Judy Wells – Testimonial

Judy Wells on the left

A few months into Remote Coaching

Judy has taken charge of her exercise routine the last two months and is seeing all he benefits to what an active lifestyle has to offer. Listed below are some of the noticeable improvements she is already seeing!

Notice all the improvements are improving her quality of life! This is one of Judy’s goals!!

Good job Judy!

CHANGES/IMPROVEMENTS

• Walking was improved very soon after starting. I was really favoring my left knee which was affecting my right hip. For the most part it is less painful as well.

• Posture is improved – I notice sitting up straighter without even trying – it is just happening.

• Weightbearing is much improved – I believe this will be a slow process because of knees, but there is already a marked difference.

• Able to stand for longer periods without pain. I used to get a numbness in my right thigh – haven’t had that happen for ages.

• Less worry about walking in icy conditions – legs feel stronger and less worry about falling.

• Can carry items and walk with greater ease – really notice at the Post Office. If I have a package come in the mail I used to dread having to carry it out to the car and manage the stairs at the Post Office with it as well.

• Getting in and out of vehicle much easier. Still problems getting in passenger side but somewhat easier too.

• Can squat now – haven’t done that in quite a few years. Instead of bending from the hips to pick up things I try to squat first.

• Can feel upper body strength improving.

• When weightbearing on one leg at a time can really feel weight going down into the floor – before it just felt like there was no strength and lots of pain

CHALLENGES

• Biggest challenge is still stairs – suspect that won’t change a great deal until knee replacement, but I know it will still improve.

• Getting down on floor still not easy but better.

5 Reasons you should hire a health and fitness coach

A new year has begun. You’re still overweight. Your blood pressure is up from 2020, and every time you see your doctor, you’re told your A1C levels are getting closer to indicating Type 2 diabetes. Not only that, but going up the stairs leaves you out of breath, and you dread carrying your groceries from the car to your house every time you shop.

It’s time.

You could join the community centre gym and start walking, and hopefully soon running, on the treadmill, or riding the stationary bike or elliptical—boring yourself out of your own skull in the process.

You could try that new spin class you’ve heard people rave about, but it seems so repetitive.

You could try to pick up swimming again. You remember liking it when you were a kid. But the thought of fighting over the lane with five other swimmers isn’t exactly enticing.

Or you could sign up for bootcamp, but the thought of working out outside at 6 a.m. in the cold early January morning makes you shiver just thinking about it.

Or yoga. Yoga gets you somewhat fit, right? Or does it?

(In a perfect NON COVID WORLD – yes, yes I know haha)

The options for fitness are vast, to say the least

Before you make a decision, let’s reverse engineer this for a moment to figure out what’s going to actually get you what you REALLY want and need.

What you undoubtedly want is to be and feel healthier, right? To improve your growing health concerns, right? To make climbing stairs and grocery shopping easier, right? And if you look better in the process, that would be more than welcome, right? Oh and you probably have some chronic injuries that you wouldn’t mind healing, and you certainly don’t want to get more injured, right?

Is a three-day-a-week treadmill routine going to get you all of the above? Or swimming, or yoga, or a freeze-your-ass-off 6-week bootcamp? I’m going to take a leap here and say NO. None of those things are going to get you where you want to be, which is to live a happier, healthier life.

So what will?

Hiring a professional coach!

Here’s why a coach is the way to go:

Personalized attention:

Contrary to what you may have been told, fitness isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. With us, you’ll work in a one-on-one environment with a coach (and will eventually be able to also attend group classes). Your coach will be able to address your individual needs, your strengths, weaknesses, injuries and goals, and then hold your hand and steer you in the right direction physically, mentally and emotionally.

Accountability:

Ever start a workout routine but then fall off after a few days, weeks or months because there’s nothing to hold you accountable? Appointments with your coach will go a long way in ensuring you stay committed to achieving what you really want.

Youll actually get fit!

Imagine that? Actually seeing improvements! Half the reason people do fall off the wagon is because they don’t notice any strength, skill, stamina, endurance, or body composition benefits from working out. Working with a professional coach, who will monitor your progress, is what’s going to vault your fitness, health and body composition changes to levels you didn’t know were possible.

Heal Your Chronic Pain:

You know that shoulder injury you sustained when you were 16 that was never diagnosed and never totally healed? Or the chronic pain you feel in your knees or back every time you stand or sit for too long? Yeah, your coach will give you tools to help eliminate those chronic aches and pains you gave up on trying to heal years ago.

Nutrition:
You know you need to change the way you eat, but again there’s nobody to hold you accountable, and you’re confused what you should be eating because you hear so much contradictory information. Like fitness, nutrition isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Your coach will work with you through trial and error to figure out what your body needs to run as effectively as possible. And in the process, you’re going to find you’ll love the way your body looks and feels a whole lot more!

APPLY NOW to find out more about how our coaches can hep YOU

Good fears versus bad fears, and eradicating your irrational ones

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld

Though just a joke by a comedian, it’s true: When it comes to fears and phobias, much of the time they don’t make sense and aren’t rooted in rational thinking.

Someone once told me 95 percent of the time the things you worry about—the things you most fear—never come true.

When I got to thinking about it, I realized how true that statement was. Never is this more true than when we consider accidents and injuries. While you might be super duper scared of climbing the rope at the gym because you’re scared of heights, chances are you have never been injured during a rope climb. Meanwhile, you weren’t scared to run around the block, and yet you proceeded to sprain your ankle on the curb.  

One a similar note, have you ever convinced yourself of something you made up in your head, such as, ’So-and-so didn’t text me back. He must have gotten into a car accident,’ you think.

At first, it’s just a fleeting thought, but as more time goes by with an unanswered text message, you soon start to believe your own fantasy. It starts to feel real, and so you believe it’s real. Pretty soon, you’re so consumed with this fear and you don’t relax until you hear back from the person. Three hours later, you receive a text message from the person telling you his phone has been dead all afternoon. You breathe a sigh of relief and kick yourself for letting a made-up fear consume your afternoon.

Most of your fears, and thoughts in general, for that matter—be it a fear of needles, of box jumps or of airplanes—are like the latter: made-up and irrational. Your brain knows a nurse can be trusted with administering a needle into your arm, that you’re physically capable of jumping onto a 20-inch box and that flying is safe (you’re more likely to injure yourself getting out of bed), but we continue to let our fears hold us back.

The key comes down to recognizing which fears are real and which ones are irrational and should be eradicated!

The good fear:

Fear is a normal, natural and even a necessary part of being human. It’s basically a survival mechanism that kicks into gear when you sense danger. In short, fear and risk assessment are vital for physical and emotional development. When you feel fear, there’s a physiological response. Hormones like adrenaline and cortisol (the stress hormone) are released into your bloodstream, which triggers a fight-or-flight response that cause us to react to whatever situation is in front of us. 

HOWEVER, despite this mechanism existing to help us survive, when we develop irrational worries, phobias and fear, this protection mechanism backfires and ends up hurting us, or at the very least holding us back from all life has to offer. Like doing box jumps and rope climbs. 

So how do you get over the irrational fears?

It helps to understand a bit about the “science” behind fear. Thus, here are 6 things you maybe didn’t know about fear that can help you understand it and move forward:

6. The source of your fear isn’t as simple as you thought

Often times, people attribute a fear to a specific event, like that time they smoked their knee on a box jump, so now they’re scared to ever jump on a box again. Then they blame that box jump accident for the rest of their lives and boycott box jump days.

The experts, however, say fear is developed through a complex mix of both environmental factors and genetics, so while the box jump incident may have played a role, it’s worth digging deeper than that. While this might not be all that comforting, because if you blame genetics for your fears it’s hard to imagine eradicating them, this article talks about genetics, environmental factors and common fears: (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407160738.htm)

5. Fears transcend boundaries…

Some fears are so innate, they’re universal across various cultures. For example, during your early stages of development, a fear of strangers, as well as a fear of separation (from your parents) is very common. So too is a fear of certain animals and insects, as well as fear of the dark and a fear of thunderstorms. 

So don’t beat yourself up if you have what you think is a strange fear all to your own, like Anatidaephobia! Someone who Anatidaephobic lives with a persistent fear that a duck is watching them. Sounds ridiculous, but considering the phobia has its own name, it has to be more common than you might expect?

4. Be thankful that you CAN feel fear!

A condition exists called Urbach-Wiethe disease. Those with this condition don’t experience fear. These people remain calm even during an event like a plane crash. Neuroscientists aren’t sure why, but it’s suspected that certain parts of their brain simply don’t become engaged, so they lack that fight-or-flight response. 


Check out this story about a woman with the disease: https://www.wired.com/2010/12/fear-brain-amygdala/

Something tells me most of you would rather have the ability to feel fear than not at all?

3. Fear Distorts Reality

As I mentioned, fear is often a figment of your imagination. For example, someone who is claustrophobic and gets scared in small spaces, actually perceives the space they’re in as much smaller than it actually is. The same is true of spiders: Those who fear them see spiders as much bigger than they really are. 

Becoming aware of this in the moment—that your imagination is taking over—can go a long way in grounding a person and helping them realize the reality of the situation is much different than their fear is telling them.

2. Fear Extinction Therapy

“Fear extinction” as they call it is the process of decreasing fear by creating new memory associations. 

A 2010 study (http://www.pnas.org/content/108/16/6621?sid=df8f09b9-83f2-4db5-abcd-d8d1bd1d95ca) suggests cortisol can enhance this process of making fears extinct. The study administered cortisol to some participants (others received a placebo) before undergoing therapy to eradicate their fear of heights. Those who received the cortisol had a greater reduction in their fear than those who didn’t, and they also experienced less anxiety during the treatment. Interesting stuff, considering cortisol is generally associated with increasing stress and anxiety.

1. Tackling your fear head-on can also help you overcome it

For those who have legitimate phobias, actually confronting their fears in a safe and controlled environment usually helps them start to overcome their fear. For example, if you’re afraid of needles, but need to be on IV antibiotics every day for two weeks, you have a good chance of overcoming that fear by the end of the two weeks as you grow accustomed to confronting your fear until it becomes just another day at the office. The same is true of public speaking: There’s a reason people enroll in programs like Toast Masters: So they learn not to freak out when they have to give a presentation at work. 

If you can relate to this, and if you have gym-related fears, take the plunge! Talk to your coach and we’ll help create an environment where you feel more comfortable tackling that fear once and for all.

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Why “Diets” Backfire

Why “diets” backfire

There are many theories about why diets don’t work; today I want to discuss one of them, as it makes a lot of sense to me. 

There was a famous study done in the WWII days when starvation became a reality for many people around the world called the Minnesota Starvation Experiment (done at the University of Minnesota) that looked at the effects of caloric restriction. The idea was to examine the physiological and psychological effects of severe dietary restriction. 

The participants in the study started out by eating a 3,200 calories a day diet, but were then reduced to just 1570 calories. They started losing energy and strength and reported feeling tired and lethargic. Their heart rates also started to slow considerably, sometimes to as low as 35 beats per minute, their blood volumes dropped and their hearts shrank. Emotionally, they lost interest in politics, sex, romance, all the while becoming obsessed with food. 

When they returned to normal eating, 3,200 calories, which satiated them before the diet, was no longer enough for them to feel satisfied. It took around 4,000 for most of them to feel satiated, while some ate more than 5,000-plus calories a day. This trend continued for months after the experiment and was very difficult for them to reverse. 

I’m sure many people who have done a short-term, super strict diet can relate to this. You’re mentally resilient for 30 days of super clean eating, but you become obsessed with all of the delicious foods your body is craving, and the moment the challenge is over you let yourself have all those foods and sometimes let go completely and start eating more and worse foods than the pre-diet you did. Eventually you feel guilty enough to embark on a new restrictive short-term diet. 

Hence the term: Yo-yoing dieters. 

An alternative approach: Small habit changes over the course of one year, the goal being to create more sustainable, lifelong change. It’s an approach the well-respected Precision Nutrition (precisionnutrition.com) takes with their clients. 

Try this:

Make a list of 12 to 24 actionable habits you’d like to develop in your life:

They can be as simple as drinking a glass of water every morning when you wake up so you feel less ravenous for breakfast. Or it can involve cutting our sugar from your morning coffee, food prepping lunches for the week every Saturday or Sunday, or reducing your meals out to once a week. The idea is to select small, actionable, measurable habits that you know will benefit your overall health, and that you can take on one or two at a time without feeling overwhelmed. 

Once you come up with 12 to 24, start by tackling one or two small ones each month for the next 12 months. Generally one habit a month is more manageable, but if they’re small and easy you might be able to tackle two. 

Pretty soon, many of these habits will be as automatic as showering. You don’t have to convince yourself to hop in the shower or brush your teeth every day: You just do it because you know it’s good for you and probably makes you feel better, or at least cleaner.

That. Being. Said… Don’t expect to be perfect. Though you may decide to eat out just once a week, if you mess up and go for that Sunday brunch with your friends after also going out for dinner on Friday night, enjoy the meal and move on. You have probably forgotten to brush your teeth before, right? And you likely don’t guilt trip yourself about it and stop brushing your teeth for a week because of it… Make a mistake. Note it. Move on, and continue making small, manageable change. 

No, you likely won’t drop 20 lb. in 30 days, but by the end of the year, you might be 25 lb. lighter and will be on a path to even better health than the previous year.

Contact us if you want more direction making lasting nutritional and lifestyle changes.  

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How are brains trick us into short-term decision-making at the expense of our future selves

Have you ever done something you knew what a bad idea, but did it anyway?

Do you ever wonder why we continue to do things we know are bad for us—be it eating sugary food, drinking too much booze, spending money we shouldn’t, skipping the gym or falling off fitness routines completely, or staying up too late?

It’s pretty simple: It comes down to choosing the short-term—the instant gratification—over the long term.

If you know you have tendencies that prioritize the now you over the future you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a pretty often-talked about societal problem: Think Easter Island and it’s easy to see that short-term thinking has the potential to be our ultimate demise.

Similarly, this TED talk (​https://www.ted.com/talks/ari_wallach_3_ways_to_plan_for_the_very_long_term/transc ript?language=en​) goes into the concept of what he calls “short-termism.” It argues that short-term-ism is the biggest challenge we face that essentially limits both individual and societal success.

In light of this, I did some research about why it’s so hard to consider the future over the now, and I found some pretty dire information. For example, this 2011 study (​https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51738840_Future_self-continuity_How_conce ptions_of_the_future_self_transform_intertemporal_choice​) explains that when you think about the future, your brain does something neurologically that’s actually pretty odd: It stops realizing you’re thinking about yourself and actually thinks you’re thinking about someone else. Specifically, the part of the brain known as the medial prefrontal cortex essentially shuts off. Generally when you’re thinking about yourself it’s firing on all cylinders, and when you’re thinking about something you don’t have anything in common with, it turns off. Weird, right?

All this means is your brain thinks of the future you as a total stranger, so it’s no surprise many of us don’t treat our future selves very well, and no surprise many of us are bad at saving money for the future and making decisions now for our future physical health.

You might think having kids might help you think about the future more. Nope! This survey (​http://www.iftf.org/americanfuturegap​) of almost 3,000 people showed having children or grandchildren didn’t change a thing. The one thing that did, however, was experiencing a near-death situation. Those who have been through a near-death experience increased their ability to think about their future significantly.

Seeing as waiting for a near-death experience to come your way doesn’t sound all that appealing, here are three things you can do to help you work on your decision-making so it keeps the bigger, longer term in mind:

Let yourself dream

Map out your future. What do you want? What do you look like? What do you feel like?

Often times, people who consider themselves realists have a hard time with this. They don’t want to, or are too scared, to picture an unrealistic future to they don’t do it. Over time, they lose the ability to dream. So let yourself be a kid again and dream big. Even if it doesn’t go exactly as planned, it’ll help you understand the types of decisions you need to make now to have a shot at that dream.

Learn from the past

Go back to decisions you have made that have negatively affected your long-term. Write them down. Remember them. Let yourself feel the pain the actions caused you in the long term, and then write down how things could have been different had you chose another route. Don’t shove your mistakes under a rug: Remember them and learn from them.

Don’t be too judgey

Perfection is impossible: You’re going to forget to brush my teeth once in a blue moon and you’re going to slide from your diet here and there. Accepting this will hopefully allow you to avoid judging and beating yourself up when you do mess up, and also help you start making better decisions more frequently.

If you’re a business owner, check out this article about Amazon’s CEO and how long-term thinking is important in business success, as well as tips for business owners: (​https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/6-ways-to-imp rove-your-long-term-thinking/​).

And he’s an article about long-term thinking and how it’s better for financial decision-making: (​https://www.prudential.co.za/insights/articlesreleases/unlocking-the-power-of-long-term -thinking/​).

For those patient, future-thinkers out there, what are your best tips for prioritizing the long-term over the right now?

The Obstacle Is The Way – Ryan Holiday (Book Review)

The Obstacle Is The Way – Ryan Holiday

The Obstacle is the way is a great reminder about overcoming setbacks. An informative outline of how your mindset can dictate whether things become difficult and de-motivate you, or serve as an obstacle to improve yourself personally, spiritually and physically. 

I personally found this book to a very good reference for clients that struggle with adversity, disappointment and setback. It couldn’t be more clear and important, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic when athletes are struggling to find motivation to train, or understand what they are actually training for with no foreseen competitions in the future. 

The book references a ton of historical figures who have persevered in the face of social and material obstacles, under conditions that would make many people abandon hope. 

Some example stories, Alexander the great discovers a way to train his horse Bucephalus, the horse that prior to Alexander was named to be “untrained” and unapproachable. Alexander spotted his weakness and made him run in a straight line until he could no longer run, tiring him. Alexander then used the fatigue to mount the horse and start the relationship and training. Moral of the story, the biggest obstacles in our lives often also have large weaknesses, which can be used against them.

Another example of a story was Tommy John, one of baseball’s most savvy and durable pitchers, played twenty-six seasons in the major. It’s an almost superhuman accomplishment. But he was able to do it because he got really good at asking himself and others, is there a chance? Like a one percent chance. Referencing his story about the shoulder surgery, because prior to those days, a pitcher blowing out his shoulder would mean his career was over. He was told, yes! There is a one percent chance. His attitude was thats a hell of a lot better than no chance, let’s take the chance. There is now a surgery named after him. His resiliency, mindset and pursuit to make things happen can teach us a lot. He would die on the field before he left anything to chance. 

A few things I took away from reading this book:

  1. All obstacles are a test, the universe wants you to think you should second guess your intuition, your wants, your needs and your goals. Find a way to work around it, the only limitation is your mindset.
  1. Accept the things you can’t change and control the things you can. 
  1. The world is exactly how we want to see it. You want to see the bad, you will. You want to see the good, you will.
  1. We can never stop the pursuit of happiness and going after what we believe in. 
  1. Success is not a gift, but rather a path anyone is allowed to follow and make happen on their own. 

Quotes

Quote 1

“When you play all the way to the whistle, you will not worry about the clock” – Practice Persistent chapter

I really resonated with this quote as its something I think about regularly when competing or coaching some of my athletes that are competing. I always think of it this way, control what you can control, the rest will take care of itself. If you are constantly worried about all these other factors around you, you are not really focused intently on the task at hand. That can be useful for sport, but also everyday life, business or any goal you are trying to achieve. 

Quote 2

“Its supposed to be hard” – Practice Persistent chapter

Would we want it any other way? Focusing on the process of going after things that are hard to achieve is the reason we go after ambitious goals in the first place. I think we often forget about this, we focus on how we aren’t where we want to be, then when we get to where we thought we wanted, we are unsatisfied, why? The process and the pursuit of working towards your goal is the fulfillment, it being hard makes you bring your best effort. I love this quote. 

Quote 3

“We can learn to perceive things differently, to cut through the illusions that others believe or fear. We can stop seeing the “problems” in front of us as problems. We can learn to focus on what things really are. – The Discipline of Perception chapter

This was a good reminder to how we can handle the stressors in our life. We can immediately react and give into to what our initial reactions and emotions are telling us, or we can take a step back, take a deep breath and analyze, find a way to look at it a different way. I love saying “the world is how we see it”, this couldn’t be more true. 

Quote 4

“Defiance and acceptance come together well in the following principle: There is always a countermove, alway an escape or a way through, so there is no reason to get worked up. No one said it would be easy and, of course, the stakes are high, but the path is there for those ready to take it” – Steady Your Nerves chapter

I think this quote really does summarize the message this book is trying to voice. An obstacle is just that, an obstacle. It is not the end of the world, its likely there to test your character, your commitment, your discipline and how serious you are about your goal, it will be there to teach you rather than make you fail. 

Quote 5

“Knowing that life is a marathon and not a sprint is important. Conservative your energy. Understand that each battle is only one of many and that you can use it to make the next one easier. More important, you must keep them all in real perspective. – Prepare to Start Again chapter

The longer I coach in the fitness space the more I conserve my energy to where it is needed most. The energy “vampire” is something Max and I have talked about during this mentorship, and too often you can get caught up in wasting energy on people or topics that just have no place in your life. I chose to focus on the positive things in my life, not the negative. 

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Fitness Over 50: Beyond Cardio

Whenever I meet people in their 50s and 60s and they ask me about fitness, they all seem to hold the same belief: The most important piece of the fitness puzzle for people of their demographic is cardio, they think.

If their cardiovascular fitness is on point, they’ll fend off heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. And if their cardiovascular fitness is on point, they think they’ll be less likely to become overweight.

While I’m not poo poo-ing the benefits of cardiovascular fitness, I would argue there are two pieces of the puzzle that are as important, and possibly even more important, than cardiovascular exercise for the 50-plus crew:

1. Mobility/Flexibility 2. Strength

When it comes to quality of life, if your range of motion in your joints are limited, and if your muscles and bones are weak, even if you hold off heart disease through getting your heart rate up going for runs, your life can still be pretty dismal—physically, emotionally, even financially.

If you’re weak and immobile, simple tasks like getting off the toilet, standing up if you fall down, carrying your bags through the airport or even grocery shopping can become difficult, even impossible for some. This physical deterioration generally takes a toll on a person’s emotional state, to the point that they often give up and believe their best days are over—that they don’t have much to live for anymore.

And the financial hit from being weak and immobile at 60 goes well beyond just increasing medical bills. It’s a common experience for older people to renovate their entire house to proof it for being old and weak. Think installing a new, higher toilet just so they can stand up again, or bathroom renovations because they can no longer climb into the shower, or even entirely wheelchair accessible homes. Extreme case: The person must relocate entirely to a home without stairs.

The point is, if you spend money now on learning how to squat, and on keeping your joints moving effectively through a usable range of motion, you will be able to remain in your home and live in it like you were 30 when you’re 75. And with more money in the bank.

But enough with the what will happen if you don’t stay strong and mobile…

Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits you can experience if you keep lifting weights, and keep doing squats, burpees and working on your mobility as you age.

7 Reasons to be mobile and strong as you age 7. More fat loss than cardio

There’s evidence that eating well and weight training helps you lose more fat than aerobic workouts.

This study published in the Journal of Obesity (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/oby.21977 looked at 249 adults in their 60s, all of whom over overweight or obese. It found that restricting their calories plus weight training resulted in significantly more fat loss compared to the group who restricted calories and did aerobic exercise.

6. Don’t break a hip

You probably know falling and breaking a hip when you’re older is bad news. In fact, mortality rates in the year after a hip fracture increase by 25 percent.

The chance of breaking the hip, or any bone for that matter, increases as you age and your bones weaken and become brittle. Worst case scenario is, of course, is osteoporosis. All of this can be prevented with regular strength training, as it helps improve bone mineral density, which is important in fending off osteoporosis.

5. Reduce Chronic pain

If your joints are functioning well and you maintain your flexibility and mobility, your incidence of common afflictions associated with aging, such as lower back pain, decrease significantly. A flexible muscle is also better at absorbing shock, which decreases stress placed on our joints from regular activities as simple as walking.

4. Reduce Acute Injuries

Remember when you were a kid and you broke your arm, and the moment your cast was removed you were good to go—as if the injury never happened?

This is certainly not the case when you’re older. Injuries take longer to heal, and some never totally heal. If you break a foot at 50, for example, there’s a good chance you’ll always walk with a slight limp even after the bone has healed.

Not only that, but injuring yourself when you’re older becomes easier and easier. A slip in the shower or reaching for something in the back seat of your car can sometimes be enough to throw your back out or rip something in your shoulder. Again, maintainingpage2image38463424

and even increasing your strength, as well as your flexibility, goes a long way in helping fend off acute injuries from happening in the first place.

3. Better Balance

A lack of flexibility can also trigger bad balance, which is a common concern among ageing adults who fear falling. Check out this study about how Yoga, and how increasing flexibility, helps with acquiring better balance: http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2016;volume=9;issue=1;spage =27;epage=34;aulast=Polsgrove

2. Improves Blood Glucose and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is another big concern for many, but especially for older adults who have been abusing their bodies for decades. In fact, age is is one of the risk factors of becoming a Type 2 diabetic.

R​esistance training/strength training is a great way to help your body use insulin more efficiently, thus helping keep your blood glucose levels in a normal range. This is

because your muscles store glucose, and the glucose you eat in food gets absorbed by your muscle tissue; resistance training and strength training are useful in improving blood sugar levels after meals.

Read more here about strength training and its affect on blood glucose and Type 2 diabetes, and even heart disease (yet another reason to prioritize strength training over conditioning all the time): https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/strength-training-diabetes

1. Improves Sleep

Strength training helps regulate various functions in your body, such as your resting glucose metabolism, your blood pressure and your metabolic rate, all of which contribute to reduced stress and a better night of sleep. There’s also evidence that it helps you both fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply, as muscle growth and deep sleep are interconnected: When you’re in a deep sleep, it helps your hormone balance, which then helps repair and develop muscle.

This is particularly important when it comes to ageing adults, as older people tend to report more sleep problems than younger folks.

So the next time you’re thinking about going for a brisk walk or a jog to improve your fitness at 50, maybe reconsider and do some squats instead

Not sleeping enough during the week? Sleeping more on the weekend doesn’t help!


Oh, the wonderful feeling of not having to wake up to an alarm on the weekend, and of “catching up” on all the sleep you lost during the work week.


Sad news: Doing this might not be the best idea for your health. It might not actually undo any of the damage you did during the week by not sleeping enough from Monday to Friday.
A new study, published in (​https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(19)30098-3)​ Current Biology, suggests this: If you’re sleeping in longer on the weekends, yet you’re still sleeping poorly (or not enough) during the week, you’re not doing any favor to your health, and you might even be more likely to gain weight.


The study looked at healthy men and women, none of whom had babies at home who might negatively affect their sleep. The men and women were then divided into three groups.
The first group was given the chance to sleep for nine hours a night for 10 consecutive nights. The second group was only allowed five hours of sleep a night, while the third group was allowed to sleep just five hours during the week, but could sleep as much as they wanted on the weekend.


When they looked at the results, they say that the second and third groups (those whose sleep was restricted) both snacked more after dinner and gained weight (a 2.8% increase in weight for the men and 1.1% increase in weight for the women). Interestingly enough, the men who slept in on the weekend showed an even bigger weight gain than those who didn’t.


Though people assume their weekend sleep-in helps reset their systems, the researchers of this study explained if you’re sleep deprived at any time, especially chronically sleep deprived like many people are, your body will not correct itself by sleeping more on the weekend. Specifically, weekend sleep-ins don’t correct your inability to do things like regulate blood sugar—a problem for many people—the researchers said.
On top of this, the researchers explained not sleeping enough leads to us eating more, partly because we’re awake more and get hungry, and partly because hunger hormones—leptin and ghrelin—get triggered from chronic lack of sleep. Leptin drops and ghrelin increases, which inevitably leads to weight gain.

Another theory from the study is that sleeping in on the weekend negatively affects your biological clock—or circadian rhythm. The lack of consistent sleep confuses your biological clock even more, and then makes your sleep even worse during the week. This also deprives your body of certain hormones.


So… all signs point to: Like diet and exercise, when it comes to sleep CONSISTENCY is key.
One of the best things you can do to maximize the quality of your sleep is to have a regular bed time 90 percent of the time, just like when you were a kid (Maybe your parents were onto something with the whole bedtime routine and consistent bedtime thing).


There’s some pretty good research to back up this claim: This 2018 study published in Scientific Reports (​https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-32402-5​) says adults need consistent sleep routines for optimal health.


The participants in this study tracked their exact sleep schedules, down to the minute, via sleep tracking devices. The researchers found a link between sleep irregularities and health problems. The more irregular the sleep patterns, the more at risk people were for various diseases like hypertension, heart disease, high blood sugar levels, as well as becoming obese.


So there you have it: It might be time to go back to being a child, having a regular sleep routine and a consistent bedtime.


One thing we have found works for many people—to help them become more tired at night and ready for bed at an earlier and consistent time—is also having a regular wake-up time. The easiest way to do this is to set your alarm early and HIT THE GYM!

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7 Keys to Better Joint Health

When we think about working out, our muscles are usually top of mind. After all, most of our fitness goals seem to surround our muscles: Add 20-lb. to my back squat. Improve my pulling strength. Improve my pushing strength. Etc.


We do much less thinking about our joints.

Why?

Probably because improving our ankle flexibility or out shoulder stability sounds much less glamorous than boasting a 30-lb. deadlift squat PR.

But then a joint injury happens, and suddenly building strength isn’t even an option…

It shouldn’t take an injury to start prioritizing joint health.

Joint health isn’t just concern for those with osteoarthritis or other degenerative joint diseases. We all should all be thinking about our joints—particularly how to keep those connections to our bones healthy as we age, so that we can continue to be active until we’re 85 years old.

So, how can we ensure that we’re doing everything we can to promote healthy joint aging?

Here are a few key tips …

Don’t sit around
If you already show up to workout three to five days a week, that’s a great start. Keeping muscles, bones and ligaments strong goes a long way in keeping your joints strong, too.

But don’t forget the rest of the day—when you’re not at the gym. Simply put, less movement means more stiffness. So don’t sit (or stand) for too long in the same position. Whether you’re working at a desk or watching Netflix, get up and move around periodically. Your joints will reward you with less stiffness.

Perfect form

Again, this goes without saying, but poor form—things like extending your spine during a shoulder press, or deadlifting or squatting with your knees caving in—can lead to joint injuries.

So the next time you’re tempted to add more weight to a bar than you might be able to handle with perfect form, stop and think about your joint health.

Posture

Generally speaking, poor posture is not good for your joints. Ensuring good posture throughout the day (standing and sitting up straight) will go a long way to keeping your joints feeling strong.

Avoid slouching at all costs! If you spend a lot of time at a desk, make a mental note to correct your posture throughout the day. You can even set a reminder on your phone…

Warm-up!

How much better do you feel lifting or conditioning when you’re properly warmed up? Best case scenario, show up 15 to 20 minutes before your personal training session or class and prep the joints that will be most taxed that day.

If you’re not sure what to do, talk to your coach and come up with a warm-up plan that gets you best ready for training.

Core is key

A strong core goes a long way in preventing injuries. Adding some core accessory work—focusing on your abs, low back, hamstrings and glutes—to the end of your training sessions is a good idea. Again, if you’re not sure what to do, ask your coach for a core training plan.

Healthy weight

This one might go without saying, but if you’re overweight, losing weight might be the most important thing you can do for your joints. Carrying around extra weight is hard on your knees, hips and back, which support that excess weight.

Even losing a few pounds can make a difference, as pressure is reduced from those weight-bearing joints, and your risk of injury decreases.

Diet, diet, diet

While diet is always controversial, science says food that helps reduce inflammation goes a long way in helping joint health. Foods like Omega-3 rich fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna) or fish oil supplements, leafy free vegetables, such as spinach and kale, whole grains, such as brown rice, and nuts, such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios, are all good for reducing inflammation and promoting joint health.

When it comes to joints, the old adage holds true: ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’

In other words, don’t wait until you’re injured to start thinking about your joints.

Fitness for Teens: So much more than just physical benefits

Time and time again, 25, 35 or 65 year-olds have expressed regret that they didn’t discover our gym sooner.

I wish I would have found this when I was younger, they say.

Or, I wish my parents would have pushed fitness on me when I was a teen.

Or, Imagine what my life could have been like had I continued to workout right after I graduated from high school.

While you can’t go back and redo a decade or two of your life, you can ensure your children and teenagers reap the benefits of being strong and fit their entire lives.

While the physical benefits of being fit at any age goes without saying, the emotional and social benefits are less obvious. BUT never are the emotional and social benefits of being fit more pronounced than when you consider teenagers: They’re young, impressionable, and easily mouldable, and they’re ripe for the picking when it comes to putting their lives on a course to success. And the gym is a great launching pad for this.

5 Ways Being Fit at 15 will help your teenager beyond the physical benefits

5. Diversifies their social skills

Most teens like to spend the bulk of their time with their peers. Other than their parents and their teachers, they don’t usually have many relationships with adults. And the relationships with the few adults they do spend time with—i.e. parents and teachers—tend to come with an unequal power balance.

Training with adults at the gym—be it 20-year-olds or 50-year-olds—really helps teenagers develop the appropriate social skills to confidently communicate with, and even be friends with, older adults.

When it comes time to enrol in college or university, or to begin a career, having the ability and confidence to connect with people of all backgrounds and ages will be invaluable to your 18-year-old.

4. Healthy diet education

Teens can be some of the pickiest eaters in the world!

And to make matters worse, puberty often goes hand-in-hand with weight gain (so does first year university and the infamous Freshman 15). Broaching the subject of diet and body composition with your teen can be a touchy subject for any parent because you don’t want to push them into an eating disorder. And they usually don’t want to listen to their parents about what constitutes healthy eating anyway. 

They are way more likely to listen to coaches, and their gym friends, though, about how they should be fuelling their bodies.

So instead of putting pressure on them and warning them they’re getting a bit chubby, surround them with health-conscious athletes at the gym who love to cook and eat healthy food. (Not only that, but they will also receive education from our coaches about nutrition).

And the best part is they’ll likely get there on their own accord, as the more fit they become, the more fit they’ll likely want to be, and they’ll realize that diet plays a big role in this. Generally, this will lead to a healthy interest in eating well, and maybe even in researching and experimenting, with what their bodies truly want and need to optimize heath and performance.

3. Strong over skinny mentality

Teenage girls especially are prone to get wrapped up in wanting to be skinny. But when your 15-year-old daughter is surrounded by young, fit, lean, muscular women in their 20s, their whole attitude toward what kind of body they want to have will change. 

This has been the case for 13-year-old Thea in Vancouver, who has been training for two years already. She explained what being around strong girls and women has done for her.

“At my age, there are definitely girls that are worried about staying skinny. Because I was first introduced to CrossFit at a much younger age (11), I’ve never had those problems. I just tell myself I would rather be strong than skinny.”

When Thea’s coach told her she needed to gain muscle mass, which might mean she will weigh 20-lb. more in a year from now, Thea smiled a smile that said, “Bring it on.”

2. Confidence builder 

As they say, ‘Confidence is sexy.’ If only most high school aged teens realized this…

If they did, they would be much more successful at school, in their sporting endeavours, and most certainly in their attempts at dating. 

The result: Instead of your 14-year-old daughter hiding her legs under big bulky basketball shorts, she will start to own her muscular thighs. This confidence in herself will ooze from her when she walks through the halls, making her untouchable to her peers.

In other words, getting fit makes you proud of yourself. It makes you love yourself, something most teenagers struggle with. And when you love yourself, suddenly you perceive the world loves you back just a little bit more. 

1. The ability to handle the real world

Working out de-stresses you no matter what age you’re at. And teens tend to get extremely overwhelmed and stressed more easily than most.

Whether they’re stressed out about final exams or finding a prom date, sweating it out at the gym surrounded by great role models is sure to leave them feeling better and more capable of handling anything high school, and life, throws their way. 

Think about who you could have been at 16 had you known what you know now? Fitness will give this gift to your teen.