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Sweat Bands & Caffeine

Hey guys!

I’ve gotten a few questions lately regarding sweat bands and caffeinated serums so I’m going to share how it works and why it works.

Sweat bands.

I did a fair amount of research before buying one. It seemed like another weight loss scam and I was really skeptical. Sweat bands range in materials but are synthetic, usually neoprene or something a little fancier. They are usually used around the waist but you can also get leg ones like I have!

The best way to explain how they work is to first explain the ‘whoosh effect’. With proper diet and exercise, your body’s fat cells are emptied of triglyceride as your body breaks it down for energy. As the fat decreases, water is temporarily absorbed into the cell making it full again. Eventually your body flushes the water from the cell creating the fat cell to shrink. This is why weight loss can sometimes take time.

I never totally believed in this theory of weight loss but I do notice this effect in my own body. I find that using a sweat belt helps this process.

Many people say you are sweating water weight so you will just ‘gain’ it back, which isn’t wrong either. However if you think long term, I do find it effective!

Caffeine.

Topical caffeine use is nothing new. We use it in facial serums to reduce the look of dark circles and large veins.

It is also used in body scrubs etc. for cellulite. Caffeine helps dehydrate the fat cells in cellulite thus reducing the appearance or shrinking the area!

You can shop it here!

Put the two together and you have an amazing combo!

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6 Reasons Why You Should become a regular Yogi

So if you’ve known me a while you’ll know the ebb and flow between yoga and I. I love love love love it, I love how I feel during, after and down the road. In the past I’ve been pretty balls to the walls about my fitness. I would dive into yoga, or dive into Bikram or fitness. It’s like when you find your new favourite song and only want to listen to that one song. I’m working on my perfect balance. 😊 So, I’ll stay non-bias and factual. Here are 6 different reasons why YOU should practice weekly.

1. It’s a whole body workout! No you can’t add resistance or weight, but yoga uses body weight to build strength. It uses large and small muscles to hold, flow, twist, balance and press.

2. Muscle recovery. Hello…its stretching. YES, it is so many other things, but yoga is designed to strengthen and ‘lengthen’ the muscles using various stretching techniques during your practice. This improves circulation and blood flow through the body. This also increases the oxygen level through the body supporting muscle recovery. When you don’t properly stretch, the muscle fibers can heal closer together, making your muscles appear more compact and bulgier overall.

3. Increased ROM. Having a good range of motion not only improves your capacity for weight lifting, sports etc. but can also positively effect the day to day and prevent injury.

4. Spinal support and pelvic control. So many of us have limited body awareness. Sure we know how far we have to reach for something or not to walk into someone but in my experience, most of us don’t have much control over our body. A lack of pelvic control and poor posture are common issues I see. Not only does yoga strengthen the supporting muscles, it also teaches us proper pelvic tilts and control. This can improve posture for weight training and every day.

5. Calm your mind. I am a non-stop busy body. It’s in my nature and I’ve learned to lean into it. I have learned all of my quieting, meditative and relaxation techniques from my past yoga instructors. Not only is my body getting a treat, so is my mind. Even if it’s just for an hour, this practice gives you a space to be mindful of your body or to just be.

6. Happy Happy Happy! Some studies have shown a regular yoga practice can boost serotonin levels in the body. Plus, being active and treating your body makes you feel GOOD!

In conclusion yoga is the best and everyone should do it. I know it sounds like I’m joking but I’m not 😛 I try to encorporate it in my daily life and I try to make classes. I also try to throw some into active warm ups for my clients.

If 6 reasons is not enough, here are 38 health benefits from Yoga Journal.

If you’re in the Chilliwack area, definitely come check out a class with Amanda, Tuesdays at 7pm. 💕 All levels are welcome so don’t be scared.

You can visit the event page HEEERE!

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Cellucation: cellulite education.

Ohhhhh Cellulite….according to studies 90% of women and 10% of men will get this at some point in their lives. Regardless of its frequency, we hate when it shows up. Cellulite appears when the layer of fat under the skin presses against the connective tissue and bulges. There are numerous causes of cellulite, some we can control and some we can’t. I get asked about the causes and ‘cures’ of cellulite all the time which is why I decided to write about it. It’s SO important to remember it’s normal, natural and nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by…it’s life 😊 That being said, a little education never hurts.

There are sooo many different ‘types’ and classifications of cellulite…I am going to explain two predominant ‘types’, hard and soft. Soft cellulite is soft, saggy and covers a larger area. It does not attach to the muscle making it move around more. It can be the result of lymphatic problems and can often be cold or clammy to touch. It is also usually with looser skin. On the plus side, it sits closer to the surface making it easier to treat. Hard cellulite is more concentrated and lives closer to the muscle. Hard cellulite is haaarder to see and treat as it sits deeper. Most of us have soft cellulite.

For me, hormonal changes during pregnancy gave me cellulite. Hormonal changes (especially a decline in estrogen) may contribute to changes in circulation and a reduction in collagen production. A thinner collagen layer, an increase in fat cells and change in blow flood can all create the appearance of cellulite.  This means that cellulite is also common around menopause as estrogen levels decrease Prolactin can also make cellulite more visible as it increases water retention in fat cells making them lumpier and larger. 

Prolonged sitting or inactivity can also cause cellulite. Decreased activity can change circulatory patterns in the body.

High levels of insulin increase the amount of fat your body produces in the form of triglycerides. Insulin sends the carbs to fat cells to be turned into these fatty acids and stored. So a high intake of carbs results in higher insulin levels and may create the appearance of cellulite.

Unfortunately ladies, some of it is in our make up. We have a higher risk of developing cellulite because our connective tissue and fat cells are arranged slightly different to men. I’ve attached a couple photos to demonstrate soft cellulite. It covers a large area around my hips. After pregnancy I noticed it in the front a little as well. I think this was largely due to water retention as it disappeared faster and easier than the rest. It’s mostly gone now but is still visible in the fatty area below my butt #2018goals. Right now I’m working on cleaning my diet after Christmas and bumping my total body water a little.

So we all want to know…how do I get rid of it?? Thankfully, there are tons of ways to reduce the appearance of cellulite. 😉

Massage. A low, gentle pressure applied slowly over the area helps elongate the fascia and connective tissue. It can also improve circulation in the area. Get someone to massage the area, do it yourself or grab your foam roller. Dry brushing is another method to exfoliate and improve circulation.

Coffee scrub or wrap. I personally didn’t find this worked for me, but it definitely might for you! Caffeine stimulates blood and lymphatic flow to the area. It also exfoliates the skin. Coffee is rich in antioxidants which some think can penetrate the skin and boost collagen and elastin.

Balance your hormones. Paying attention to your diet, exercise, sleep and carbohydrates. These things may affect your hormone balance thus affecting the appearance of cellulite in your body. If you’re unsure of these things, see a health care professional.

Essential oils. The correct use of EOs can improve the activity of your lymph glands and improve circulation thus reducing the appearance of cellulite.

Change your diet. Monitor the amount of carbs you consume. By balancing your diet you can reduce the amount of fat that goes into storage. Drinking lots of water will also metabolize toxin buildup and hydrate connective tissue.

That’s the quick and dirty edition to cellulite education and helpful tools to reduce it’s appearance. 💕💕

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Breaking through a plateau

If you’re regular with exercising there’s a good chance you’ve hit a plateau before. It can be anything from a stop in strength increase, weight loss, fat loss or CV measures. Plateaus can be SO FRUSTRATING! You’re doing everything right and seeing no change.  If that’s happening to you it may be time to change things up or spank the muscle 😉👋

Studies suggest the body can adapt to a workout program anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks.

Why have I hit a plateau?

Theres a good chance you have been doing the right things, but its time to change it up. Your muscles/body has adapted to the current stresses you have been applying and it’s time for change and time to step things up a little. 

If you are training harder and exercising more than ever but have made no modifications to your diet, you may hit a plateau. In order for your muscles to properly recover and to grow, your body requires the right type and amount of calories to feed your body to promote changes.

Over training can also result in a plateau. Give different muscle groups a break now and then (between 48-72 hours depending on your goals) to encourage repair and growth. 

Don’t let a plateau get you down! There is a lot we can do to change the pattern.

How do I break through a plateau?

There are a few different ways to change your fitness routine. The most important part is change…something needs to change 😊

1. Add intensity. If your cardio is stale, add speed intervals or elevation (hiking is great). If your strength gains are slow/stopped, add supersets, pyramid sets or plyometric exercises to your routine.

2. Change your sets/reps. If you lift heavy with low reps and higher sets, try lower weight at higher reps for a couple worrkouts.

3. Cross train. If you’re used to only one style of training, throw some plyometric exercises into your run routine, or weight session etc. 

4. Change amount of rest during exercise. Incorporating a circuit or supersets into your routine can kick it up a notch.

5. Eat enough! If you’re unsure how many calories you should be eating for your activity level etc. ask me 🙂 If you are working on losing your last 5-15 lbs (your vanity pounds), make sure your calorie deficit is no more than 500 calories. If your deficit is too high it triggers the body to release fat storing hormones and slows down your metabolism. Drink lots of water too 😊

6. Take days off. As a general rule, muscles need 48-72 hours to recover between workouts (depending on intensity/duration/type etc). Overtraining can lead to fatigue, reduced performance, disturbed sleep and more. 

7. Don’t lose your fire 🔥 don’t let a plateau knock you down and effect your motivation. Let this plateau be a reminder of how far you’ve come and help you push further and harder. 💪

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Post Pregnancy Fitness

Well! It’s been a while since I’ve been on here! My beautiful boy came three weeks early and it has been a whirlwind of snuggles and mediocre sleep 😂

As you know I had a very healthy pregnancy and labour was a breeze all things considering (don’t hate me🙈). I chose to have Maddog naturally and  I am so grateful for my experience. I was able to return to my regular activity seamlessly the week we left the hospital…this included working out and hiking shortly after. No I am not just lucky…I had a very intentional pregnancy and delivery. 

I can definitely admit I am eager to get my pre-baby body back and sometimes have a hard time respecting the process. Pregnancy is a beautiful experience and I have learnt to love my body even more…that even includes my stretched skin and cellulite. It takes time to reduce these things, I get it, so I’ve put my focus in improving my fitness level to where it was pre-baby.  Lucky for me that involves a lot of hiking! Thank youuu summer! 🌞 focusing on the things I can improve help me keep a sound mind and keeps me positive and inspired. The aesthetics will come when they come.

This photo was taken one week post partum. I chose to share this as a true testament to how healthy living can positively effect your body and mind during pregnancy and post partum. 

I lost a lot of my baby weight within the first couple days, but I also felt in control during labour and I was filled with energy during, after and ongoing. Not only does this make me feel good, it means I can give my son 100%.

This second picture is from 6 weeks post partum. 

I’ve been working hard on strength gains and active cardio. I call it active cardio because I am pushing myself and making my body work. For me that means I kick my ass on a 12 km hike or set of stairs as opposed to just walking around the block. I make sure my body is working hard 💪 Change takes hard work and dedication but I’m so happy with how far I’ve come and am grateful to my body for my son, and for packing him around so he can explore the world from day 1. 

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Getting motivated 

We always hear “the hardest part is getting started” and “its good for you” from our friends, trainer or the internet. (I can be guilty of this fluff sometimes too 🙈).

But why is it always so hard maintain momentum to work out or eat clean when it is soooo good for you?!

That’s easy enough to answer … We let it slide because it’s hard, uncomfortable, uninteresting, scary, time consuming, too expensive, requires some preparation and on and on we go. It’s easy to make excuses.

Maintaining a good fitness level and proper nutrition not only helps you look and feel great but a healthy lifestyle improves our cognitive, social and physical well being.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada Canada, four in five Canadian adults have at least one modifiable risk factor, and one in five live with at least one of the following major chronic diseases: CVD, cancer, CRD and diabetes. Two-thirds of all deaths each year are caused by these major chronic diseases. In addition, mood and anxiety disorders are also common among Canadians and account for the leading cause of disability for working age adults.

So how can we stay motivated for healthy living? If the fear of chronic disease doesn’t motivate you enough, try these tricks to get your body going.

1. Find a workout partner or accountability buddy. This person knows your goals and supports you.

2. Define your why. Whether your doctor has recommended lifestyle modifications, you want to keep up with your kids or get your body back…make sure you know why you’re doing it. I wouldn’t do something without knowing the reason for it.

3. Set a short term goal.
“This week I will exercise 3 times.”  Make it attainable and make sure if supports your end goal 🙂

4. Pick activities you LOVE and inspire you! If you don’t like lifting weights at the gym or running, don’t do it. There are SOOOOO many activities to pick from these days. Pick something FUN or you won’t prioritize it very high.

5. Reward yourself! Give yourself a real reward for achieving your short term goal. Whether it be a cute new workout top, a guilt free hour of your favourite TV show, or that Caesar you’ve saved for Sunday. Make sure to treat yo self.

6. Make some new friends. Find active people and make new friends! Don’t try and convert your inactive friends to an active lifestyle just yet (that’s not usually successful) but find some people that will drag your ass out of bed and challenge you to try fun new things.

7. Mix it up. In a regular week I paddleboard, hike/walk, cycle, lift weights, swim and play sports in the park. If I didn’t…I would get bored.

8. Find a job or hobby that forces you to be active. This could be working with kids, a side job in the fitness industry, walking dogs, organizing a walking group, joining a sports team….the options are endless and these things keeps you off the couch at night or on the weekend.

9. Pay someone personally. Join a bootcamp, find a trainer or pay your spouse or friend for missed workouts/activities. We are more inclined to show up when our hard earned money is on the line and we know someone will be disappointed by skipping.

10. Acknowledge your accomplishments. Don’t get wrapped up in “losing 10lbs,” looking like that girl (or guy) on instagram or spot training one area of your body. Give yourself a fu*king break and embrace the good you are doing! Do your arms look more defined? Do your jeans fit better? Can you pick up your kids easier? Can you paddle or walk longer? Acknowledge, enjoy and celebrate every little detail.

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All about ABS

Who likes tight abs? You, me, we all do! Maybe you know, maybe you don’t but our ‘abs’ are comprised of more than one muscle. There are actually 3 main components to our abs.  Not only does it look good to keep this area in check, having a strong core offers improved posture, spinal stability, shape and more.

The transverse abdominis is your deepest abdominal muscle. It helps the breathing process by assisting exhalation as its main function is to active the core muscles and stabilize the pelvis. It also helps resist lumbar flexion, assisting in proper posture.

The rectus abdominis (or 6 pack muscles) assist in flexion of the spine. We can also contract these muscles during bowel movements, breathing and laughing 😊

Obliques are split into your external and internal obliques. The internal oblique lay beneath the external oblique muscle. They have similar functions in that they assists the abdominal wall in respiration and torso twisting.

Serratus anterior are my favourite looking muscles. They are represented by a saw tooth pattern and don’t function the core despite their location. These muscles attach to the scapula holding it in position.
These exercises are great for anyone  (Including pregnancy babes!).

Some great exercises to strengthen your core are:

Plank:

You can perform a plank from your hands or elbows and knees or toes. You want to make sure you tuck your tummy and avoid a saggy lower back. It also helps to protract the shoulder blades to create a strong base.

Ball rollout:

This is similar to using an ab roller with more control and stability. Start with the ball 2 feet or so away from the body, and roll the ball forwards creating the end position seen in the photo. Remember to engage the core and tuck your tummy to avoid a saggy lower back.

Bird dog:

Start in a table top (hands and knees) position and slowly lift the alternating arm and leg. Tuck the tummy and keep a strong core. Give a little extra squeeze at the top.

Side plank:

Great for the obliques! This one can also be done from hands or elbows. Make sure your shoulders stay stacked on top of each other and feet stay stacked.

Modified Boat pose:

If you’ve done yoga or Pilates this is no stranger to you! You can lift the feet or keep them on the ground as I have. You can use your hands or let them stay straight beside the outside of youe legs.

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Quick shoulder blast

Happy Monday!

So I had good intentions on uploading this to instagram but once I got the video from gopro to phone I realized how shitty the quality was during the transfer. My instagram husband is gone so I’m stuck using the remote. On the camera the light looked perfect, on here not so much. SO I apologize for how bad the video Is, but the shoulder pump is good and that’s what counts right 😉

Warm up the shoulders first with a light plate and some shoulder raises. 

1. Single arm DB woodchop
2. Straight arm cable pull
3. 90 degree delt raise (if we train together…barbie arms)
4. Squat thruster
5. Rear delt fly

Complete 3 sets of 12-15 reps 

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Bump Day update!

Happy Easter! 

Today marks 30 weeks of pregnancy and I couldn’t be more excited for my nearing due date. In addition to this I get to blog from my WARM and sunny patio tonight while muffins bake in the oven which is amazing. With the warmer weather and busy work weeks I know the next 10 weeks are going to fly by. 

For some reason 30 weeks is a big milestone for me, the last months I’ve told myself as soon as I get here, baby will be in my arms before I know it. I took a little time to look back to earlier in my pregnancy and giggle at how tiny I was but how exciting that little bump was. I was willing it to grow. Now that baby’s getting bigger, I’m willing an easy way to put my runners on 😂 or to have an easy shower….showering is officially harder than working out. 

I started here, at 19 weeks documenting my pregnancy changes. I still can’t decide if thats a tiny baby bump or if I was a little bloated haha who knows. 

I snapped this one on my way out the door yesterday, my 30 week baby! The last few weeks have been the most wonderful weeks where baby’s soft whispy movements have turned into full on kicks, rolls and dance moves. The best part, Nic can feel them now too 😊

I’m realizing now that all the content I mentioned in social media today is a lot to cram in and I want to dive into weight gain during pregnancy because I find weight gain misconceptions super common. Ill share about this one in a post later this week.

I am also really excited to share about my 4 week prenatal fitness program. There are SO many benefits to exercising during pregnancy and I hope to share that with other expecting moms. This program is packed with information and a progressive workout program. As there are things to avoid while exercising, it can be a daunting experience, especially if you’re learning from Pinterest or Google searches. 

So..what we all want to know, what do you get?

•FIIT for every level 

•Intensity measurements

•A tested 4 week fitness program

•written cues and images for each exercise

•suggested sets and reps 

•Information on warning signs, prenatal core and avoiding diastasis recti 

•5 workouts + a warm up and extra core workout 

•Improved CV and muscular endurance 

•More energy! 

I want to make this available to EVERYONE so I will be offering this program for 40$, yours to keep 😊

If you’re pregnant or know someone who is feel free to share this information! The program will go live May 1st but you can prepurchase to get it early! 

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Why You Should Use HIIT

If you’ve trained with me you know I love the sweet burn of interval training during sessions. Not only do they keep you moving and keep our workouts spicy, they have numerous scientific benefits for fat loss, heart health and muscle recovery.

Bursts of high intensity  increase caloric expenditure thus burning more calories. In addition to this, the total calories burned is greater in the exercise post oxygen consumption for HIIT than with continuous exercise.

Using a HIIT method can also boost your endurance which is seen through improved blood pressure and higher counts of mitochondria. Science also suggests an improvement in VO2 max and improved glycemic control.

HIIT can also increase flexibility and elasticity in your arteries and veins supporting improved heart health.

In addition to these internal benefits, interval training keeps things more interesting than continuous exercise (like an hour on the treadmill). It also cuts your workout in half and works to avoid plateauing.

Ive shared 4 of my favourite plyo exercises great for intervals. Next time you’re at the gym, try adding these between sets or reps to kick your workout up a notch.