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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

Friday, April 30, 2010

FOODY FRIdays: a simple and delicious lunch & dinner!

What did I have for lunch today?

I wanted to share this extremely easy to make, healthy and satisfying meal that you can make in no time packed full of nutrients and good stuff! **great for gluten/wheat & dairy sensitive tummies!**

Basil pesto wild salmon with roasted sweet potatoes and quinoa

(mmm…I know your mouth watered a little bit!)

Wild salmon fillet
Organic Basil pesto sauce (gluten-free, pre-made from Whole Foods)
Organic sweet potato-cubed, skin on
1 cup of quinoa, cooked
drizzle of organic extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper, dried dill, dried basil

pre-heat mini-oven to 420 degrees, place cubed sweet potato into foil, drizzle extra virgin olive oil, add salt, pepper, dried dill and basil. Wrap up, place into oven set for about 35 mins.
While its in there, place the salmon in another foil, add salt, spoon about a tablespoon or so of the basil pesto sauce onto the salmon. Wrap it up, with about 20 mins left, add that to the oven.
When you are waiting for the time to get down to 20 mins left, prepare the quinoa (it is made exactly like rice…please tell me you know how to make rice..!!)

Take a look at all this deliciousness……yummmmm

And for dinner?

Another quick, easy, gluten/wheat free meal…highly nutritious and not lacking any of the Mmmm-factor.

Coconut curry chicken with broccoli, red pepper & onion on basmati rice.
(drooling a bit maybe?)

Ingredients: (I made enough for 3-4 people)
3 organic chicken breasts
stalk of organic broccoli
half a large organic onion
half an organic red pepper
package of organic gluten/wheat free coconut curry sauce from Whole Foods (Happy Planet bland)
1 ½ cups of basmati rice, uncooked
organic coconut oil

Cook rice as directed on bag. Melt about a tablespoon of coconut oil, stir fry chopped onion until caramelized, add cubed chicken breasts (salt and pepper to taste), when it is cooked, add veggies. Stir fry for a few more minutes, then add curry sauce, simmer for 5 minutes, you’re done!! Serve all this yummy-goodness over the rice.

I couldn’t even take a photo of the dish…too hungry, started chowing on it immediately. So you only the leftovers…

Both meals can be ready to be eaten in about 30 minutes!

Until next time team, nutritious, healthy, gluten/wheat free and QUICK meals are NOT an oxymoron!!

Health respect & happiness,

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WARNing WEDnesday: Foods that make you FAT…AND stupid?!

They may look innocent and taste great but they’ll bloat your belly and ultimately, cause more bad than good to your health-here is what you need to know to avoid them!

In October 2004, researchers at the Society for Neuroscience’s conference in San Diego announced something amazing: they performed several studies demonstrating that trans fats attacked brain tissue, muddying thought and destroying memory. The tests were done on rats (but most experts are grimly confident that the findings apply to humans) for a span of 6 weeks. The rodents ate a diet that mimicked the typical American diet, except one group’s meals used vegetable oil while the other contained trans fatty acids. A series of progressively more difficult mazes were set up and the rats eating trans fats made many more mistakes than the vegetable oil group; the more complex the challenge, the worse the trans fat eaters did. And unlike the vegetable oil group, they didn’t seem to learn from previous trips through the maze. It is suspected that the trans fats were choking off a key neurological protein, possibly by inflaming the brain’s tissues.

A few months before that was presented, Lee S. Gross, MD, director of nutrition and diabetes education at Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte, FL, was also making a connection between American diet’s and their health. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was first introduced in the late 1960’s, and just a few years later, rates of obesity and diabetes began to skyrocket. As he collected more data, he eventually published his results in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “We kept seeing the same thing,” says Gross. “As the consumption of corn syrup goes up, the number of diabetics goes up too.”

These two ingredients-trans fat and high fructose corn syrup-are in 40% of the foods Americans eat everyday! Experts believe that both are significant culprits to the epidemic levels of obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases in North America. Research shows trans fat can drive “bad” LDL cholesterol levels up and heart-protective HDL cholesterol levels down.

Manufacturers use trans fat in nearly everything, from margarine and shortening in cookies, granola bars, bean dip, and frozen french fries. Look for the words: hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil-code for trans fats-on labels. If it appears among the top three or four ingredients, you’re better off with something else. (Beware of this common trick: If a food, such as pie, has 2 or more components, the maker may list the low-fat or fat-free on first-e.g.the filling-followed by the fat-dense component-the crust-so read carefully!)

One possible link between HFCS, obesity, and diabetes is the way our bodies process fructose. Our body naturally produces insulin when we eat sweet foods, a hormone that converts sugar to glucose (the form of sugar that cells burn for energy). When energy needs are met, insulin triggers cells to produce leptin, a hormone that tells your brain that you are now full. Unfortunately, fructose doesn’t stimulate insulin like other sugars do, which means that the body doesn’t release leptin. (that’s why you just keep eating all that gross sugary treats without ever feeling full) When sugar bypasses insulin, it’s converted straight to fat. Fructose also seems to drive up the levels of blood fats called triglycerides, a risk factor for heart disease.

Avoid foods with HFCS to avoid other added sugars, check for these other identities they hide under: fruit juice concentrate, evaporated cane juice, malt, molasses, and caramel. No matter what you want to call it, sugar is sugar=calories with no nutritional value. (there’s too little natural sugar in whole foods-fructose in fruit, for example-to affect insulin response) You’ll find HFCS in foods such as: ketchup, pasta sauce, English muffins, cereal, and yogurt. But we get about two-thirds of it from lemonade, and fruit drinks!

Until next time team, after checking the labels, you may feel sad to say goodbye to many processed foods, but don’t despair-there are many GOOD alternatives on store shelves these days!

Health respect & happiness,

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mommy Mondays: Pregnancy and your Respiratory/Cardiovascular Systems

Respiratory System

Oxygen enables us to live. All our cells need oxygen. With every breath you take, it flows through your system to the fetus through the placenta and umbilical cord, helping the cells of the developing fetus multiply and grow.

Because of the growing uterus, your lung space is diminished causing you to breathe more often to compensate. But your lung function improves during your pregnancy by 40 to 50% which helps when you are breathing that much more. There will be times when you feel flushed or short of breath, as if you just ran a flight of stairs, even if you didn’t. Relaxation and breathing techniques are great ways to help offset this problem.

If you feel short of breath during exercise, SLOW DOWN, CATCH YOUR BREATH, and DO NOT RESUME until breathing is back to normal. It is not a reason for you to STOP working out altogether as you lungs have the ability to increase their capacity, especially during exercise or severe stress.

As the uterus continues to grow, it will begin to push up into your diaphragm (the muscle that stretches downwards when you inhale to allow lungs to fill up with oxygen and then rises back up when you exhale to expel the carbon dioxide) reducing the room it has to stretch downwards. But your pregnant body has an incredible adaptive mechanism-it can flare your rib cage out sideways and backward to make room for your lungs to expand. The pregnancy hormone relaxin helps out by softening the muscles between the ribs (the same way it helps with your hip joints). Practice expanding your rib cage by lifting your arms out to the side or over your head. After your baby “drops” and settles head down toward the end of your pregnancy, the breathing will become easier again.

Cardiovascular System

With your body going through so many changes, its demand for more oxygen and nutrients increases. Your heart and blood vessels also go through a dramatic change to transport more oxygen, not jus to the fetus, but also to all of the involved organs that are working a lot harder. Your cardiac output (the amount of blood pumped by your heart) increases by 40 to 50 %, so that there is always enough blood to carry nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. Expect your resting heart rate to go up by up to 20 beats per minute higher than normal (this will throw your training heart rate off-however, your maximum training heart rate will not change, but you will reach it quicker with less work). Heart rate can also vary depending on the time of day, eating habits, stress levels, sleep patterns, and age. (a 40 year olds training heart rate can be 10 to 20 beats slower than a 20 year old’s) Drinking a lot of water of can help keep your heart rate down.

To make sure its getting all this done, the heart will grow a little bigger as well. Blood pressure can be expected to be lower and heart rates faster. With extra blood and relaxed arteries during pregnancy, your heart pumps more often but does not need to work quite as hard with each beat. The end result is usually lower blood pressure.

Check your blood pressure regularly (every month is good). If it goes up, exercises should be chosen with care and workouts monitored by a professional. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may even have to stop working out altogether. Gestationally induced high blood pressure could cause growth retardation and other complications for the fetus.

The cardiovascular output can be altered by your body position. Standing still for long periods of time can cause blood pooling in your legs, so it is best to keep moving! Avoid lying still on your back after the 16th week. In a supine position (on your back), the uterus falls back and places pressure on your vena cava (the main blood returning vein), reducing blood flow. This will cause dizziness and may put your baby’s health in jeopardy. Lie on your left side instead. Exercising in general will promote proper circulation and venous return.

Next week, we will look at how pregnancy affects your disposal and endocrine systems.

Until next time Mommys, try to balance your breathing and relaxation time with movement and exercise!

Health respect & happiness,


Friday, April 23, 2010

FOODY FRIday: Antioxidants~Eating a Rainbow

And I don’t mean the skittles candy! As your body continues to train, the more oxygen you will use, which causes your body to form “free radicals”, the byproducts of oxidation that can wreak havoc into the workings of your cells, especially those in your musculoskeletal system.
To offset this unavoidable process, you need antioxidants, both for recovery from your workouts and for preventing or at least limiting, osteoarthritis, tendinopathy, and other bone and joint problems.

So how do you get all that fighting power into your diet? Happily, many of the great sources are quite tasty and easy to work into your daily foods. But to get it right, you need to cover the whole spectrum of colors -pigment power, they call it- because different fruits and vegetables have different nutrients. Some pack a bigger punch through their higher natural concentrations of micronutrients. Hence the idea, to eat a rainbow.

RED: Tomatoes (but especially cooked tomatoes), as well as pink grapefruit and watermelon. These contain carotenoid lycopene, an antioxidant known to protect against prostate cancer, lung cancer and heart disease.
DARKER RED TO PURPLE: Blueberries, strawberries, plums, red apples (be sure to eat the skin!), beets, eggplant, red cabbage and red peppers. These provide anthocyanins, which help prevent blood clots.
REDDISH ORANGE: Carrots, mangoes, cantaloupe, winter squash, and sweet potatoes. They have beta-carotene that protects the skin against free radical damange and promotes repair of DNA.
YELLOW-ORANGE: Oranges, peaches, papaya, and nectarines. They have beta crytothanxin, which helps cellular communication and fights heart disease.
YELLOW/GREEN: Spinach, corn, green peas, avocado, and honeydew melon contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (a cause of blindness).
GREEN: Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale and bok choy. These contain sulforaphane, isocyanate, and indoles, which help fight against cancer.
WHITE/GREEN: Garlic, onions, leeks, celery, asparagus, pears and green grapes, including those used in white wine (NOT an excuse to drink a whole bottle please!). These contain allicin, which fights tumors and antioxidant flavonoids such as quercetin and kaemferol.

Nutrition scientists at the US.Department of Agriculture (USDA) used the latest technologies available to identify the foods that contain the most antioxidants per serving. Here they are, ranked from most antioxidants per serving to least:
1-small red beans (dried)
2-wild blueberries
3-red kidney beans
4-pinto beans
5-blueberries (cultivated)
7-artichokes (cooked)
12-red delicious apples
13-granny smith apples
15-sweet cherries
16-black plums
17-russet potatoes (cookes)
18-black beans (dried)
20-gala apples

Until next time team, it really IS good to taste the rainbow..;)

Health respect & happiness,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WARNing WEDnesday: Watch out for posture & alignment!

How often do you remember being reminded by your parents to sit up, stand tall and don’t slouch? And how often did you do it anyway to spite them? Yeah, everyone’s been there, but let me tell you something, your parents were right (they always are).

Slouching causes your shoulder blades to protract which will slowly bring out that horrid hunchback look. Shoulders often rise up towards the ears causing muscle tightness and tension throughout the entire upper back and traps. Your back muscles get over stretched and your chest muscles start to weaken. Eventually, joint pain and muscle pain will take over. So far, nothing sounds appealing does it? Still think disobeying your parents is a cool thing?

Another postural problem I come across a lot with clients is the forward head posture (or, poke neck). If you have a desk job, are a student, like to read, or find yourself spending more than 30 mins at a computer whether its work or facebooking, you more than likely have this problem. It is when the chin starts to jut forward and the neck begins to follow with it- is that why my neck gets so sore and achey?? yep!- most people don’t even realize they do it until I point it out to them by pushing their chin back. It is almost like a revelation for some people. This problem sticks out –ah, pun intended!- a lot more during exercises when it is hard to get through and the body finds way to compensate.

Hip alignment is very important. Keep them square or levelled with the floor. Always keep weight evenly distributed on both legs! Watch out for that because the body WILL try to cheat and use the stronger side to bear more of the weight!! Constantly favouring one side will cause all sorts of hip problems and back pain. Alignment throughout the spine will also be compromised.

Finally, knee alignment. One of the most vulnerable joints in the human body. It probably takes the most abuse yet gets the least attention. When bending down, do you start with the knees by pushing your weight into it? Bad! When squatting, do you find your knees being pushed forward so they go past your ankles and the weight lands near the front of your feet? Bad!! Not only are you adding unneeded stress to the knee joint, you aren’t using the muscles around them to its potential. Your legs have all the muscles to keep the knees safe but when you start relying on the knee as the primary weight bearer, expect problems to arise. (the knee is a JOINT, not a muscle!) Always keep the knee above the ankles when bending, lunging, or squatting. The weight should be on the back of the heels and you should feel the legs contract and your back muscles help along with it.

Postural and alignment problems take time to fix, but if you keep up at it diligently EVERYDAY, it will improve and eventually you won’t need to think about it at all because the body now knows what to do.

Until next time team, SHOULDERS BACK, CHEST UP, TUMMY IN, LOOK STRAIGHT AHEAD (without poking the neck)…you look good =)

Health respect & happiness,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

TIP TUESday: Keeping up with your workouts when you DON’T want to!

Why, HELLO SUNSHINE!! This is the time of the year when you can retire the layers, winter coat, hiding indoors and head on outside to bask in all the glory of the beautiful warm weather. Personally, I am questioning myself why am I sitting inside having this affair with my desk and laptop…hmmm… anyway.

But with this new season, the desire to grab your runners and head to the gym starts to wane. I mean, who really wants to be stuck indoors a stinky, dark, cold gym when the sun is beckoning you through the glass windows right?

So, how do you keep up with all the hard work you have done in the last few months? Good weather is NOT an excuse to skip a workout here or there! In fact, it is almost MORE important for you to maintain…because, you know what follows spring? Yep, summer…and you know what that means right? Even more sun, and more skin!

A GREAT way to keep it up:


Such a simple concept..but it is harder than it seems. Where do you go to train? How do you train outdoors without the equipment you’re used to? Will passer bys look at me funny? Expect all those questions to arise…but don’t let them linger, its just your silly mind trying to build barriers to a new idea.

Boot camps are an excellent way to work around it. They seem to pop up in loads all over the city. Find one that is easy for you to get to, has an agreeable time, and hits the targets that you want (cardio, strength, flexibility..etc). You will be training with a group and most often, it will be outdoors- so the motivation is there and you also get to spend time in nature, double score!

If boot camp is not your thing (some people prefer smaller settings..like me), find a trainer who offers group training (which usually has 2-4 pple, depending) and will do it outdoors. Or, you can always stick with 1 on 1 training and request outdoor training on sunny days. With having a trainer, the worry about what exercises you can do or where or how to do it will be banished since they figure all that out for you. (you will be pleasantly surprised with all the different exercises you can do without ANY equipment) And all those people walking by and staring? Yah, I bet you that they’re all admiring your hard work and probably wishing that they had the determination and motivation to do what you are doing. Hey, maybe you would even inspire a few and they will head out next time with towel and bottle in hand and train a little bit as well, who knows.

Okay, what if you don’t have the means to hire a trainer or join a boot camp? Can you do it on your own? It may be hard, but with each time you force yourself to do it, it makes the next time just a little easier. Find yourself a park with a good run trail and go for a jog, stop every so often if you find rails and do a few sets of push ups before continuing the run. Another stop, do a few sets of squats, continue- get the idea? Run laps up and down a grass field, stop at each end, do core work (plank, crunches, knee ups..etc)..run again..etc. SO MANY OPTIONS!
Here is one of my favorite trails: Central Park in Burnaby. It boasts 3 different distances PLUS there are ‘stations’ throughout the course where you can stop and challenge yourself with strength training. I’ve done it myself one summer—and it is tough! Start with the smallest distance and work your way up. Once you’re really good, do two laps, go all way through, then turn around and go it backwards. Again, change it up-always making it fresh!

Until next time team, take advantage of the weather and train outdoors, rather than use the weather as an EXCUSE not to train indoors!

Health respect & happiness,

Monday, April 19, 2010

MoMmy Mondays: Pregnancy and your metabolic/gastrointestinal systems

Metabolic System

Ever wonder why you have to eat more than usual when you’re pregnant? Well, besides the obvious (because your pregnant??), being pregnant speeds up your metabolism. You should consume about 300 extra calories per day (that’s around 80,000 for the entire pregnancy!)- more if you exercise: 500 extra calories are needed for moderate exercise, and up to 800 extra calories a day are needed if you are a professional athlete.

While your metabolism is kicking into the next gear, its priority is also shifting from YOU to your baby. Carbs, proteins and fats are fueling the baby’s growth, and all reserves will go to the baby first, which means it is imperative that you eat more- just so there is something left for you to live on too.

The entire 1st trimester your body is storing fat and will almost completely cease halfway through the pregnancy. By then, the fetus will begin to use the stored fat while the other half of its fat comes from you. In your final trimester, no nutrients are stored or deposited as fat, unless you overeat (so by now, you cannot use the excuse of “eating for two” so stop overeating!). Everything will be used up for fetal growth and energy, this is when the fetus accumulates body fat. In the very last stage of the pregnancy, carnitine (an amino acid) production will increase to break down any excess fat that may have accumulated. Premature babies who are born before this process occurs do not benefit from carnitine’s “fat-burning” effects.

Gastrointestinal System

If you are normally very regular, you will notice that begin to change. Pregnancy will cause your digestion to slow down. Because the food is travelling more slowly through the intestines, it allows better absorption. Unfortunately, this can result in drier feces and constipation. Offset this with exercise, and drinking A LOT of water!

Heartburn is another common symptom. It happens when the esophageal sphincter (the lid that separates the esophagus from the stomach) relaxes, and the uterus pushes up on the stomach, which causes acidic food in the stomach to be pushed back up into the esophagus. Keep exercising! Also eating more foods high in calcium and fiber will reduce stomach problems by simulating digestion and bowel movements.
Still bothering you? Try a calcium supplement (calcium neutralizes acids naturally).
AVOID overeating, mixing too many different types of foods (makes the digestive process more difficult..so say good bye to all those pregnancy cravings!), eating ‘junk food’ (you know what I’m talking about) and spicy foods, and eating immediately before lying down. Prop your head with lots of pillows to keep it above your stomach at bedtime, that may help a little too.

Next week, we will look at how pregnancy affects your respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

Until next time Mommys, if you never thought twice about what you feed your body, NOW is a great time to start!

Health respect & happiness,

Friday, April 16, 2010

FooDY FRIday- Identifying your Diet Style

Do you regularly skip breakfast and just down a coffee? Wine and dine nightly? Find yourself at the food table nibbling & grazing more often than not?
“Understanding your eating patterns can tell you a lot about your chances of gaining weight,” says researcher Yunsheng Ma, PhD of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Here’s what he found in a recent study surveying nearly 500 people on their eating habits:

Breakfast skippers are 4 ½ times MORE likely to be overweight! When you miss your morning meal, it causes your blood sugar to dip which leaves you more hungry and quadruples your chances of overeating.

Restaurant regulars (for breakfast or dinner) are TWICE as likely to gain weight! Meals served in food establishments tend to be higher in calories and fat and lower in fiber. And the bigger servings encourage overeating.

Lunch buyers are 30 – 60% LESS LIKELY to pack on pounds! This exception to the “dine out, widen out” philosophy can be explained by the ever growing variety of healthier options available during lunch hours as opposed to the other times of the day. (as long as you’re not buying lunch…AND breakfast AND dinner)

Eating four or more meals a day CUTS your obesity risk by 45%! Even if you are eating the exact same number of calories! (no, that wasn’t a typo) When you eat only 1, 2, or 3 big meals a day, it prompts your insulin levels to spike, triggering your body to store more of what you are eating as fat. Proper balanced meals eaten 4-6 times throughout the day keeps sugar levels even- causing you to use the energy efficiently rather than storing it. (that is MY excuse to be eating every 2-3 hours!)

Here is a sample schedule:
8am * breakfast
11am * snack
1pm * lunch
4pm * snack
6pm* dinner
8pm * snack

There is scientific PROOF that supports the fact that more meals work, but the reason why it works is because it does something that many diets don’t do:

It keeps you full and satiated, which in turn reduces the likelihood of a diet-destroying binge.

Until next time team, depriving yourself of food is a cruel way to live- enjoy food, and eat it plentifully!

Health respect & happiness,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WARNING Wednesday: Beware of BELLY BULGE!

At a time when more than 130 million Americans are overweight or obese, it`s never been a more critical time to focus on your weight, your shape, and your health. Some critics may see a chiselled midsection as the modern American symbol of vanity, but developing a flat belly is more than just a way to support the mirror industry. Abs are the ultimate predictor of your health.

Belly fat is the most dangerous padding on your body. Decreasing your waist line is so important, it may mean you will live longer. Belly fat is classified as visceral fat; that means it is located behind your abdominal wall and surrounds your internal organs. Because it carries an express-lane pass to your heart and other important organs, visceral fat can kill you.

Are you getting scared yet? You should be.
Even if your scale says you`re healthy, a large mid section could mean you have dangerous abdominal fat, finds a new Canadian study of 14, 924 people.
As the belly measurement increases, so does your risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes-by up to 93%!! (Hip fat does not seem to carry the same risk)

How do you measure up?
Guidelines define high risk as a waist that is greater than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men. But studies are showing that by the time you reach those measurements, you may already be at high risk and it will be even harder to fix the problem. Here are the NEW, current guidelines: 33 inches for woman and 38 inches for men.
*Measure just above your hip bones and across the belly button with the tape parallel to the floor and snug, but not compressing your skin. And don`t suck in your belly!*

Ladies! Look at this scary statistic::
1960- average American woman's waistline was 30 inches, number OVER 35 inches: 19%
2000- average American woman's waistline was 37 inches! Number OVER 35 inches: 60%!!

for women of any height*

A few reason to want a flat stomach:
-help you live longer
-less fatigue
-protect you from injury
-strengthens your back
-limit aches and pain
-better sex life

Until next time team, curves are GREAT, just not the ones that stick out around the belly!

Health respect & happiness,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

TiP TuesDAY: Secret to a better old age!

I read a fantastic article in the Province...
and it never ceases to amaze me how everything that is written about fitness and health these days aren't anything NEW...you can even go as far as to say it is COMMON SENSE! but so many people just don't do it. and when they read these 'medical breakthroughs!' or 'latest proven discoveries!'...they all jump on the wagon to try it out, when really- its not anything NEW or what we shouldn't have already known!
so back to this article i read.

it states that the biggest thing you can do to make yourself younger isn't buying $100 eye creams or going under the knife (yeah..you might actually have to WORK to get the results! oh my!). this little secret will dramatically make your real age younger and your higher-number birthdays more probable.

a recent report from the Institute of Medicine states 1 in 5 adults in Canada (1 in 3 in the US) have high blood pressure and the numbers are rising. about two-thirds of these people aren't even doing enough to prevent it from causing impotence, vision loss, heart disease, stroke or wrinkles.
Lowering blood pressure, the ultimate anti-ager, is essential and quite easy, yet 1 in every 6 people in the US dies from hypertension yearly!

Some quick easy tips to get our started on lowering the blood pressure include:
Dietary changes! Lean protein (no red meat), whole grains, nuts, produce and low-fat dairy foods. (hmmm, i'm pretty sure we sorta knew all this...)
Physical activity! (can i say this is common sense?? because it really is)
Cutting back on alcohol! (is 3 bottles of wine REALLY necessary a week??)
And for some, cutting back on salt.
Aim to get your BP at or below 115/76. If you can't do it by yourself, get your trainer in on the project! Your body depends on you.

Monday, April 12, 2010

MoMMy mONDAYS: Pregnancy & your musculoskeletal/neurological systems

Musculoskeletal system

With all the hormonal changes in the body during your pregnancy, it will affect your fitness level, strength, endurance, coordination, range of motion, flexibility, balance and amount of control you have over the body.
You produce the hormone relaxin, which can only be produced while pregnant, which softens the joints and increases fluid. Naturally, the hips and pelvis become more flexible but it also causes it to be less stable. From this, you should fee more flexible but in actuality, most women tend to feel LESS flexible. This could be due to water retention (Edema also lessens muscle definition).
As the uterus increases in size, your centre of gravity will be thrown off, your pelvis begins to rotate and you will see signs of lumbar lordosis (sway back) and protracted shoulders (rounded shoulders). Bigger breasts affect your balance, add a heavier body with softening joints and ligaments and the results will be the off-balance “waddling” most women succumb to especially during the last trimester. Keep the hips and thigh muscles strong to help deter that affect.

Neurological system

Expect changes in reaction time, as well as sleep patterns, stress levels, moods and mental proficiency. Because of that, it is VERY important to perform all exercises slowly, with control and caution. Focus on proper posture, technique and alignment.

Next week we will look at how pregnancy affects your metabolic and gastrointestinal systems.

Until next time Mommys, embrace the beautiful changes your body is going through!

Health respect & happiness,


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

TiP TueSDay: Getting more water in your system & moving your body...2 in 1!

Most of my clients say they find it the hardest to stay hydrated especially at the work place.

And why is that?

They sit down at their desk, start their day, get so consumed with their work, and end up sitting for 4 or 5 hours before they realize they’re parched and their muscles are tingling from no movement.

Here is an easy quick tip I have gotten them to implement into their daily work regime and guess what?
They get up and move almost every hour if not more and they are drinking their recommended 8 glasses of water everyday! It all was accomplished in a matter of days… such a no-brainer!

Bring a glass or mug to work with you if you don’t already have one.
Have a pitcher to keep your water in for the day, but keep it in another room, in the staff room, on someone else’s desk…anywhere that would make you physically have to get up and move to get it to refill your cup.
By having your cup close at hand, it becomes a mind trick to want to drink from it more often… and the more often you drink from it, the more often you must refill it… which means more trips to that pitcher of water in the other room.

That’s another great way to force you to move and stretch instead of staying seated in the same hunched over your desk position for long hours at a time.

And with more liquids in you, the more often you may have to get up to use the bathroom. And yes, that is more movement for your body… yay!

Until next time team, get moving to get drinking!

Health respect & happiness,