YOUR COMMUNITY FITNESS AND WELLNESS NEWSLETTER
NO PAIN, NO GAIN...?
By David Bateman, Strength Rehabilitation Institute of Ottawa
The adage “no pain, no gain” is overused in our business. Whether you’re in the middle of an intense workout session or even just trying out a new routine, you must listen to what your body is telling you. What many of us don’t realize is that pain (especially acute quick pain) is a signal from the body that it doesn’t like what you’re doing, and it wants you to stop. It’s the same concept as immediately dropping something that we know will burn us; your body doesn’t think about it – it simply reacts.
Never forget: pain is a signal that something isn’t right, and it needs to be addressed. There’s also a difference between quick acute pain and the type that builds up gradually. Is delayed muscle soreness a bad thing? Is that low level ache in your knee a severe problem? It may be. When you’re feeling pain, the most prudent solution is stop or modify what you’re doing and possibly seek help to find the root cause. You should address your pain and get back to doing the things you enjoy and be healthier in the long
term. Feel free to reach out to me if you’re having problems identifying the causes of your pain. It’s what I do!
THE GUT OF YOUR CORE
By Aimee Brouillard, Owner Love to Train
Have you noticed that Uncle Bob complains about back pain this time of year? Ever notice how Uncle Bob likes to enjoy a few more drinks and indulge in left over holiday baking? You guessed it – there’s a connection between Uncle Bob’s gut and his back pain. The body is truly fascinating. Every segment of the spine is like a tiny computer system that operates a different function of your body. Too much sugar can sit in the lower intestine, undigested, which irritates your digestive system. Inflamed gut? Bye-bye core/back support! An inflamed gut can also shut off your abdominals, tilting your pelvis in a position that can cause a lot of loading of the lower back. In fact, a dysfunctional core can shift your entire posture and cause just about every ache you can think of: your back, your knee, your hip, your ankle, your neck and everything in between. The remedy? Cut back on some that sugary food (and drinking!) and try this simple core exercise:
Leg Raises - Lower Abdominal:
- On your back with knees bent and feet on floor.
- Raise one leg to the ceiling (at 90 degrees) and tilt your pelvis slightly until your lower back is pressing against your fingers.
- Slowly lower the elevated leg to the floor without letting your pelvis tilt to its original position.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Keep breathing!
- Keep the neck relaxed.
- Avoid tilting the pelvis too far. Your tailbone should still be resting on the floor.
- Control is key!
- Can be performed every day.
- Stop if you feel pain.
- Work up to 2 minutes between both legs.
- Complete with both legs starting at below 90 degree angle.
- Open the angle of the leg until the leg is completely extended to increase resistance.
Discontinue if back pain occurs and don’t hesitate to contact us for a free tutorial!
Remember: work from the inside out. “Flat ab”workouts don’t work and are likely to injure you. If your trainer makes you do crunches, it's probably because they probably don't like you. 😉
HEAT OF THE MOMENT
By Nate Heat, Personal Trainer
You’re undertaking a healthier you. Here are three secrets to physically see results:
- What are you watching and listening to?
Having worked in this industry for a decade with a broad range of clients and their goals, I can describe motivation as merely short term “boost” of hope. Motivation is fleeting and ephemeral and can cycle you through the motivation train of dissatisfaction. How to remedy the cycle? If your focus is on what you want from the short- term motivational world (praise, rewards, money), try finding a small thing that you can be grateful AT THIS VERY MOMENT. Now stick with that small thought. Let it build momentum with your daily thinking. Practice makes perfect; the more you stick with that one grateful thought, the more if will become engrained in your subconscious.
Visualize yourself as the protagonist in your own story. Many sports psychologists support the theory that your subconscious will lock in and believe your visualizations if you can imagine yourself in the story line instead of someone else. Seeing yourself succeed is energizing because it promotes self-confidence, self-awareness, courage and focus. Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho Cybernetics, developed this helpful visualization exercise: See yourself in a theatre alone. Before sitting down, visualize in detail everything about the room itself. Feel the room in your mind, smell it, hear it and taste it. Pick a centre seat and sit down in the middle of that theatre. You’re not only the star of the movie, you directed it and you produced it. You’re the hero. In fact, you play all characters, and you play them to perfection. Make this movie really focus on what you intend to do that day or for your personal desires.
The most important, and in my opinion the most challenging, task to accomplish is feeling. Making sure you note how you feel right now is key. Buddhists theorize that your body/soul is a being of the now. A being of the now doesn’t reside in the past or future, it thrives when the focus is on “how can I feel good now?” Start with small thoughts that make you smile or things that get you excited. List the things that you’re grateful for and watch how your mood changes. Use that your advantage for a good training session! Put yourself in a great mood with stress-free feelings and ditch all idea of “how I’ll feel when I get it”.
By Osama Mobayed, Student and Body Transformation Expert
The average student gains anywhere between 12 and 37 lbs. over four years of college. I gained 40 lbs. after my first year of engineering. I believe that students are the unhealthiest people on the planet. Think about it: we start our day with one to five cups of coffee, then spend countless hours sitting in classes. By the end of the day, we down a few cans of beer, eat a large pizza and maybe smoke a joint to deal with the stress of it all. What an unhealthy environment! The moment I channeled my “zen” and looked at this “normal” way of student living, I decided to change. I realized I forgot what it felt like to wake up energetic and exited to start my day. I realized my diet and routine were toxic. Trust me when I say that eating refined and processed food affects you psychologically just as much as physiologically! Some students try adjusting their diet but find themselves right back where they started. Why? Students are trying to treat the symptom instead of the issue at hand: stress management. If stress isn’t addressed, the binging and poor daily food choices cycle until your health deteriorates. Calming the mind is an effective tool to address stress. A calm mind doesn’t allow you to consume toxic foods that can interfere with its zen biochemistry.
How to channel your zen:
- Incorporate meditation practices
- Take up yoga classes
- Make healthier choices
Prepare to be astonished at how much easier it becomes to manage stress and make consistent healthy choices! When changing your lifestyle, start with your mind. That’s where it all begins. You already know how to eat healthy, so do yourself a favor and calm down the upstairs neighbor so you are able to live a happy and healthy student life.
PLANT BASED DIET?
By Spencer Ayres, SA Personal Training
Plant-based diets are the latest trend. They come with near unlimited health benefits. Let’s hope you’ve hopped on the bandwagon!
In 2015, I made the decision to become vegetarian. Coming from a “meat and potatoes” background, this proved to be an enormous change. I tried all sorts of foods and diets to see how I could get the most out of my new lifestyle. Are you thinking of making the switch to a plant-based diet, too? Here are some helpful tips I wish I had known:
- Start slowly. Begin with one day a week. “Meatless Mondays” makes the transition much easier on your body and mind, which will help you follow through on your choice to go veg.
- Do your research. Track your average calorie intake, or as I like to say, “energy intake.” See what types of foods can replace your meat consumption. For example, just one cup of brown lentils provides more protein than a six-ounce chicken breast!
- Not quite ready to give up meat? Consider switching to organic grass-fed meat. It helps burn more calories than regular meat with none of the added hormones or pharmaceuticals. For more information on how you can make a
plant-based lifestyle work for you, or if you’re interested in living a happier and healthier life through fitness, reach out and speak to a vegetarian and even consult a personal trainer! We’re always available to answer any questions you have. Check us out at www.TrainwithSA.com.
SELF-CARE FOR NEW MUMS
By Julia Abraszko, Pre- and Post-Natal Specialist
The holidays are finally over. Time to wrap presents, spread good cheer, and of course, take care of yourself! In this time of recovery, allow yourself time for self-care. Know that this is NOT a selfish priority because you must take care of yourself in order to take care of baby.
Here are a few ways to do this:
- Take time to simply breathe. Thoughtful breathing can be crucial to de-cluttering your mind from the chaos, allowing oxygen to flow through your body and feed your brain with the clarity you’ll need in this hectic time. Breathing can also assist in repairing your pelvic floor strength, a crucial step in meaningful recovery going forward.
- Stretch it out. Stress is likely a factor for you in this time, with the demands of the holidays and getting used to taking care of the little one. Stretching (and incorporating the previously mentioned importance of breathing) will calm your mind and body. This is essential in your recovery, while it will prepare you to keep up with baby as they grow and progress.
- Prioritize 1 hour for something you enjoy. Coordinate with your partner, a family member or friend to take care of baby and any other responsibilities you may have in that 1-hour timeslot. And do WHATEVER YOU WANT. That’s right – whether it’s a bath (sitz baths are excellent), watching a movie, or spending time with family and friends, do something that feeds your soul and makes you genuinely happy. This will be tough during a time when you might want to be around baby at all times, but trust me: this will be a fundamental part of keeping in check with your happiness. And you deserve to be happy!
It’s that simple. If you find a way to incorporate these 3 ways to take care of yourself, you will prepare yourself to nourish and care for baby in the best way possible, especially during such hectic times like the holiday season. Remember: happy mommy, happy baby!
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Disclaimer: This newsletter offers fitness and wellness information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.