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Fitness File – September

fitness files

The September issue of our monthly e-newsletter – The Fitness File – is available now! This issue covers the following:

  • 5 tips to boost results & performance
  • fitness tip: let’s get ROWdy with some bands!
  • nutrition tip: dealing with junk food cravings
  • club news: studio closure, garage gate, refer & receive, and waitlist
  • staff spotlight: Luke Ramnath (Personal Trainer)
  • studio Q&A: I am experiencing pain in my elbow – how can Physiotherapy help me?

Check it out here.

Fitness Myths

Sadly, there is no shortage of misleading information when it comes to fitness. In an attempt to set the record straight, Body & Soul tackles some of the most common industry myths here:

  • Weight training makes you look bulky. This is probably the most common myth (and fear) for people, especially women, hoping to lose weight or slim down. First, achieving a ‘bulky’ look is heavily dependent on testosterone, so while a focus on weight training can help men achieve larger muscles it is much harder for women to achieve such a look through weight training alone. Second, achieving a significantly ‘bulky’ look will depend greatly on genetics and the use of synthetic hormones (e.g. steroids).
  • Lose your belly fat. If spot reduction of fat were possible, everyone would have a flat tummy. Studies continue to show that targeting a specific area of your body for fat loss is just not possible. When your body loses weight, the weight lost is spread across your entire body.
  • Sit-ups = six-pack. No matter how many sit-ups and crunches you do, you may never achieve the alluring six-pack abdominals. Why? In the end, it comes down to the human body – your muscles are encompassed by fat which means that a layer of fat is covering your abdominal muscles and obstructing the view. In order to achieve a visible six-pack, you need to lose the fat surrounding your abdominals.

You body is capable of a lot, but even with the right diet and proper fitness program you may never be able to achieve every standard you set for yourself. Simply put, genetics play a large part in your body’s ability to lose weight and gain muscle. It is important to develop realistic goals with respect to your body, limitations, fitness level and lifestyle.

The human race…

A fitting description for the approach many of us take towards living our lives. For whatever reason, many of us feel rushed and we often act in ways that attempt to speed up various aspects of our lives, such as pushing ourselves too quickly after an injury, trying the latest diet trend to lose weight or speeding through a yellow light to beat the red. This need to rush can prove detrimental in several ways, some very serious. It is with that notion that we want to encourage you, when feeling rushed or stressed, to take a step back and breathe.

When it comes to your fitness program, taking your time is very important. If you rush your weight and strength training, stretching or any other exercise, not only do you risk injury but you fail to get the true benefits of that particular exercise. For instance, if you lift weights quickly, it is likely not your muscles doing the work, but the momentum of your body. You should feel the muscles in your arms working throughout the entire movement which means lifting slowly and letting your body go through the motions.

Few instances that elicit that need to ‘rush’ are truly worth rushing. Anytime you feel pressed for time, we recommend taking the time to focus on the moment and breathe. Life may be short, but rushing through it will only make it feel that much shorter.

Benefits of skipping

Skipping rope is an oft-neglected form of cardiovascular training; a surprising fact considering the affordability and portability of a decent speed rope. Skipping can be used for improving aerobic capacity and, for more trained individuals, as part of a general warm-up or even a plyometric activity at the right intensity. For beginners, start with five 1-2 minute intervals of the classic two-foot “bunny hop”, with equal or greater recovery time between sets. To progress, increase interval duration, number of intervals, rope speed, or introduce new movements (try “double-unders” or “cross-overs”). Be sure to skip on a surface that provides adequate shock absorption (not concrete), rest as needed between skipping bouts and sets, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes!

Act FAST

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation™ (HSF), stroke is the third leading cause of death in Canada – with an estimated 50,000 strokes in Canada each year. Many of us have already been affected by a stroke – either personally or with a loved one. Strokes can affect anyone, even children.

In the moment of a stroke, panic sets in which can make it difficult to identify a stroke. The HSF has provided a great deal of information to help recognize a stroke when it happens – the key is to act FAST. 1) Face: is it drooping? 2) Arms: can you raise both? 3) Speech: is it slurred? 4) Time: call 9-1-1 immediately!

While we can’t control all factors that might lead to a stroke, one factor we can control is our level of physical activity. Ensuring you get regular physical activity will help reduce your risk of various health issues, including heart disease and stroke. You are never too old or too inactive to start your journey to optimal health and fitness – call us to book a complimentary consultation and start your journey today!

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