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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

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,