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4 Steps to a Solid Workout Routine

4 Steps to a Solid Workout Routine

You’re tired of hiding your eyes when you step on the scale and you’re ready to get active and get fit. That’s great news! The problem, however, often lies in how to get from Point A to Point B. This is where a solid workout routine becomes essential.

But, just what is meant by a “solid” routine? Isn’t one plan just as good as another? This isn’t necessarily so. A good routine will involve four critical aspects, each of which are important to explore closely. They are:

  • Cardiovascular – This is the kind of physical activity that gets your heart beating faster and your blood pumping. Running, swimming, aerobic classes and much more all fit into this type of exercise. This component is critical because it aids in fat burning, increases endurance and can improve cardiovascular health, as well.
  • Strength training – Performing some kind of weight training is a vital part of any workout routine, as well. You don’t have to work out like a body builder to get great results either. Just simple lifting to tone and strengthen the muscles can create fantastic results. Strength training is important because developing lean muscle mass can assist fat burning and it can help you keep that fat off once it’s gone.
  • Stretching – This is a critical component of a workout routine because it helps prevent injuries. Stretching can also assist with flexibility, which is important to maintain throughout life. Gentle, targeted stretches can also alleviate muscle aches and pains. It’s best to perform stretches during a workout warm-up period and to cool down with a few gentle moves, as well.
  • Time – The time factor is one many people overlook. You don’t have to work out seven days a week, two hours at a time to see results. In fact, going overboard can backfire quickly. To get the best results, try a five-day schedule and aim for 30 to 60 minutes with each workout. Sometimes less is more and this is often the case with exercise. If you can’t handle five days a week to start out, shoot for three or four and work your way up to the ideal five.If you are a member of a gym and you’re not sure how to get started or you need support along the way, speak with a personal trainer or talk to the fitness pros at your local gym. They will be more than happy to help you get off on the right foot and will work with you to ensure you stay on task.

If you’re ready to get into shape, a good workout routine is essential. Developing one that will work for weight loss, maintenance and overall health improvements calls for all four components and we at BodyWise Personal Fitness Training can help you get started.

Are Workout Gadgets Worth It?

Are Workout Gadgets Worth It?

You’ve been exploring the latest releases on the workout gadget market and you have to admit you’re impressed. Some of these items have every bell and whistle imaginable. While they are neat and trendy, you can’t help but wonder if they are worth the expense.

So, are they?

Generally speaking, the answer is no. While there are some workout machines, for example, that can be well worth the investment, they simply are not necessary to see the results you want. In fact, most workout gadgets don’t focus on a full body workout. This is truly what you need to get into shape and stay that way. There really are better – and cheaper – ways to enhance your exercise time than investing in a costly gadget.

Unless you really want to spend money on something with bells and whistles, keep your cash and consider doing these things instead:

  • Stick with the basics – In most cases, you’ll get as good or even better results from sticking with exercise basics rather than spending money on gadgets. Run, walk, swim, bike, go lift weights, do something, anything that’s physical. If you blend those cardio activities with good old fashion strength training, you will see results for a whole lot less.
  • Join a gym – Rather than purchase your own fitness gadgets, use a gym or fitness center’s collection. This way you can take advantage of a lot of machines and gadgets without having to buy them all.
  • Get a personal trainer (BodyWise) – Instead of spending your money on a gadget that may or may not work, hire a trainer to develop a program you enjoy and can follow to attain weight loss success. Personal trainers can help you develop a program that’s tailored just for you and they can motivate you to reach your goals. Give us a call at 416-762-0009 to schedule a complimentary consultation/workout and discuss your fitness goals.
  • Eat right – There is no gadget out there that can replace this key weight loss component. If you want to enjoy real success, you’ll need to learn to eat healthier. A well-balanced, calorie conscious diet can take you where you want to go – especially if it’s combined with a smart exercise routine.
  • Workout gadgets are fun and they can add some excitement to a routine. They aren’t, however, necessary to reach your goals. Rather than spend your money on a product that won’t help you enjoy a true whole body workout, stick with the basics, rely on some input from the pros and learn to eat better to make the changes you’re striving for.

Tips On Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

Tips On Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

Losing weight; it’s the quintessential New Year’s resolution. Chances are if you made the weight-loss resolution this year, you are scrambling right now trying to figure out how to make it stick – or maybe how to start it.

Relax! There are ways to make sure your promise to yourself is kept. You might need to take a step back and evaluate what you are doing to make it happen though.

Losing weight is a process that takes some dedication along the way. While it might require some work, it can also prove to be a whole lot of fun if you approach it in the right way.

To help yourself make this year’s resolution materialize, follow these tips:

  • Re-evaluate your goals – Depending on how you worded your resolution, you may need to reevaluate it and set realistic goals. If you said, “I’m going to lose 100 pounds this year,” chances are you are already daunted by the task. Change your wording to, “I’m going to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable manner and keep working on it.” Shoot for a pound or two a week in the short term and keep that 100 pounds in the long term and you won’t find yourself so overwhelmed!
  • Get advice – Healthy, sustainable weight loss often requires the creation of a multi-pronged attack to make it happen. This means combining the right menu with the right workout plan. When the two combine correctly, you ensure the food going in is good for the body and your weight loss goals. You also ensure that your body’s use of those calories is where it needs to be to assist in making your resolution materialize. Consult with BodyWise Personal Training or professionals at your health club for assistance in formulating a realistic plan that you can actually follow.
  • Work on developing healthy habits – Habits are things you do without even thinking about them. Reaching for a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, for example, is a habit you may have developed over time. You can develop new, healthier habits if you work at it. Pick one thing at a time and keep doing it until you don’t even think about it any longer. You might want to exercise for 15 minutes before drinking that coffee or start bagging your lunch so you can resist fast-food temptations when you are away from home.
  • Have patience – A New Year’s resolution worth making will likely take some time to develop. Weight loss and getting into shape require a process that doesn’t produce results overnight. Work closely with your trainer and mark your short term goals as signs of your success.
  • Ask for help when you need it – Putting yourself on a path for weight loss will likely call for some changes in your everyday routine. Getting into the swing of things is often difficult. The temptation is always present to slip. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support when you need it. Count on your trainer at BodyWise Studio, professionals at your health club and your friends and family to help.

If you’re ready to make this year’s resolution stick, you can do it! With persistence and a solid support team, including your trainer, this year can be a great one.

If you’re ready to begin your fitness journey call BodyWise Personal Fitness Training today at 416-762-0009, we will guide you on your 2016 health and fitness journey.

Call BodyWise Studio today at 416-762-0009 and receive a complimentary nutrition and fitness consultation (valued at $97).

 

Should I Exercise When I’m Sick?

Exercising When You’re Sick

Once an exercise plan is firmly entrenched in the regular routine, breaking out of it can be a real problem. There are times, however, when it’s simply best to skip a day or two. This is especially so when sickness is a concern. If the symptoms go beyond the common cold, it’s often wiser to sit it out then to try and dive in and ignore the problem.

There are a number of reasons why it’s just a good idea to take an off day or two than try to keep an exercise routine on track when the body’s battling the flu, a stomach bug or some other infection. Here are some of the best reasons to give it a rest:

    • Endurance isn’t likely to be in tact – Completing a regular workout routine while sick can be a near impossible task. Chances are the endurance level just won’t be where it should and getting the most out of the effort just won’t be possible. This can lead to frustration that may linger even after the illness has passed.
    • Greater likelihood for injury – The fact of the matter is people are just not on their game, so to say, when they’re sick. It’s best to take a day or two off than risk not being completely focused on working out. It’s just all too easy to overlook a safety measure or rush through warm ups. When this happens, injuries are more likely.
  • Chance of increasing the number of sick days – When the body is sick, it needs rest. Exert too much and energy needed to get better will be zapped. This can make an illness worse and may extend the number of necessary recovery days.Once an illness passes, it’s okay to try and get back into the normal routine. Depending on how serious the illness was, however, it might take some time to get back at it at full speed. With this in mind, try these tips to get back into the workout routine:

 

  • Getting Back on Track
  • Start back slowly. Don’t push or overexert.
  • Work with a trainer for any recommended alterations to the workout plan during the post-recovery period.
  • Stay hydrated. This is important all the time, but it can be especially so in the days following an illness.
  • Getting sick is no fun, but that doesn’t mean it has to sideline a fitness routine forever. It’s okay to take a few days to rest up. Just get back in there when it’s possible.

Protein & Exercise

Protein and exercise: eating to build strength

You’ve probably heard you need protein, especially when you exercise. But how does it work? How much do you need? What sources are best? And when should you eat it for best results? Here’s a quick overview of everything you need to know:

Why do I need protein?

Protein has so many benefits. Resistance training breaks down muscle fibres, and the amino acids in protein repair the damage. Protein speeds up recovery time, boosts energy and increases strength. It helps build enzymes that allow your body to adapt to endurance activities like running and cycling. It dulls hunger (think about how full you feel and how long that feeling lasts after eating a chicken breast versus eating bread), and can even help prevent obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

How does it work?

Amino acids act as building blocks for your muscles, fueling the muscle growth process called protein synthesis. So when you’ve done a hard resistance-based workout, protein rebuilds the damage you’ve done to your muscles; that’s the only way they will get stronger (and bigger, if that’s your goal). If you don’t consume protein after a hard workout, you can actually LOSE muscle mass, no matter how much weight you lift. It’s vital.

How much protein should I eat?

After a workout, a good rule of thumb is 10-20 grams of protein within two hours of exercising. More won’t help. (But it won’t hurt you either.) And overall, for someone who works out 3-5 times a week, you should be eating about half a gram of protein per pound of body weight. So if you’re a 140 lb. woman, that’s about 70 grams. And don’t try to eat all your protein in one meal – spread it out through the day. It helps fuel muscle growth all day instead of just the few hours around dinner.

What sources of protein are best?

What’s better? Protein shakes? Meat? Eggs? Plant-based foods? They’re all good, but some are better than others.

Powders and bars are a great way to get a lot of protein into your system – throw some in the blender with milk and a banana, and you’ve got a filling, hard-working snack. Just remember that not all powders are created equal. Check the label for the “hydrolyzed.” It means they’re partially broken down, so they’ll be absorbed into your muscles faster for quicker recovery.

Lean animal sources like eggs, lean meats, fish, yogurt and low-fat milk are complete proteins with essential amino acids your body can’t make on its own. Throwing some complex carbs in there helps slow protein breakdown, which speeds muscle growth.

Plant-based sources are good too, but getting complete proteins this way is more complicated; you have to combine legumes, nuts and grains over the course of the day. Plus, you have to eat more of it to get the benefits of animal-based sources.

Can protein help me lose weight?

Absolutely. Protein is vital to any sustainable weight loss program. When you cut down on the calories you take in, a higher overall percentage of your food should be protein. That’s the only way to preserve your muscle mass, which helps you burn calories.

Want to know more about how protein can help you exercise – and achieve the body you want? Talk to us – we’ve got the knowledge you need to help you tone, strengthen and slim. Call BodyWise Personal Fitness Training we will help you with your diet and fitness program.

 

 

101 Bodybuilding for Women: 7 tips for serious muscle

Bodybuilding for women 101: 7 tips for serious muscle

 

Thinking of taking your strength training up a notch? Bodybuilding can give you a fabulously cut, taut bod – but not without a lot of hard work and determination.

As a woman, it’s physiologically harder for you to build muscle. Men have it easier that way. They have more testosterone, which makes it easier to gain muscle. We have more estrogen, which makes us store more fat. Kind of unfair, if you ask me. But although bodybuilding is more of a challenge for those of us with x chromosomes, it isn’t impossible. It just takes effort and a solid understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Here are the 7 key tips for successful female bodybuilding:

  1. Schedule your gym time and stick to it. Plan a routine that hits all the bases and gives you a 48-hour break between working muscle groups. Be realistic about what you can achieve – you’re not going to be competition-ready in a month. Focus on consistency, perseverance and determination.
  2. Heavy weight, low reps. Low weight and high reps will tone muscles, but won’t build them up. So go heavy. If you feel like you can do more than 6-10 reps in a set, add more weight, not more reps. Focus on compound exercises that use your prime mover and stabilizer muscles – think squats, dead lifts, lunges, rows, bench presses and overhead presses.
  3. Watch your form. Challenge yourself, but know your limits. Bodybuilding isn’t about how much weight you can lift, but how you lift it. Learn to lift smoothly and with the right muscles. (I can’t tell you how painful it is watching people use their backs instead of their biceps – yes, they can lift more, but they’re not working the right muscles, and it’s just an injury waiting to happen.) A personal trainer is a great resource for learning good form so you can work out safely on your own.
  4. Throw in some serious cardio. To show off all that muscle you’re building, you need to lose the fat, and cardio is the fastest way to do that. Go hard – run, cycle, spin, do hill sprints or swim. If you go for short bursts of intensity (think 30 seconds full on, then 90 moderate), it’s even more effective. I recommend 30-45 minutes 5x a week.
  5. Eat to build. Load up on lean protein to repair and build muscle, complex carbs to give you energy, and healthy fats to keep you full. Have 5-6 small meals instead of 3 big ones, and go for tuna, chicken, whole grains, nuts, avocado, egg whites, soy, beans and lots of veggies. And don’t forget to stock up on protein shakes; they will be your friend as you work on your body.
  6. Keep it interesting. Switch up your workout every 5 weeks to keep your body from adapting. Need ideas for your workout? Look online or talk to a personal trainer to create a workout for you – there’s no better way to push yourself to the max and stay motivated.
  7. Rest. Give yourself 48 hours before working out a specific muscle group again. Muscles repair and grow when you’re resting, so working them every day won’t get the results you want – you could just end up hurting yourself. If you want to hit the gym every day, go with split routines (alternating muscle groups).

Thinking about bodybuilding or competing? BodyWise is your source for great routine, advice on form. and all the motivation you need to succeed. Talk to us today to get started.

 

Strength Training Benefits for Women

A lot of women shy away from strength training – they think they’re not strong enough, that they’ll bulk up, or that they are going to hurt themselves. Those fears are unfounded – women NEED to be strong to get through everything life throws at them. Whether you are working out with weights, resistance bands or just your own body weight, there are so many benefits. Here’s why you should be building strength:

  1. It helps you tone and define. Don’t worry, lifting weights won’t make you look like Arnold. Women have too much estrogen and not enough testosterone to build big muscles. You just need the right exercises, combined with some aerobic training and a smart eating plan. However, if you WANT to bulk up, you can. It’s a lot harder for women than it is for men, but it’s not impossible. Stay tuned for my next post, which I will write about what to do if you want to get really ripped.
  2. It makes you stronger. Pick up your kids and grandkids and carry heavy things with less effort and less chance of hurting yourself. You’ll also build endurance which means you will be able to walk further and play longer without getting tired.
  3. It’s easier than you think. You don’t have to get an expensive gym membership or use a lot of fancy equipment. There are plenty of exercises you can do at home using nothing more than the weight of your own body. Think lunges, pushups, squats and planks, all full-body exercises that build strength. And if you have a few weights on hand that opens up the possibilities even more. A 30-60 minute workout 3 times per week is enough to get started, no need to spend hours at the gym.
  4. You’ll speed up your metabolism. Fact: muscle burns more calories than fat. So if you replace 10 lbs. of fat with 10 lbs. of muscle you will be burning 25-30 more calories a day while doing absolutely nothing.
  5. It helps maintain your bone density as you age. Doing weight-bearing exercises cause your muscles to pull on your bones which strengthens the bones and ligaments. Stronger body, stronger bones – it’s a win-win.
  6. It targets belly fat. Researchers have found that lifting weights targets inter-abdominal fat (the kind that puts you at higher risk for diabetes, heart disease an other health problems) better than aerobic exercise.
  7. It makes you healthier. Strength training can help regulate your hormones and improve your circulation, balance, coordination, posture, body alignment and more. You will also sleep better, move better and feel fantastic about yourself.

Haven’t you heard? Strong is the new skinny! You don’t have to be a size 2 to be fit and healthy, so start lifting, squatting and lunging your way to a better body today. Not sure how to get started? Give us a call or contact us today we can design a fitness program that includes strength training, a nutrition plan and more. Always to your good health at BodyWise Personal Fitness Training.

10 Tips To Help YOU Stress Less

10 Tips To Help YOU Stress Less

Stress hurts our bodies, makes us sick, keeps us from sleeping, and makes us crave foods we know are bad for us. (When was the last time you were dying for a nice salad after a brutal day at the office?)

Here’s a great article about how stress affects your day.

We can’t get rid of stress completely-with our hectic lives, that’s just not realistic, but finding ways of coping with it is certainly achievable and you’d be surprised by how a few simple stress-reduction strategies can improve your overall well-being.

1. Exercise. Yes I know, the VERY LAST THING you feel like doing after a long day is hitting the gym. But I guarantee there’s nothing else that will make you feel better. Being active releases endorphins which are natural pain and stress fighters, and it works out your tense, stressed muscles.

2. Be good to yourself. When you’re really stressed, you probably drink more alcohol, sleep less, eat badly and skip the gym. But you should be doing the exact opposite. If you can’t fit in a full workout, go for a 15 minute walk/run. Pick yogurt over a doughnut for breakfast or snack. And instead of watching TV at night to wind down, head to bed early.

3. Set specific goals. Want to eat better? Commit to bringing a healthy lunch to work everyday. Want to feel more rested? A vague promise to get more sleep won’t get you anywhere. Tell yourself it’s lights out by 11;00 pm and stick to it. And don’t just talk about getting exercise or losing weight, join a gym, engage a personal trainer (give BodyWise a call, we are more than happy to help you) or get a friend to run with you a few times a week.

4. Make a change. You can’t get rid of the stressors in your life but you can certainly change how you react to them. If you’re hitting the drive-thru because you don’t have time to cook, try a healthy meal delivery service instead. Do you feel overwhelmed with tasks? Instead of burning out, ask for help.

5. Get enough zzzs. When you’re tired, stress hits you much harder. When you are stressed it’s harder to sleep creating a vicious cycle. Get better shuteye by limiting your caffeine intake, develop relaxing bedtime routine (warm bath, reading in bed, quiet meditation) and avoid any kind of screen (laptop, phone, TV) right before going to sleep.

6. Eat good food. Your body is working hard when you are stressed so don’t fuel it with garbage. Eating a candy bar in the afternoon might give you a quick sugar rush (energy) but you’ll crash before the end of the day and this leads to more stress because you can’t get enough work done! Eat plenty of protein, greens and fibre and drink lots of water.

7. Learn that it’s OK to say “no”. Too much on your plate? Don’t add more, it’s okay to tell people that you’re too busy to do something else.

8. Give yourself little breaks throughout the day. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can find ways to take little 10-minute retreats. They calm and recharge you making you happier and more productive. Look out  the window and take a few deep breaths, do some stretches, go for a walk or try progressive muscle relaxation.

9. Say “thanks”. Practicing gratitude lets you focus on what’s good in your life instead of just seeing the bad. Start a dinnertime tradition where everyone talks about three good things in their day. Or keep a gratitude journal – old-school paper or an app would work equally well.

10. Focus on the present moment at hand. Instead of obsessing over the past or worrying about the future, be mindful of what’s around you now. Being in the present moment is calming. Sit and enjoy your food, focus on the flavours and textures that you are consuming. Sit outside, close your eyes and pay attention to the sounds around you or try a guided meditation.

Portion Size

 

Making Sense of Portion Sizes

We all struggle when it comes to how much we eat. We think that what we are eating is just right, when in fact we eat way too much. Found this article and found it very helpful, hope it helps you .

Many of us tend to underestimate the amount of food we eat   and tend to overestimate the recommended portion sizes for many foods.

For example, try pouring out your usual portion of pasta and measure it! Then, compare it to the label portion size. Chances are, you’re eating two, three, four or more times the amount on the label.

If you are confused when reading a food label, try relating the portion size of a serving to everyday items. It is an easy way to visualize what a true portion size looks like.

  • Woman’s fist or baseball — a serving of vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist
  • A rounded handful — about one half cup cooked or raw veggies or cut fruit, a piece of fruit, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta – this is a good measure for a snack serving, such as chips or pretzels
  • Deck of cards — a serving of meat, fish or poultry or the palm of your hand (don’t count your fingers!) – for example, one chicken breast, ¼ pound hamburger patty or a medium pork chop
  • Golf ball or large egg — one quarter cup of dried fruit or nuts
  • Tennis ball — about one half cup of ice cream
  • Computer mouse — about the size of a small baked potato
  • Compact disc — about the size of one serving of pancake or small waffle
  • Thumb tip — about one teaspoon of peanut butter
  • Six dice — a serving of cheese
  • Check book — a serving of fish (approximately 3 oz.)
  • Eyeball it! First get out a measuring cup or a food scale and practice measuring some of your favorite foods onto a plate, so that you can see how much (or how little!) a ½ cup or 3-ounce serving is. This will help you “eyeball” a reasonable serving!
  • Contact us at BodyWise Personal Fitness Training and we will help and guide you. Our telephone number is 416-762-0009

4 Steps To A Solid Workout Routine

4 Steps to a Solid Workout Routine

You’re tired of hiding your eyes when you step on the scale and you’re ready to get active and get fit. That’s great news! The problem, however, often lies in how to get from Point A to Point B. This is where a solid workout routine becomes essential.

But, just what is meant by a “solid” routine? Isn’t one plan just as good as another? This isn’t necessarily so. A good routine will involve four critical aspects, each of which are important to explore closely. They are:

Read More

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