information about community groups and volunteer opportunities.

For a guilt-free holiday, try working for your beer





St. Paddy's green routine


Bend more than an elbow this St. Patrick's Day.
Irish Canadian colleen Ciara (pronounced keer-uh) Moynihan, a personal trainer and co-owner of Korezone Fitness ( korezone.com)has taken the traditional St. Paddy's Day workout and expanded it into a trio of exercises that will have worked the whole body by the time you're done.
Add Celtic music and really green up your workout -- Moynihan's dad, Francis, who is Irish to the core, recommends something by the Dubliners or Horslips.
It's a healthy way to balance the day, especially if you know you're going to wind up in a pub, Moynihan says, laughing.
When you finally get there, guilt-free because you did something good for your body earlier, raise a pint of Guinness or green suds and say "Slainte!" (pronounced slaincha) -- a toast to your health and the health of those around you.
Leprechaun Leap
Stand sideways next to an aerobic stepper with one foot on the box and the other on the ground. Holding one suitably challenging weight with both hands, squat down, keeping your back straight and making sure your knees don't extend beyond your toes. As you stand up, leap across the box and land with the other foot on top of the box. Reverse the move, and repeat eight to 12 times each side.
Beginners don't need to use a weight; they can sit back only until they feel their abdominal muscles engage instead of going into a squat, and can step instead of leap, Moynihan says.
If you don't have a stepper, do the exercise on the floor or put a non-breakable item on the floor to leap over.
It's a great exercise for strengthening legs and core muscles, building athletic power through explosive movement, and improving balance.
Irish Jig
Stand behind a Bosu, or half ball. Lift and tap the heel of one foot on the ball, then quickly switch feet and repeat the move with the heel of the other foot.
Continue until you feel you can't tap one more heelon the ball. If you haven't got a Bosu, use the bottom step of a staircase, and touch it with your toes to start.
Strictly speaking, the Irish always keep their arms at their sides when they dance, but go ahead and put your hands on your hips if you feel more comfortable, Moynihan says.
It's high-intensity training or a cardio burst that really gets your heart rate up -- and a great way to prepare for all the bike rides and runs you're planning once the snow has melted.
Top o' the Mornin' to Ya (Irish for 'Good Morning') Get Up
This exercise works every part of your body. Start by standing with your back to the Bosu ball. In
one fluid motion, squat down and lower yourself onto the Bosu ball; lean back until you engage your abdominal muscles, keeping the back straight; crunch forward and stand back up.
Repeat to exhaustion. Moynihan holds a paper shamrock in her hands while she does the exercise, but a medicine ball or any type of larger ball works, too.
Beginners don't have to hold anything and can use one hand on the floor to help themselves get up into a standing position, Moynihan says.
If you're unable to get down low to the ground, or don't have a Bosu, use an armless chair or bench.
Holding one hand in the air as you go through the motions makes the exercise more challenging.

Wednesday

Train for balance:



1. Stand on one foot. You may need your hands near or on a stable surface. Find a fixed focus point to look at. Next, brush your teeth or talk on the phone on one foot. How long can you hold?
2. Straddle a straight line on the floor. Stand on one foot and hold 2 seconds, then shift and stand on the other foot. When this is easy, hop one foot to the other.
These might seem like simple exercises, but they can keep you healthy and safe from a fall for years to come.

Monday

Great Snowshoe Today!!!

Excellent view of Collingwood and the Grain Elevator from the top of the Escarpment.



An hour and a half hike up and down the valleys with this glorious sunshine.
Loved the bright blue sky. Doesn't get much better than this!

The work of the Pileated Woodpecker!
Can you see the Racoon??? 




Look at the size of the wood chips flying in the air!!!!

The weather has been fantastic this week.




Saturday

Reason for Avoiding Exercise


Your Workouts Are Mind-Numbingly Boring 
Boring workouts are like boring t.v. shows that nobody watches and eventually get cancelled. The reality of exercise is that it must be exciting and engage your mind as well as your body. It’s a mistake to believe that an exercise habit will develop out of sheer repetition. It just won’t happen because once your mind check out the body does too. Workout Tips: Find workouts that are fun and exciting to you (not your spouse or the latest fitness guru) and expand from that. The more interesting something is to you the longer you’ll stick to it and the more you'll learn about what drives you to stay active.

Tuesday

SAFE EXERCISE PRACTICES





  1. Obtain medical clearance to exercise.
  2. Stop exercising if you feel pain.
  3. Don't exercise when you are injured, sick, or running a temperature.
  4. Don't over_strain during exercise.
  5. Don't hold your breath during exercise.
  6. Always warm up.
  7. Always cool down.
  8. Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.
  9. Avoid heavy meals for about 2 hours before energetic exercise.
  10. Use sun screen, hats, visors, and sunglasses during outdoor daytime exercise. Think safety at all times (for example, should you be wearing fluorescent colors? Is it too cold, too wet, too stormy, too polluted, too hot, and/or too humid for safe exercise?)
  11. Use the right equipment and wear the right clothes for exercise (dress in layers, wear fabrics that allow heat to escape, wear good shoes).
  12. Work at an effective, yet comfortable, intensity level. You should be able to carry on a normal conversation while working out.
  13. Use good posture during exercise.
  14. Stop exercise and consult your physician immediately if you experience any of the following

  •  chest pain or tightness in the chest, neck or throat;
  • considerable difficulty breathing;
  • abnormal heart rhythm; nausea' dizziness, light headedness, or visual
  • interruption; excessive cold sweat; or extreme or lasting weakness or fatigue (after exercise)

Monday

Exercise with a friend




Statistics tell us that people who exercise with a friend are more successful at exercising consistently. You can keep each other accountable. Knowing that someone is waiting for you to exercise with them can be great motivation to show up and get it done!

Wednesday

A Little Fitness Humour



Neck Exercises to do at the computer while looking up Olympic Medal Standings and Office Humor


Stop Avoiding Exercise


Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.  ~Edward Stanley






Most of us have avoided exercise for one reason or another at various times. Try to determine why you don't exercise or why you don't keep at it.  Search out simple workout tips that will help you stay on track without having to spend more time, money, or effort on exercise.
Try to clearly understand the benefits of an exercise program and what you are trying to accomplish. Usually,we are more motivated to do things that we'll benefit from. The more we benefit, the more motivated we are.  You will benefit tremendously from consistent exercise. For most of us, that's very motivating!


Tuesday

Your Choice

You can choose to work on your fitness in a facility like this:


or

In a setting like this:





Snow/Frost Feathers





Monday

Strength Training


Just love this picture!

Reminds me that we all need to continue to strength train well into our eighties!

Sunday

New Route Today


We tried a new route today just outside of town. Great weather, company and scenery.



Would highly recommend this route for beginners to intermediate level snowshoers.

Friday

Sixth Street Extension


I mentioned earlier that we love to train, walk, and hike on the Escarpment because of the hills, valleys, scenery, and absence of cars. (Our dog loves it, too!)
Without having to run, I am able to get a great aerobic workout which is also low impact. By altering the pace and depending on the length and gradient of the hill anyone can work at their proper level of difficulty.
Today my husband and I decided to walk up the Sixth Street extension which basically goes straight up the Escarpment. It was early in the morning, very cold -15 C, no wind, and the sun was just coming up!
The Walk up the "hill"  or "Mountain took approximately 25 minutes, and about 15 - 20 minutes to come down.

Often we will see deer and wild turkeys on this route.
(Or signs that they have been around recently)

Wild Turkey and deer tracks beside my foot.

What a great way to start the day!!