Archive for August, 2011

Bosu balls rule

I was preparing for my Core class at lunch time today and I had to think of something that was different from just planks and boring stuff. Last week I did a swiss ball workout and it turned out really well so this week I went with the bosu ball! It challenged my imagination and I had some help from youtube. So I thought for this post, I would talk about the benefits of incorporating bosu ball training into your training regime!

Most people know what a swiss ball is. To me the swiss ball is a more advanced tool after the bosu ball, the bosu ball is great for beginners to challenge their balance. You can do any exercise oh the bosu ball, some have to be modified but it is a great challenge for your core.

The black side is used more for balance, it acts like a wobble board, you can build up to this black side by using the blue side. The blue side has more stability but is still wobbly, it is made of plastic and air so it is somewhat bouncy. I usually always get beginners to use the blue side, it’s more friendly, they feel like they can do the exercise without getting too discouraged. If you’ve been working out for a while and want a challenge, the black side it is! It’s a great way to do squats, get a partner and throw a medicine ball at each other while doing squats, fun!! You can do split squats with your foot on the black side, or off the black side,  you can do pushups on the black side, do pushups off the black side. You can do a plank on either side, mountain climbers on the back side.

This is the workout I put my class through today

Pushups off the bosu ball (knees are on the blue part) with a leg extension after the pushup.

Lunges on or off (black or blue side) for 8 reps each side.

Shoulder press with the bosu ball, advanced modification is an isometric squat while shoulder pressing. 8 reps

Bosu plank (black or blue side depending on ability or preference) 30″

Reverse straight leg crunches, lifting one leg at a time when crunching. 8 reps.

Bridge (black or blue side) with leg circles while holding the bridge to really burn the glutes. 8 reps.

1 lap around the gym.

I did this workout in a pyramid setting so this was the pyramid

 8 reps: 1 lap > 10 reps: 2 laps > 12 reps: 3 laps > 14 reps: 4 laps.

They were getting pretty toasted by the end of the class, it was awesome. There weren’t enough bosu balls so a few of them did the exact same workout with a swiss ball, dammmm I was impressed! Rock those abs!

If you try this workout let me know how ya feel! It’s always good to change it up!

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Frustrations!!!

I tried ordering a 25 lb bag of Gluten Free all purpose flour from Bob’s Red Mills and the shipping to Canada is $71!!! Which turns out that it would be around $3 a lb for the flour, that’s a tad expensive in my opinion. I am very saddened. I have been doing a sufficient amount of gluten free baking lately that I wanted in invest in a large quantity to save my wallet a few dollars. I asked the lady on the phone if it was possible if local natural food stores could order it in, but she explained that it wasn’t possible because most of them won’t carry it because of the shelf life. BUT I ONLY WANT ONE BAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *cries*

Well, life must go on. Their small bags are $7 !!!#$$#@@@!!!!!!!!!!!!! I bought one just to try it out, good grief. It wasn’t any different in texture from the bulk barn mix so I think I will stick to bulk barn.

I made gluten free zucchini muffins  yesterday, they were DELICIOUS!! I am very sad to say I don’t have any pictures. Mostly because I didn’t really think of it.. and well, I’m lame. I’m sorry, I should have taken a picture. I used @Stephanie Tucci’s recipe for pumpkin muffins and I exchanged the pumpkin puree for zucchini = amazing goodness! Paul is obessed with them, you can’t even tell they are gluten free.

Gluten free baking for the win!!! Zucchini’s rule.

This is going to be a short post. I apologize for not posting on Thursday and Friday last week. I was toast, and so was my brain, it was very difficult for me to get through the each of those days. I barely had energy to sit at my chair at work less type up a couple paragraphs!

Going to try getting this week off to a good start. It’s a busy week, my birthday is on Thursday! Having a family dinner, dairy free gluten free cheesecake, HELLO, and also chicken cordon bleu for a main meal *drooling already* I also have a wedding to go to on Saturday (hello more food!) Food is going to be awesome this week. Being pregnant that’s really all I think about.

Then it’s the LONG WEEKEND!!! Is it here yet? I just need to get through this week. Just need to get through this week.

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TRX baby!

Well I used the TRX today and I thought I would post about it because it is FREAKIN AMAZING!!

Alright! So who here has used one? (Doesn’t see any raised hands) This piece of equipment is my new favourite piece of equipment, oh don’t worry I love weights but this little yellow and black strap looking item works it like you’ve never experienced your muscles worked before! It’s basically like rings for gymnastics, but with some body part on the floor to stabilize, increase or decrease the difficulty of the exercise.

You can work any muscle group with the TRX, abs, chest, legs, biceps, triceps, lats, it’s awesome. Have I mentioned that yet? Okay more about why it’s awesome.

It can be used at home, you can buy the anchor for it to attach to your ceiling or your door.

It is excellent for beginners and also for elite athletes.

If you wanted to get more bang for your buck in terms of working as many muscles as you can at once, this is your guy! Because you are essentially “hanging” you have to use other muscles other than the primary users to stabilize your body, this is also a huge part for your core which means you get a better core work out!

You adjust how difficult the exercise is, the more standing you are (depending on the exercise) the easier it is, the more parallel to the floor you are, the more difficult an exercise becomes. However some things like squats aren’t very adjustable (I could be mistaken but this is my experience..). It is essential that you trust the TRX, if you have it set up properly you need to trust that you aren’t going to fall flat on your face on the floor (just make sure the exercise isn’t too difficult for you), work with gravity and you will defo be sore!

Here’s a neat article on the Globe and Mail on TRX

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the TRX website, you can buy instructional DVD’s, don’t use the TRX without first having an instructional DVD or an experienced person with you to show you how to use it. Proper setup is essential to safety. Use it at the gym first before using it at home. They run at $189.00 US, I am thinking of buying one for myself because heck! Take it to the playground on the weekend, *happy dance* ahhhh yeahh!!

I think I’m going to do more workouts with the TRX, I haven’t lifted weights in a while and I feel like this is a good gradual to getting back into the swing of things being preggo. It’s friendly and I don’t need a whole lot of space, just my corner near the pull up rack in the gym, with a swiss ball and as skipping rope. =D Happiness!

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Every workday feels like an ironman

I feel like a zombie, I actually don’t really feel alive… it’s quite ridiculous really. I’ve had a few sick days since I turned full time, I can no longer pull anymore sick days, except now I feel like almost everyday should be a sick day.

I wake up in the morning with my head hurting, after I’m up for about 5 mins I feel like crashing back on my bed and going into unconsciousness. Eating is such a chore, walking to work is a chore, once I get to work keeping myself awake is so hard that I would rather fall asleep than move my big toe. Focusing on anything, even reading articles drains the life of out me. I recently got two new clients and I am dying, it takes me so long to focus and think of a program for them because I don’t have enough energy for my brain cells to work. Teaching a class is nearly out of mind, I have to teach a class at 12 and if I feel as awful as I do I might have to bribe a co-worker to switch with me.

I never have enough food in the fridge, I never have enough energy to cook food for myself, but if I don’t get I feel worse, my foods are extremely limited because of my gag-reflex. Right now I feel like I’m dying.

Is the 1st trimester over yet?!!!!!!!!!!??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, it sounds like I’m complaining, but I honestly didn’t know that feeling this awful existed. I am so happy that I’m pregnant, and I am offering this up for my baby but I really don’t know how to get through each day! Half way through each day at work I feel like breaking down in tears because I’m so tired and all I want to do is go home. Sigh* I’ll survive.

Let’s talk about something else.

Okay maybe not, but this I have realized, if I drink more water 2+ L in a day, my neuseous-ness  is totally not as bad! Which is awesome, and over the weekend I barely drank any water = FAIL.

I have never participated in an ironman, but I know they are flipping hard and I feel like everyday is doing an ironman.

 Energy, will you come back in the 2nd trimester?

Sadly my fitness routine is off and on, depending on how I feel during each day, last week I succeeded in working out 3 times which was AWESOME! This week I think I may be lucky if I reach that amount. Swimming is definitely my best friend, it’s the most friendliest form of activity since I’ve turned pregnant for sure. I can’t be too picky, exercise is exercise and I gotta take what I can get at this stage in the game.

But I’ll be back weights! It’s only a matter of time!! 😀

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Why you shouldn’t die(t)

Unfortunately I have to make this quick. One of my coworkers in on leave, and the other one is going back to school in september which means… work is gonna pick up and I’ve already had two new clients just today in addition to class planning.

Dieting: What is your definition of a diet? What do you think when you hear the word diet?

I dunno bout you, but this is what comes to mind when I hear the words:

Goodness forbid you are following something in Women’s world

First of all, you have to ask yourself, why are you going on a diet? To lose weight of course!! Oh right, and yes nutrition is an absolutely essential ingredient to losing weight, in fact you can trigger weight loss through nutrition without exercising in the beginning stages of weight loss package.

However, if you want to lose weight, ask yourself, what made you gain weight in the first place? Think about your how your diet has been for the past 6-12 months, how have you been eating? Have you been stressed? Emotional trauma? Got lazy? Starting eating out more often, came into more money and wanted to treat yourself out more frequently? Or perhaps your pay cheque has downsized for whatever reason and you think that you can no longer “eat healthy” due to how expensive it is, so your waistline has increased.

Seriously, think about it.

You’ve realized you aren’t happy with your waist line and you have a wedding coming up, you want to look great! But you don’t fit into those awesome dresses you own, so you’ve got to lose x amount of weight in about 2 months. You google the most effective diet out there and you subscribe and pay what you need to pay to lose that weight. You’ll do anything to lose that weight! You JUST need to get it off in time!

Okay. Back to reality, we’ve all been there, we’ve all gained weight at some point in time or another and we all have that desire to have the snap of the finger weight loss but going down that road simply is not an option. The media shoves it into our face that we can partake in these diets that will make us lose fat instantly! So many dress sizes etc but you have to take care of your body, what’s realistic for you? Because let me tell you

DIETING IS NOT THE ANSWER

It’s not the answer for these reasons

  • When you “go” on a diet, it’s a temporary fix, you want to lose the weight, you’re willing to make sacrifices right now, but you definitely don’t want to stop the way you are eating.
  • Depending on the type of diet you go on, reducing x amount of calories or watching what you eat, or eating fat free foods is absolutely not good for your body. Your depriving your body of essential nutrients that it needs. For example: weight watchers, it’s all about calories, you can have something low in calories that has absolutely no complex carbohydrates in it, so you’re basically eating nothing. Yeah that’s good for your blood sugar.
  • Your body isn’t meant to be deprived and then loaded again. Don’t deprive yourself of so many calories or fats or whatever and then go load yourself up after your diet.
  • You will never maintain a regular healthy lifestyle if you diet because dieting is not stable.

It’s all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, if you want to lose weight it’s in supplementation with a healthy lifestyle in which you should eat regularly healthily and exercise regularly, until you are ready to make that adjustment then stay away from diets because you’re only taking years off your life.

It’s all in your head! Try and make the decision for the better! It’s about lifestyle, not a quick fix, quick fixes don’t exist in our world.

 

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Struggling with self image? Be careful what you expose yourself to

Ever since I was 9, I have struggled with self image. I went through that phase when I was young, the pre-teen phase where you get a little chubby, your parents still tell you you are beautiful (cause you are) and then you lose the weight when you are older. However, thanks to my brothers, my identity was demolished from age 10 on, it still has lasting effects on me now. I’m not putting all the blame on my brothers, but just a word to new parents, don’t ever let the boys attack the girls, there should be severe consequences for it. It’s in the boy’s nature to make fun of girls but that shouldn’t be allowed to let loose whenever they feel they want to make fun of someone.

It was part of my self image problems that got me into the fitness industry, I wanted to feel better about myself, I didn’t want to be anorexic like all the girls on the magazine but I wanted to be healthy, however weight loss soon led to an addiction to have the perfect 6 pack and to always be slimmer: like the magazines. I have always gone in an out of this addiction, but what always brings me back home is the fact that I am who I am, I have my own body shape and it is what is healthy for me. I’m not going to try to acheive to be someone because of the way the media thinks is better for society.

I was thinking a lot about self image and self esteem the other day after I had watched some tv. We have free cable for two months, it’s a promo that we got, we don’t watch the tv at all, if we do it’s a movie. However, sometimes when I come home I’m really tired and I turn it on and this one particular day, I watched the E! Television, because that was the only thing slightly interesting on, for me at least. Well I watched it for a few hours, then I got up, and I felt so fat, there’s a mirror in our hallway and I had an awful perception of myself, I was super unhappy. Obviously it was just a feeling but that feeling had to stem from somewhere. This feeling continued on for the next day and I realized that it was some sort of anger or jealously cause I didn’t look like any of the people that were on the fashion television, I wasn’t on a runway, or a celebrity, I didn’t own $3,000 dollar dresses that made me look amazing.

Some of look at those magazines when we are in line at the checkout because we are bored waiting for the next person in line to finish. Everyone had a part of them inside that suffers when the media pushes things at them from every single angle: magazines, tv, mall shopping, posters. It’s like someone constantly knocking on your brain saying “get with the picture!!” Except that that picture is see through, there’s absolutely nothing to it, it’s false, it’s fake. Sure it’s okay to be somewhat fashionable, as long as you know what looks good on YOU and YOU work it that way. I think that’s why I love TLC’s: “What Not to Wear” because they take average men and women, women who are middle aged, have some shape to them and teach them how to dress accordingly to their shape, they can look good if they choose wisely.

Having had a past history of low self esteem, I have already struggled with reality of the soon coming large belly I will receive as my baby gets bigger and that there’s always the horror of thinking you won’t be able to lose the baby weight after giving birth but who am I kidding? I’m in the fitness industry, the most I’ve ever weighed has been 204 pounds (gah!) and I managed to get down to 153 in a little over a year, I know how to be healthy which means having a healthy pregnancy. Not giving into cravings left and right. Exercising regularly and maintaining good nutrition.

If you’re struggling with your self image, stop watching the tv, and stop looking at magazines, and ignore all the posters that you see regularly. Find your identity, and stick to that. Be care with what you expose yourself to. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you. When you workout, workout to be healthy, if you want more defined biceps and shoulders that fine, just know where the line is. If it’s realistic and you just want to acheive a goal that’s good! But don’t carry it too far.

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T-Tapp and all about it

In this post I am going to cover the T-Tapp Exercise regime in this order:

  1.  What is T- Tapp?
  2. Theresa’s background
  3. Pro’s of T- Tapp
  4. What I got out of it
  5. Con’s of T- Tapp
  6. It’s category in the fitness/workout world
  7. My suggestions

T- Tapp is an exercise regime that was founded by Teresa Tapp and consists of certain exercises that do not use any weights, equipment, jumping or hoping. They are all body weight exercises, similar to that of Yoga or Pilates, Tai Chi, if you are going to compare it. The exercises themselves promote lymphatic drainage, weight loss, and strength building. Theresa promotes her book by “Only workout 15 minutes a day!” You can choose to do a 15 minute workout, which she has laid out, or a 45 minute workout also known more as the bootcamp. The more dress sizes you want to lose, the more exercises you do.

Theresa’s background is interesting, her book has been tossed around all of my coworkers and her background given looks at (don’t judge me!). Her background consists of a Associate’s degree in Science and also a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise physiology. She has worked specifically with cancer patients where she tested her exercises on them. From there she goes to study for her graduate degree and instead is given an offer from the Fashion industry that she couldn’t turn down and ended up working with Supermodels for however many years. She mentions that she designed her program for rehabilitative purposes and my question is, where in her background did she work for at least a year or more with rehabilitative clients other than cancer patients? Cancer is a whole other ballgame when it comes to rehab.

The Good

T-Tapp is amazing for people who have no background in exercise at all. It’s a great start and a huge motivator. You don’t need any equipment and if you’re the type of person who loves to workout at home, let me hand the book to you! It teaches you where the muscles in your body are, and how to work them, it makes a great headway in the central nervous system development! I would definitely recommend this to someone who wants an additional at home workout (in addition to another workout already prescriped to them) Or perhaps just start them off on this and then progress them from there.

If the 45 min workout is your thing, by all means, I’d do that on a day off, not too exhausting but a moderate intensity, get’s the HR up a little bit and you feel like you haven’t sat on your butt on your days off. Or you’re on vacation and you have no equipment.

The Cons

T-Tapp is definitely not the End All, Be All. If you have been doing T-Tapp for the last 3 months, I would suggest you keep it as PART of your program, but it’s time to move on and time to progress into other things. I say this because the body NEEDS change, it needs change because if not, it gets used to what it is doing and it starts to plateau, (greater loss than benefit), so change it up, make T-Tapp into a circuit! Go run aroun the block twice between each exercise.

But, let me dive further into why I say this.

Theresa says that her 15 minute segment is considered aerobic activity. I wore my HR monitor while doing T-Tapp (y0ur HR will vary depending on how tired you are, and how out of shape you are, etc) and my HR stayed at a pretty low intensity while doing the exercises, of course it would go up and down. This is good aerobic activity for those who are out of shape, because the heart is a muscle, and when you don’t exercise it…well… it doesn’t work much so then when it does get used, it has to work harder because it isn’t conditioned: aerobic activity for those who are normally inactive (no exercise). For a fitter individual this is not aerobic activity, aerobic activity is defined by the American College of Sports Medicine as “any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature” The key point here is that the heart rate has to be above a resting heart rate and should stay there continuously. When I did t-tapp, some of the exercises were not as intense as others and my HR did drop, 15 minutes is not very continuous. It’s barely enough time for your HR to get up and before you know it, it’s back down again, this is not continuous.

Weight loss: I was discussing the weight loss aspect of this program with my coworker who is studying to be an Osteopath and in many of the “Success stories” those who were severely overweight mostly probably lost Lymphatic fluid and because of their previously sedentary lifestyle most likely lost weight due to the fact that they hadn’t do anything before hand.

Now the success stories who were much much slimmer and didn’t really need to lose much weight in the first place most likely only lost lymphatic fluid and that is what brought their measurements down. There is no proof of this because not enough studies have been done on her exercises as to which one it is, which is a real shame and also proves to me how scientifically “valid” this program is, just throwing that out there as a fitness professional who likes evidence as to why things work the way they do.

Regarding osteoporosis, this can greatly diminish the chances or an already diagnosis of osteoporosis because contracting a muscle when it hasn’t been used as much before gives great benefit to its strength increase, which therefore increases the calcium percentage in the bone. As I mentioned before, plateau does happen, benefits will continue to increase until the body again becomes accustomed to it and it needs more adaptation and change to make continual progress. This is where weight training comes in. Theresa says that no weights are needed, well, I’d agree with that to a certain extent: Sedentary, overweight, elderly, rehab. Sure those are all legit cases where you don’t need weights or resistance training, however, once you get out of that category, you need weights to increase your strength. In order to continue to build up the calcium in your bones, you need to get stronger, the more the muscle strengthens, the more the calcium needs to build up that bone. Weights people, weights.

On another note, you don’t have to change your diet at all in this exercise program. Sure, this isn’t about dieting, that’s great, but I’m one of those sedentary people who eat McDonalds 4 times a week because it’s on the way home from work and it tastes good! Pop is also a regular contributor to my blood sugar spike about 6 days a week and I don’t have to change my eating habits to lose weight. O.M.G!

Considering Theresa comes from a background of Exercise Physiology, and a degree in Science…. okay well maybe I should withdrawal my benefit of the doubt, I don’t know one Medical Doctor that has given anyone a suggestion as to changing their diet and they have 8 years of education (Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they are out there).

Nutrition is a CRUCIAL aspect to having and living a healthy life, ESPECIALLY to those who are sedentary and overweight. I can’t even emphasize the importance of this. I see this as so important that I myself am going to take a Natural Nutrition Course. People can’t lose weight healthily if they do not change their diet. Simple fact. You can lose all the lymphatic fluid you want but that doesn’t mean that as soon as you do, your body is an entirely healthy unit with the snap of your fingers when it’s gone. If you don’t already have a healthy diet (which many people think they do but really they don’t), I would be doing some a researching myself, or contacting a nutritionist, go to a seminar, get some info yo!

Theresa does promote water which is great, and she does give come recommendations towards the end of the book, which somewhat contradicts herself in the beginning of the book. It seems she’s trying to sell the program by not changing your eating, and then once you’re done, oh! Here, let me give you some advice! Which can work for some people, but suggestions should be given at the beginning to. Don’t contradict yourself if what you really want to say is “Eat Healthy, here are some suggestions that will only aid your weight loss in this program.”

What I got out of it

So…. much to your surprise I did the T-Tapping, I had to in order to fully complete my research. I definitely had to drag my ass to get’er done cause let me tell you, to me, it’s like Yoga, you ask me to do  Yoga, and I will find ANY excuse to not do it, I just hate holding the positions! They are boring and awkward and yeah… anyways, I started this one day, and then got bored.. I couldn’t finish cause all I was thinking about was lifting weights, I wanted to do something more intense. However, I figured if it I did it at work I would probably have a more regular schedule, so that’s what I did. In addition to this, I was going to do the exercises for a month to see how they were doing, until I got an inflammed lower back, and I couldn’t even sleep, which led to me getting a back adjustment. T-tapp exercises have you in a hinge position isometrically holding for 15-20 mins. This can definitely strengthen your back, but if your back is really weak or tired after holding this position, take a break. After I had my back adjusted I decided to discontinue doing the exercises. 

The exercises are quite good, I will say I am impressed at how she designed them, I do not find them difficult, they are moderate, I hate doing them because I get bored, I do the 15 minute segment as a warm up before my actual workout because it warms up my muscles, get’s my HR up a little bit. When I’m tired it’s a bit more challenging, I will not argue that it is definitely good for me, it utilizes smaller muscles that I recently have not incorporated into my own workout regime. I am not going to continue t-tapping, I have tried to do the exercises on a daily basis and it isn’t my thing, I have given it a shot and like I said, some days I may incorporate it into my program but it is not a main workout.

I hope I have given some of you a clearer idea of what it is that you are into, if you have any questions, please ask, I did as thorough research as time allowed me to do, and there are I’m sure many other things I could have done but I didn’t want this to take over my life. This is a brief touch down of what I was asked to do. This is my opinion and I hope it sheds some light for those who asked! If you disagree with what I have to say, fine, I  will not argue with you but some people have asked for my opinion and this is it.

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