5 Inspiring Links To Get YOU Motivated!

We all have those periods of time where we are more interested in curling up and reading a good book, watching a good movie, or doing something relaxing rather than hitting the gym. We work really hard on our fitness program and endeavours and then succumb to life’s more indulgent pleasures. It happens, and it’s ok. In a way, it is good to go with the flow of what our body wants and needs- balancing the needs of our physical self (to move our bodies and stay strong and fit and healthy) with our mental health needs.

Sometimes though we fall too far over onto that indulgent side where we are neglecting our physical selves. In those periods of time we need to find something to fire up our internal motivation. Something that is going to inspire us to get outdoors and be active, hit the gym, or move our bodies. For me I find that observing others pursuits in fitness and health really inspires me. Whether it’s watching a rock climber completing a massive and tricky climb, or watching a man with Parkinson’s lose his tremors as he busts a move- I find it all inspiring and it motivates me to get active.

Just for fun today I wanted to share 5 videos with you that might inspire you to get up, get moving, take care of yourself, and enjoy the benefits of moving your body.

 

#1: Music Helps Parkinson’s disease:

  • Check out this video (one of many accounts of this happening) where a man who struggles to walk due to Parkinson’s transitions into a fluid two-stepper. Careful- it’s a tear jerker.
  • If movement does this for him- what is it doing for our cells and body that we can’t necessarily see or feel 🙂
  • https://www.facebook.com/viralthread/videos/645988052240548/

 

#2: “She Swims with Sharks Before Breakfast”

  • Check out this video of Kim Chambers- one of the world’s best marathon swimmers and the sixth person to complete the “Oceans Seven”- 7 of the most treacherous open water swims in the world. She has also swam solo from the Farallon islands to San Fransisco, which involved swimming in the largest breeding ground of great white sharks in the world. Whether you think she’s nuts or not- her inspiration, dedication, and motivation for her sport sure is inspiring.

 

#3:   Ice Climber, Back country Skiing, Rock Climbing- Outdoor Adventures.

If you have access to Instagram, you should check out this account I came across this morning. Some of the videos of their outdoor adventures are INCREDIBLE. It reminds me of how when we are strong and fit and healthy we can see parts of the world that not everyone gets to see. Take a look:

https://www.instagram.com/inespapert/?hl=en

 

#4.  Kyle Maynard- Award winning mixed martial arts athlete, climber of Mount Kilimanjaro & Aconcagua, Cross Fit athlete & gym owner, world record setting weightlifter- and did I mention QUADRUPLE AMPUTEE!

This guy is so incredibly motivating. He was born with no arms and legs, yet has gone on to accomplish more physical accomplishments then most people will in their lives. If you are looking for someone to help you smarten up your attitude and foster a little more “no excuses” spirit- then check out his website or Instagram page.

http://kyle-maynard.com/about-kyle/

https://www.instagram.com/kylemaynard/?hl=en

 

  1. Need Motivation to hit the weights? Check out Karina Baymiller.

I’ve been watching Karina for about 4 years now I believe. Her journey has been incredible- starting as an unhappy/unhealthy person, taking a challenge to get fit and healthy a little too far to the point where she was unbalanced and too focused on body image/restricting food etc. to the point now where she is a badass weightlifter with a stellar outlook on balancing food and fitness and life! She can hit some serious powerlifting weights and has got some killer awesome quads to show for it. Check out her account for motivation to stick with your weight training (and self love) routine:

https://www.facebook.com/kbaymiller/

Enjoy!

 

ps-  If you have some motivating people you like to follow- post them in the comments below 🙂

PPS-  The cover photo is from one of my favourite hikes in the Whistler area- called Wedgemount Lake.  When I look at some of my old hiking photos it motivates me to get out there more 🙂

“How to Counteract The Deadly Effects of Sitting All Day”

 

Why are diseases such as Diabetes, heart disease, and obesity at all time highs in our country? Why is the diet industry a multi million (probably billion dollar industry) and why do people struggle so much to lose and maintain weight?

Is it diet? Yes- I believe we as a population and culture eat too much food, especially poor quality food.

But more than that I believe, and the research has shown that people SIT way too much, and this amount of sitting is contributing to an epidemic of poor health in our country.

Here is a great article for you to read (and the one I based today’s blog on:

https://www.ft.com/content/2d8566e2-81b3-11e6-8e50-8ec15fb462f4

Here is a typical day for many people:

Get ready for the day.

Drive to work (sitting).

Spend 8 + hours at work , mostly sitting, very little movement.

Drive home.

Sit while watching TV or talking on the phone, or sit at a restaurant for food, or go for a drink with a friend.

If you are part of the 2 % of our population that exercises daily, then maybe at some point in there you spend roughly 60 minutes exercising.

Most of the day is spent in a flexed body position, requiring virtually no use of the heart, lungs, and muscles.

What do they show sitting all day leads to?

– Raises your risk of: heart attacks, strokes, type 2 Diabetes, cancer, premature death and obesity (and that’s not even mentioning all the anatomical issues that arise from your body barely moving all day).

Did you fully read and comprehend that line?

It has been proven and shown in research that sitting all day at work is putting you at a much higher risk for the major causes of death and disease in our country. This data was first recognized in the 1940’s when a study was done on bus drivers vs. ticket takers on the bus in London. They found that the drivers who sat all day had much higher risk of disease then the ticket takers who stood and move around. This data has been around for a long time- and it’s time to take action!

It’s quite scary.

So What do We Need to Do?

  • Some research has shown that 60-75 minutes of daily medium to intense activity such as brisk walking or cycling can offset some of the effect of sitting for 8 hours a day. This tells us that hitting the gym daily is going to support our health in some way, but on top of that the key factor is finding ways to break up your sitting time with movement. If you exercise every morning and then sit for 8 + hours your benefits dwindle as the day goes on (especially if you are sitting in bad posture). In my lunch and learns I recommend setting an alarm and moving around every 30 minutes. This could be anything! Walk to the photocopier, walk a flight or two of stairs, do 10 squats into your chair. You’ve got to move.
  • Perhaps an easier solution for us might be to focus on our more controllable time. Perhaps you are a busy working professional who works 8 hours a day and each day is jam packed, hard for you to think about getting more movement in. I understand. So why not focus on moving on your free time? Challenge yourself to not sit on the couch when you get home. Instead focus on the laundry, dishes, cooking cleaning, getting a night time walk in, or turning on a yoga video. The average North American watches 3 hours of TV a day.   My suggestion: cut down that TV time, or if you are completely addicted and can’t give it up then how can you MOVE while you watch TV?

Remember last week in the blog I mentioned that the recommendations set out by Canada’s physical activity guidelines were kind of shitty in terms of what I would recommend for weight loss/maintenance (instead of 150 minutes a week I think people need 60 minutes a day minimum). Well- this research on sitting agrees with that statement!

What the recommendation for North Americans is based on what actually works to prevent disease and maintain a healthy body weight:

We need to exercise 60-75 minutes a day (moderate or intense) and MOVE MORE/SIT LESS.

What the average North American does on an a typical day:

½ of the population in North America doesn’t even meet the 150 minute a week mark for activity, and sits to watch TV for 3 -8 hours a day!

How Moving More Has Helped Me Maintain My Weight

If your own health isn’t enough motivation, then let’s talk body weight. I used to count calories, eat my best, and struggle to maintain my body weight. I would exercise as close to 5 days a week as I could, I would try to walk to work, but something didn’t add up- I still wasn’t happy with my weight. Over the past 1-2 years I have noticed a shift. I am able to eat more good food, also enjoy more indulgences, yet at the same time I am slimmer and leaner, what’s the deal? Yes- I am exercising more consistently. To be honest I exercise 6-7 days a week. This is everything from bike rides to long power walks to yoga to strength training to dance classes. I don’t usually miss a day unless I am incredibly sore or exhausted. But on top of that what I think has attributed more to my ability to maintain a lower body weight is moving more. In general I walk or bike to work, I move around all day with clients, I walk to get my groceries, etc. Sure, I sit, like when I am doing my homework, typing this blog, answering e-mails, or eating food, but it adds up to just a few hours a day compared to 8 when I used to work a desk job. So the moral of the story is- if you are struggling to lose or maintain your weight move more, as much as possible, every day of the week.

My message: For most of us, maintaining our weight, or losing weight is freaking hard! If it was easy we would all be of a healthy body weight and lower body fat. You’ve got to start moving more, for life :).  If you have always struggled with your weight, or never been able to maintain a low body weight it’s time to create a life based around movement of your body.

On top of that- if you sit for 8 hours a day you have to do EVEN MORE on your own free time to counteract for the lack of movement all day.  It’s hard!  

 

What To Do (ideas):

Here are some ideas I have for you to move more throughout the day. I would love, if you have other ideas you do regularly if you could post them in the comments below for the other readers.

  • Walk or cycle to work (this is my favourite idea, it’s so practical and simple, you don’t have to go anywhere or do anything out of your way).
  • Every time your phone rings, stand up.
  • Set a timer every 30 minutes to remind you to stand, do a stretch, do an exercise, move your body.
  • Never take an elevator or escalator again, if you can avoid it.
  • Walk to the grocery store.
  • Save TV for a special occasion.
  • Actually take a lunch break and go for a walk.
  • Get in your daily exercise (60-75 minutes).
  • Record how much TV/sitting you actually do, then try and minimize it.
  • Organize a stretch or movement break in your office in the morning and afternoon.
  • Get a sit/stand desk
  • If you are tired after work it’s because your body has gone to sleep during the day! It doesn’t need more sitting around it needs movement.   Get to a dance class, or go for walk. I will 100% guarantee you will not feel more tired after.
  • Cultivate a life around activity.  Instead of always having dinner/drinks with friends, could you do a hike and a tea?  Instead of making every date night about dinner and a movie, what about strolling the seawall, doing something new like rock climbing, or taking a yoga class together.  Get creative.

 

KELLY STARRETT  said in the article “If you walk into any office and look at the behaviours of people sitting, they default to a position that would make your grandmother sick,” says Mr Starrett. “The human body was not meant to be a couch potato.”

Kelly has a book out called Deskbound, which I haven’t read yet, but based on reading all his other books I am sure you would love.  I will be ordering mine soon.  In the meantime, you can get a good kick out of his quote, and take it was a reminder to sit up tall and straight, and to move less.

A Side Note:

Taking our health seriously.

It’s funny how sometimes we can know something in the back of our mind, yet we sneakily ignore it so that we can justify our actions. Let me give you an example. I LOVE peanut butter. The moment I open my eyes in the morning I am thinking about it. People bring me peanut butter as gifts to the gym regularly, and I got 2 giant jars of peanut butter for my birthday this year. I have been known to devour it by the multiple spoonful. One thing I have always known about peanut butter is that it contains something called aflatoxins which have been shown in research to be cancerous to humans. I have known this for years and yet I continued to consume it by the spoonful. Today, while listening to a podcast totally unrelated to health, the author reminded me of these toxins in peanut butter and their relevance to cancer. I had a light bulb moment. I asked myself- if you care so much about your health, how are you still eating peanut butter everyday!? And I realized, I was hiding the fact that I knew it wasn’t the best for me, to justify my addiction 🙂 So from now on- sure I will eat a bit of peanut butter, maybe a few times a week, but it’s time to find a new breakfast.

My message? What facts are you hiding down so that you can justify your current actions? What are you justifying so that you don’t have to take better care of your health?  Why aren’t you connecting the dots between how much we need to move our body and exercise to your own health and well being.  

As always, I hope some of this helps you out.

 

 

Race Recap: Cultus Lake Sprint Triathlon May 29th 2016

After finishing the Olympic Distance Triathlon in Kelowna last weekend I decided to go back and do a short write up on my race weekend back on May 29th at Cultus Lake where I did the sprint distance triathlon.  

I hope you enjoy the story.  I wrote it for family a few months back and seem to switch between third person and second person writing, don’t ask me why!

For Katherine’s first triathlon Katherine and Kyle drove up to Cultus Lake and spent the weekend camping at a nice campground right on a lake, and in between two major mountain ranges. This meant their entire camping weekend was NON STOP RAIN! They spent most of their time cooking under this tarp, and reading/playing games in the back of the truck. It was a very relaxing weekend….

 

Katherine was feeling pretty nervous before the race because the weather was SO crappy and rainy. She hadn’t ridden her new road bike in the rain before and was nervous that is was going to feel slippery. She was also nervous because she has never done an open water swim with goggles on in a wet suit before! She was worried she was going to be swimming along and see a giant fish underneath her! On top of that the rain came down so hard all night there wasn’t much opportunity for a good sleep.

In the end they got up in the morning and headed down to set up at the course. There are a lot of things to consider at a triathlon, so this took awhile.

Katherine decided to head down to the water and do a bit of a warm up swim to get used to the temperature.

 

You can see by her face she’s thinking “Oh boy, my feet are frozen already, what am I thinking getting into that water right now?”

IMG_2995

 

But she went in anyways, focused and determined to get a feel for the water before the race started.

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At first I couldn’t put my face in the water! Too cold. It was about 14 degree Celsius.

 

After my warm up, the rest of the group came to join to join to get ready for our start. There were 55 racers in my race.

One of those turned around faces is me- smiling for the camera!

Bobbing blue heads getting ready to go…..

And there they go! 750 m swim!

Katherine came in 20th out of 55 for the swim- in 16 minutes.

Now one of the biggest challenges, running in numb feet on cold ground to the transition area!

IMG_3003

 

Kyle captured me gearing up for my bike ride:

And I’m off for the 20 km bike ride!

The bike ride didn’t go so well because I noticed as soon as I got on my bike that my back brake was not functioning correctly, and the slippery roads freaked me out. I lost some time here, but after some practice in the rain from now on I am sure I will do better next time.

Coming in from the bike ride and the race officials commented “Wow look at those big smiles”. I was having a great time!! The feet were EXTREMELY numb now though, making it challenging to hop off my bike and run into the transition area to get my run gear on! Next up was the run.

IMG_3010

 

The 5 km run was pretty easy to get through considering these were the views I had to look at:

 

Here I am trucking down the final stretch to the finish! I felt really great in the race. I felt I could have pushed myself a lot harder, but didn’t really know what to expect because it was my first one.  Right near the end- 50 feet from the finish line I realized the clock was at 139:50 so I sprinted to the finish line to get in under 1:40!! You can see the funny look on my face as I realized this.

In the end I had a great time.   I was happy with my overall finish for my first race, and know I have a lot in the tank for the next one. Here is my collecting my medal for placing 3rd in my age group!  I clearly wore my best outfit for the event…

IMG_3016

Geared up in all my hobo looking camping gear- I clearly hadn’t been expecting to have to be posing in front of the group as I got a medal! Happy to be a triathlete finisher and looking forward to the next one!  Overall I thought my time was ok- 1 hour and 39 minutes.  I realized I could have pushed myself a lot harder, and am looking forward to doing so in other races.  I was happy to have this race to get used to the elements etc.

IMG_3017

 

Race Recap: Kelowna Apple Olympic Distance Triathlon

Race Recap: Kelowna Apple Olympic Distance Triathlon

This past weekend I raced my first Olympic Distance Triathlon in Kelowna, British Columbia. The race was called the Apple Triathlon and my distance was 1500 m swim in the Okanagan lake, 40 km bike through the town, and 10 km run close to the waterfront. The race was tough, and very hot, but overall it was a fun and a great accomplishment.

The course was beautiful:

After foam rolling and warming up for a good hour at our campsite in Kelowna I had my usual pre race breakfast (peanut butter and banana sandwich) and my double earl grey tea 🙂 Then we headed down to transition area to line up all my gear and load up on the sunscreen. My heat didn’t leave until 815 so I had a lot of time to prepare and do some warm up swimming.

It ended up being a no wet suit allowed swim, which was going to be interesting for me! Up until that point I had only done 2 open water swims before, and both of them were in wet suits. Now it was time to try my best to stay buoyant without one :). I felt good at the start, I never feel nervous right before the race, but often the night before.

I jumped in and started swimming and soon realized I had veered really far to the right. Luckily this meant that I had avoided the huge pack of people trampling all over each other. I found my nice steady pace and started to enjoy the swim. Right before the race the race director mentioned there was a beaver on the course! I tried my best to not think about this thing swimming along with me, and just stay focused on my technique. I kept my pace at a medium level, this being my first triathlon I had no idea how hard I could push without dying at the end. After 750 m I ran out on the beach around a buoy and back in for another 750 m lap.  I could see I was close to the front of the group- which was exciting!  I finished the swim strong at around 32 minutes, close to the front of the pack. Then I managed a super awkward run up through the transition area. I always get passed during this time!

My transition was quick without a wet suit on and before I knew it I was biking out onto the course. The course was 4 laps of a 10 km loop. The loop starts with a pretty decent uphill that gets the heart up, but wasn’t too long. Just kept my legs moving during this part. The rest of the loop is all downhill and flat, which made it super fun. Although I felt I was doing well personally, I still don’t have the bike confidence I want especially on downhill’s and turning. What this mean was that I got passed a lot! I still kept my average time at 27 km an hour, but with more practice on sharp turns I will do a lot better. The bike felt great, not too challenging, and I probably could have pushed myself just a little bit harder here. I finished the bike in 1 hour and 29 minutes. My goal is to start training at more of a race pace so that I can get better at maneuvering my bike while going fast!

Next up after transition was the 10 km run. By this time the day was starting to feel super hot. My legs felt sluggish and my body basically had one speed by this point- slow! I noticed I wasn’t really sweating, legs were starting to cramp a bit, and my body literally wouldn’t allow me to speed up much. I told myself at this point to just hold a strong steady pace until the end and try to finish the 10 k run in an hour. The first lap (5km) was HARD!   I was having to really cheer myself on and talk myself through it. I was trying to take in as much water, Gatorade and some gel as I could but my body still felt pretty depleted. Up until the run I was having a lot of fun in the race, but now it was starting to get to me. I kept telling myself just to try my best to the end- and that’s what I did!  I finished the run in 1:08, the slowest 10 km’s I’ve ever ran, but also I’ve never ran 10 k after already doing 2 hours of exercise!

I crossed the finish line at 3 hours and 13 minutes! I told myself I would be happy with 3 hours- 3:15 time based on the training I did. I was very happy with my swim, felt pretty good about my bike, and was happy I just hung on with the run, which I finished in 1:08.

Overall I recognize the heat probably played a huge factor for me near the end. I realize I need to work on my bike confidence on downhills and corners, as well as I need to find a running buddy who is a bit faster than me to start pushing my pace here a bit!

Post race I soaked myself in a cold sprinkler and then swam in the lake, pilled in a bunch of food and took a nap. Initially my legs were shot, they wanted to give out, and were cramping. After the swim and food they started to feel better, and then for the rest of the day and today they feel great! I am happy I am not sore. The only war wound I have is a giant blister on my left big toe that seriously looks like I have an alien growing out of my foot.

All in all I enjoyed myself and am proud of myself. I race again on September 18th in Cultus Lake. I am going to rest for a few days and then start the training up again to see if I can get a bit faster by then. My goal is to get one of these done in less than 3 hours 🙂

I hope I can inspire someone to take up a fun sport like triathlons.  I am in now way an “athlete”- I have a very moderately level of ability, and training for these is no easy feat for me, and is actually quite hard.  Don’t tell yourself you need to be a runner or fit to get going on these events, find a good program, give yourself lots of time, have fun with it, and do you own race, compete against yourself 🙂

On an ending (and most important note) I need to give a HUGE shoutout to my partner Kyle.  He’s been my grocery shopper, cook, driver to races, campsite take down man while I do my warm ups, tea and breakfast maker morning of the races, supporter, photographer, cheerleader, and motivator.  Without him I could have been a lot more stressed, nervous, and have a lot less time for training if he didn’t help out so much with meal cooking around our house.  Thanks Kyle for all that you do to make this happen for me 🙂

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By the way- it’s a beautiful drive to Kelowna- especially with night skies like these.

Keys to a healthy/fit body: Consistency. Variety. Enjoyment. Simplicity. Structure. Organization.

My apologies in losing track of my weekly blogging throughout the summer!  Between full time training, presenting corporate lunch and learns, performing ergonomic assessments, training for a few triathlons, and hosting visitors in town I haven’t had much focus on the blog here.

Regardless, I have a few blogs that have been stirring up in my mind over the past few weeks, as I think they have important messages to share.

Over the past few months I have received NUMEROUS comments about how I am looking skinnier, leaner, fitter, healthier, “good”.  On one hand I’ve got a lot to share around these comments in general- but I am going to save those for another blog!

Instead- today- what I feel like sharing with you are 6 factors necessary for making a change in your health, fitness, or appearance.  

I know, I know you hear it all the time- quick fixes don’t work or last, you’ve got to make your habits into a new lifestyle.  And it’s all true, for a person like me the quick fixes have never worked, and will never work.  Instead I’ve forged a path with no short cuts or gimmicks, and I want to lay it out for you today.  At the very basis, no matter what exercise strategy you choose if you follow these principles that I am about to outline below (along with choosing appropriate foods and calorie levels) you will achieve the health/fitness/appearance you are looking for.

So let me repeat that.  I am not going to tell you WHAT to do when you exercise, or how long to do it.  Here I am going to lay out the underlining principles for LIFESTYLE CHANGE STRATEGIES.

Here they are:

#1:  Consistency:  Whether you choose speed walking, soccer, circuit training, or fencing, you need to be consistent with your activity.  I believe that 6 days a week of ‘exercise’ is what it takes for MOST people to look and feel healthy, fit, and maintain their weight.  In the past 6-9 months I have started training for triathlons and with this shift I have been active 6 days a week.  I feel like this has been the biggest change for supporting me in getting fitter and leaner.  I was very active before, but probably moved my body on average 4-5 times a week.  Now- it’s 6 days a week no matter what (unless I am completely exhausted and overtraining myself- then I back off).  Now please keep in mind I am not going hard 6 days a week.  I am lightly jogging for 45 minutes on day, swimming 1600 m the next, and riding for a few hours the next, and the cycle repeats.  Most of the time my heart rate is at 60-75 % of my maximum, meaning I can carry on a conversation and don’t feel like I am killing myself when I am training (I think this is a key point- if you go hard every time you workout there is no way you can stay consistent!).  This training schedule has kept me consistent in doing something almost daily that helps my body be fitter and healthier.  I think where many people go wrong is getting in 3 hard workouts a week, but then not moving much the rest of the time.  I want you to find a way to get active 6 days a week consistently.  Perhaps ‘active’ for you is a 40 minute walk to work, or a 1 hour dance class at the gym, or 1 hour of strenuous yard work.  Whatever it is if you do it 6 days a week consistently, every week, every month, of every year I can guarantee you are going to get healthier, fitter, and leaner!

#2:  Variety:  

Imagine everyday you told yourself you had to go for a jog.  Every single day tried to get yourself to do the same activity.  HOLY BORING!!  I’ve been there.  I’ve trained for marathons and I’ve trained hard with weights.  In both cases it was always the same thing I had to do in my workouts and it drove me nuts.  I find with variety, for example with triathlon training, each day is different.  Each day is new muscles, new challenges, new scenery!  It’s much easier to go for a run on Tuesday when you know you only have one more run to do in the week, and the next day it’s a swim!  So I encourage you, find the right amount of variety in your own routine so that you look forward to each workout.  If you go to the gym that might mean doing a different type of class everyday, or having a different workout you could follow each day!

#3:  Enjoyment:

Now this is a BIG one!  For those of you out there who “don’t like going to the gym” or “are not into sports” or “don’t like jogging”- for each activity you don’t like to do there are just as many you would like if you tried them!  When I know I have a 2 hour bike ride along the beach and UBC campus I am pumped because it’s fun!  When I get to swim laps in a beautiful pool alongside the ocean here in Vancouver I am pumped because I feel so lucky to have access to these training facilities and I love being in the water.  Every once in awhile I have a workout I need to work myself up to, but for the most part I am excited to do it.  It’s up to you to find the activities that you enjoy and excite you!  That could mean you get a rock climbing buddy and meet up 3 times a week, or maybe you buy a paddle board and take it out on the ocean after work, or maybe there’s a sweaty spin class nearby with amazing music and people.  Stop doing activities you hate, start finding activities you love, and change it up once they get boring!

#4:  Make it simple.

For the most part, in order to be active every day you’ve got to make it relatively simple.  If you’ve got big complex plans for workouts with certain equipment, or space needed, or people needed then it might be a little bit too much to ask yourself to do it 6 days a week.  Instead, have some back up activities that are super simple that you can do anywhere.  My favourite back up activity is running.  No matter where I am in the world I always have a pair of running shoes and there is a path, street, or treadmill I feel safe running on.  Other alternatives might be a yoga practice you can do in a small space anywhere, a body weight workout that doesn’t even require running shoes, even just a long power walk.  In the end, don’t complicate things.  If you can’t get to soccer practice, or pole dancing, or the gym, still do something.

#5:  Structure is KEY.

I don’t know about you, but I DEFINITELY work better with structure in my life.  I thrive off having a triathlon training plan because it takes all the thought out of it!  My plan is set up already for the week, all I’ve got to do is show up and follow it an reap the rewards.  When it’s the off season and I am more into the weights I make sure I have a plan and structure there too.  Structure means you can’t cheat yourself, can’t take extra days off, and makes it really simple on the day of the workout.  Just think about it for a minute.  What seems like more of a path for fitness/health/body image change success:

  1.  Waking up everyday figuring out when you are going to work out, and what you are going to do.
  2. Knowing what your goal is and mapping out your workouts on your schedule, as well as what you will do during the workout.

Obviously #2 right!  Also- the value of structure is that you don’t show up at the pool and think “what am I going to do today”.  Instead you’ve got your 1 hour swim mapped out.  It makes it interesting, fun, challenging, and the one hour flies by when you are varying up your workout.

So schedule it in to keep yourself accountable, make yourself more successful, and make it easier on yourself!

And on a side note- just to confuse you even more.  Don’t forget that there is always room for creativity within structure.  Use it as your framework and give the framework your extra flavour and twist!

#6:  Organization

The last tip I want to share with you is organization.  In terms of one of the biggest changes I’ve made recently, and one that has probably most helped me get fitter and leaner is being even more organized.  What I mean by this is planning ahead!  When my mom came to town I had already pre planned when I would do my workouts during times that wouldn’t take away from our visiting and exploring.  When we went camping I already had it in my mind when and how I would keep training.  I am heading home to Ontario in a few weeks and I’ve already looked into what facilities are close by and what are the most realistic days for me to do my workouts.  And to be honest- that’s what it takes for me.  That’s what it takes for me to be able to do these Olympic distance triathlons, stay fit, and look healthy.  It’s the honest truth.  My body is not a “I can take a few days off and be ok” type of body.  I am not naturally thin, lean, fit or athletic.  So if you are anything like me we’ve got to put in a little extra effort.  Sure- you might look a little hardcore and others won’t quite understand.  But in the end you feel great, look great, get to maintain your exercise endorphins everyday, and get to reap the fitness rewards!  (And remember that there is a time and a place for relaxing vacations too, where you don’t exercise).

So to summarize- I hope some of these thoughts help you in your path to get fit, healthier, or drop body fat.  I am only speaking from experience here, and am not suggesting you do something that I haven’t done!

If you need another other support in getting going- let me know 🙂

 

Good luck!

 

  •  Katherine

PS the cover photo is a photo from my recent trip to New Orleans.  We rented a car one day and walked through swamplands and forests for the afternoon.  Perfect way to stay healthy and fit while on vacation.  And a good way to sweat buckets in the 40 degree weather!

 

3 Things I wish I knew about health and Fitness 10 years ago.

In case you are just starting your health and fitness journey- I hope this blog can help direct you on the right path.

3 things I wish I knew about health and fitness 10 years ago:

  1. Cardio is not the be all end all for being fit, healthy, and a good weight.

Throughout high school and University I used to ensure I did cardio on a regular basis (usually 5 days a week) in order to maintain my weight, be fit, and keep good health. Little did I know there were A LOT of other variables to factor in to make being fit, healthy, and maintaining my weight easier. If I could go back 10 years and add something to my routine I would add 2-3 days of strength training. Lifting weights is an incredible way to look and feel fit and strong, improve your health, boost your metabolism, make it easier to maintain your weight, build a solid foundation to work out on and prevent injuries.

Here’s an example:

In 2nd year University I went on an overnight hiking/camping trip through Tobermory park in Ontario. I had been exercising on the treadmill and elliptical steadily for months, and thought I would do fine to keep up. I was also in the Kinesiology program at school where I would take sport courses regularly, so I thought I was pretty fit. Little did I know I was going to be the LAST person to arrive at camp that night. I arrived so late that the sun was down, and everyone had eaten dinner! I was so exhausted I just jumped in my tent, changed to warm clothes and passed out. It didn’t make sense to me! I was so good at my one hour on the elliptical daily- why did none of it carry over to the hike? Well let’s see, I WAS WEAK! I had no lower body strength, or core strength, or back strength. Sure, I could have kept up on flat ground with no huge bag on my back, but that’s not hiking. If I could go back now I would start strength training regularly, as well as I would start training in different more effective and transferable forms of ‘cardio’.

 

Here’s another example:

I used to eat 1200-1500 calories a day and kill myself doing cardio daily to maintain my weight. I was always hungry, had no energy for anything, and constantly told myself I can’t have treats.

Now I have no clue how much I eat in a day (maybe 3000 calories?), but I eat 3-5 meals/snacks. I eat until I am full. I choose to indulge when I feel like indulging. I exercise regularly in all types of activities including strength training/yoga/pilates etc. I appear smaller and fit into a smaller size then I did before.

Let’s see…which one seems like the better option??

I once read a fact that said that a person who is of the same weight, yet significantly more muscular, will burn up to 1000 more calories a day than the less muscular person- this is equivalent to running a 10 km race that they didn’t run that day!!

  1. The hardest things to do, are not necessarily the best things for your body.

I’ve spent years (and still find myself doing this) chasing challenging forms of exercise- CrossFit, power lifting, Olympic lifting, running marathons etc. I always thought the more of these activities I did that I was doing the best and most right thing for my body to be healthy, fit and strong. I have come to realize that the body needs some less intense, more focused, and corrective exercise. For example, lighter strength training focusing on my posture, weaknesses, and dysfunctional movement patterns, and pilates to focus on my core strength and hip stabilizers. Since I’ve stopped chasing so many intense forms of exercise, and balancing them with corrective forms of exercise I am overall stronger, more overall athletic, have less aches and pains, am more flexible, and am fitter/faster in all the activities I do. Listen to your body- and correct it’s weaknesses.

 

Here’s an example: I remember during the time of my life I did a lot of running and Crossfit and elliptical. I would wake up in the morning, start getting ready, and couldn’t bend forward to put my ankle into my pant leg easily because my muscles were too tight! Does this sound like a healthy body to you? No-this was a back injury waiting to happen!

  1. NEVER EVER LOOK AROUND IN THE GYM AND COPY WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING.

I spend 30-40 hours a weak in the gym and am constantly watching the CRAZIEST THINGS HAPPENING. People choose the wildest exercises, use awful form, choose useless exercises, lift weights way to heavy for them, and blindly follow programs they’ve downloaded form the internet. Is it all inherently bad? No. Are people sending themselves to doctors, physios, and chiros unnecessarily, I think so. Could they be spending less time in the gym, getting better individualized results, YES. So instead of blindly following what you see someone else doing in the gym, take note of their exercise, look it up online, figure out why they are doing it, how to do it properly, and if it is a good exercise for you given your posture/current abilities/body mechanics etc.

 

Here’s an example: I see people with severely rounded posture doing overhead presses everyday. The anatomy of the shoulder is set up so that with good posture you could perform this exercise safely, but with poor posture doing an overhead press is almost guaranteeing an issue in the shoulder. Pick the right exercises for youJ

 

So in the end, if you are looking to maintain your weight easier, build a stronger, more athletic, fitter looking body, and prevent potential injuries then get yourself designed an individualized workout program including strength training. And I you can’t do it yourself- you know where to find me 🙂

 

PS-  The photo is from Elk Mountain in Chilliwack- great hike if you are looking for a shorter hike that’s a workout!

A message to anyone who wants to hire me for weight loss..

Good Evening!  I have another video for you today – I hope it helps you.

I work with a few people to lose weight, but it is definitely not part of my messaging to attract people who want to make weight loss their priority.  Do I have a few reasons for this?  Yes..

But most of all my reason is that working out with a trainer in the gym isn’t the first priority you should make when trying to lose weight!

There are so many other factors that influence your weight more than how hard you push in the gym.  Because of this I decided to film a little video for you today.  In the video I break down the top 6 things I think people need to consider before hiring a trainer for weight loss.

Could a trainer support you in making these 6 changes?  YEP!  But don’t expect just to bust your ass in the gym with a trainer 1-2 days a week and see major weight loss.  There are a few more variables to take care of.

Here’s the video:

https://youtu.be/YWfSnQPI7lI