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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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Staying Motivated During the Dark Days of Winter.

I come from a science background and have to say I love facts. Unfortunately, this topic comes with a lot of opinion and few facts so, I’ll share my opinion.

If you could pick one month to be ‘the worst,’ what would it be? In my opinion, we are sitting at the hardest time of year and I’ll explain why.

1. New Years inspiration is dwindling. I read somewhere that 80% of resolutioners have failed by March. We’re already 2 months in, if you haven’t settled into your fit flow now, you’ll have to try again next year right? (Obviously no, but I’ll cover the fix in a sec). Failed expectations usually result in quitting all together.

2. The never ending short cloudy, rainy, snowy days. I have learned to plan my life around sunshine and am grateful I have the flexibility in my schedule to do so. I cannot count on my fingers how many days I’ve seen clients with low to no energy…and groups of them. We feel like hibernating under a pile of blankets until we get 3 sunny days in a row πŸ˜‚ S.A.D. is real and so many of us feel it. It dampens our mood (literally πŸ˜‚) and affects how we feel.

3. The sickness! It seems to be getting worse each year but it is HARD to do much when you’re feeling under the weather…we don’t want your germs anyway πŸ˜‰ It’s hard to avoid it and unfortunately often after being sick we use it as an excuse to do nothing instead. Then we get stuck in a loop.

4. You were fulfilling your resolutions but hit a plateau and got frustrated and lost momentum and now you’re just annoyed with yourself.

So, after observing a lot of feelings and energy levels over the past year, I really believe these things are true (I’m sure I’m missing a lot) and am happy to share some ways to kick this slump in the ass.

Make it a priority to get outside on nicer days, even if its only for 15 minutes.

Exercise = happy endorphins, improved self image, improved abilities.

Set little goals that create your big goals. Celebrate the little victories. I always recommend to take photos and measurements and to focus on feel more than numbers on a scale.

Spend your time around people that make you smile. Smiling makes you happier.

Go on daycations. If you look, you can find sun on a rainy day. I’ve driven to Lilooet, Yale, Pemberton, Merrit, Whistler, Washington etc. for sunny weather. It makes a fun trip and SUNSHINE.

Get outside into nature. Waterfalls are wet anyway. On rainy days around town I’ll try to do a quick waterfall hike or something similar where we are close to dry clothes and warm cuddles. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SUNSETS. The sun sets so early in the winter, take advantage and get to the river or up a mountain. It’s so beautiful to watch 😍

If you have kids, look through their eyes. My son loves to be in his hiking backpack, loves to eat snow and loves car rides. Its a no brainer for me.

Indoor home improvements. Once the weather improves I spend my time in my yard. So spend these wet, dark days indoors prepping your house for those summer parties. For me that’s decluttering, painting and deep cleaning. These things feel SO good!

Crank up the heat and turn on all your lights. BC hydro will love you for this one πŸ˜‚ but on days where it’s extra gloomy, I turn on all the lights and the heat goes up so I can wear no pants, comfortably. Pair that with some music and indoor tasks, you have a fun night. πŸ˜‰

So, those are all my best winter practices. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve been affected by S.A.D. this year and I think this is why! There are a lot of uncontrollables in our lives (like the weather) and the best we can do is control our response πŸ’•πŸ’• I know a lot of people tell me they’re more active in the summer, but don’t wait until then. Stay in the habit of moving and being active in the winter. It makes the transition easier come summer. I know, for me, a part of the winter slump is feeling under stimulated so staying busy helps big time.

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Surviving the Weekend

It’s getting close to that time again when weekends are filled with holiday festivities and more drinks amd treats. Now, you’ve been working SO hard this year to make a point of good health and consistent fitness, you don’t want to throw that away for a holiday party do you? (I know you don’t πŸ˜‰).

1. Substitute. Try this for that. A desert or some fresh fruit. Salad over bread. Have a vodka soda over a beer or sugary cocktail. 

2. Portion control / moderation / balance. Whatever you want to call it… you can have just a little bit. 1 square instead of the whole tray. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰ 

3. Bring the healthy snack! If you’re worried about snacking, bring a vege plate or scour Pinterest for some simple, healthy recipes. 

4. Make exercise/activity a non-negotiable. Set aside at least 30 minutes each day to be active.  

5. Start a fit challenge with your friends! Invite them to a step challenge, or a workout challenge. Aka TAKE INITIATIVE.

6. Understand that you will make sacrifices. BUT, as a piece of perspective…you’ve been working out the last few months, you’re sacrificing your hard work by eating shit, over drinking and over indulging.

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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 πŸ˜‰πŸ‘‹

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ”₯ 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. πŸ’ͺ

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Getting motivatedΒ 

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 πŸ™ˆ).

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 πŸ™‚

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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Staying Fit While Pregnant

Pregnancy is an amazing experience. Your body goes through so many changes as you grow another human. That’s amazing guys. No matter where you look everyone has a different opinion on all things pregnancy and baby, including fitness.

I trained before I was pregnant, so why not during? Staying active has helped energize me, oxygenate my blood, and keep my weight gain within the guidelines which is around 30 lbs. A lot of women eat for two during pregnancy and shy away from exercise which won’t help the body bounce back postpartum.

It is important to maintain good fitness and diet now more than ever. Even if exercise is newer to you, don’t be afraid to find out how you can improve your fitness.

*please note, if you are starting a new exercise program that you check with your physician first.

Weight Training

img_2615If you were weight training before pregnancy, chances are it is safe for you to continue during pregnancy. In most cases, there are numerous benefits to weight training during pregnancy. Strengthening the core muscles will definitely help carry your extra baby weight, reducing the stress on the back. A strong core can also help during labour and postpartum. During any exercise remember to listen to your body, you’re training for maintenance now, not improvements. For the fit pregnancy, it is recommended you weight train 2-3 days a week, with a reduced intensity of 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

*note, if you are new to weight training (3 months or less) please reduce intensity further to 2 days a week and 1-2 sessions/week. Please also seek the advice of your physician.

Cardiovascular Training

This one I have been struggling with a little as my cardio is usually done outside, but there are lots of benefits to cardio during pregnancy also! For the fit pregnancy, it is recommended you engage in up to 30 minute sessions, 3-4 days a week. I like to stagger my walks/stairs/hikes with my weight training as my goal is to be active every day. Staggering these sessions gives the muscles a nice break too πŸ™‚ Remember, if you experience any discomfort, stop what you are doing and seek the advice of a physician. If you are new to exercise, reduce the intensity to 15 minute sessions, fewer times each week. Please reach out to me for more information on progressions.

Flexibility Training

If you’ve trained with me, you know how important I believe stretching is for everyone. During pregnancy stretching helps reduce muscle soreness after exercise and also helps reduce any muscular discomfort from pregnancy.Β img_2611

During exercise, it is important to care for your body, and LISTEN to your body. If something doesn’t feel good or right, don’t do it. If you’re unsure of modifications, ask first. It is also important to stay within intensity ranges, this includes target heart rate zones (Ill get more into this another day). If you’re unsure, please ask πŸ™‚ on average (fit 20-29 year old woman), the maximum heart rate is 160 bpm. This number decreases due to age and fitness level so be aware and honest of your abilities.

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Winter Wellness Group

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I’ve started a new program and I want you to join me!

Core de Force is an MMA inspired fitness program you can do in your living room!

Don’t waste your time holding off for the new year to get started on better health and fitness.

WHAT DO YOU GET?

so much…

β€’10+ workouts you can do from anywhere, no equipment needed!

β€’simple to follow meal plan with yummy recipes like chicken pesto quesedillas, greek turkey burger and so much more!

β€’30 day supply of my favourite plant based SUPERFOOD shakes with a vegan option οΏ½

β€’30 day access to Beachbody on Demand where you can stream hundreds of workouts from yoga, to HIIT classes.

β€’the start to your healthiest year EVER! I’m loving my results so far and I know you will too!!

If you’re interested in joining me please shoot me a message or contact me here!!

Join me HERE

Im only a week in, but here is my 6 day progress!! Amazing right?!

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Simple travel circuit

It’s summer…campgrounds are open, kids are out of school and we all take advantage of the warm sun and travel destinations. Getting wrapped up in the fun is easy and sometimes we put our fitness on the backburner. I don’t know about you but I typically love indulging a little extra on the road and a lot of times I skip workoutsπŸ™ˆ I know, I know…it happens though 😊

Problem solved, sub fresh veg for fries and take a quick twenty for yourself to do this easy hotel workout (or if you’re me…campground workout). 

You have a couple options for organizing these exercises…I usually pick a number and do each exercise, that many times 😊 alternately you can do these as a circuit (30 second, 45 second or 60 second intervals). 
Workout

                                           Warm up (jumping jacks, jog/run on the spot)
                                                                   

                                                                        Push-ups 

                                                                  Walking lunges

                                                                           Plank

                                                                    Jump squats

                                                    Plank (alternating arm raise)

                                                                 Glute kickback 

                                                                        Enjoy!!