Children, Health, Politics, Toronto, Woonerfs and a whole big pile of BS

Back in the olden days of my youth, the kids on my block used to race home from school, throw their schoolbooks onto the floor , run back outside and play sports until it was too dark to see and/or someone’s Mom started yelling at everyone to go home for dinner.

So why is it that I never see any kids playing outside anymore?

Maybe it’s because:

  • all the parents are freaked out that their kids will be abducted or run over in front of their house…
  • or the kids are inside playing video games and/or texting their friends…
  • or that cranky neighbour on the block keeps complaining to the city about the noise made by kids playingand the city decided that it’s better to shut up a cranky old SOB than to have our kids out in the fresh air getting some exercise.

road hockey canada

It’s not as if we have a childhood obesity problem….

  • Oh yeah, we do have a childhood obesity problem.

It’s not as if rates of childhood type-2 diabetes have skyrocketed….

  • Oh yeah, rates of childhood type-2 diabetes have skyrocketed.

It’s not as if exercise helps our kids live healthier lives, reducing rates of obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety….

  • Oh yeah, exercise does help our kids live healthier lives, reducing rates of obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety

obama-basketball

It’s not as if exercise helps our kids score better grades at school….

  • Oh yeah, exercise does help our kids score better grades at school

It’s not as if exercise helps our kids develop emotional & social skills while reducing symptoms of ADHD….

  • Oh yeah, exercise does help our kids develop emotional & social skills while reducing symptoms of ADHD

healthy-kids health fitness healthhabits

It’s not as if the value of unstructured play amongst their peers has been scientifically proven to be superior to organized sports in terms of physical, emotional & mental health….

  • Oh yeah, unstructured play amongst their peers has been scientifically proven to be superior to organized sports in terms of the physical, emotional & mental health of our kids.

It’s not as if the cost of organized sports is becoming too expensive for more & more families….

  • Oh yeah, the cost of organized sports is becoming too expensive for more & more families

It’s not as neighbourhoods in which adults & children create social ties (via pick-up sports or other activities) are perceived as better & safer…potentially increasing real estate values.

  • Oh yeah, neighbourhoods with a sense of community are universally perceived as better & safer.

rink - skating outdoor

So why is it that instead of encouraging our kids to be physically active in their neighbourhood, city bureaucrats elect to play Grinch and confiscate their portable basketball net?

Seriously…this is no joke. Police in Ohio literally stopped a bunch of kids from playing hoops in front of their house, dragged away their portable basketball net and fined the adult owner…even after the owner offered to move the net.

How’s that for Serve & Protect?

But that’s not the end of this sad story.

As videos of this type are wont to do…it went viral…with the local news media running it over and over and over, making the police and lawmakers look like total jackasses.

And because no one likes to look like a jackass….when it came time for the net owner to have her day in court, the prosecutor dismissed the case….hoping that the problem will go away and that the tv people will move on to another story. Which it did 😦

And it’s not just in Ohio. Earlier today, I was talking to a Mom in my hometown of Toronto who had a similar story.

She was recently told by the city that she had to remove the portable basketball net that she put up for her kids and their neighbourhood friends….or the city would fine her and remove the net.

And what reason did the city use to demand the removal of the basketball net from the edge of her residential cul-de-sac?

Because it was a danger to garbage collectors.

Sure, they can navigate around parked cars and avoid piles of snow in the winter, but a portable basketball net…that’s a whole different story.

Obviously this is total BS.

And according to my Twitter pal, the real story is that an alleged neighbour, who allegedly works for the city, allegedly complained that the kids were allegedly making too much noise.And because all bureaucracies favor nepotism over common sense, the basketball net had to go.

(see how I avoided a lawsuit by using the word allegedly…smart huh?)

But wait, let’s forget about the BS story about the garbage collectors…what about the children? We all “know” that city streets can be dangerous. And a lot of us believe that city roads were built for automobiles and that kids (or adults) have no business being on the road in front of their house?

IMHO, that is another pile of BS.

One of the fastest growing concepts being used by city planners all around the world, known as the living street or woonerf, is based on the idea that city streets aren’t the exclusive domain of the automobile and that by using a variety of methods…

  • Streets are often built at the same grade as sidewalks, without curbs.
  • Cars are limited to a speed that does not disrupt other uses of the streets (usually defined to be pedestrian speed).
  • To slow down drivers, the street is set up so that a car cannot drive in a straight line for significant distances, for example by placing planters at the edge of the street, alternating the side of the street the parking is on, or curving the street itself.

…drivers are forced to pay attention, slow down, and not treat residential street like main arterial roads. And I think we can all agree that a cul-de-sac should never be confused with a main arterial road.

And while there are still a bunch of city bureaucrats in Ohio & Toronto who have declared war on kids playing hoops or road hockey in front of their homes, there are some brave souls in city government who see the concept of living streets as one to investigate.

While Holland has thousands of woonerfs, Toronto is about to get our first.

Just think, maybe in a few years, Toronto’s elected officials & it’s bureaucracy will see the benefit of:

  • slowing down drivers on our residential streets…
  • allowing our kids to play pick-up street hockey games with their friends…
  • and even getting us old folks outside to sip coffee and chat while watching our kids grow healthy & strong

Then again…maybe it’s better that our residential streets are turning into racetracks and that our kids are growing up fat and unhealthy.

(Apologies for that last sentence…writing this article got my inner Norma Rae worked up)

What would my inner Norma Rae do next?

Toronto is in the midst of an election campaign. On October 27, we go to the polls to elect a new Mayor and a gaggle of councillors, As such, now is the perfect time to give the candidates an opportunity to look like a defender of children and a slayer of stupid bureaucracy.

Here’s what I propose.

And if you can’t do any of that…organize a big road hockey game for this weekend and send me an invite 🙂

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99% of children are not getting enough exercise

Canada’s physical activity guidelines suggest that all children aged 5 to 17 years accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day.

Unfortunately,  99.5% of the 856 schoolkids (aged 10-12 years) enrolled in this study did NOT reach that 60 minute minimum.

toronto-kids-inactivity

In fact, of the average 16.7 hours per day of data collected per day, the average child spent…

  • 13.3 hours (79.6%) being sedentary.
  • 2.9 hours of their day (17.4%) engaged in light intensity activity
  • and only 35 minutes for boys and 24 minutes for girls in the moderate-to-vigorous and vigorous activity ranges

Sadly, none of the girls and only 0.5% of the boys met the required minimum of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) every day.

[box type=”note”]If you’re wondering what happened to the 24 – 16.7 =  7.3 hours that weren’t tracked by pedometer…..these were the hours that the ‘average kid’ spent SLEEPING.[/box]

Here is some more data for you to chew on…

  • 22.6% of boys  performed 30 minutes of MVPA per day at least 6 days per week
  • 5.4% of girls performed 30 minutes of MVPA per day at least 6 days per week
  • 71.8% of boys accumulated 30 minutes of MVPA at least 3 days per week
  • 39.6% of girls accumulated 30 minutes of MVPA at least 3 days per week
  • Not a single child accumulated at least 90 minutes of MVPA at least 6 days of the week
  • Only 2% achieved 90 minutes of MVPA on at least 2 days of the week (3.3% of boys, 0.9% of girls)
  • When we drop the frequency down to 1 day per week, we see 16.8% of the kids performing 90 minutes of MVPA – with approximately 10% more boys than girls doing so (22.3% and 12.3%, respectively)

Conclusion

Our kids simply aren’t getting enough exercise….is it really so surprising that more and more of them are obese and being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

fat-kid-eating-chips-watching-tv

This study was conducted in urban Toronto. I have no idea how directly to apply this data to rural communities of other communities outside of Ontario, Canada. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the kids in your hometown are just as lazy as the ones in Toronto.

Reference

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Iyashi Rock Bathing = Ultimate Relaxation

  • Your life is busy
  • Your life is hectic
  • Your life is stressful

Your life needs the kind of ultra-relaxation that only a Japanese Ganbanyoku (rock bathing) spa can provide.

And lucky for me, Toronto is blessed with an authentic  rock bathing spa – the Iyashi  Bedrock Spa. And on days when I am feeling that life has kicked me around a little bit, I book a rock bathing session and let all of my stress melt away.

What is Rock Bathing?

[box type=”info”]Originating from Thailand, Rock Bathing – uses a special stone, called Black Silica, to heat your body from the inside out. These black silica stones are unique in that they naturally release Far Infrared Rays (FIR) and Negative Ions to help the body perspire and “detoxify” and are found in only one mountain in Hokkaido Japan. Unlike regular saunas, the silica rock beds that you lie on are kept between 42° to 44° C with the humidity at about 60%, providing for a comfortable temperature that is incredibly soothing and relaxing. Other clients have referred to it as being in a “Rain Forest”.[/box]

And while I can’t verify the validity of the health claims associated with Ganbanyoku, I can tell you that you WILL:

  • Sweat a LOT
  • Feel more relaxed than you have ever felt
  • Feel amazing for hours after the session – my skin tingles for a few hours…weird but pleasureable

I have also spoken with other clients who claim that weekly rock bathing sessions have dramatically improved their symptoms of arthritis, allergies and fibromyalgia.

[box type=”info”]Rock Bathing is nothing like a regular sauna or steam bath. One of the first things you will notice is your sweat – you will sweat a LOT – but there is no odour, saltiness or stickiness to it. And if you take the opportunity to stretch or do some yoga poses during your session, you will find that your muscles are unbelievably supple and receptive to stretching.[/box]

Note – As with all my reviews, I only tell you guys about products and services that I completely believe in and would recommend to clients, friends and family. I am a paying client of Iyashi and a huge fan. If you’re in the Toronto area, check out Iyashi. If not, do a google search for Ganbanyoku [your city].

Reference

The Sport of Fitness

On Wednesday, February 22, Reebok is introducing Canadians to its new global campaign, The Sport of Fitness, through a one-of-a-kind stunt at Yonge and Dundas Square.

A 15,000-pound shipping container will be suspended by an industrial crane 20 feet in the air over the popular downtown landmark, dropping to the ground at noon EST for a public reveal.

This stunt is designed to highlight the relationship Reebok has created with the fine folks at Crossfit.

According to the marketing info, Reebok is aiming to change the way people perceive, define and experience fitness, and ultimately show the world that fitness can deliver everything they love about sport.

I will be there interviewing two badass Crossfitters – Rich Froning Jr., the 2011 Fittest Man on Earth, and Graham Holmberg, the 2010 Fittest Man on Earth.

I hope to see you there.

The Rob Ford Weight Loss Program

Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford is a big man.

And not just in a political “big man around town” kind of way, but in a 300+ lbs of former football player turned politician kind of way.

And in keeping with his political promise to stop the excessive “gravy train” spending at City Hall, the Mayor may be extending that agenda to include his own personal Gravy Train.

In an interview with Newstalk 1010, the mayor’s big brother (Councillor Doug Ford) said that the mayor is considering making a New Year’s resolution to drop some of his excess girth.

“In the new year, there is a chance, we could be seeing a slimmer, trimmer version of Toronto’s Mayor. Going further, the Councillor suggested that it’d be a good idea, and even suggested that he himself would join in and try and lose a few extra pounds. To add to the challenge, he suggested that they could make it a fundraiser, or a competition with proceeds going to a charity”.

So, as a public service to my home town, I’m gonna help the Mayor out.

I’ve decided that my next series of Best Body Workouts will be designed for trainees who need to make significant transformations to their health & physique.

  • Weight Loss
  • Cardiac Function
  • Pain caused by Muscular Imbalances
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • and generally feeling tired and crappy all the time

The program will include:

  • Daily Exercise Tips
  • 3 Custom Health Habits Workouts per week
  • Daily Nutrition / Diet Suggestions with links to recipes
  • Additional suggestions regarding motivation, supplements, physical therapies, etc…

And because I love my city so much, I will also have some suggestions of how a program such as this can and should be made available to all Torontonians

For now, I would like to suggest that the Mayor and his brother download my FREE eBook – A Paleo Diet for the 21st Century as well as take  a look at the Best Body workouts that I have been posting throughout 2011.

A Different Kind of Health Habits…..The I CAN DO IT Conference

This weekend, I will be attending the I CAN DO IT conference in Toronto.

Founded by Louise L. Hay four years ago as a forum for kindred spirits to gather, commune, and heal themselves and each other. The I Can Do It! Conference is intended to revitalize your soul, charge your body’s subtle energy centers, and bring a sparkle to your eyes.

And while my friends and family will tell you that I am not the typical sparkly eyes kind of guy, I do have an open mind and an obsession for improving my health, fitness, knowledge, etc…

So, starting tomorrow and running through Sunday, I am going to head down to the Metro Toronto Conference Centre to improve my emotional & spiritual health, boost my energy centers, and perhaps run into Oprah.

Here are some of the speakers attending the conference.

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I hope to see you there.

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Would you vote for a Ban on Junk Food Advertising aimed at kids under 13?

I think that a ban / restriction is a good idea…in theory.

  • Advertisers would be free to continue to market to everyone over the age of 13
  • Childhood obesity is a growing problem around the world
  • Junk food is called junk food for a reason – it’s junk. And it contributes to making our kids fat, diabetic & lazy.
  • We already ban advertisers from targeting children from cigarette & alcohol.

Obviously, the biggest argument against this act is going to be the cry of “Nanny State”.

And while I agree that government at all levels need to be reminded periodically that their job is to serve the public and not attempt to control or re-engineer the public, we should also remember that the job of advertisers, marketers and manufacturers is to sell products & services to the public.

They have no responsibility to care for the health of our kids.

That’s the job of family.

And when Ontario’s families wanted to stop advertisers from targeting their kids with ads for booze & smokes, they used government legislation to ban the practice.

Toronto, outdoor ice rinks and a bunch of kids playing shinny

  • As of this Sunday, February 27, thirty-six of Toronto’s fifty-one outdoor ice rinks will be closing for the season. That’s just over 70%.
  • Starting March 14, every kid in Toronto begins their March Break holiday. That’s right around 100%

Now, I’m no genius, but it seems to me that leaving Toronto’s very popular outdoor ice rinks open during March Break might be a good idea.

If you take a look at the city’s webpage on outdoor rink availability, you will see the notice that:

*Seasonal open and close dates are weather permitting.

But that’s not exactly true is it?
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When I took a look at the long term weather forecast for Toronto, I saw a string of projected daily high temperatures hovering around -2° celsius.
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That’s cold enough for ice to stay frozen and for a bunch of kids to have fun playing outdoor hockey during their March Break.
  • And yet, 70% of Toronto’s outdoor rinks will close this Sunday…even if the weather is permitting.
  • And yes, I know that the city is broke and can’t afford to keep ice rinks open all year long.
  • And I also know that council has created a task force to explore private-public partnerships to build new rinks for the city.
But, what about this year?
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Leave the rinks open until it gets too warm.
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I will gladly pay my portion of the 0.003% increase in property taxes incurred by keeping the outdoor rinks open until after March Break.
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Just how much can it cost to run a Zamboni?
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  • We already own the darn things.
  • And the city employees who look after the rinks will get paid whether or not the rinks are open.
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So, here’s what I think we should do.
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Contact the Mayor – Facebook – Email – and tell him that you want the rinks kept open.
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Maybe the Maple Leafs would be willing to kick in a few thousand to help keep the rinks open, so shoot them a message too. – Facebook
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And if you haven’t been down to the new Figure 8 outdoor rink at Colonel Sam Smith Park in Etobicoke…you have to go, the figure 8 is a hoot.
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Toronto Health & Fitness Friday #6

As part of  the new city budget, the cost of hundreds of city-run swimming, skating, dance, athletic programs and other courses are expected to rise by 3 per cent.

And this has all of Toronto’s media & political cognoscenti all atwitter.

Most of these fee increases, argues Councillor Adam Vaughan, will hit the city’s disadvantaged residents hardest. “It’s on the backs of children and seniors and the poorest, most vulnerable people in the city. It’s obscene.”

The budget introduces user fees for previously free adult-recreation programs at community centres in priority neighbourhoods, which will go from $0 to $68 for the average nine-week program — though residents living below the poverty line will still get into the programs free under a different city subsidy.

Councillor Shelley Carroll accused right-leaning councillors of being hypocritical, given their criticisms of the former administration: “They called a press conference and added (fee hikes) to the tax increase to make sure people called them ‘taxes’. So, if I wanted to use their rhetoric: This isn’t a 0-percent tax increase anymore, is it? If you’re a regular recreation user, it just turned into 3 percent.”

Deputy mayor Doug Holyday said he’s not happy with the fee hikes, but they may be inevitable. “We’re trying to not put additional costs on taxpayers, but it may take a year or two or three to get things under control. We’re playing the hand we were dealt.”

And maybe that’s the problem.

Assuming that we have to play the hand we were dealt.

Our current handful of cards tells us that Torontonians have five options for getting fit:

  1. Save some money and do it themselves – i.e. buy a pair of running shoes and go for a jog
  2. Spend a pile of money and join a corporate health club
  3. Spend less money and train with one of the city’s smaller fitness service providers
  4. Sign up for a membership at one of the many Community Recreation Centres around the city, or
  5. Train with yours truly

But, what if we “borrowed” some ideas from around the world and created a sixth option which:

  • Provided fitness training on par or better than any other service provider in the city
  • Cost less than the city run facilities
  • Worked with community food activists like The Stop to better integrate exercise & nutrition
  • Made use of the knowledge & experience of local politicians, businesses and community groups
  • Had a huge number of locations in residential neighborhoods
  • Provided counselling services (nutrition, lifestyle, etc) for the same low price
  • Moved quickly to create new custom workouts to suit the needs of participants
  • Made money for the fitness trainers instead of the health club management (true story – the last big gym I worked at billed me out at $140 per session – I was paid $40)
  • Allowed friends/family/social groups to organize private small group sessions
  • And made a profit for the city

This is the plan that I am currently working on.

At this point, I won’t be going into details. Everything is at the idea stage and I am busy trying to establish relationships with the movers & shakers in Toronto who can help me get this thing off the ground.

If you want to help, you can email me or pass this article on to your city councillor or the Mayor and tell them you want a better option for getting fit in Toronto.

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And in case you need more info on the new fee increases.

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I need your feedback on the Health Habits workouts

Before we dive into another 52 weeks of workouts, I wanted to get a little feedback to help me custom fit the workouts to your needs / goals.

I have created some polls to make this relatively quick and painless, but if you have some specific concerns, shoot me an email.

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Anything else I should know?

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Leave a comment or write an email. or leave a message on the Facebook page

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Toronto Health & Fitness Friday #5

It’s New Year’s Resolutions time, and just like last  year, one of this year’s most popular New Year’s Resolutions is that classic – “I am going to join  gym, lose weight, get in shape….”

But, before you run out and commit yourself to a 12 month contract with the nearest big box gym, take a look at this How To Not Get Ripped Off While Buying A Gym Membership self-help video from Pat Foran – CTV’s Consumer Alert guru.

Note – If the video doesn’t work, here is Pat’s blog entry on the same story.

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And if anyone needs any help brokering a better deal with their gym, shoot me an email.

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Toronto Health & Fitness Friday #4

Winter has come to Toronto…and you have two options.

  1. Hibernate
  2. Get outside and enjoy winter in Toronto

For those of you that choose the second option, Toronto has 51 outdoor, compressor-cooled ice rinks.

Click on the map to see a pdf version and/or click on this link to check on the open/closed status of your favorite rink.

On another note, earlier this week I contacted the new Toronto city government about a plan I have for using public facilities and private money to create a system of free (or nearly free) mini-health clubs all around the city.

I have heard back from the Board of Health and am currently in the process of putting together a written proposal for their review. No word yet from the other committees (Community Development and Recreation, Parks & Environment or my local councilor) but considering how busy they are right now, I’m not surprised.

I will keep you updated as to my progress

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Note – If anyone out there knows of any other city governments who have been successful in improving access to health & fitness resources for their citizens, please leave a comment/link/etc…

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Toronto Health & Fitness Friday #3

The Tough Mudder race is coming to Toronto in 2011.

And just in case you don’t know what the Tough Mudder is, please watch the following video.

That’s Tough Mudder…bitches.

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FYI, I will be setting up training programs in the coming months to help my fellow Torontonians get ready for the Mudder. There will be programs for runners who need to get stronger as well as programs for muscle-heads and fat-asses who can’t run the 7 mile course without bringing up a lung…and their lunch.

I am also planning on setting up outdoor training sessions this winter & spring somewhere in Toronto. Location suggestions are welcome.

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Note – You don’t have to be from Toronto to use these programs. They’re free for everyone.

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Toronto Health & Fitness Friday #2

Next summer, when your very expensive and very out of shape teenage children shuffle up to you and announce that they’re bored and that they have nothing to do, send them over to the nearest GoodLife Fitness club.

In concert with Teen Fitness Connection, GoodLife Fitness is offering free gym memberships to Canadian kids aged 14-17 during the months of July & August and between the hours of 8am & 4pm.

Here is a list of participating GoodLife Fitness clubs.

You will have to contact the clubs directly for the specific terms and conditions, but after speaking with the Corporate Manager for Teen Fitness International, I have been assured that the only other restrictions would include access to specific fitness classes and/or use of the pool/spa.

Now if only we could convince a few other health clubs in Toronto to offer similar programs, our kids could be the fittest in Canada.

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Health Habits Workout – Week 40 – Neural Activation Workout

Hulk Jump!!!

Yesterday, I showed you how to DIY a Neural Activation Workout.

Today, I give you the one that I did earlier this morning.

  • 4 Exercises
  • Performed as a circuit – 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4……
  • Focus on speed & power
  • Low weight – BW or light bands in this case
  • Low reps – 3-6 reps per set
  • Little rest between sets – 30 sec max
  • 10 minutes max
  • Quit when your body starts feeling really good & is telling you it’s time to “start” the workout
  • Seriously…stop at this point

Exercise # 1

Standing Broad Jumps

3-6 reps – back & forth or single direction as space allows

Exercise # 2

Push-Ups

3-5 reps

Exercise # 3

Standing Band Rows – 2 Hand – fast

3-5 reps

Exercise # 4

Band Snap Downs (dynamic straight-arm pulldown)

3-5 reps

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Health Habits Workout – Week 39/Day 3

Last week – last day for this workout

Pick 5 new groups and pick all new exercises.

  • These workouts will require bodyweight and resistance bands only
  • They focus on muscular and anaerobic endurance
  • Are great fat-burners as long as you keep the intensity level turned up to 11
  • Allow you to get out of the gym and enjoy the weather before the snow starts to fly

The Workout

Warm-Up as per usual

After completing the warm-up, I want you to choose 1 exercise from 5 of the 7 groups listed below.

  • Complete the required reps as quickly as possible, minimizing rest periods.
  • How you organize the sets is up to you
  • Move quickly but with good form

Have fun.

GROUP A

BW Squat – 100 reps

1 Leg Squat (standing on bench) – 60 reps total both legs

Jumping Squats – 60 reps

GROUP B

1 Leg Deadlift – 100 reps – 50 per leg

Hip Thrust with feet or body elevated (lying on ball OR with feet on chair) – 100 reps

Hip Thrust – floor – 150 reps

GROUP C

Shuffle Lunges – 200 reps

Burpees – 60 reps

Hill Sprint – 6 x 10 sec sprint

GROUP D

Band Bicep Curl – 100 reps

BW Skullcrusher – 60 reps

1 Arm Band Shoulder Press – 80 reps total – 40 per arm

GROUP E

Horizontal Band Woodchop – 80 reps

2 Arm BW Row – 120 reps

Vertical Woodchop with band or Med Ball / Big Rock Slam – 80 reps

GROUP F

2 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps

1 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps – 50 per arm

Push-Up – 40 reps total

sorry about the music

GROUP G

Toes to the Sky – abs/core exercise – 100 reps

Ab Wheel Roll-Out – 100 reps

Rolling Like A Ball – 200 reps

In between work sets, use Standing Band Bridges to catch your breath

Health Habits Workout – Week 39/Day 2

Last week with this workout, and here we go again….

Pick 5 new groups and pick all new exercises.

  • These workouts will require bodyweight and resistance bands only
  • They focus on muscular and anaerobic endurance
  • Are great fat-burners as long as you keep the intensity level turned up to 11
  • Allow you to get out of the gym and enjoy the weather before the snow starts to fly

The Workout

Warm-Up as per usual

After completing the warm-up, I want you to choose 1 exercise from 5 of the 7 groups listed below.

  • Complete the required reps as quickly as possible, minimizing rest periods.
  • How you organize the sets is up to you
  • Move quickly but with good form

Have fun.

GROUP A

BW Squat – 100 reps

1 Leg Squat (standing on bench) – 60 reps total both legs

Jumping Squats – 60 reps

GROUP B

1 Leg Deadlift – 100 reps – 50 per leg

Hip Thrust with feet or body elevated (lying on ball OR with feet on chair) – 100 reps

Hip Thrust – floor – 150 reps

GROUP C

Shuffle Lunges – 200 reps

Burpees – 60 reps

Hill Sprint – 6 x 10 sec sprint

GROUP D

Band Bicep Curl – 100 reps

BW Skullcrusher – 60 reps

1 Arm Band Shoulder Press – 80 reps total – 40 per arm

GROUP E

Horizontal Band Woodchop – 80 reps

2 Arm BW Row – 120 reps

Vertical Woodchop with band or Med Ball / Big Rock Slam – 80 reps

GROUP F

2 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps

1 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps – 50 per arm

Push-Up – 40 reps total

sorry about the music

GROUP G

Toes to the Sky – abs/core exercise – 100 reps

Ab Wheel Roll-Out – 100 reps

Rolling Like A Ball – 200 reps

In between work sets, use Standing Band Bridges to catch your breath

Health Habits Workout – Week 39/Day 1

Last week with this workout – choose different Exercise Groups & different Exercises.

  • These workouts will require bodyweight and resistance bands only
  • They focus on muscular and anaerobic endurance
  • Are great fat-burners as long as you keep the intensity level turned up to 11
  • Allow you to get out of the gym and enjoy the weather before the snow starts to fly

The Workout

Warm-Up as per usual

After completing the warm-up, I want you to choose 1 exercise from 5 of the 7 groups listed below.

  • Complete the required reps as quickly as possible, minimizing rest periods.
  • How you organize the sets is up to you
  • Move quickly but with good form

Have fun.

GROUP A

BW Squat – 100 reps

1 Leg Squat (standing on bench) – 60 reps total both legs

Jumping Squats – 60 reps

GROUP B

1 Leg Deadlift – 100 reps – 50 per leg

Hip Thrust with feet or body elevated (lying on ball OR with feet on chair) – 100 reps

Hip Thrust – floor – 150 reps

GROUP C

Shuffle Lunges – 200 reps

Burpees – 60 reps

Hill Sprint – 6 x 10 sec sprint

GROUP D

Band Bicep Curl – 100 reps

BW Skullcrusher – 60 reps

1 Arm Band Shoulder Press – 80 reps total – 40 per arm

GROUP E

Horizontal Band Woodchop – 80 reps

2 Arm BW Row – 120 reps

Vertical Woodchop with band or Med Ball / Big Rock Slam – 80 reps

GROUP F

2 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps

1 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps – 50 per arm

Push-Up – 40 reps total

sorry about the music

GROUP G

Toes to the Sky – abs/core exercise – 100 reps

Ab Wheel Roll-Out – 100 reps

Rolling Like A Ball – 200 reps

In between work sets, use Standing Band Bridges to catch your breath

Health Habits Workout – Week 38/Day 3

Second Week – Day Three

Pick 5 new groups and pick all new exercises.

  • These workouts will require bodyweight and resistance bands only
  • They focus on muscular and anaerobic endurance
  • Are great fat-burners as long as you keep the intensity level turned up to 11
  • Allow you to get out of the gym and enjoy the weather before the snow starts to fly

The Workout

Warm-Up as per usual

After completing the warm-up, I want you to choose 1 exercise from 5 of the 7 groups listed below.

  • Complete the required reps as quickly as possible, minimizing rest periods.
  • How you organize the sets is up to you
  • Move quickly but with good form

Have fun.

GROUP A

BW Squat – 100 reps

1 Leg Squat (standing on bench) – 60 reps total both legs

Jumping Squats – 60 reps

GROUP B

1 Leg Deadlift – 100 reps – 50 per leg

Hip Thrust with feet or body elevated (lying on ball OR with feet on chair) – 100 reps

Hip Thrust – floor – 150 reps

GROUP C

Shuffle Lunges – 200 reps

Burpees – 60 reps

Hill Sprint – 6 x 10 sec sprint

GROUP D

Band Bicep Curl – 100 reps

BW Skullcrusher – 60 reps

1 Arm Band Shoulder Press – 80 reps total – 40 per arm

GROUP E

Horizontal Band Woodchop – 80 reps

2 Arm BW Row – 120 reps

Vertical Woodchop with band or Med Ball / Big Rock Slam – 80 reps

GROUP F

2 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps

1 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps – 50 per arm

Push-Up – 40 reps total

sorry about the music

GROUP G

Toes to the Sky – abs/core exercise – 100 reps

Ab Wheel Roll-Out – 100 reps

Rolling Like A Ball – 200 reps

In between work sets, use Standing Band Bridges to catch your breath

Putting the "Health" Back in Healthcare

Canada’s healthcare system may be on the verge of a massive change.

Instead of continuing to spend billions of dollars simply treating the symptoms of disease, Canada’s health ministers have agreed that:

the promotion of health and the prevention of disease, disability and injury are a priority and necessary to the sustainability of the health system.

They also agreed that the main causes of death, disease and disability in Canada today are chronic diseases and injuries, and that a large proportion of chronic diseases, disabilities and injuries can be prevented, or at least delayed.

They continued by saying that more emphasis needs to be placed on the promotion of health and on preventing or delaying chronic diseases, disabilities, and injuries.

Doing this will improve the quality of life of Canadians while reducing disparities in health and the impact these conditions have on individuals, families, communities, the health-care system and on society.

OMG … A healthcare system that focuses on health.

Fingers crossed people. Fingers crossed..

Reference

Health Habits Workout – Week 38/Day 2

Here we go again….

Pick 5 new groups and pick all new exercises.

  • These workouts will require bodyweight and resistance bands only
  • They focus on muscular and anaerobic endurance
  • Are great fat-burners as long as you keep the intensity level turned up to 11
  • Allow you to get out of the gym and enjoy the weather before the snow starts to fly

The Workout

Warm-Up as per usual

After completing the warm-up, I want you to choose 1 exercise from 5 of the 7 groups listed below.

  • Complete the required reps as quickly as possible, minimizing rest periods.
  • How you organize the sets is up to you
  • Move quickly but with good form

Have fun.

GROUP A

BW Squat – 100 reps

1 Leg Squat (standing on bench) – 60 reps total both legs

Jumping Squats – 60 reps

GROUP B

1 Leg Deadlift – 100 reps – 50 per leg

Hip Thrust with feet or body elevated (lying on ball OR with feet on chair) – 100 reps

Hip Thrust – floor – 150 reps

GROUP C

Shuffle Lunges – 200 reps

Burpees – 60 reps

Hill Sprint – 6 x 10 sec sprint

GROUP D

Band Bicep Curl – 100 reps

BW Skullcrusher – 60 reps

1 Arm Band Shoulder Press – 80 reps total – 40 per arm

GROUP E

Horizontal Band Woodchop – 80 reps

2 Arm BW Row – 120 reps

Vertical Woodchop with band or Med Ball / Big Rock Slam – 80 reps

GROUP F

2 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps

1 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps – 50 per arm

Push-Up – 40 reps total

sorry about the music

GROUP G

Toes to the Sky – abs/core exercise – 100 reps

Ab Wheel Roll-Out – 100 reps

Rolling Like A Ball – 200 reps

In between work sets, use Standing Band Bridges to catch your breath

Health Habits Workout – Week 38/Day 1

Same as last week – choose different Exercise Groups & different Exercises.

  • These workouts will require bodyweight and resistance bands only
  • They focus on muscular and anaerobic endurance
  • Are great fat-burners as long as you keep the intensity level turned up to 11
  • Allow you to get out of the gym and enjoy the weather before the snow starts to fly

The Workout

Warm-Up as per usual

After completing the warm-up, I want you to choose 1 exercise from 5 of the 7 groups listed below.

  • Complete the required reps as quickly as possible, minimizing rest periods.
  • How you organize the sets is up to you
  • Move quickly but with good form

Have fun.

GROUP A

BW Squat – 100 reps

1 Leg Squat (standing on bench) – 60 reps total both legs

Jumping Squats – 60 reps

GROUP B

1 Leg Deadlift – 100 reps – 50 per leg

Hip Thrust with feet or body elevated (lying on ball OR with feet on chair) – 100 reps

Hip Thrust – floor – 150 reps

GROUP C

Shuffle Lunges – 200 reps

Burpees – 60 reps

Hill Sprint – 6 x 10 sec sprint

GROUP D

Band Bicep Curl – 100 reps

BW Skullcrusher – 60 reps

1 Arm Band Shoulder Press – 80 reps total – 40 per arm

GROUP E

Horizontal Band Woodchop – 80 reps

2 Arm BW Row – 120 reps

Vertical Woodchop with band or Med Ball / Big Rock Slam – 80 reps

GROUP F

2 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps

1 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps – 50 per arm

Push-Up – 40 reps total

sorry about the music

GROUP G

Toes to the Sky – abs/core exercise – 100 reps

Ab Wheel Roll-Out – 100 reps

Rolling Like A Ball – 200 reps

In between work sets, use Standing Band Bridges to catch your breath

Health Habits Workout – Week 37/Day 1

The next few weeks are going to be a little different.

These workouts are based on a model I often use for clients who are going on holiday.

It’s simple, can be printed on one page and yet it forces them to make some decisions for themselves.

This last point is pretty important to me as a big part of my “real world” training is education. While I love all my clients, I don’t want to keep training them year after year. Kind of like a mama bird, I teach them what they need to learn and when they’re ready…I shove ’em outta the nest.

  • These workouts will require bodyweight and resistance bands only
  • They focus on muscular and anaerobic endurance
  • Are great fat-burners as long as you keep the intensity level turned up to 11
  • Allow you to get out of the gym and enjoy the weather before the snow starts to fly

The Workout

Warm-Up as per usual

After completing the warm-up, I want you to choose 1 exercise from 5 of the 7 groups listed below.

  • Complete the required reps as quickly as possible, minimizing rest periods.
  • How you organize the sets is up to you
  • Move quickly but with good form

Have fun.

GROUP A

BW Squat – 100 reps

1 Leg Squat (standing on bench) – 60 reps total both legs

Jumping Squats – 60 reps

GROUP B

1 Leg Deadlift – 100 reps – 50 per leg

Hip Thrust with feet or body elevated (lying on ball OR with feet on chair) – 100 reps

Hip Thrust – floor – 150 reps

GROUP C

Shuffle Lunges – 200 reps

Burpees – 60 reps

Hill Sprint – 6 x 10 sec sprint

GROUP D

Band Bicep Curl – 100 reps

BW Skullcrusher – 60 reps

1 Arm Band Shoulder Press – 80 reps total – 40 per arm

GROUP E

Horizontal Band Woodchop – 80 reps

2 Arm BW Row – 120 reps

Vertical Woodchop with band or Med Ball / Big Rock Slam – 80 reps

GROUP F

2 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps

1 Arm Band Chest Press – 100 reps – 50 per arm

Push-Up – 40 reps total

sorry about the music

GROUP G

Toes to the Sky – abs/core exercise – 100 reps

Ab Wheel Roll-Out – 100 reps

Rolling Like A Ball – 200 reps

In between work sets, use Standing Band Bridges to catch your breath

Heart Disease and Stroke Caused By Diet

Ontario is Fat

Up here in Canada (especially in my hometown of Toronto, Ontario), there is a large chunk of the population that considers itself “superior” to our American cousins.

We start fewer wars, we’re better educated, we have lower crime rates, we don’t watch Two and a Half Men, we’ve never elected a Bush and we’re not all fat & addicted to deep fried pizza.

U.S. Obesity Stats for 2009

Unfortunately, as it turns out…we did go to war in Afghanistan, our high school dropout rates are rising year after year, our favorite tv show is Survivor, we elected Stephen Harper and according to this study….

70% of Ontario adults are either overweight or obese, and have a strong prevalence of high blood pressure that could lead to heart attack or stroke.

And if my university mathematics are correct, that means that only 30% of Ontarians should be proud to take their shirts off at the beach.

30%

Just like Mississippi…the fattest state in the republic.

WTF!!!

Perhaps it’s time for my smug Canadian brothers & sisters to put down their wobbly pops, throw out that tub o’ poutine, get up off their rotund derrières and start developing some Health Habits.

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Dalton McGuinty & his Children's Activity Tax Credit

image: Chris Doucette - Toronto Sun

Since July 1st, fitness-loving Ontarians have had to swallow an 8% increase in their gym memberships, workout gear, protein shakes, swimming lessons, etc……thanks to the HST.

Also since July 1st, industry groups like the  Fitness Industry Council of Canada along with some municipal governments have been pressuring the Ontario government to introduce a “non-refundable provincial income tax credit patterned after the federal “Children’s Fitness Tax Credit”.

So, it should come as no surprise that yesterday, Premier McGuinty held a press conference at a Toronto YMCA to announce his new brand spanking new Children’s Activity Tax Credit.

The Plan….

  • Allows parents to claim up to $500 of eligible expenses per child on sports, arts and other activities incurred on or after Jan. 1, 2010.
  • Families would receive a refundable tax credit worth up to $50 per child under 16 years of age, and up to $100 for a child under the age of 18 with a disability.
  • And according to the gov’t, this tax credit would provide about $75-million each year to assist the cost of registering kids in programs and would benefit 1.8 million children.

Analysis of “The Plan”

According to the official government opposition…

  • “The government basically put a tax on children’s activities and then a couple months later turns around and provides a tax credit,” said NDP leader Andrea Horwath.
  • “The tax credit, in many cases, won’t make up for the amount of dollars being gouged from families,” she added.

Let’s test that theory…

  • If a parent spends $500 on her kid’s burgeoning hockey career, she pays an additional 8% or $40 in new HST tax – Boooo!!!!
  • But thanks to the new tax credit, she gets $50 back on her tax return – Woo Hoo!!! Free government money!!!

Unless….she keeps spending money on her kid’s physical fitness…and ends up paying more in HST than she receives via the tax credit.

And considering that the prototypical Canadian parent spends thousands of dollars on their little Crosbys & Ovechkins, odds are that the $50 Ontario tax credit is just going to be a proverbial drop in the HST bucket.

But, what about all of those low-income Canadian  parents who can’t afford to put their kids into hockey in the first place?

Maybe this tax credit was designed for them.

Maybe this tax credit is going to help Ontario’s low-income families become more active & reduce their high levels of obesity.

Or….maybe not.

According to this research, only 28.2 % of “low income” parents claimed the federal fitness tax credit for the 2007 tax year, while approximately 55 % of “high income” parents in the highest income quartile had claimed it.

Based on this data, the researchers concluded that “household income was a significant factor in whether Canadian parents were more likely to report their child being in organized physical activities, and if the parent was more likely to be aware of and claim the CFTC”.

“It appears that a tax credit such as the CFTC will only benefit those people who can afford to pay the costs of registration for a PA program and carry that burden through to the end of the tax year.”

Conclusion

I have no reason to doubt that Premier McGuinty is genuinely interested in helping Ontario’s kids become more physically active.

However, this tax credit idea seems:

  1. Politically self serving, and
  2. Ineffective.

And when you consider that 87% of Canadian kids are not getting their recommended daily amount of exercise, perhaps we should take the estimated $75 million in tax credits and spend them in a more effective fashion.

For example…. $75 million would pay for 1250 new fitness parks.…that Ontarians could use…for FREE.

.

The Deadpool Mega Muscle Mass Workout – Part Five

Get ready for the nastiest, sweatiest, most muscle-buildingest workout of all time.

Get ready for the workout guaranteed to turn the scrawniest fan boy into the ultra-quick, ultra-powerful, ultra-muscley bad-ass superhero of his dreams.

Get ready for Deadpool….bitches.

Alright, enough hype….let’s get down to business.

If you haven’t read the preceeding 4 posts, do so now – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, the Deadpool workout works because it focuses on your nervous system and your fast twitch muscle fibers.

And depending upon the techniques we use, we can train your muscles to be super fast, super strong, super powerful and/or super big.

It’s simply a matter of how we organize the techniques & how much effort & intensity you bring to the workout.

So, what kind of Deadpool body do you want?

  1. A lightly muscled, super quick, speed demon kind of body
  2. A heavily muscled, bodybuilder kind of physique
  3. A freakishly strong body – smaller than a bodybuilder…but scary strong
  4. The Ultimate Deadpool – a combination of scary strong & freaky fast

I have been beta testing all four workouts over the last 9 months and have seen some amazing results.

  • 2 NCAA track & field programs are now using Deadpool training techniques with their sprinters after a successful test with a small group of their freshmen athletes
  • A handful of veteran bodybuilders up here in Toronto are using Deadpool techniques to break through some really old, really stubborn plateaus. In fact, the two bodybuilders that I have worked with personally have added more mass in 12 weeks than they had added in the previous 2 years.
  • A whole bunch of my strongman & power lifting friends are using Deadpool techniques to increase their power & set new PBs.
  • And finally, dozens of my “normal” personal training clients are using aspects of the Ultimate Deadpool techniques to transform their formerly flabby fifty-something bodies into bodies that are leaner, stronger, healthier & more athletic than they have ever been.

One of my clients, a 40 something male who weighed 266 lbs and was initially unable to do a single chin up is now…

  • 40 lbs lighter,
  • able to do multiple sets of 5 rep chin ups with 90 lbs of weight hanging from his waist,
  • sprint hills faster than his teenage son,
  • bang out multiple sets of 5 rep push ups with 120 lbs of extra weight on his back,
  • able to quit taking medication for high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol.

So, if this has piqued your interest…stay tuned.

Because on Wednesday, I quit teasing you and lay out the Ultimate Deadpool Workout.

And on the following Monday, I will begin posting daily Deadpool workouts here and on the Facebook page.

Stay tuned.

.

Spoiler Alert – Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution is a "short-term" failure

Researchers from West Virginia University’s Health Research Center, surveyed the students, teachers and food service staff involved with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution in Huntington W.Va.

Their findings?

  • 77% of the students indicated they were “very unhappy” with the new foods served at school.…they preferred chicken nuggets and fries  over baked chicken drumsticks with salad.
  • Lunch participation dropped from 75% to 66%…they really didn’t like those drumsticks
  • There was a 25% decrease in the consumption of milk….indicating that a lot of kids only drink milk if it’s sweetened and flavored

  • 83% of the “lunch ladies” reported a longer preparation time for the Food Revolution meals….they estimated that cooking whole foods would require an extra hour of prep time per day
  • 67% of the cooks reported food safety concerns re raw chicken & tomatoes
  • 83% of the cooks rated the taste of the standard meals as good or excellent, while
  • Only 50% of the cooks rated Jamie Oliver’s meals as good, with the remaining 50% rating them as fair or poor.

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Their Conclusions

Overall, the findings for the initial evaluation of the impact of the Food Revolution program suggest that the new menus were not well accepted and had a negative impact on meal participation and milk consumption, despite some benefits identified through the nutrient analysis.

.

It is important to note that this evaluation reflects only the short-term effects of the program; continuing to evaluate the impact on students and staff over a longer period of time is recommended to identify any longer-term changes in acceptability, burden, and nutrition.

.

My Conclusions

.

  • I couldn’t care less if 77% of the students were very unhappy with the new, healthier foods….they’re kids.  Of course they hate “healthy” food. That’s their #1 jobs as kids.
  • And our job as adults is to make sure they eat all their vegetables.   Most of them also hate going to school, but we know it’s good for them, so we make them go.   The same logic applies for their food…it’s our job to do what’s right, not what’s popular.
  • Why are kids drinking strawberry milk anyway?
  • Re: the longer prep time….of course preparing “real food” is going to take longer than re-heating chicken nuggets. But, why is that even an argument?   Isn’t the health and education of our children worth that extra hour?
  • Re: the food safety concern….aren’t cooks trained in proper food handling?   And why are tomatoes so darned scary anyway?
  • And finally, if the cooks at this school actually prefer chicken nuggets and fries over one of Jamie Oliver’s personal creations….the school needs new cooks…with functioning taste-buds.

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The Moral of My Rant

.

Our collective short term thinking threw the world into a global recession.

Similarly, short term thinking has also made our kids fat and unhealthy.

It’s time to grow up and start thinking “long term” as it pertains to our kids’ health & education.

Feeding them “real food” is just a first step.

Should Ronald McDonald be Fired?

http://widgets.vodpod.com/w/video_embed/Video.3343474

more about “Group tells Ronald McDonald to take a…“, posted with vodpod

personal trainer toronto

Health Habits Workout -Week 13/Day 2

Goals: We’re back to the HIIT/HIRT phase of the workout. The goals for this phase are Fat Loss / Aerobic Endurance / Anaerobic Endurance / Improved Joint Mobility / Correct Typical Muscular Imbalances (reduce neck & lower back pain)

And remember, the success of this phase of the workout relies on three things:

1.Keeping good form throughout each exercise.
2.Performing as many reps as possible. Really push yourself.
3.Keeping the rest between sets to an absolute minimum. No rest if possible.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

.

2.  Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP


.

3.  1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

And now for the…WORKOUT

Superset # 1

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Toes to the Ceiling

  • 10 sets
  • Maximum reps per set…
  • Reach your hands behind your head and hold onto something solid for increased stability
  • Try to go higher up than the guy in the video

Exercise # 2

Shuffle Lunge

  • 10 sets
  • 40 reps per set
  • Bodyweight only

.

Superset # 2

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Push-Ups – (using Smith Machine if needed…no girlie push-ups ever)

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

Exercise # 2

Air Squats

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

Exercise # 3

Bodyweight Row on Smith Machine

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

.

Superset # 3

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets

Exercise #1

Stability Ball Crunches – (bodyweight)

  • 10 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

OR

Stability Ball Jackknifes – (bodyweight)

  • 10 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

Feel free to mix & match

Exercise # 2

2 Leg Hip Thrust with feet on stability ball

  • 10 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

.

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Fibromyalgia Pain Relief

Fibromyalgia is no match for Exercise

New research from John Hopkins University has found that fibromyalgia patients who engaged in 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity 5 to 7 days per week were able to:

  1. improve their mobility, while
  2. reducing their levels of perceived pain and disability

And as anyone who suffers with fibro surely knows, that is huge.

  • Never-ending pain throughout your body
  • Lack of sleep
  • Complete and utter exhaustion

That’s what it’s like to live with fibromyalgia.

Not fun.

The Study

Researchers asked the participants to increase their activity levels by increasing the intensity of regular everyday activities such as

  • taking the stairs instead of using an elevator,
  • gardening
  • and walking.

Their goal was to push themselves hard enough to cause heavy breathing, but not hard enough that they couldn’t hold a conversation.

The Results

By the end of the study, the participants had increased their average daily steps by 54%.

More significantly, the exercisers reported “significantly less perceived functional deficits and less pain.”

Speaking about these results, researcher Kevin Fontaine said, “The nature of fibromyalgia’s symptoms, the body pain and fatigue, make it hard for people with this malady to participate in traditional exercise. We’ve shown that LPA can help them to get at least a little more physically active, and that this seems to help improve their symptoms.”

Conclusion

In my experience, working with fibromyalgia patients has been one of my most rewarding experiences as a personal trainer. While it can be frustrating at times to see your client struggling with a new level of pain (that I caused), it is an incredible feeling when the situation starts to improve.

As they get accustomed to the exercise and the pain levels start to drop, the workouts take on a whole different light.

They stop thinking of themselves as fibromyalgia patients and start thinking of themselves as just another athlete suffering through another brutal workout avec moi.

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[box type=”important”]So, if you know anyone with fibromyalgia, pass this post on to them…and encourage them to get active.[/box]

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Related Posts

Health Habits Workout -Week 10/Day 2

Here’s your second workout for week # 10

.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

.

2.  Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP


.

3.  1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

And now for the…WORKOUT

Superset # 1

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Vertical Wood Chops / Slams – (cable, band or medicine ball)

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

Jumping Jacks

  • 7 sets
  • 40 reps per set
  • Bodyweight only

Exercise #3

2 Arm Cable Bicep Curls

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Superset # 2

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Zercher or Goblet Squats – (barbell, dumbbell or kettlebell)

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

1 Leg Deadlift

  • 10 sets
  • 10-20 reps per leg
  • Bodyweight or DBs

Superset # 3

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets

Exercise #1

Alternating Shoulder Press (See Saw Press) – (dumbbells)

  • 7 sets
  • 10 reps per arm per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 20 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

2 Arm Dumbbell Floor Chest Press

  • 7 sets
  • 10 reps per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 20 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 3

Reverse Crunch

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps per set…
  • Bodyweight

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Health Habits Workout -Week 10/Day 1

Week #10

Last week on this program.

Keep working hard. Try to move faster & rest less

.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

.

2.  Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP


.

3.  1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

And now for the…WORKOUT

Superset # 1

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Horizontal Wood Chops – (cable or band)

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

Shuffle Lunge

  • 10 sets
  • 40 reps per set
  • Bodyweight only

Superset # 2

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

1 Arm Chest Press – (cable or band)

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per arm per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

Bench Step Up

  • 7 sets
  • 10-20 reps per leg
  • Bodyweight or Dumb-Bells (no barbell)

Exercise # 3

1 Arm Standing Row

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per arm per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Superset # 3

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets

Exercise #1

Toes to the Ceiling – (bodyweight)

  • 10 sets
  • Maximum reps per set…
  • Reach your hands behind your head and hold onto something solid for increased stability
  • Try to go higher up than the guy in the video

Exercise # 2

2 Leg Hip Thrust

  • 10 sets
  • 20-50 reps
  • Bodyweight only

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Better than Boot Camp

Over the past couple of years, Boot Camp style workouts have been chipping away at health club profits.

And for good reason.

  • They generally cost less than health clubs
  • Unlike health clubs, they don’t require a 12 month commitment
  • The high intensity workouts burn a ton of calories
  • In good weather, exercising outdoors is awesome.
  • Group fitness is fun
  • Group fitness participants are more consistent with their exercise routine
  • Consistency improves the odds of achieving your goals

And, when you consider that two of the major issues facing our society are…

  1. the economy – recession, unemployment, etc
  2. systemic obesity and related diseases like diabetes and heart disease

…boot camp workouts seem like a sure bet for the fitness industry.

The problem is…

Most boot camp workouts kinda suck.

Strong words, I know. But not without reason. You see, over the past few months, I tried out a variety of boot camp workouts up here in Toronto….and they all sucked. Some more than others, but none of them were great.

And here’s my problem with boot camps workouts.

  • They are a “one size fits all” type of workout. Regardless of experience, weight, injuries, strength, endurance, flexibility,etc…everybody is doing the exact same workout. If I did that with my personal training clients, I would be out of business.
  • They are great at helping beginner trainees progress to an intermediate level of fitness, but that’s it. There is no progression.
  • They focus on anaerobic & muscular endurance while ignoring all of the other aspects of physical fitness
  • They offer no help with nutrition, emotional eating, injury recovery, etc….
  • They are run by inexperienced trainers

In essence, the boot camps of today are just like the aerobic classes of the 80s, except

  1. we have replaced aerobic endurance with anaerobic endurance, and
  2. we have replaced Jane Fonda with this guy

So, how do we make a better boot camp?

Well, I’m gonna tell ya.

My Imaginary Health Habits Better than Boot Camp would…

  • Be led by more experienced trainers to start with
  • Have varying levels of difficulty to accommodate beginners & elite level trainees
  • Address the numerous aspects of physical fitness
  • Help trainees correct muscular imbalances and joint mobility issues (neck & back pain, tight hips & shoulders, etc)
  • Offer regular Q & A sessions with various health & fitness experts – naturopaths, dietitians, physical therapists, obesity experts, etc…
  • Periodize workouts so that trainees progressed from beginner to elite and not just stay at intermediate
  • Offer an online community as well as organize face to face meetups.
  • while still charging $20 per session
  • and allowing the trainees to soak up their Vitamin D

Get Fit – Save Money

While watching some of the healthcare debate stuff on the news, I started thinking about:

  1. How the U.S. could save healthcare dollars by spending more on disease prevention / health promotion
  2. How Canadians pay less for pharmaceuticals thanks to public health care

All this deep thinking happened while I was shopping for fish oils, etc at my favorite health food store.

It got me thinking, what if all of the customers in the store got together, pooled all of their purchases and asked for a volume discount?

What would happen?

As individuals, we don’t have the leverage needed to get better prices.

But, what if thousands of us joined together as a group (perhaps an online group) and demanded better prices for our:

  • Nutritional supplements – vitamins, etc…
  • Health club memberships
  • Workout equipment
  • Workout clothes
  • Personal training sessions

Would we get a better price?

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So, as a little experiment, I have set up a little beta test.

Using a facebook Group, I am asking all of my readers who live in the Greater Toronto Area to join the Health & Fitness Buying Group – Toronto

The more people the better. That way I can pressure retailers to offer bigger & better discounts.

(if this test works, I will expand the group / set up new groups to service other areas or possibley even just set up 1 big group)

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Is America as Fat as It Can Get?

According to the latest data collected for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [NHANES], Americans are still getting fatter, but they may be getting fatter at a slightly slower rate.

Data from 1988-1994 showed that obesity in adults had increased by approximately 8 % in the United States since 1976-1980, after being relatively stable over the period 1960-1980.

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By 2007-2008, 33.8% of all Americans were obese (BMI = 30+), while the percentage of overweight Americans had jumped to 68% (BMI = 25+)

68%…not good.

But wait, there may be good news.

The data also showed that during the period from 1999-2008, female obesity levels showed no statistically significant changes. Similar results have been seen for males since 2003.

What does this mean?

This means that the increases in obesity we have been seeing since 1976 may be slowing down.

America may be reaching “peak obesity”.

That’s kind of like “peak oil” except that instead of a future world where Mad Max type characters run around killing and hoarding the dwindling supplies of oil, America may be on the road to de-flabbifying itself.

BUT…

…before you get all excited and celebrate with a box of twinkies, previous data from the NHANES survey produced the following projections

Obesity trends – USA

This data showed that while the numbers of overweight Americans was flattening out, the number of obese Americans is likely to increase.

This means that future America may be populated by a large group of really fat people, a smaller groups of “normal” fat people and another small group of fit people.

Unless the whole “peak oil” thing is right…and in that case, we’re looking at the whole Mad Max scenario

Reference

  • OECD Health Working PapersNo. 45,  20/03/2009, English, 82 pages, doi: 10.1787/225215402672 The Obesity Epidemic: Analysis of Past and Projected Future Trends in Selected OECD Countries
  • Science Daily
  • JAMA

Toronto By-Law Nazi Accosts Senior Citizens for Exercising in a Public Park

Most days, I love living in Toronto.

It’s a great city. All the culture you could want and you can still walk down the street at night.

But, yesterday, as I was reading my morning newspapers over a cup of coffee, I came upon this story….

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Take a Hike“, posted with vodpod

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…and it pissed me off.

Why in the world would a city bylaw officer harass senior citizens for exercising in a public park?

Why harass anyone for exercising in a public park?

As a nation, Canada is getting fatter year after year.

Our provincial health care systems are being bankrupted by chronic diseases brought on by the same lifestyle choices that cause obesity.

So, why would the city discourage physical activity by ticketing citizens to exercise in public parks that they already support with their tax dollars?

Especially when you consider that way back in 2005, Toronto city council created Get Your Move On

an initiative formed between public, voluntary and private sector organizations to address the current epidemic of physical inactivity by achieving increased physical activity levels in Toronto by raising public awareness, creating more opportunities and reducing barriers to enable all residents to be physically active where they live, work and play.

This commitment was stated again in 2008 when Mayor David Miller once again joined with those same members of the private, public and voluntary sectors to re-brand Get Your Move On as Get Active Toronto.

At this time, the mayor et al signed a Declaration of Commitment to a physically active Toronto.

Partnership Commitment Statement
As members of the Get your move on partnership, we commit to working together with individuals, community groups, agencies, institutions, businesses and all levels of government to achieve increased physical activity among all residents.

To accomplish this Get your move on partners will:

  • Promote healthy active living for all Toronto residents, beginning with children, youth, their families and other influencers. Champion the right of residents to have the opportunity for daily physical activity.
  • Seek innovative, creative solutions to reduce systemic barriers to physical activity.
  • Lead by example, undertaking initiatives within our organizations and communities to foster significant increases in physical activity and health. Develop and promote a civic culture where active living is part of everyday life.
  • Involve and support individuals, groups and organizations across sectors to build a movement that promotes physical activity for all Toronto residents.

Our commitment will increase opportunities and access for physical activity and contribute to lasting change for the people of Toronto.

Arrrggghhhh!!!!!

I am mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.

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Thanks to Toronto Sun columnist Sue-Ann Levy for breaking this shameful story.

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If you like what you see here, click here for updates

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Related Posts

Boot Camp Fitness

bootcamp

According to the Boston Globe, Boot Camps are the “newest, trendy way to get into shape.”

Yay…trendy.

I hate trendy.

And yet, I think boot camps are a great idea.

  • Intense workouts
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Fun, challenging workouts
  • The shared experience reduces the drop-out rate

But of course, Health Habits can do it better.

So, if any of my Toronto area readers are interested in getting tortured by yours truly in an outdoor training session amongst your neighbors and a bunch of people out walking their dogs, Email Me and we will try and squeeze you in.

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If you like what you see here, click here for updates

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The only reason to hire a personal trainer is….

Results. toronto

Good results.Great results. Toronto

Certainly not Oprah Winfrey losing & gaining 40+ pounds in one year kind of results.

  • We’re talking about the kind of results that make you want to rush out and buy a brand new wardrobe to show off the brand new you.
  • We’re talking about the kind of results that have you staring at your reflection in the mirror like a modern day Narcissus.
  • We’re talking about the kind of results that have you singing the praises of your personal trainer to all of your friends and family and co-workers and strangers on the street and…

We’re talking about the kind of results that each and every personal trainer should strive for.

Unfortunately, most trainees don’t get those types of results from their personal trainers.

And why not?

  • Health clubs are making huge profits off of their personal training clients.
  • The obesity/weight loss industry is making trillions.
  • And yet, as a society, we’re fatter than ever.

But, if you ask your trainer (go ahead and ask) why you’re not transforming as quickly as you think you should be, I guarantee that you will hear some version of this answer:

  • I am with you for only (1, 2 or 3) hours a week. That leaves 165+ hours where you are on your own. I can’t be responsible for what you do when I am not around.

Aaarrrgggghhh!!!!

But of course, on one level, they are right.

Ultimately, you are responsible for the food that you eat, the Starbucks mocha lattes that you drink, the quantity and quality of your sleep, your daily activity, your thoughts, your feelings, etc….

However, if you are going to pay thousands of dollars of your hard earned, recession ravaged dollars in an attempt to ward off excess body-fat and coronary incidents, maybe your trainer should take some responsibility for those hours when you are away from him or her.

Remember, you are paying for results.

So, how do you get your moneys worth?

Talk with your trainer about your health/fitness/weight loss goals

  • Are they realistic?
  • If so, how long should it take to achieve those goal?
  • What are you going to have to do to achieve those goals?
  • What is the trainer going to do to help you achieve those goals?
  • What happens if you don’t achieve those goals?

Create a Body Transformation Plan

  • This plan, created jointly by you and your trainer, is your blueprint. Goals, timelines, workouts, nutrition,etc…
  • It should also detail the responsibilities, costs and penalties that the two of you have agreed upon.

And Follow Through with the Plan

  • All of my clients know what I expect of them and what happens if they don’t keep up their end of the bargain.
  • However, they also know that if they stick to the plan but don’t achieve 100% of their results, they WON’T be stuck paying for 100% of their training session fees.
  • They pay only for the results that we have achieved as a team.

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Disclosure

While I seldom discuss it here on Health Habits, I have been a personal trainer for a long time. While I have worked in lots of different gyms, I have been out on my own, doing in-home personal training in downtown Toronto, for the past 6 years. During that time, I have met a lot of good personal trainers and a lot of bad personal trainers. And, I have seen a lot of those bad trainers make a lot of good money from people who think that a trainer with a life-long six-pack is better than one who has had to work hard for their fitness.

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