Running and Powerwalking!

Running and Powerwalking!
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

3 things we should be doing to enjoy life!

In today's society, it is so easy to become addicted to receiving constant, fast communication and stimulation. We find ourselves bound to our cell phones, iPads, and for some people, even head phones! If you look around you, most if not everyone you see is in their own world, with their heads down, texting, reading or playing a video game. If you're lucky, you might even find yourself sitting next to someone who's music you can hear through their headphones!

Today I'd like to tear you away from technology and recommend a few activities you can do to connect to your friends, family, community and even yourself.  Yes, this means putting down your cell phone or iPad or game toy for a few minutes or even crazier, longer!

1. Spend time with your friends or family IN PERSON.

How great is it to be physically close to a friend as they share a story about their most recent  date or their latest accomplishment? More importantly, how wonderful does it feel to be able to offer or receive support with a hug rather than words?  The human touch is so powerful and there is no technology in this world that can replace the impact of a warm embrace or touch, especially when it is needed the most. I know I'd rather cry on a friend's shoulder than on skype or facetime!

2. SIGN UP for a class instead of using Google.

How often have you googled a cooking recipe, or wanted to learn how to change a bike tire, or learn how to use your camera?  Why not register for a class and learn how to do it firsthand. You'll be able to ask questions and experiment under the guidance of an expert. You'll also be less likely to forget what you've learned and you'll be supporting your local community programs.

3. EXPLORE your neighborhood without using your GPS. 

Go for a nice walk with your dog, friend or on your own and discover what new places may have opened over the winter. Take some time to stop into shops you've passed by several times but never went in.  Or treat yourself to a tea or dessert at one of your local coffee shops that you've never tried before. The idea is to wander and explore your neighborhood without having a destination or agenda in mind. You might come across a hidden gem in your very own neighborhood.


Stay active and anything is possible!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Is Spot Reducing Possible?


Okay ladies, I know you are not going to like hearing this, but no, you can not spot reduce. In other words, you can not lose weight in specific areas.  This can be very disheartening for some women, but it doesn't have to be. Here's why.

By combining both aerobic exercise and strength training, you incorporate the use of more muscle groups. The more muscles you engage, the more calories you burn which can lead to weight and fat loss. You might be wondering why I said  CAN lead to weight loss instead of WILL.  A good exercise program has to coincide with eating healthy.  Exercising on a regular basis does not allow you to eat whatever you want without having some consequences. i.e. weight gain. However, the good news is that when you do combine a good exercise program with healthy eating, you CAN lose weight AND body fat.  It just may not be in the area(s) that you would like. But in the end, isn't the ultimate goal to live healthy so that you can have a higher quality of life?

Here's an example of a 10 minute workout routine that incorporates cardio and strength training without using any equipment! It also targets all of your muscle groups. Why not give it a try? The only thing you have to lose is calories!


Jumping jacks 1 minute
Push ups 30 seconds
Squats 1 minute
Tricep dips 30 seconds
Alternating forward lunges 1 minute
Plank 30 seconds
Plyo squats 1 minute
Side Plank 30 seconds
Alternating split plyo lunges 1 minute
Side Plank (opposite side) 30 seconds
Jumping jacks 1 minute
Push ups 30 seconds
Squats 1 minute


Stay active and anything is possible!








Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Keeping it Real



I thought I would share my weekend after reading the post going around FB regarding "Please don't Envy Me." Here's the link for the complete article. 

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/03/please-dont-envy-me-the-facebook-status-everyone-should-read/

This past weekend I chose to splurge. What does this mean for me? Here's a recap of my weekend. 

Friday: Powerwalked with 2 clients, studied, wrote 2 nutrition programs, responded to all of my nutrition clients, went grocery shopping with my husband, went for a micro brewed beer at a local pub and then had a vegetarian frozen pizza for dinner accompanied with red wine from Argentina while watching jeopardy we taped on tv. 

Saturday morning: Ran hills with a client and then we both went to yoga together. Ate a healthy breakfast and then headed to a baseball game with my husband and friends. Had 2 beers at the game and then went to an amazing fondue dinner with more friends. Enjoyed baguette and sesame seed bread with lactose free cheese and a variety of other cheeses as well! (FYI, I haven't had white bread or cheese for months!) Followed it up with seafood fondue of scallops, crab and shrimp, raw veggies and LOTS and LOTS of red wine! Fell asleep earlier than I planned to (I failed to pace myself) and woke up to winter all over again.  (Spring has not yet come to Montreal) 

Sunday: I didn't work out. I went to church, drank lots of water, had a good healthy breakfast but  later on the day, I couldn't resist my favourite blue corn chips ( a whole bag!) and tempernino red wine and skipped dinner all together.  

So what I am saying is, personal trainers have off days too and that is okay. We are real people that have unhealthy cravings. We splurge, eat foods and drink wines that are not always the best choice. Tomorrow is always a new day and I get right back on track with eating healthy and exercising. I had a great weekend with friends and my husband and I would not change that for the world. 

Tuesday:  Still keeping it real: 

Staying in line with the" Please don't envy me blog" this is me today at 12:20pm working on marketing Positively Active. I've been up since 4:15am to train clients, write programs and research more articles, theories, etc on health and fitness. Notice the nicely done hair, the mascara that is now down my face making my eyes look fabulous. Can't wait to take a picture after my workout. Lookout Oxygen magazine!

Stay active (and real) and anything is possible! 
Donna 

Friday, March 21, 2014

What? Jump roping for 10 minutes is equal to 30 minutes of jogging?


Remember those days when you were a kid and you played a variety of activities for hours on end?  Maybe you played four square, hop scotch, dodge ball, tag, SPUD, ghost in the graveyard, hula hoop or even jump roped. Who knew how great all of those activities were for our health not to mention how happy our parents were that we were out of the house. The good news is, you can still do all of these activities. But you might have a few second looks if you hop scotch or play four square in the gym. So today I'm going to talk to you about jump roping and why you should incorporate this into your fitness program. 
  • It’s inexpensive. You may already have an old jump rope lying around but if you don't, jump ropes are not expensive. Sure you can buy a higher valued jump rope with bells and whistles if you want to. But whatever jump rope you buy, make sure it is the right size for you.  Or you can do what I do (sometimes that is). I pretend I have a jump rope and focus on my form and technique.
  • You can do it practically anywhere. Any hard surface works fine whether it is outside, inside, at the gym. So there's no excuse to not jump rope!
  • It burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time.  If you are looking for a way to burn off calories in a short period of time, then jump roping is for you!  *Studies have shown that 10 minutes of jumping rope (at 120 turns per minute) has the same benefit as jogging for 30 minutes.  This a great work out if you are short on time and want to get in a good cardio workout. 
  • It’s compact.  A jump rope hardly takes up any space and  can easliy be stored in a drawer, purse or back pack. This makes it a great workout equipment to bring with you on holidays or business travel. 
  • You’ll notice improvements.  *Jumping rope helps build agility, speed, balance, and coordination, while improving your overall fitness level.
  • You can do it alone, with a partner or a group.  Jumping rope is a form of exercise you can do on your own safely and without a spotter. It can also be done with a partner or in a group. i.e. family members, friends or colleagues.  It is a fun activity that almost anyone can do and it's a good way to incorporate fitness without too much thought or effort since you can do it anywhere. You can also use jumping roping as a team building event or a competition.  *How many jumps can you do in a minute? How many jumps can you do without stopping or messing up? What kind of variations of jumping rope can you do? 
  • With all of these amazing benefits and conveniences of jump roping, why not start today? But first things first. As with any sport or fitness activity, finding the right equipment for you is the most important component.  If you choose to buy a jump rope, the best way to know what is the right size for you is to stand in the center of the rope and hold the handles in your hand. You should be able to bring the handles up to your armpits. 
  • Second, technique and form! Believe it or not, jump roping is not as easy as it may sound or look when, especially if you've watched a boxer train. It is a skilled movement that requires mental concentration, coordination and timing. Here are some tips from Sparkpeople.com.
  • 1. Hold the handles with a firm grip, elbows CLOSE TO YOUR SIDES. 
  • 2. Make small circles with wrists while turning the rope. Try not to make large circles because this will incorporate more movement from the full arm rather than just the wrist. 
  • 3. Keep torso relaxed, head lifted and gaze ahead for balance. I find that if I look down at my feet as I jump rope, I lose my balance and trip on the rope. 
  • 4. Jump only high enough to clear the rope.
  • 5. During jumping, the rope should skim the surface lightly.
  • 6. Always land softly on the balls of your feet
  • 7. NEVER sacrifice good jumping form or technique for form. 
So now that you know how to find the right jump rope for you and learned the proper technique, get our there and be a kid again. Jump rope for fitness and fun. 

Stay active and anything is possible!
      

*Content came from Sparkpeople.com and a study completed the Research Quarterly, a journal of the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Research 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

To Bean or not to Bean


If you're like most people, you started off your day with a cup of coffee. I admit, I sometimes start my morning off with organic coffee with steamed almond milk topped with cinnamon. I love the smell of coffee but I love the emotions that I associate with having my occasional morning coffee.  The sun has not yet come up, it's peaceful and very quiet. I sit with my coffee and reflect on my intention set for that day and visualize how I want my day to be. Then I dive right in with purpose and meaning. 

Coincidently, I read one of my favourite blogs this morning and her topic was about "how much is too much caffeine?"  It gives a wonderful breakdown of the make up of caffeine and it's effects on the body and mind.  I hope you'll find it helpful and that it will inspire you to make a choice to reduce your intake or maybe even eliminate it entirely!


http://kriscarr.com/blog-video/caffeine-addiction/

Stay active and anything is possible!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tips for eating out


The holidays may well be over but somehow other social events sneak up on you and before you know it, you're eating out again. i.e. birthdays, family or work events, baby showers, etc. So how do you enjoy these events without over indulging, feeling bloated, tired, and possibly hung over? By making smart and healthier choices.

Here are some tips to help you enjoy eating out without feeling guilty.

1. Eat something healthy before you go out such as small bowl of low fat plain yogurt with fresh fruit, a small bowl high-fibre cereal with almond milk and topped with cinnamon. Think high fibre foods to help
reduce hunger and keep you full longer

2. On arrival, drink a glass of water. This will also help you feel fuller and help you from reaching for that
glass of wine too soon! Speaking of wine, if you do order a cocktail, be sure to drink water as well. This will help you from dehydrating and it will help you feel more full. (not to mention decrease the effects of alcohol)

3. When the bread basket comes around the table, (which you should ignore) after everyone has their
share, don't hesitate to ask the waiter to remove it from the table. The longer it's there the more
tempted you may be to have one! (or two, or three)

4. Start with a soup or salad before your main meal. Be sure to choose soups that are vegetable or
bean based. This will help you to feel full which will decrease the likelihood of having dessert later on.

For salads, always ask for dressing on the side. Restaurants tend to be too generous with the amount
they put on their salads, especially Caesar salads.

5. Skip the baked/mashed potatoes (even sweet potatoes) and rice. (unless the restaurant has brown or
wild rice and maybe even quinoa) Instead, ask the waiter for two other vegetables instead with no butter or at least ask for butter on the side.

6. Choose low fat cuts of meat or skinless poultry (or poultry that you can easily remove the skin).
Fish and shellfish are also excellent choices but chose options that are grilled or baked. Stay away from breaded, battered and definitely fried for any kind of meat or poultry!

7. For your main dish, ask for sauces on the side.

8. Desserts. This is a challenge for me and I'm sure I'm not alone! If available, fresh fruits are your best
option and I don't mean fresh fruits accompanied with cheese cake, pie or ice cream!  But, if you have to
try that specialty dessert, ask for extra forks and share it.

9. If you are a coffee drinker and like to end a meal with nice fresh cup of joe or espresso, ask for
decaffeinated. Or, why not try an herbal tea? Restaurants are offering much more varieties these days and some herbal teas even help with digestion and curb sugar cravings.

10. Last but not least, make sure you eat and chew your food SLOWLY.  Often I'll try and chew my food
at least 20 times before swallowing. But who has time to count when you're engaged in a conversation?
Instead, try putting your fork down between every mouthful. This will not only help your digestion system
work better, you'll have more time to savour and taste your meal.


Now that you have some tips for eating out at restaurants, why not apply them to dinner parties? You can even apply them when eating in the comforts of your own home.


Stay active and anything is possible!
Donna


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

High Intensity Interval Training and Yoga

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is all the rage right now and for good reason. It pushes you to work harder and to get out of your comfort zone. But for most people, one of the best benefits of HIIT training is that it saves you time as you burn off more calories, improve your cardiovascular level and lose more fat. I love HIIT and I often use this method for my clients who are capable of performing this type of training and who enjoy it. Well, enjoy is relative of course. But I also encourage my clients to balance their fitness programs with yoga and finding a style of yoga that works for them. As a HIIT advocate, when I began practicing yoga as part of my Ironman training last summer, I found it challenging to go from high impact workouts into a space of stillness and quietness. But after a few months, I discovered that my yoga practice was not just physical, it taped into my emotional and mental state of mind.

Here`s an article that explores the benefits of yoga from a weight loss perspective. However, I found that this article goes way beyond weight loss. Have a read and discover for yourself what yoga can do for you.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=you_asked_can_yoga_help_me_lose_weight