20th
Dec

Not all sports are created equal, it’s true. Some have all the luck. Hockey, Football, Basketball, even to a degree, baseball and Soccer all have pretty good reputations.

Curling is not so lucky. Neither is Badminton.

Here are a few of the “loser” sports, and why they’re awesome anyway.

Curling

You’ve seen Men with Brooms, right? It’s a Canadian film about a reunited curling team trying to win a championship for the sake of their departed coach. It’s adorable, and really funny.

Otherwise, curling is, IMHO one of the best sports to watch on television, and the perfect amalgamation of housework and winter activities. Also -the vocabulary is awesome.

Badminton

One word. Shuttlecock.

Did anyone else get a kick out of that when they were a kid, or was I the least mature ten year old ever? The day I found out that the little flying cone wasn’t just called a “birdie” was the day I really took up with the sport. Badminton was great because it was easy, we could play it almost anywhere, and injury was next to impossible.

Nordic Walking

Have you ever seen people walking rather stiffly along streets with ski poles? In the summer?

They were Nordic walking, a sport that by all accounts was designed as an elaborate hoax to get otherwise respectable people to look silly. In fact, it’s a great, full-body exercise, reasonable low-impact and affordable. It still looks kind of silly though.




13th
Dec

There are two truths, universally acknowledged and accepted:

  • It is excellent for children to be physically active, and
  • Sports equipment is expensive.

These truths, when taken in conjunction can be depressing at best for parents. The fact of them can also sneak up on you. The first time you buy a set of hockey gear for junior, it may not seem too bad. But when one season ends and the new begins and nothing fits the situation starts to become clear. This is going to cost you.

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6th
Dec

Healthy Food by Dinostock

It’s no secret that you’ll perform better in sports and other activities when your body has enough fuel to keep going. But what should you be eating to have the best results, and what should you avoid?

There’s lots of talk about energy bars, supplements and meal replacements, so let’s take a look at what’s really going to be the best for you, long term. There are three principles that I feel you can more or less depend on in terms of food and working out:

  1. Real food is always better than fake food.
  2. Supplements are largely nonsense.
  3. Be suspicious of convenience.

Let’s go through these one by one.

Real food is better than fake food

This is pretty much a no brainer, right? Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, real meat, legumes, nuts – get the idea? The less adulterated something is, the more goodness can transfer from it to you. Not only will you get more energy and nutrition from real food, but it will last you longer than the fake kind. An energy bar may sound good based on the packaging, but really, nothing that has 2 dozen ingredients, only half of which you can pronounce is going to be as good for you as real, whole food. Nothing.

Supplements are largely nonsense

Any nutritionist or dietician will tell you that it is easily possible to eat the necessary amount of nutrients each day without resorting to powders and juices. Protein powder, fat burning powder, tummy-toning powder, Creatine – it’s all hooey that you’re probably better off without. You don’t need a whole heck of a lot of protein each day – and a shake to “replenish” you after a workout can use up your whole daily allotment. Then when you factor in the “extras” you added it to so it tastes palatable, you’re looking at a really calorie dense meal replacement that all too often gets treated as a snack. Exceptions can be made for professional body builders, who may need the extra protein, but the average work-outer doesn’t need any more than can be found in normal, healthy meals. If you eat sensibly to begin with, a supplement isn’t going to help you achieve better results.

Now I don’t know everything about supplements or how they work – this is based on my experience. For more information, I recommend you check out Flawless Fitness Bookwhere the fit jerk (who’s actually a pretty nice guy) talks about and reviews different supplements.

Be Suspicious of Convenience

It is my belief that a huge amount of blame for our energy and weight problems can be laid at the door of ‘convenience” foods. We may be short of time, but we’re shortening our lives by shoveling chemical by-products and dumptruckfuls of sugar down our gullets. I don’t even need to say anything about fast food, right? Don’t eat it and for the love of Pete don’t let your children eat it. Labels like “Organic” and “All natural” can be hideously deceptive on convenience food items. There is little regulation regarding those terms – so it could mean anything, if it’s true at all. Don’t be fooled by pictures of grains blowing in the breeze, or mounts of brightly shining produce on the box – the ingredients, nine times out of ten are sugar, followed by white flour, then more sugar. Pack some carrot sticks.




29th
Nov

Will these be the pants for me?

If you are anything at all like me than looks are not your very top priority while working out.

That being said, at least a minimum of effort needs to be put in to a workout outfit so as to fulfill all local decency laws and avoid scaring children. So begins the search for the perfect workout pants:

They must be stretchy, but not too clingy – spare me spandex, please.

They must be dark enough that sweat is not immediately and humiliatingly evident.

They must allow for movement at the waist without causing worry about terrifying lapses in coverage.

They must not have strings that can become tangled in equipment or caught in bus doors.

They must flatter the posterior as much as possible, without highlighting either its width or breadth.

They must not be of a material that crinkles, crunches or reflects more light than tinfoil.

They must be able to roll up above the sneaker or tuck into the sock as required.

They must be good value for money and not be hand crafted by small children in warm climates.

Lets not get started on work out shirts or shoes!

What do you require from workout gear? Anything not mentioned here?

I’d like to thank Ali over from Food, Fitness Fashion, for inspiring me to update my paint spattered sweatpants!




21th
Nov

This week I was able to pick the brain of Self-Employed personal Trainer Celinda Beaudry (pictured.) I know from (personal, sweaty)  experience that she provides and awesome workout, so I asked her about motivation, diet and wardrobe so you can all benefit from the wisdom of her experience!

1) How did you get started as a personal/fitness trainer?

I got into the fitness industry at the age of 16 because I loved being active, motivating people, and living a healthy lifestyle. I wanted to expand my knowledge on how I could help others improve their physical performance and well being. My initial certification was with the YMCA’s Individual Conditioning course. After I completed the course with the YMCA, I have continually taken courses Can Fit Pro, Twist, Mad Dogg Athletics, and attend annual workshops to learn new things in order to keep up with this ever changing industry.

2) How do you recommend people motivate themselves to get fit?

The best way to motivate yourself to improve your fitness levels is to visualize an image of yourself in the future. Will you be overweight and unhealthy, or will you be feel fit, strong, and attracted to yourself? Most of us would like to visualize a positive image of ourselves. Therefore, turn your visualization into reality.

3) What’s your favorite exercise?

I love deadlifts and chin ups. Deadlifts are so functional and applicable to everyday life because we all need to pick up objects off the floor, and it is important to know how to pick things up correctly. Also, they’re awesome for your butt!

Chin ups are also one of my favorites because being able to pull yourself up several times is an accomplishing feeling, which makes you feel strong! I also enjoy it because I believe having a strong back is important because a lot of people don’t strengthen their back muscles as often as they should, which is a shame, because a strong back can help improve your posture.

4) What are a few good ways that people can fit exercise and fitness into their daily (often busy!) lives?

Anyone with a busy life can incorporate exercise. They just need to think outside the gym because going to and from the gym might take too much time.

Firstly, I would recommend hiring a trainer to come to their house in the morning before they go off to work. They would not have to worry about going anywhere, and with a qualified and creative trainer, you can have a killer, full body work out in under 20 minutes! Most people don’t let themselves wake up early enough, but if you have an appointment, you  won’t want to miss it… or else you’ll have to pay in sweat! Hehe!

If you’re exercising on your own you can always split your work outs in different segments throughout the day. In the morning, while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, do a few jumping jacks.  At lunch break, before you eat your meal, get down on the floor and do some push ups, or the plank. In the office, try holding your body  in a squat stance position (like you’re sitting back into a chair) while you’re reading a report. Every little bit of exercise counts, and you won’t regret it.

5) What type of clothing to people need to work out safely and comfortably?

The best type of clothing to wear would be an outfit that is comfortable, breathable, flexible, and not too tight.

6) What about food? In your opinion, what kinds of food give you the most energy and health benefit?

Eating meat and fresh produce is a great way to energize your body throughout the day. Avoid eating too much sugar because the more sugar you have, the more dependant and drowsy you will feel without it.

7) Any other tips or tricks you can share with us?

Sleep. Many people don’t get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can be a cause of weight gain, depression, and bad eating habits. A good night’s sleep of at least 7-8 hours will have your body feeling recharged and you’ll be more motivated to live everyday to the fullest.

You can read more about Celinda’s workout and nutrition tips on her blog: My Trainer Celinda




14th
Nov

The rumors are true. Terrible and bizarre things can happen to you when you work out and exercise, some good and some bad. Don’t worry though, although all of the below side effects are possible – you can easily avoid them (the bad ones anyway) by wearing the right sports clothing and taking appropriate safety precautions. We’ll start of with the negatives, because they’re way easier to believe than the great one at the end! Continue reading




7th
Nov

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how careful you are, and you’ll find yourself with a sports-related injury. It can be as simple as a bruise, or as complex as a repetitive stress injury. If you find yourself injured, it’s important to take corrective action immediately, because waiting it out or trying to walk it off can often make a small problem much, much worse.
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1th
Nov

Making the decision to get fit is only the beginning. It’s also the only easy part. Once you’ve made the choice, you’ve got to decide exactly what you’re going to do, when you’re going to do it, how much and for how long. That’s not so bad either, what’s really difficult is actually getting out there and doing it.

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25th
Oct

We all know that workout fads come and go the same way that diets do, but sometimes one comes around that seems to have real staying power. I think that NIA is one of them.

NIA is not to be confused with any of these: National Institute on Aging, National Intelligence Agency, National Indoor Arena, National Imaging Associates, etc… (Wow – there are a lot of them!) but instead refers to a new form of dance-based aerobic exercise. Of course, it’s an acronym as well, standing for either Non-Impact Aerobics or Neuromuscular Integrative Action.

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18th
Oct

It’s that time of year – the leaves are changing color, the temperature is dipping (a little too quickly!) and parents across the country are digging out the jackets and gloves. Now that the kids are back at school, it can be a little more challenging to find activities to keep them (and yourself) active. The year may be coming to an end, but, just like students are starting a whole new year, this is a great time to start new activities that can become a regular part of your cold-weather life!

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