About Me

My photo
BCRPA Weight Trainer * BCRPA Group Fitness Leader * BCRPA Personal Trainer * Cory Holly Institute Principles of Sports Nutrition Education Program * Body Training System Group Power Instructor *Body Training System Group Centergy Instructor * CORE Conditioning Instructor * TKO Fitness Instructor * Boot Camp Leader

Monday, October 25, 2010

MOMMY MONDAY: Warm-up, Cooldown and Stretching Tips & Reminders

For some women, unfortunately, exercising is NOT an option. Fortunately, ALL women can do non-abrasive stretches as well as dynamic soft movements to keep the body engaged.

Here are a few key things to keep in min:

1.Dynamic stretches move the joints through range of motion as part of a specific warm-up.

2.Allowing a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes for stretching; a comprehensive training session may require 30 to 40 minutes.

3.Do 1 or 2 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions (for each stretch exercise you perform)

4.If a particular stretch causes discomfort, try an alternative. Stretching show NEVER be painful. (I always say on a scale of 1-10, it should be at a 2 or a 3)

5.Include one stretch for each major muscle group.

6.If a particular muscle group is stiff, stretch it first and last.

7.If the muscle is contracting to support your weight it cannot lengthen; therefore all exercises that are designed to lengthen muscles should be done passively to a relaxed manner.

8.Stay within your normal range of motion when doing dynamic warm-up. Don’t over-stretch.

9.When doing stretches, do not use any resistance.

10.Ankles, legs and hands often swell during pregnancy. Try elevating feet and pumpkin ankles to reduce the swelling.

11.Watch yourself in a mirror to ensure proper form and alignment.

Until next time Mama’s, it is always better to do many short stretches throughout the day than to do none at all!

Health respect & happiness,

Monday, October 11, 2010

MOMMY MONDAY: Nutrition and Pregnancy

The phrase, “You are what you eat,” holds true for yourself, but when you are pregnant or nursing, your baby is what you eat (or don’t eat).

You’ve heard people who make such claims as they ate junk food during the entire term, or even smoked or drank alcohol, and still had a healthy baby. If this is true, they are extremely lucky indeed. But, have you ever investigated the true “health” of this child? Do they get sick often, have allergies, injure easily, is accident prone, or have any mental, behavioural, or learning problems? Are they in a high-risk category for cancer heart disease? And what effects with the mother’s unhealthy behaviour have on babies born to future generations of the family?

So many questions and factors that people don’t bother to ask or find out. Your baby may appear healthy on the outside, but it’s what is going on inside that you should be most concerned about. So while you take great care to exercise and stretch properly, make sure you complete the balance with great nutrition care to ensure your child gets the absolute highest chances of optimal health.

You are in total control of your child’s health during the pregnancy and nursing period. If you are prone to “junk-food” cravings or have habits with cigarettes and/or alcohol, I would say it is in your best interest to lay off all that while you have the responsibility of another humans life in your hands. You wouldn’t go running into walls while you are pregnant would you? Of course not!! You could harm or kill your baby! The exact same principle stands for nutrition!

The Mother-Child Connection

The fetus shares all available nutrients with the mother, who is in charge of what, when, and how much is consumed. Nutrients from food and oxygen are carried from the mother’s bloodstream into the placenta, then through the umbilical cord to the fetus. Once the fetus uses what it needs, it sends back any waste material back through the umbilical cord to the mother’s bloodstream for excretion. For these exchanges to happen, the healthy placenta is vital. If the mother’s nutrient stores are not sufficient in the first trimester when the placenta is developing, the baby’s development could be compromised.

Until next time Mommys, begin healthy nutrition practice for your child BEFORE they are born and watch what amazing healthy beings they will turn out to be!

Health respect & happiness,

Thursday, October 7, 2010

WARNING WEDNESDAY: Principles of Sports Nutrition, Week 1

Yesterday marked my first class with The Cory Institute (CHI) Principles of Sports Nutrition Course! As promised, the following day I will give you a quick summary of the goods I have to reveal.

You may wonder why this particular topic doesn’t fall under FOODY FRIDAY (considering its about ‘nutrition’). The reason behind it is because the information that is being taught are scientific discoveries that CONTRADICT everything we have been brought up to believe and currently are doing right now. The processed and genetically modified food companies out there pump out ads and tantalizing visuals of beautiful people eating their products to keep you interested and trusting so you will not think twice biting into a greasy meal from a fast food joint or enjoying a couple of glasses of pop or liquor.

So I shall present you the facts, the research, the information that will give YOU the power to decide and act on what type of quality life you would like to proceed with. It is, in fact, YOUR life-and no one else’s.

Each week we cover 10 different principles of sports nutrition.
Today’s topics are as followed:

Can be summed up as feeding the body the necessary supplies to meet the biological demand for movement. The uniqueness of the program is formed to suit the uniqueness of the individual’s DNA and needs. For example, a tri-athlete would have a completely different nutrition program designed for them compared to a natural bodybuilder. Or someone who is in their mid-20’s and is super lean would be very different from someone who is 40 and has apparent growing belly fat.
One of the most disturbing and scary facts is that most health care practitioners do not specialize in any of this. Health is directly related to what you eat and how you move, so why is it that no health care practitioners are educated in this field at all?
Well, not everyone does sports Beki, why should it be mandatory?
What are you talking about?
Life IS a sport.

This is the application of the information to the uniqueness of the science. Imagine if you will, a roadmap to the biggest prize of your dreams, in your hands. You have a place where you start and it shows you exactly how to get to X. HOW you travel to get to your dream prize is your art. Will you run all the way there? Walk with your eyes closed? Will you plan a lot of stops along the way to nap and snack on food? It is the quality of the execution, the precision, the movement…if I were you, I would find the best and fastest stunt driver to take me to the X!
In relation to our topic, it would be choosing whole foods and taking good quality dietary vitamins and supplements and training with a lot of attention to proper technique, alignment…etc. (Or it could be the OPPOSITE-as there are people who will do nothing with the canvas and brushes they have been given to paint the art of their life…)

The never-ending search for truth is this. It is the investigation, the research behind sports nutrition. The outcome is what it is and we have to live with it. The safety and evidence of the research is there for all to know, it is up to the person to take the facts and then decide how to proceed with it (which links to the art, which we already discussed above).
Be mindful of the length of time studies are being done. It has to be a minimum of 6 months, preferably more of course, to be considered valid.

Health is a state of mind. You cannot be or begin to be healthy if your mind isn’t well. A great quote from Dr. Cory Holly on optimum health is, “A balance of complete spiritual, metaphysical, emotional, mental, physical, sexual, financial, and social well-being.”
Did you guys know that a human life is 120 years? Through scientific evidence, they have been able to determine the life span of a normal healthy human life. So why aren’t we using the science to make sure we get the 120 years we have been blessed with?
To determine if you are optimally healthy, you need to have a fitness assessment and full body composition done with a fitness professional. Looking at yourself in the mirror and liking what you see doesn’t cut it. I personally know and see too many ‘skinny-fat’ people around…or people who are physically imbalanced.


Muscle is “the seat of our health”. Consider it “the gold” inside your body. Some people have a crazy notion that they can train without ever doing resistant training. You stop training your muscles, they will shrivel up. Your bones begin to lose density mass and you are sliding down a slippery slope of osteoporosis! Nerves are aligned through your muscular-skeletal system which carry messages from your brain to the rest of your body. Lack of muscle training actually widens the junction between the nerve sensors that pass the messages!
Also, glutamine is an amino acid that is very important to the immune system-which happens to be produced in the myosite!
But be careful, overusing or over-training the muscles can cause inflammation.

The biggest myth is the assumption that we get everything we need from what we eat. Do you really believe that YOU, yourself have eaten everything that is required for you to eat to achieve proper nutrition? (chips, eating out, bacon and eggs, subway sandwiches…these do not count)
Food for thought: The two things in common for all diseases are dehydration and high acidic levels in the body. (So drink a lot of water-alkalized preferably-and choose foods low in the acidic scale.)


What is more important-exercise or nutrition? Neither-they are both of equal importance to achieve optimal balanced health. But an even better question is: What comes first-exercise or nutrition? The answer: MOVEMENT. You got to get off your butt first to get the food that will give you energy to exercise. And exercise is NOT an option Team. You must do some form of exercise. There is a big difference from physical activity! Exercise is like therapy, it is programmed and set up to be executed with proper form and done consistently.


If you exercise regularly and correctly, add nutrition (that fits to your DNA) as well as dietary supplements. So called ‘fresh’ produce in supermarkets are basically a week old! They have lost 40-80% of their nutrition value in that time. The dietary supplements will reinforce the diet to make it BETTER.


Dr.Cory Holly gave a great quote: “The difference between us is more important than the similarities.”
Everyone thinks differently and have different goals and needs to be treated as such. You know that phrase, “One man’s food is another man’s poison”? That’s a great line to show how biochemical individuality is so important.

“Bio” means life. This is the source of medicine that is produced in symmetry to your life to encourage natural healing. Choose organic whole foods that nature so graciously supplied us with. Everyone should begin fasting. And not necessarily from food altogether, we’re talking about something more specific like: refined foods, bad emotions, stressful situations, failing and bad relationships..etc. Choose only the very positive to enrich and medicate your life with.

Until next time Team, Health = Energy and Energy = CHI and without CHI, there is no Life.

Health respect & happiness,

Monday, October 4, 2010

MOMMY MONDAY: How to relieve posture-related aches and pains

As the pregnancy progresses, it’s normal to feel mild aches and pains as your bones, joints and muscles adapt to the changes in your body. Following the next few tips can help alleviate this pain when it occurs. If you experience worsening or chronic back, hip, heck, or shoulder pain, your caregiver should be informed.

-Strengthen the upper back, abdominals, glutes, and hamstrings.
-Stretch the lower back, chest, hip flexors, and piriformis.
-Practice the postural exercises mentioned in MOMMY MONDAY blog post from Aug.30th.
-Modify your workout and certain exercises to minimize back strain.
-Use a firm mattress or a bed board.
-Use a maternal back belt ONLY when necessary (becoming reliant on it will be more detrimental in the long run, DON’T let that happen!)
-For chronic pain, consider massage and physical therapy (my chiropractor, Dr.Sheu, mentioned in THERAPEUTIC THURSDAY blog post from Sept. 9th has helped many prenatal women-highly recommend!)

-Strengthen the upper back and neck.
-Stretch the chest.
-Stretch the neck forward, to the sides, and in half circles from one shoulder to the other. (Bending your head backward could strain your cervical spine)
-Use a firm mattress.
-Use pillows to rest your top arm and leg on when lying on you side.
-Wear a bra at night.
-Get neck and shoulder massages. (a great excuse to bother your partner about!!)

-Wear low-heeled shoes
-Spend less time sitting down (it tightens the hips flexors and piriformis)
-Stretch the hip flexors and piriformis.
-Try some hip mobility exercises. (such as the pelvic tilt: anterior, posterior and lateral)
-If the pain is severe, you may need to walk with crutches until after your pregnancy.

It really depends on the severity of the pain to determine relief methods. If you experience it only when the baby shifts position which causes pinches on the nerve, stretching the piriformis may help. If you’re feeling chronic sciatic pain throughout the pregnancy, massage, rest, and relaxation may be your only relief. (However, I have been told by patients who have been treated by Dr. Sheu, that they have felt much improvement in their conditions-so it doesn’t hurt to ask around for more available options that may help you.)

Until next time Mammas, you’re already dealing with the whole pregnancy thing-lets try to keep this “pain thing” a minimal eh?

Health respect & happiness,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

WARNING WED: Nutritional Lies of the 21st Century

I had the greatest opportunity today to attend a short but extremely informative seminar hosted by INFOFIT Educators (Andre Noel Potvin) and The Cory Holly Institute (Dr. Cory & Tracy Holly), also known as CHI.

Andre, as always, displayed his super enthusiasm in regards to body fat and how each individual will develop, hold, and lose this body fat according to their specific genetic make up. For once, he was merely the appetizer for a seminar-the main course to devour was what Dr. Cory Holly had in stored for us.

This was my first time meeting Cory and Tracy. And what a team they are! It is an honour to be put into a room with individuals such as they (and Andre) and to have the chance to listen to the passion that comes with the knowledge they want to share. Truly inspirational and motivating for anyone, fitness related or not.

So- what is the deal with these nutritional lies? That is a pretty big claim to make on the food market today, which we have grown up with and trusted for many many years. But is it really? Look around you, you do not need to be a scientist or doctor for that matter to realize there is something wrong here.
The world is at the highest percentage for cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, allergies, brain disorders, and any other nasty disease out there-ever. Everyday new technology is made to ‘find a cure’ or a pill is prescribed to ‘make you better’. But are we getting any better? Again, I ask you to take a look around you. NO, we are not!

Dr.Cory Holly has spent years researching the science behind food and revealed only a few disgusting and scary truths behind what lies the market has been brainwashing us with. In 2 weeks time, I will be beginning my 12 week course on “Nutritional First-aid” with CHI and anticipate more truths unveiled. So make sure you check back every Warning Wednesday to keep yourself updated and in the know!

I will leave you with just a few things to ponder right now.

Unless you are drinking raw, untouched milk freshly squeezed from a cow that has the luxury of grazing on an open field of grass, don’t touch that crap. Did you know that it is ILLEGAL to go to a farm to get milk like that? Weird, considering that was how us humans used to drink milk for hundreds of years! Not so weird if you knew that MILK has spent gazillions of dollars promoting itself and that you should run to your local grocery store to buy if you want strong and healthy bones.
If I asked you what is a great source of calcium-you would probably answer with “Milk!” and maybe “Yoghurt!” as a close second. But that is what they have brainwashed you to think! You may think they have you in their best interest-but they don’t. Everything we eat/drink are for profit, NOT health. They want us to keep spending the money on items that they KNOW are detrimental to our health. Its true-look at some facts about milk:
-Pasteurized milk changes the ‘health benefits’ they claim to have so we get NONE of it
-Alcohol is added to milk during this process
-Increases diabetes
-Causes damage to the brain
-Many cases of anemia in children
…and sooo much more!

I cannot understand why more and more women today choose to give their newborn babies formula over the best and most nutritious thing available to them: breast milk. Its free, its easily mobile, it doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge, and it has EVERYTHING your baby needs during the most important growing years of their lives. I am ashamed of the female race, how some decide that the way they look superficially will determine the option they choose to nourish their children.
Here are some eye opening facts about formula:
-Is so genetically altered that it is almost like a poisonous drug that you are pushing on your baby, and they will get addicted…
-Omega 3’s are distorted and cannot be consumed (that is to help brain development-yes, very important!)
-Considered dead food, sterile, all nutrients that are found in breast milk are GONE.

I know some of this will be hard to swallow because it is the complete opposite of what you have been told or what you think you know.
But just think, we have been derived from Nature- don’t you think our Mother would supply us with whatever nutrients we require? And it’s all there, in whole and organic foods. When we start messing with that, it’ll only piss her off and cause our own health to go down.

I will continue with this specific and extremely amazing topic on Warning Wednesday until the course is completely over and I really hope that it will change the relationship you have with food and your own body.
I am very excited about this new road we are taking on together Team! If you can tell one friend, your sister, brother, mother, father, anyone close to you, make sure you do it! Everyone deserves to know the truth.

Until next time Team, you must love and nourish your own body before you can do the same with someone else’s.

Health respect & happiness,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mommy Monday: Whats a Kegel?

This day and age, if you are a woman, you more than likely have heard of the kegel. Is it an exercise? A stretch? Something you do when your pregnant?

Having trained a client through her entire pregnancy (she is due in less than a week!!), I couldn’t stress enough how important it was to do these exercises DAILY and as often as possible!
Women need to understand that this particular exercise can and should be done BEFORE you ever get pregnant and long after you give birth.

So, what is a kegel exercise?
It is the contraction and release of the pelvic floor muscles.

The pelvic floor muscles stretch from the sacrum and coccyx (tailbone) to the pubic bone. They act as a support net for the vagina and rectum. These muscles also form the sphincters (circular pelvic floor muscles) around the vagina and anus. These muscles are stretched during labor but if it’s stretched too tightly, an episiotomy, or incision of the muscles, may be done to prevent tearing. To lessen the chances of this, kegels should be performed throughout pregnancy.

Need more reasons? It can also:
-reduce labor pain
-reduce the incidence of hemorrhoids
-minimize or even prevent urinary incontinence
-increase your sexual enjoyment
-decrease the incidence of other pelvic conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse

The last item on the list (Pelvic Organ Prolapse) is the scariest thing I have learnt about having weak and flabby pelvic floor muscles. It is a condition where the pelvic organs literally FALL OUT through the vagina. After reading THAT, I’m sure you won’t need any other incentives to do it.

Until next time Momma’s (and all future to-be mommas!), you can start kegels almost immediately after delivery-so no excuses please!

Health respect & happiness,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Therapeutic Thursday: Natural Healing-Its in You.

I am a firm believer of the body’s innate healing process. It is like we have our very own team of “doctors” imbedded into our nerves that act when they feel we’re getting sick or have hurt ourselves. But it seems that we are dis-servicing ourselves by muting this ability through countless prescriptive drugs, poor nutrition and little to no physical exercise.
Now, just because I believe this, doesn’t mean you should. It is normal to have doubt, to question, to even think its some kind of gimmick! But think on this, Team: Humans did not just happen yesterday. There are a few thousand years behind us that have used nothing but natural medicines and procedures to detox and cure ailments. I’m not talking about sacrificing anything to the gods to give you super human powers-but honestly, can you really argue with a few thousand years of experience and tried and true methods that have worked? Our ancestors found relief through plants that have been provided by our great mother, Nature – you don’t think she also put some of that healing power within us? Our bodies have almost everything it needs to survive, stay strong and be healthy…as long as we feed it, nurture it, exercise it and let it rest.

Some of you non-believers need straight facts in order to even consider all this hocus pocus. And that is what I am going to share with you now, my own experiences.

Having worked in a chiropractic clinic for a few years, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work closely with the doctors and learn from their methods. Our nervous system is amazing, it is THE body’s road map to self healing. These nerves are interconnected with our skeletal system which is interconnected with our muscular system (do you see a pattern?)…Lets say you notice a pain on your side (or pick any body part that you can relate to)..most people pop an advil and away they go. Will this pain come back? Yep. So you just keep popping those pills until eventually-the pain is too much and you go see your medical doctor who will more than likely prescribe something more potent to dull the pain. This is a prime example of us fooling ourselves into thinking that we are ‘healing’ ourselves…sounds more like ‘masking the pain’-for now. (and don’t even get me started on the unnecessary crap in the pills that harm the liver or kidneys as they are the organs that need to filter the pills and get the foreign matter out of your system!)
This is the vicious cycle that I have seen with my own eyes while working in this clinic. By educating our patients on how the body heals itself, we explain to them that we (as in the doctors) look for any blockage through the skeletal system (mainly spinal) that could be causing the ‘messages’ to not get through the nervous system to tell the proper ‘doctors’ within us to start healing. By correcting any spinal misalignments, I have seen people change in as little as 2 or 3 treatments. I, myself, have seen and felt changes that no doctor has been able to help me with for YEARS.

Here are some examples of the ‘changes’ I’m talking about:
-absolutely ZERO back pain or other joint pain (coming from patients who have suffered for years and have taken everything from advil to T3’s or worse!)
-allergies have cleared up (literally..gone)
-headaches disappear, better sleep (insomniacs, migraine sufferers)
-from not being able to do ANY exercises to full on martial arts, snowboarding, yoga..you name it!
-better digestion and bowel movement (who would’ve thought?!)
-regulated menstrual cycles
-people prone to sickness notice they are not getting sick as often or anymore
-improved posture and alignment throughout (I have seen people walk in hunched over wincing from pain to walk out standing upright smiling and practically singing out the door! I do not even exaggerate!)
-a patient born with scoliosis (crooked spine) has lived her life seeing doctors and now is living virtually pain free and comes in for checkups maybe once a month!
-overall increased energy during the day, more focus, happier feelings….etc

Needless to say, the chiropractor that I worked with is a miracle worker. He is too humble to take this sort of compliment but I tell everyone these exact words when describing him. If you are interested in setting up an appointment, you can contact Dr. John Sheu @ 604.738.1168. Click here to visit his website: www. members.shaw.ca/drsheu. Go ahead and tell him I sent you, but there is no referral required to see him. Please note, he uses the Activator Method.

This is but only ONE area of how you can choose alternate, holistic methods to enjoy overall well-being. You can really do yourself a favor by kick starting this innate healing ability within you….everyone has it!

Be aware, I am not condemning using prescriptive drugs or medical doctors at all. I have one who is fantastic and very caring-who I rarely see since I never (yes..its been 5 years I think?) get sick except for our bi-annual checkup. There will always be a time and place to see your General Physician for check ups and such, but wouldn’t it be great if you could say the exact same thing I just said? That you haven’t gotten sick in so long that you can’t quite even remember when it was? Educate yourself on all the options you have. Make the best decision based on what you feel is right for you, not for your family, your friend, or neighbour. That isn’t being selfish- it is being responsible, for yourself.

I will talk about another great alternative to medical care next week: Naturopathic Healing. Wait til you hear bout my Naturopathic Doctor, she is amazing.

Until next time Team, start treating your body as a whole and reap the benefits of overall well-being for preventative health for EVER instead of for NOW.

Health respect & happiness

Thursday, September 2, 2010


With my 12 week Body Transformation a somewhat failure (on my part..), I am now starting up a new topic for Thursdays. It’ll be the day that I get to talk about things that may not always be about exercise but will still improve your sense of well being and health. It makes perfect sense that to be completely healthy and fit, you have to exercise the body as well as the mind and soul. As you all know, my method to train is very holistic (the body as a whole).

I will pick up on the 12 week Body Transformation challenge again. I have realized that this was not the right time for me mentally and physically. When that time comes, I will know and you will too. =)

For my first topic, I’m sharing with you my experience with Bikram Yoga.

For those who have been living in a rock, Bikram Yoga is basically a 90 min class in a hot room where you do 26 specific poses and 2 breathing exercises one after another.

If you think that sounds simple and easy, you need to get back under your rock…it is far from it! For the ones who have done the class, you may remember how difficult it was to get through the first class…why don’t I remind you?

Like a good student, I took their advice and had my last meal 2 ½ hours before class started and drank A LOT of water throughout the day. By the time I got to class, I was starving and grumpy. But I was determined to finally give this a go and see what the hype was about. The room is pretty tolerable when you first enter, but I was already sweating by the time the class started!

Everything was going pretty well, the fact that I teach a yoga/pilates class probably helped me out a lot. I made through a good hour before I started feeling sick so I laid down and right away, I noticed the rumbling in my tummy and I felt even more sick. Normally when I don’t eat for long periods I get nauseous, grumpy and light headed already, so this situation was not helping at all! Needless to say, each time I got up to attempt the rest of the class, my head would spin and I had to lay down.

Verdict for class #1:
Extremely hard, felt gross, was getting grumpy the hungrier I got BUT felt great the minute I walked out of the room, felt great the day after, and the sweating felt pretty good too. I would say my experience was a 50/50.

My 2nd class was just last night and WOW!! I had a completely different experience. All 26 poses were done with ease. Never once did I feel sick or gross plus, I never once noticed how hungry I was until we were done. Absolutely LOVED it!! I was surprised at how quickly my body adapted to it and am happy to say that I will gladly enjoy my next classes to come!

The second I stepped out of that hot room, an immense feeling of tranquility settled into my body and I felt so relaxed. Because the entire 90 mins is so intense and you are concentrating and focusing on the poses, there is literally no room for anything else to think about or consider. Your mind, for ONCE, is completely free of your daily normal stresses. For ONCE, your brain can’t think about how to impress your latest crush or what you will make for dinner for the family that night. It is all about YOU and it is a feeling that is indescribably wonderful. This feeling follows you home and nestles you to bed and is still there to greet you in the morning. Yes, I am still on this natural holistic high!

I confess, I was sceptical at the safety of the class (being in such a hot room and doing some poses that look like it would hurt the body rather than help it, not being allowed to leave, being on an empty stomach…etc) and wondered if I would enjoy it at all. As a fitness professional, I feel it is my duty to make sure I at least attempt different styles of fitness out there to ensure I am always up to date with the cutting edge information and techniques as well as give honest and personal opinions and suggestions if a client is to ever inquire about it, so I banished the ego and gave it a go. I am happy to eat my words and am even happier to be able to let the other sceptics or anyone who may just be afraid to try out a Bikram class, know that YES-there are magnificent benefits and your mind, body and soul will feel it immediately.

Personally, I would continue to do Bikram Yoga for this holistic benefit, to feel good and be happy rather than to lose weight. But I assure you, weight loss is a definite benefit should you take the class for that reason. And lastly, make sure you find an instructor that works well for you. It is so important when taking a class (or hiring a trainer!) to have a good feeling from the instructor-this is YOUR happy and relaxing time (or crazy workout time in the case of a personal trainer) and if the instructor doesn’t make you feel good, most likely the class won’t feel good. You wouldn’t want to carry THAT feeling home with you or wake up the next morning with that feeling either!

Until next time Team, namaste.

Health respect & happiness,

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TIP TUESDAY:: Pre & Post Workout Nutrition Tips

If you thought this is an easy end all be all type of answer, then you are wrong. Variables that can dramatically change what you eat depend on when you have your workout and when you have the time to fuel up. Also, your body type, personal fitness goal and type of workout you are doing can again change your food options.

We’re going to take a little in-depth look into each macronutrient first to understand their purposes so that you can make better decisions for yourself.

Carbohydrates: Fuel of Choice

If you have educated yourself at all about the misunderstood carb, you will know that it is quite literally the high-octane fuel for exercise and this should take up the highest portion of nutrients out of your daily food intake. How much? How about at least 55% of your total calories? For my more technical subscribers, you should consume approx. 3.0 – 4.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. If your sport is low key-not a lot of non-stop running around-stick to the lower range. If your part of the higher endurance category, you’d choose the higher range. Obviously these are the 2 extremes; most athletes (yes, we are all athletes!) would fall in the middle ranges. In fact, play around with the ranges and see where your body feels most vigorous.

Lets take a short trip back to basic math class. I’ll even make it easy for you, go grab a calculator! You are going to multiply your weight in pounds by 3.0 grams (for moderate sports) and 4.5 grams (strenuous endurance sports). Because 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories, you will need to multiply the first two answers you have by 4 to find your ranges.
Here’s an example for a 150 lb elite runner training for several hours each day:
150 lbs x 4.5 grams = 675 grams of carbs
675 grams of carbs x 4 calories = 2700 carb calories
Now for a typical 150 lb health club member working out moderately for 45 mins, 4-5x/week:
150 lbs x 3.0 grams = 450 grams of carbs
450 grams of carbs x 4 calories = 1800 carb calories

Carb-rich foods are the food of choice for athletes. Carbs provide the muscles ongoing energy in the form of glucose and help maintain prolonged endurance and optimal performance.

Common High-Carb Foods:
Medium bagel (45 grms) 2 slices whole wheat bread (23 grms) 1 cup of oatmeal (25 grms) 1 cup cereal-ready to eat (16 grms) 10 crackers (21 grms) 1 cup pasta-cooked (40 grms) 1 cup rice (35 grms) granola bar (16 grms) 1 oz. Pretzels (21 grms) 2 fig bars (23 grms) power bars (42 grms) banana (27 grms) 8 oz O.J. (26 grms) med. baked potato (51 grms) ½ cup peas (11 grms) ½ cup corn (17 grms) 1 cup skim milk (12 grms) 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt (18 grms) 1 cup low-fat yogurt (43 grms) 1 cup beans (41 grms)

And Introducing: Muscle Glycogen
Muscle glycogen is the stored carbs in your muscles. Imagine this: After you eat and have digested, the amount of carbs you need immediately will be used up as fuel, but the rest (up to a point) will hangout in your muscles as “energy stores” for future fuel during prolonged exercises (athletes in ultra-endurance sports such as soccer, basketball, hockey and marathon runners rely on high-octane muscle fuel for energy).

So what happens if you don’t replenish your muscle glycogen stores? Simple: You run out of glycogen, you run out of energy. Always tired or run down? A vigorous training program alone can obviously cause you to feel that way but you may also want to look into your carb consumption. Keeping a food log and do the math; you may find an easy solution to your problem.

CAUTION* Active people might continuously burn loads of carb calories, but your muscles can only store a certain amount of carbs. If you’re not using what is already there, you’ll just end up putting on weight!

Heard Of Carbo-Loading?
It is exactly what it sounds like-loading your body with ginormous amounts of carbs before an event. Marathoners and triathletes can actually manipulate their exercise and eating schedule to help heighten their amount of stored muscle glycogen. Picture your car running on the last drop of gas…putt putt…putt…psssssshhh..dead. That’s basically what happens to your muscle glycogen stores during intense prolonged aerobic activity. By super saturating muscles with carbs beforehand, an athlete can ensure that their stores are maximally loaded.

Start this program 6 days before your event:

Exercise Schedule Time
Day 1 90 minutes => 50% of carbs in daily diet
Day 2 40 minutes => 50% of carbs in daily diet
Day 3 40 minutes => 50% of carbs in daily diet
Day 4 20 minutes => 70% of carbs in daily diet
Day 5 20 minutes => 70% of carbs in daily diet
Day 6 REST => 70% of carbs in daily diet

Personal Protein Requirements
Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle tissue as well as repairing the muscle damage from the workout it has endured. You must remember, eating protein enriched foods does not automatically build bigger muscles…YOU build bigger muscles through your training workouts. The dietary protein simply allows all your hard work to pay off. So go ahead and take the credit! It had nothing to do with all the protein powder you shovelled in each day.

Athletes have a much higher recommendation than for the general population. Just keep in mind that your total proportion should still be high in carbs, moderate in protein and low in fat.
Find your exercise category in the list below, and then multiply your weight (pounds) by the number of recommended daily protein (grams per pound) to the right. That would be your personal daily requirement.

Exercise Category

Sedentary folks => 0.36 grms
Moderate exercisers => 0.36 – 0.5 grms
Endurance athletes => 0.5 – 0.8 grms
Strength athletes => 0.6 – 0.8 grms
Growing teenage athletes => 0.6 – 0.9 grms

Pre-Exercise Meals
-Large meals (approx 600-800 cals) should be consumed at least 3-4 hours prior
-Stick with carb-rich foods and moderate amounts of lean protein. The carbs are both loaded with energy and easy to digest. Avoid eating a lot of high-fat stuff; it takes longer to leave your stomach, and you don’t want food bouncing along for the ride.
-Avoid super high-fiber foods that can cause annoying stomach gurgles, or send you running to the bathroom right before kickoff!
-Limit gaseous foods such as beans, Brussels sprouts, grapes, broccoli, and anything else you think might give you a gassy tummy.
-Liquid meals are also fine. Some prefer liquid supplements because they don’t leave you feeling as full as a large meal of equal calories does. In fact, they leave your tummy quicker than solid food.
-Lay off salt. Some people tend to retain a lot of fluid, which can lead to puffiness and discomfort.
-Reduce the size of your food intake as you approach the time of your workout. For example: 3-4 hours before, have a large meal (approx. 600-800 cals); 2-3 hours before, have a smaller meal (approx. 400-500 cals); less than 2 hours before, grab some lighter snacks (cereal bars, fruit, flavoured rice cakes, fruit juice, yogurts, and so on).

What time is your training session? Check out the sample menus and get an idea of the foods you should choose.
Ready-Made Menu:
Breakfast (for late morning or early afternoon workout)
Bowl of cereal with skim milk
Sliced bananas
Bagel with jam
Glass of orange juice

Lunch (for late afternoon or evening workout)
Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread
Salad with light dressing
Frozen yogurt with sliced strawberries
Glass of low-fat milk or juice

Dinner (for an early next morning workout or “anytime the next day” workout)
Grilled chicken
Pasta with marinara sauce
Broccoli and carrots
Fruit salad
2 fig bars
glass of skim milk

Recovery Foods
Finally, we made it here! It is very important to know that carb and fluid repletion should begin immediately, within an hour after exercise, to promote a quick recovery. (Just grab a quick fruit juice or sports drink if you don’t have any snacks on hand) When you can focus on a real meal, enjoy whatever you fancy; just make sure to include the following essentials:
-Plenty of fluids: water, real fruit juice, sports drinks, soups, and watery fruits and veggies (watermelon, grapes, oranges, tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers).
-A lot of carb-rich foods: whole wheat pasta, potatoes, brown rice, whole grain breads, fruits, yogurts, and so on.
-Moderate amounts of lean protein (turkey, chicken breast, wild salmon, tofu..so on)
-Potassium-rich foods such as potatoes, bananas, oranges, orange juice, and raisins.
-Do not attempt to replenish lost sodium by smothering your food in salt or by popping dangerous salt tablets. A typical meal, moderately salted, supplies more than enough sodium to replace the amount lost through sweat.

As you can see, food can make all the different between a good workout to a great workout. You’d want to reach your full potential, so pay attention to what you put into your body!

Until next time Team, focusing on the right mix of carbs, proteins and fats will leave you feeling great, and you’ll have more energy and strength for a winning performance!

Health respect & happiness,

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mommy MONDAYS: Postural Exercises

Getting postural exercises down perfectly can take some practice but if you want to have a pregnancy term as comfortable as possible, don’t give up until they are mastered. The benefits you reap from proper body alignment will make you never want to slouch again – during OR after pregnancy!

Stand with your back pressed against a wall and your feet about a foot from the wall. Slowly and carefully do a posterior pelvic tilt. à Tuck the buttocks or tail bone in and under, and press your lower back into the wall by pulling in the belly (think bellybutton to spine). Your head, shoulders, and entire backside of the torso should touch the wall at the same time. As easy as it may sound, this can be very difficult-especially when you’re pregnant.
Return to the beginning posture with the same carefulness as your started and make sure you are breathing normally.
The image below shows the beginner version, the advanced will look the same with the arms straight over the head.


Once you mastered the above version, you should begin this one. Everything starts off the same way as the beginner version. Once you are in the beginner posture, hold the pelvic tilt and slowly lift your arms in front of you-using your upper back muscles as opposed to your shoulders-until they are straight over your head, as close to the wall as possible. This is a much harder exercise to master because your lower back wants to move from the wall as your arms rise. You must maintain the integrity of your back and shoulders away from the ears. Lift your arms only as high as they can go without arching your back from the wall! Once this is mastered, the entire back of your torso and arms will touch the wall.

So, you’re not pregnant? Or you know some people who could use some help with their posture? These exercises can (and should) be done by anyone, any fitness level.

Until next time team, keep practicing good posture-its just good manners! ;)

Health respect & happiness,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WARNING WEDnesday: Are you an imbalanced mess?

Do you fall in any of these categories?
-Your biceps can lift a substantially heavier weight than your triceps? (or vice versa)
-You can pound the weights for your squats but when it comes to lunges, you can’t seem to match even half of that weight?
-Doing a row is easy peasy but you can’t do a proper push up to save your life?

If so, you have been infected with the case of imbalanced mucles!


Don’t worry…its very easily remedied.

Firstly, please understand why its important to be balanced.

When one side is always stronger than the other, when you start to challenge the weaker side, what may happen is the stronger opposite muscles will compensate because the weaker muscles don’t want to work harder… that can lead to a whole another topic about improper contraction, alignment and technique- which I can cover another time.
How about posture? The stronger side will cause the body to stay more ‘contracted’ on that side while the opposite gets ‘overstretched’… (think protracted shoulder blades from a weak back)
Health problems!! You could be faced with such as tendonitis, bursitis, osteoarthritis, neuritis, scoliosis, hammer toe, and other distortions of the human body in your future!

I think that is more than enough reasons, don’t you?

How do you know if you are imbalanced?

Well, how much weight can your biceps handle? Does your triceps match it? And your chest/back muscles? (you can go down your whole body…) Of course, one muscle group may be a bit stronger than the other and that is normal. I’m talking about a substantial weight difference. (I know someone who can squat a hefty amount of weights but can’t seem to handle any weights for her lunges! That’s a prime example)

Once you figure out which muscle groups are lacking the equality of strength, you will need to start to focus on getting that one stronger. Maybe do more reps on that side…add a few extra exercises that target that area in a session…push through a heavier weight…in some cases, you might even have to cut back training the stronger side so the weaker one can catch up.
You should always be training out of your comfort zone – so when it starts to get too easy, change it up or increase the weights!!

When balance is restored, you will notice an immense improvement in your overall workouts. And not just the resistant training, I’m talking about cardio as well as flexibility! Listen to your body, read it…you should notice it! Looking in the mirror can help too, because you should be able to see a difference.

Until next time Team, a healthy life is all about balance….mind, body and breath. =)

Health respect & happiness,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

TIP TUESday: If all else fails, can energy healing help? MY personal experience...

I must advise you, my loyal reader, that what you will be reading may send you on a whirlwind of emotions. This subject should be taken with a grain of salt since every individual may have different view points on it. I am not asking that you believe it nor am I hoping that I can change your mind. But this is my personal experience and it is too amazing to not share with you. If you choose to take this tip to heart and try it out yourself, I would love to hear about your experience and how it has helped.

And the story begins…

While in Mexico, I was befriended by a kind hearted older man and woman. Even with the language barrier between us, we were able to build a great friendship very quickly. From the beginning, the man, named Roberto, would often refer to my positive and good vibe that attracted his attention. Then he would also mention a bad energy he felt too. At first, I thought maybe he noticed I was vacationing alone and thought I was lonely and sad. But I eventually found out Roberto is in fact, a doctor- an energy healer.

I was so impressed and kept asking him questions about what kind of energy he felt from me and where the negative energy was coming from and what he could do about it. He became very frustrated because he could barely explain anything to me (he spoke very little English, he is from Mexico City).

After a lot of failed attempts, I finally just asked him if he could perform whatever he does to heal his patients on me so I can just see it for myself instead of deciphering wild arm motions. To my surprise, he said yes!

I first asked him where he felt the bad energy is coming from my body. He said two places, he pointed at my head and then my torso.
~ I couldn’t believe it because its true, I have my weak liver that I am treating and as for my head, I’m not a stress case but I know I think a lot. Too much in fact…
I confirmed with him my ailments. He then asked me about children. And again I was floored, because I have menstrual complications and have been deeply concerned I would not be able to have any children. So I confirmed that with him as well.

He tried to explain to me the process which left him tongue tied since he didn’t know the English terms. Then he tried to explain to me how the negative energy gets released and I just got more confused. So we just scrapped that and proceeded with the ‘healing process’.

I was laying prone (on my belly) and he tells me to repeat everything he says. He then starts to speak in Spanish – I stop him because I have no idea what he is saying. He says to repeat it as close as I think it is. So he continues and I repeat. With every chant, he would move his hands over my head, not quite touching it but close enough that I could feel it. I don’t know how long he did this for because the next thing I knew, he was telling me to flip over to lay supine (on my back).
By now, I’m feeling groggy and tired and out of sorts. I also stopped repeating his chants so I had to restart again on round 2. He continues the healing and again, before I know it, he is telling me to flip back to prone. This time I try to focus better. I listened attentively and tried to feel his motions (they were kind of like a sweeping motion). Eventually, he nudges me awake and I get up in a haze. He jokingly asked me if I fell asleep and I wasn’t even sure how to answer that because it didn’t feel like I fell asleep.

Roberto told me that I will feel a bit tired for a few days but in 5-7 days, the negative energy will all release from my body and I will feel great. He even said that in 7 months time, if I want to have a baby, I will be able to. He didn’t want to bother me anymore after that and insisted that I take a nap for a couple hours and that he’ll see me later on that night.

Now, this is where the nitty gritty stuff happens!!

Within a few minutes, I had to make a bowel movement…maybe that’s not much of a big deal to you-but it is for me! (yes, I have problems with it…) While I sat there in the bathroom considering if this is just a mere coincidence, the lights in there start to flicker on and off (lightly at first, then much more prominently)…you know the “tink tink” sound the bulbs make when they do that? That’s all I could hear! I shut the lights off for a few seconds and switched them back on to see if maybe they needed ‘energizing’ but they continued to flicker. I was too tired to worry about it so I turned them off and settled into my bed. The ceiling light above the bed and the side lamp beside me were on. Within seconds, they started to go “tink tink” and flicker on and off. My first thought? Maybe all the lighting in the room were connected so if one is about to die, they all die? I’ll call front desk later to get someone to switch the bulbs for me…and then I passed out.

I woke up 2 hours later, famished! I got to the buffet and picked my foods and picked a table and sat to eat. Within seconds of my meal, I hear the “tink tink” sound again…I look above me and theres a chandelier type lighting set flickering on and off right above the table I was sitting at. By now, I clued in and just knew that all these instances were linked. Then I thought- it must be from the energy healing. Could this be some of the bad energy leaving my body? Or good energy coming into my body? I was super giddy at this revelation but kept it to myself.

After my meal, I saw Roberto and Trini (the woman that was with him) and he asked me how I felt. That was when I noticed I was extremely tired and kinda dopey feeling. Trini had wanted to go dancing again that night but she tripped and rolled her ankle and was limping badly. Roberto went ahead and did some energy healing on her foot while we sat outside and listened to the live band play. We called it an early night and I saw them the next day- which happened to be the day they were leaving.

When I saw Trini, she was walking fine and wasn’t limping at all! I wasn’t as tired so I managed to get in some gym time but that dopey feeling still lingered. It actually lingered until after I got back home to Vancouver. He did the treatment on a Tuesday, and I felt tired and dopey up until Sunday. Monday morning I woke up clear eyed and ready to take on the world! I also happened to see my Liver Specialist that day to go over blood results.
When he saw me, he couldn’t believe the great improvement he saw again from the last bad flare up. (it was so bad he was really pushing the drugs that time!) His actual words: “When I saw your results, they made me smile.” He can’t even bring up the drugs again because now I don’t qualify to take them! Yes-that’s a good thing!!

Its now been a month since then and I feel absolutely fantastic. I still need treatments and doing my regular blood tests, but I know that the ‘scary’ numbers aren’t as scary anymore.

Until next time team, keeping an open mind doesn’t mean having to believe in all the alternative methods of treatments out there… but it sure is nice to know we have a choice in that matter- its your body & health, you decide how you want to take care of it.

Health respect & happiness,

Monday, August 9, 2010

MOMMY MONday: Does your posture stand up to the test?

Greetings Team!
Before I continue w/ the subject at hand..I want to apologize for not being around for so long. After that wonderful trip to mexico, I really fell off the horse, but I’m back! Better than ever!
Okay, shall we continue?

During pregnancy, one of the biggest issues (besides weight gain?) would be posture. With your weight being thrown off balance, your joints will start to bend and form in ways to compensate for the new weight – which usually doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Think the ‘duck walk’..or ‘waddle’… or the forward belly lean (oh! The stress on your poor lumbar vertebrae and erector spinae! ß that’s your lower back)

A few tips to off set this:

Think TALL.
Lift your head and chin up, hold in your stomach, tuck your buttocks in and under, shoulder back, and chest up. Even more important for injury prevention, be careful to keep good posture, alignment and balance when exercising.

DON’T WEAR HEELS!! Wear flat or low-heeled shoes with good arch support. However, avoid shoes that are too flat, such as cheap tennis shoes, especially when exercising. Your feet will thank you for investing in a pair of good, supportive runners!

Wear a good supportive bra daily
– and nightly when necessary. It’ll help prevent upper back strain and keep your bust from sagging as it becomes heavier. During exercise you may need not just one, but two good sport bras for adequate support!

The best way to check your own posture is from the side. Look at your profile in a full length mirror and answer these questions:
1.Is your chest up – or flat/concave?
2.Are your shoulders up and back – or rounded forward or leaning too far back?
3.Is your back curved naturally – or arched too much, or is it flat?
4.Are your knees soft – or hyperextended backward or bent forward?
5.Do you have regular foot arches – or are they high or flat?

The first segment of each question demonstrates proper posture. If any of your answers were in the latter part, you need to work on improving your posture.

Next week I’ll cover some postural exercises for you to practice!

Until next time team, I always say: be proud of who you are, where you are and what you are doing..you’re a mommy- the most proudest pple out there, so stand proud!

Health respect & happiness,


Friday, July 9, 2010

FOODY FRIDAY: Organic, quick, easy and affordable!

I know that some of you don’t believe that healthy can taste good, but I sure have found some quick, simple and easy ways to put together some basic staples and made it taste yummmmy!

They can both be used as breakfast, a snack or even a light lunch!
They’re both also great for dairy, wheat and gluten sensitive folks out there!

2 toasted Artisan wheat/yeast free rye toast
½ avocado
2 hard boiled eggs
*all ingredients are organic

Toast the bread, spread the avocado however way you like, slice the eggs and place on top! Feel free to add a pinch of sea salt if you like, enjoy!!

2 toasted Artisan wheat/yeast free rye toast
garlic goat cheese
4 strawberries
*all ingredients are organic

Toast the bread, spread the goat cheese onto the bread, slice up strawberries and place on top! This is such a refreshing lunch or snack! Mmm..

Until next time team, by incorporating just a few of these healthy meals/snacks a couple times a week, you will begin to want to do more and more..and before you know it, it’ll be 2nd nature!

Health respect & happiness,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

TIP TUESday: Enjoy your vacation without sabotaging your progress!

As we are all aware by now, I enjoyed a whole week in sunny, beautiful puerta vallarta for a week. All inclusive is the way to go for easy breezy non-stressful vacationing. But how did I manage to reap the benefits of the vacationing offerings without hurting my workout regime and progress I have had thus far with my Body Transformation??

Read on my dear friend…

Everyone needs to learn how to relax in a hammock at least once in their life!

I did NOT hold back on what I wanted to eat. (except the obvious things I couldn’t eat..like red meat and alcohol. Yep, those were the only two restrictions I kept up with. I gave in to deep fried, I gave in to dairy, I gave in to…well, you get the point)

The biggest thing I found that helped me was FRAME OF MIND. You are on vacation? Make sure you ENJOY yourself…relax…be happy…stop stressing about food and just ENJOY it! And that doesn’t mean to stuff yourself to the point of combustion, it means to go ahead and taste the different dishes that you want to try and eat until you are content.
**Proven fact: I had a client who used to complain to me about how much she stresses about food and that no matter what she tried she would gain weight and not be able to lose anything. So I told her to STOP thinking about it. To stop stressing about food, and start to eat what she wanted without worrying about her weight. And also balance this out with doing active things which made her happy. She had a hard time wrapping her head around this but said she would try to do this for a month.
What happened? A month later, she sees me with the biggest smile on her face and said that for once, she is happy AND she had lost weight. She stopped worrying about calories, about what she couldn’t eat, and even noticed that she would choose healthier options on her own as well as absentmindedly ate proper portions.
Amazing isn’t it? Not really… its pretty simple. **

Just a FEW of the yummy dishes I put into my belly...

Commit to at least 2-3 days to the gym. I only spent 3 days at the resort gym. All 3 days I hit the weights in the morning. Then later in the day when I needed a break from the sun, I would go back and do a quick 20 min cardio session.

Spend the rest of the days utilizing the beach, pool and disco!!
Walking along the beach and fighting the massive waves was great for my legs and core/stability strength! (only did that 1 day) Also joined one of their activities on the beach..yoga on the beach! (was only 20 mins of stretching really) Spent another day in the pool playing games with locals (which attributed to washing off my sunscreen and causing me to burn!). And finally, had 2 nights of dancing in the disco (3 hours non-stop!) and 1 night dancing out doors to a live Mexican band (I’d say maybe an hour or so).

I didn’t do this during this particular trip (although, my 2 previous Mexican trips I did) but you can sign up for a day excursion or take a taxi ride into town and WALK. A few hours walking through the streets, eating their street food and talking to locals will do you a lot of good!!

Had to show ya their local gym! Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to go inside.

If you haven’t already read the previous post to this, you will notice that my progress is still steadily going great even with this week long break.

Until next time team, when it comes to deciding on vacationing in the middle of a ‘workout goal’-who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?!!??

Health respect & happiness,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Warning Wed: Don’t stop breathing

If you have only been a spectator of personal trainer and trainee workouts, you may have wondered why the trainer keeps reminding them to breathe. Surely, having been breathing since the time of birth, we don’t need such reminders!

You will be surprised to know, that a lot of people have a tendency to hold their breath during the most strenuous part of the exercise. I have also been asked many of times: “What is the proper way to breathe Beki when I’m doing… ?”

Does it really matter?

Yes, it does.

Improper breathing can lead to an increase of blood pressure which can cause a series of not so results: dizziness, light headedness, nausea, hernia, heart attack, even a stroke! It gets even worse for people who have hypertension or high blood pressure already! By disallowing the proper oxygen supply the body and heart demands during an intense workout, the body will react! (its not dumb you know!)

Proper technique is a very simple trick of knowing when you are using energy or force (concentric phase:contraction of the muscle group- exhale here) and when you are on the relaxing (eccentric phase: muscle group is released or stretched back to normal- inhale here).

Another trick I tell my clients is:
Inhale when working with gravity (movement is going down towards the earth; ex: down part of a squat) and exhale when you are working against gravity (upward movement from the earth; ex: straightening the legs up from a squat).

For your cardiovascular training, no need to stress yourself out with different breathing techniques. Just make sure you are breathing..and breathe naturally.

Until next time team, breath is life-you stop breathing, you stop living... so don't stop breathing.

Health respect & happiness,

Monday, June 21, 2010

Momma Monday: Sport & activity options for you!

Who ever said that you should sit on the sidelines just cause you happen to be a little bit pregnant?!

You will be happy to know that there are many options of what you CAN do! Keep in mind though, there will also be a few that you SHOULDN’T do – for obvious reasons (can you imagine sky diving with baby belly in tow?!? Yikes!).


Baseball* ...... Canoeing * ...... ballooning ..... bungee jumping
Basketball* ..... diving ......... downhill skiing * ... Gymnastics
Boxing* ......... scuba diving ...... hang gliding ...... Horseback riding*
Car racing ...... water polo ......... hiking* .......... ice skating*
Fencing ........ water skiing ..... Mountain climbing ... rollerskating*
Field hockey .. whitewater rafting ... sky diving ...... in-line skating
Handball* .... shynchronized swimming .. snowshoeing* ... Sprinting
Ice hockey ........................... snowboarding* .... track & field
Soccer* ................................................. Triathlon*

*some possibilities for modification (with extreme caution) for the first 12 – 20 weeks.


Bicycling* .. aerobics-high impact* .. pool aerobics^ .. badminton* .. Bowling
Crosscountry skiing^ .. aerobics-low impact* .. snorkelling^ .. ping pong .. callisthenics*
Hiking*^ .. cardio-kickboxing* .. swimming^ .. racquetball* .. exercise videos*^
Jogging* .... dancing^ ..... Water toning^ .... squash* ....... golf
Running* .... funk aerobics^ .................... Tennis* ..... martial arts*+
Jump rope* ... Hiphop aerobics^ ............................... pilates*
Plyometrics* ............................................. Rowing machine*^
Walking^ ................................................. ski machine^
Treadmill^ .............................................. stair/step machine^
....................................................... stationary bicycle^
............................................................. stretching^
............................................. strength & weight training*^
............................................................... tae bo*
.............................................................. t’ai chi^
................................................................ yoga*^

*may need modifications throughout pregnancy; some of these activities may need to be eliminated in the late stages.
^can be started by a novice after becoming pregnant.

until next time momma’s, you keep playing for as long as you can! (just be CAREFUL)

health respect & happiness,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WARNing WEDnesday: High Risk Measurements!

{{if any of the images are too small to read the fineprint, click onto the picture and it will enlarge for you to read it!}}

Do you fall into any of these categories??
If you do…or know of someone who does… or is getting CLOSE to these standards…




You might even need some HELP from a trainer…which isn’t such a bad thing.

BodyFat %
Age: ............... Overweight: ................... Obese:
20-40 yrs ...... 33-39% (F) 19-25% (M) ......+39% (F) +25% (M)
41-60 yrs ...... 35-40%(F) 22-27% (M) ....... +40% (F) +27% (M)
61-79 yrs ..... 36-42%(F) 13-25% (M) ....... +42% (F) +30% (M)

Waist to Hip Ratio

The National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) states that:
Women with waist-to-hip ratios of more than 0.8 are at increased health risk because of their fat distribution.

Men with waist-to-hip ratios of more than 1.0 are at increased health risk because of their fat distribution .

BMI (Body mass index)

**keep in mind that if you are an avid weight trainer/body builder...this would NOT apply to you! a more accurate method used for sedentary population or one who is just getting started with fitness**

Waist Measurement

Until next time team, don't let your body go until you HIT any of these dangerous measurements to be concerned...it is ACTING BEFORE you get there to prevent diseases and from ending up in the high risk categories!

Health respect & happiness,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TIP TUESday: wait a sec! You may actually NOT be hungry…

Got just a few minutes left of this lovely Tuesday to hit you up with a little hunger tip!

You may have even heard of this simple trick before.

The next time you think you are hit with some hunger pains…


BEFORE you reach into the cabinet for chips, donuts, leftovers, or whatever else you got hiding for these snack craved moments—

Drink a glass of water. All of it. Maybe even two.

You may actually be experiencing dehydration and your body is trying to tell you to feed it. Mistakenly, you may feed it food without realizing it’s actually just thirsty…so drink up first! Wait a few minutes… go about with your day and what you were doing.

If the hunger pains just won’t go away… then yes, maybe you need to fill up on some calories.

Until next time team, think water first…because it’s just silly to consume calories you think your body is hungry for- don’t fall for this trick!

Health respect & happiness,

Monday, June 7, 2010

MOMmy MONday: keep stretching!

The benefits of stretching during pregnancy
Stretching will enhance your flexibility, prevent your muscles from tightening, and make you feel looser and more relaxed. Use the following stretches after a workout as a way to cool down, or just when you need to relax. Be sure to breathe deeply and regularly as you stretch.

Shoulder circles

• While seated or standing, rotate your shoulders backwards and down in the largest circle you can make. This opens the chest, counteracting the rounded shoulders so many pregnant women get.

Chest stretch

• Standing in a doorway, place both hands at shoulder height on either side of the doorway, elbows bent. Step your right foot forward until you feel a slight stretch in the chest muscles (being careful not to stretch too much). Hold for 30 seconds.

• Switch feet, stepping your left foot forward. Hold for 30 seconds.


• Stand with your back against a wall, your feet about shoulder-width apart a comfortable distance from the wall, knees slightly bent. Inhale, then as you exhale, draw in your abdominals, moving your chin toward your chest as you roll your torso down one vertebra at a time. "Roll" as far down as you're comfortable going. Keep your weight centered between your feet.

• Inhale at the bottom of the roll-down, and as you exhale, roll back up, trying to "print" each vertebra on the wall. As you return to an upright position, make sure your head is the last part of your body to uncurl. Repeat. Note: As your pregnancy progresses, you can modify this pose by doing it seated in a chair with your feet wide apart to make room for your belly. Sitting right on the edge of the chair, inhale, then exhale as you move your chin toward your chest and roll your body forward and down. Your hands can hang between your legs. Inhale, then exhale as you roll all the way up.

Waist twist

• Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart for stability, knees slightly bent.

• Extend both of your arms toward your left side at shoulder height while looking over your right shoulder. Hold the stretch and breathe into it.

• Moving slowly, reverse the motion, switching your arms to the right while looking over your left shoulder. Repeat.

Wall push-up and calf stretch

• Stand about 2 feet from a wall with your arms extended in front of your shoulders.

• Reach your hands to the wall and lean forward, bending your elbows on an inhale as your body tilts.

• Keep your heels on the floor to stretch your calf muscles. (Don't do this exercise in socks or slippery shoes; you want your feet to stay put.)

• Exhale, contract the abdominals, and slowly push away from the wall to straighten up. Repeat eight to ten times.


• Sitting on the floor, sit tall with your knees bent to the right and heels close to your bottom. With your left hand, hold your left ankle for support as your right hand extends overhead. Inhale, then exhale and reach up and over to the left side.

• Inhale and hold the stretch. Exhale to return to an upright position. Repeat one more time on your right side before moving to the left. You will feel a stretch in the sides of your waist, hip, and lower back. Repeat twice while sitting on your left hip.

Thigh and hip flexor stretch

• Lie on your left side with your head on a pillow or a folded towel. Slightly bend the left leg for stability.

• Bend your right leg, moving your foot toward your bottom, and take hold of your right ankle. Gently pull the heel closer to your bottom and draw in your abdominals to support your lower back. You should feel a stretch in the thigh and deep hip flexors. Hold for 30 seconds.

• Release and switch sides, lying on your right side.

Until next time Momma's, keep up the stretches to relieve tight muscles and tension in the joints!

Health respect & happiness,