Archive for the ‘Fitness Tips’ Category

My previous post demonstrated me jumping onto a Swiss Ball, and then to another Swiss Ball. Now I’m going to show you how to do it.

Jumping on to the Swiss Ball is far from easy, and quite frankly, it’s rather dangerous. It’s do-able though, and with enough practice, you can figure it out too.

When I was playing college hockey, one of my teammates could do it – thinking of doing it was scary, yet it was a challenging exercise I wanted to be able to perform. I’m happy that I saw it through, and I now know I can do something that not a lot of others can. It’s fun to pass on my knowledge too.

Major Muscles Involved:

-Core, Quadriceps, Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemeus

Major Joints Involved:

-Hips, Knees, Ankles.

Movements:

-Hip Flexion (Iliopsoas, Sartorius, Tensor Fascia Latae, Pectineus, Rectus Femoris)

-Hip Extension (Gluteus Maximus, Semitendiunosus, Semimembranosus, Biceps Femoris, Adductor Magnus)

-Knee Flexion (Semitendinous, Biceps Femoris, Semimembranous, Sartorius, Gracilis, Popliteus, Gastrocnemius)

-Knee Extension (Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius) -Dorsi Flexion (Tibialis Anterior, Extensor Hallucis Longus, Extensor Digitorum Longus, Peroneus Tertius)

-Plantar Flexion (Gastrocnemius, Soleus, Plantaris, Flexor Hallucis Longus, Flexor Digitorum, Tibialis Posterior, Peronaeus Longus, Peronaeus Brevis)

Preliminary Tips: Jumping ball to ball is an advanced technique. Learn how to balance on the ball with your knees first, then progress to standing on it, then jumping. Always use a spotter when available.

When you are starting out learning this move, do it on a well padded floor, if available. Also, select your Swiss Ball wisely – they come in all different sizes, thicknesses, and levels of inflation. Best ball to start out on is a small, thick, ¾ inflated one. As you gain confidence, feel free to attempt the jump on different ball variables.

Concerns: Falling, ankle sprains, injury.

Why Should You Do It?: Because of the number of muscles involved in performing this maneuver, it’s imperative that those muscles are strong before you can pull it off. Thus, if you can do this, you know you’re doing good in the strength and stability department. If not, you now know what you can be working on. It’s a maneuver that shows you what you’re capable of – and if you can do this, you’ve showed yourself that you’re capable of attempting and performing other more advanced exercises too. Core strength and stability is crucial for competitive athletes – especially contact sports where other players are constantly trying to knock you down. If you can do this move, you’ll undoubtedly be able to stay on your feet in other precarious situations as well.

The Breakdown:

1)      As you prepare to leap, bend your knees to 90°, entering into hip/knee flexion, and dorsi flexion at the ankles.

2)      As you jump, your objective will to be to jump straight up in the air, and then descend down, on top of the ball – rather than jumping up and forward, and landing on the ball with forward momentum (which would undoubtedly conclude with the back of your head hitting the gym floor). At this stage, you’ll be in nearly full hip/knee extension, and now plantar flexion at the ankle. Aim to land on the ball with your feet shoulder width apart, with your ankles abducting slightly.

3)      In addition to jumping straight up in the air, you need to jump as high as you can straight up in the air – this will allow you to land down square on the top of the ball as previously mentioned in step 2. You will enter into hip/knee flexion with your knee bend up at 90° or higher, looking nearly identical to your take-off form.

4)      As you now land on the top of the ball, you will basically “stick” the landing, rather than performing a deep knee bend and absorbing the landing. Another way to think of it is as your head reaches its highest point in the jump, extend your legs and put your feet down on top of the ball, rather than letting your body drop onto it. This part of the maneuver will require full engagement of isometric contraction in the core and leg muscles to keep your balance. You’ll be in hip/knee extension here, opening up about halfway to straight or so.

5)       As you prepare to proceed to the next ball, again bend your knees down to a 90° starting position, entering into hip/knee flexion, and dorsi flexion at the ankles.  Mentally prepare to perform the same up-and-on jumping motion; minimizing your forward momentum.

6)      As you leap, you be ready-jumping — that is, ready to land, and jumping nearly in your landing position with a lesser degree of hip/knee extension than in your first jump. You actually don’t have to jump as high or as with much upward force this time, as you no longer have to clear the height of the ball like you did in the original jump. Again, aim to land on the ball with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your ankles abducting slightly. DO NOT RUSH this jump – position your feet, and jump only when you’re ready!

7)      Again, land on the top of the ball, and stick the landing while contracting your core and leg muscles in an isometric fashion. You should land with a little extra stabilizing knee bend this time, as this jump is far more precarious than the first.

8)      &   9) Dismount by abducting your hips straight out to the each side of the ball, dropping to the floor, and landing on the floor with a shock-absorbing knee bend. Congrats, you did it!

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Hi folks! I had a few fitness tips passed on to me, and I decided to share them with you too.

Summer’s coming, and that means stepping up your exercise program to get in shape for next hockey season, or staying in shape for the current golf, baseball, football, or whatever sport you train for season, or else just to get the beach body that you want.

Here are some tips for avoiding sports injuries as you increase your exercise this spring from Laurie Towers, top New York City celebrity trainer and CEO of Physical Advantage PC, the sports and performing arts massage center in NYC, along with a few notes I supplemented in [see: Dave’s notes].

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Diet and exercise work hand in hand and one will support the other tremendously. “You can’’t out train a bad diet. To see the results you will do well to honor both of these principles:

Some diet tips to keep in mind:

-Try to make conscious, reasonable choices that will become a lifestyle change instead of just a seasonal one.

-Focus on cutting the sugars, fried foods and alcohol [Dave’s note: There’s 7 calories in every gram of alcohol you consume] out of your diet as much as possible.

-Be mindful of the hidden calories that lurk beneath the labels of ‘healthy’ foods as it comes as a surprise to many that a ‘smoothie’ can have as many calories as two Snickers bars [Dave’s note: that’s more than 300 calories].

-Be sure to eat breakfast within an hour of awakening and to eat smaller portions throughout the day to keep a better balance of energy and keep your metabolism in ‘active’ mode. This will ensure a higher rate of sustained burning.

-Barbecuing is probably the healthiest way to loose some of those extra calories we add to the cooking process – as long as you keep the seasoning simple and low in fat. Use mustards and vinaigrettes as a base for your meats and as a healthy diversion to a fried batter coating.

-When choosing summer drinks, nothing is better for you than Mother Nature’s original soft drink — water. Water is best for rehydrating, offers zero calories, and has a more lasting effect for thirst quenching. It’s okay to enjoy a chilled Margarita now and then, but be aware of the sugars, sodium and calories and enjoy in moderation.

-Consider replacing sugary alcoholic drinks with wines that are lower in calories such as White Zinfandel (the lowest at 80 calories per glass), Chablis and Chardonnay.

Here’s some workout tips to get that beach body you desire:

All caloric burning begins and ends with cardio, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it all has to be boring. Cardio can be a great source of enjoyment during the warmer months.

Once it gets warm outside, you can skip the gym and stay in shape while enjoying the great outdoors.

Some great choices for cardio activity that can help you achieve your fitness goals include volleyball, bike riding, rollerblading and walking/hiking. [Dave’s note: cross-training is a great addition to an athlete’s training regimen — choose sports that operate on similar fundamentals — that is, hockey, soccer, and basketball all are sports that action is continuous in, and are score-as-many-times-in-their-net-and-don’t-let-them-score-on-you games that all employ similar strategies]

For those who want to lose weight NOW to get the perfect beach body, here are Laurie’s three favorite forms of cardio that also encourage some strength training interaction. She recommends:

Rowing: rowing is the best form of cardio in her opinion because it not only burns at a high rate, but it gives a nice little nudge to targeting areas like the back and arms and makes your abs get recruited into some stabilization activity. She points out that nothing is better than a strong core.

Stationary bike: this is another great form of cardio for heart rate elevation and at a heavier resistance. The stationary bike helps to work the quads, hamstrings and glutes out of their winter hibernation.

Treadmill: the treadmill is a great form of exercise that is joint-friendly. The rubber track pad absorbs most of the shock and allows you to change the angle to incline hitting various areas of the legs and glutes.

“Most importantly, don’t forget to take care of your hard-worked body.  “Don’t let pains and strains from your workout derail your chance to get the perfect beach body. When pains strike I recommend that my clients use Topricin Pain Relief and Healing Cream.”

Simply rub this fast-absorbing topical pain reliever on after a tough workout and your muscles will thank you. You can also apply Topricin before activity to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury.

Health is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. Stay focused and motivated to achieve the healthiest and best-looking version of you. Thoughts of health should not be limited to, or dictated by a calendar, or special occasion to prepare for. It is a lifetime investment plan that you will live off happily the more you put in.

Look for Topricin in pharmacies, natural food stores and other fine retailers nationwide, including Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World, Fred Meyer, Wegmans and other retail stores throughout the U.S., as well as direct from the Topical BioMedics’ online store.

Check out Laurie Towers’ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/people/Laurie-Towers/632515672

To learn more about Topricin, go to http://www.topricin.com

One of my favourite things about not being a competitive athlete anymore is that I no longer have to compete (no more smashing my body up and taking 10 hour bus rides are some of the highlights).  It’s also been one of the hardest things to mentally adjust to as well–especially when it comes to training now.

Let me explain a little further.  When I was trying to climb the ladder in the hockey world, everything was a competition, both on the ice and off the ice.  On the ice, there’s obviously the team vs team conflict; but there’s also the individual battles to be better than other individual players on opposing teams, and also on your own.  You want to beat other teams, but you also want to get a lot of points, so you can get a lot more ice time, so important people notice you and give you the chance to move up.  You train as hard as you can in the summers and through the year to give yourself an edge over other players.  So season in and season out, it’s a necessity to be your best. Mentally, I’m glad to be done with that stuff as well.

These days when I workout, all that pressure if off and I don’t have to worry about people getting ahead of me.  I workout to stay in shape, and because I enjoy it.  But as gruelling as the competition used to be, it did do me one favour: it kept me focused on my goal and on track towards achieving it.  While my workouts now are far more relaxed than they used to be, without some of that focus and motivation I picked up along the way, they run the risk of becoming completely unproductive very quickly if I can’t stay tuned in.

If you take one thing away from reading this article, let it be the value of goal setting and motivation in your workouts.  What are you trying to achieve?  Weight loss?  Weight and mass gain? Are you training for a sport? Are your goals long or short term?  And perhaps most importantly, are they realistic?  If I stroll down to the gym once every month and a half in flip-flops, do a set of bench press and bicep curls and then leave, I don’t really have the right to wonder why I have chicken legs and don’t have six-pack abs.  However, if I establish a goal (lose abdominal fat and gain muscle mass, lose x amount of weight, run a marathon, etc) set a realistic timeline of when I want to achieve these things by (at least six weeks), and stick to the parameters of an appropriate training regimen and nutritional plan, those goals will begin to shift from unobtainable to obtained.  And of course, a fitness professional can scientifically lay out the amount of sets, reps, frequency, intensity, time, and type of exercise that is best suited to your specific goals and are appropriate for your body type, and can show you how to execute them all safely.

Another invaluable point about motivation is recognizing what your personal motivational style is.  I always had a difficult time working out on my own, and found I got far better results with a regular workout partner.  Some people love to plug in their iPod earbuds, tune out the world, and dive in on their own.  Some people benefit from a large group setting, such as a fitness class.  Maybe you work best at the crack of dawn, or maybe the evening is your optimal workout window.  The important thing is to be honest with yourself about who you are, and what environment is going to be most conducive of getting you to where you want to be.  Pick your style, and run with it.  If you are unsure, try them all and find out!

That brings me to my last point, which is that working out should be, and needs to be, fun.  If you are not enjoying your training time, eventually you will grow to hate it and not see the need for it at all.  If your workouts have grown stale, change them up!  If you hate the fitness class you’ve been going to for a year, try a new one!  If you’re grown bored of working out on your own, invite some friends along.  Maybe you would benefit from the competitive element of sports, and should take up a new one.  Whatever it takes to keep you off the couch, take a risk and do it.  Don’t be too proud or too scared to try new things, nor to not be any good at them.  Don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself now to who you want to become.  Changing lifestyles and habits takes work, but it’s got to start somewhere.  Discovering your motivational style, maintaining it, setting goals, and enjoying yourself, are all key factors that will go a long way in spurring you on to achieving whatever fitness goal you’ve set for yourself.

If you need a goal setting or motivational reboot in your workouts, I’d be happy to help.  Come by World Gym Kelowna or West Kelowna today and see me, follow me on twitter, email me, or leave a comment — I’d be more than happy to help you set goals and make sure you reach them!

Hi folks!

I was sent this list from Valerie Orsoni — world-renowned trainer,  best-selling author, celebrity coach, and nutritionist; amongst other things. Some more good advice on sticking with your resolutions!

-Dave

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Greetings!

  New Year’s resolutions are a great idea but most of us fail. About 45% of Americans make one or more resolutions each year. Only 8% of people are always successful in achieving their resolutions. 24% (one in four people) NEVER succeed and have failed on every resolution every year. That means that 3 out of 4 people almost never succeed. Among the top new years resolutions are about weight loss and exercise.
TOP 5 REASONS NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS DON’T SUCCEED AND HOW YOU CAN AVOID FAILURE

1. GOING IT ALONE 

Unless you have the thick skin of a shark and the crazy stubborn attitude of a mule, it is extremely hard to stick to a weight loss resolution by yourself. This is the #1 failure reason. If people are not aware you want to change, chances are their attitude towards you won’t change either and they will keep on offering you cakes, cookies and other weight loss resolution saboteurs.

By going it alone, you will also not feel compelled to make any effort and you might collapse half way to your goal.

SOLUTION: PUBLICLY DECLARE YOUR WAR ON POUNDS!   

Create a support group on Facebook, put sticky notes on the fridge, in your car, everywhere, enroll a few friends (not too many, just 2 or 3) who share the same goal so that you feel the support at all times and you have their back like they have yours.

You don’t have to publish your weight but you can publish how many pounds you lost or the % of goal you have reached etc.

2. DEPRIVING YOURSELF  – FOOD AS AN ENEMY 

You have gorged yourself for a few weeks, in fact you haven’t looked at the scale since Thanksgiving! The pounds have crept on your body and have added to your figure. So you starve yourself.  You look at food as evil.

Not eating or eating only one category of food (think high protein diets or mono diets), can lead to very short term good results BUT if you have read the research, the pounds almost always come back.

SOLUTION: REMIND YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE A FOOD LOVER!  

I know it is hard to know that you won’t lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks but think about the next few months. Would you rather lose it quick and see it come back quick? Or would you rather lose it forever? Then learn how to cook, learn how to love food and eat the one that’s good for you, learn one new recipe at least per week. Take a cooking class to learn about healthy recipes or watch online. Food is a positive part of your life, not the enemy.

3. TOO FAST AND FURIOUS  

You did not gain those extra pounds overnight. You won’t lose them overnight either. I know it sounds like a terrible wake up call but it is the truth! Expecting to change your eating habits and exercise routine drastically and instantly will shock not only your system, but your mind too and your stress levels will jump.

SOLUTION – SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE  

Change your habits slowly. Take one step at a time. Lose your extra pounds one day at a time. Make one major change per week and one baby change per day.

For instance:

Week 1: add a freshly squeezed lemon juice + room temperature water every morning on an empty stomach

Week 2: add a 30 min walk on an empty stomach (before breakfast, lunch or dinner, you decide)

Week 3: cut out that daily snack in between meals or stop eating the leftover mac n cheese or other foods on your kid’s plates! 

Week 4: have one 100% raw meal per day ( a raw breakfast could be 10 sprouted almonds, 1 banana, 1 pink grapefruit and unlimited seasonal berries)

Week 5: Try going without sugar for a few days (believe me, it’s not easy. Sugar is in everything!). 

Week 6: Add 2x1h cardio session per week

As for daily baby steps: try a 25th hour (or my version of integrative gymnastics) every day: squeeze your glutes while folding laundry or cooking, suck your stomach each time you go through a door, stand back up 5 times for your chair each time you sit, etc…

4. LACK OF CONFIDENCE   

I cannot do it. I have tried over and over. Or others repeating “you tried last year and it did not work. Or the idea of losing weight or exercising seems like such an incredible feat, you don’t even know where to begin, or maybe you might be genetically programmed to be fat”, etc.

SOLUTIONS:

a)   get rid of your diet saboteurs: don’t let them make you feel you cannot reach your goals because magazines and websites are covered with stories of former obese people who made it. Do respond to the saboteurs comments by “I am sorry if you don’t believe I can make but believe me I WILL and nobody will prevent me from reaching the goal I HAVE DECIDED I WILL REACH”. Chances are those people suffer from lack of confidence themselves or else they would not need to make you feel so bad.

b)   It is hard to stay highly motivated after years of trying BUT losing weight is like living in Hollywood. Only the highly motivated ones who never lose hope make it. You need to thicken your skin and not let others deprive you of your motivation and dreams. Write empowering messages everywhere and don’t you care about what others think: “I can do it”, “by February 14th I will have lost xxx pounds”

c)    Buy an outfit one size smaller and leave it in sight. By seeing it constantly your motivation will stay high and so will your self confidence that you can reach your goal. Try on the outfit each week. You will see your progress. You can also write on a piece of paper a treat, like getting a massage, as a monthly goal. You will be much more motivated when you have rewards.

5. USING THE WRONG MOTIVATION/TECHNIQUES 

Using the wrong tools will use a lot of your energy and yield no results. How frustrating can that be?

SOLUTIONS:

a)   Change your atmosphere! Don’t start your morning at Starbucks with a calorie-loaded drink. Your friends want to do Happy Hour at a fattening restaurant? Meet them for book night or a movie instead and don’t have food and drink be the focus if this puts you in your danger zone. Going to the same places is not motivating and makes it harder to change habits.

b)   Repeating the wrong mantra like “I don’t want to be fat” is not positive enough. Instead repeat “I want to be fit and healthy”

c)    Confiding in and counting on a naturally very thin person who constantly eats rich food in front of you will not help.

d)   Also, hanging out with highly overweight people who don’t care and eat too much for their health is not a solution either because you will be tempted to eat as much as they do. Countless studies have shown how obesity is socially contagious. The solution? Enroll the ones who want to be healthy with you and once your results start showing go back to hanging with your hard core overweight friends. You will even serve a motivation to these people and being so will empower you even more and motivate you to reach your goal faster.

Valerie pink pointingMeet VALERIE ORSONI. Entrepreneur. Mom. Cancer survivor. World-renowned trainer. Best-selling author. Celebrity coach. Nutritionist. Valerie is a major inspiration to the over one million members worldwide on her site www.LeBootCamp.com. She is the first to create an online personalized coaching program which is now one of the leading programs in the world. Her book Le Personal Coach has many fans (including actress Michelle Rodriguez).

You can reach your goals this year by avoiding the most common traps. Valerie Orsoni has been the solution to many people’s health problems. Let her be yours.

To see Valerie talk about her tips, go to:
CLICK HERE!

 Check out her latest article: BodyChecklist is live. Here’s a link to one of Valerie’s stories:
CLICK HERE!

Hi folks!

Below are some good tips from Alexandra Jamieson (formerly married to film-maker Morgan Spurlock) and Topricin on keeping those New Year’s fitness resolutions that were sent my way. Enjoy!

-Dave

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Jamieson (left), not impressed.

While you can’t wave a magic wand and make your New Year’s resolutions come true, there are easy steps to take that will make it easier to fulfill your promise to yourself to transform your health, energy and body.

Topical BioMedics, the maker’s of Topricin Pain Relief and Healing Cream encourages wellness and has teamed with Alexandra Jamieson, celebrity health and nutrition counselor, chef and author of “The Great American Detox Diet”, “Living Vegan for Dummies” and “Vegan Cooking for Dummies” to provide some health tips for a delicious and vital 2012.

1. Get Clear

In order to transform your health, energy and body, you need to take stock of where you are now, what you’re eating and what you want to change.

Write down everything. How you feel when you wake up? What cravings you have? What your diet is like? What is your exercise routine (if any)? What do you like to feel and look like?

2. Get Support

Talk with someone who has been there before. Read the blogs of experts, watch inspiring movies online or listen to radio shows on the area of health that interests you the most. Find a “tribe” of people who are dedicated to making the same changes you want to accomplish.

There is power in joining forces – they’ll pull you along, and you’ll help them at the same time.

3. Make a Plan

Do you want to eat more vegetables? Eat less sugar? Kick your caffeine habit completely? Do you want to lose 20 pounds, or clear up your skin?

What is the first step towards your goal? If it’s eating less sugar, maybe it’s time to learn about natural foods that give you the sweet sensation you’re looking for without robbing your energy (more on that in a minute).

Or maybe you need to throw away the sweets or chocolates lingering from the holidays. Or maybe there’s something in your lifestyle that triggers your sugar cravings that you can address in a non-food-way.

Whatever the issue is, there are steps you can take to make it a non-issue: start brain-storming on what to do first, then what you can do tomorrow, and in no time you’ll be free and clear.

4. Be Seasonal

Use seasonal, local produce as much as possible.

When you eat veggies from a nearby farm, they offer you the energy and nutrients that support you where you are and when you are.

For example, eating iceberg lettuce and watermelon north of the 45th parallel in winter does not support your body in the cold, sunless months. Instead, choose winter squash, cabbage, other hearty wintergreens, and apples and pears that winter over well. These fruits and veggies give you great, fresh nutrition rather than arriving depleted from half way across the world.

5. Sleep More

The human body is built to follow natural rhythms. Our inner body clock, called circadian rhythm, triggers the natural impulses to wake up with the sun, sleep when it’s dark, as well as a host of other natural body processes.

When your natural circadian rhythm is thrown off, due to jet lag or just staying up too late night after night, your body and brain work at half-speed, and your body feels off balance. Years of staying up late and not getting enough sleep during the darker, winter months, makes caffeine necessary, and cravings for sugar more intense.

This winter, try an experiment: go to bed early and wake up early. Get into bed by 9pm and wake up at 4 or 5am. Even a few days a week of this pattern will help you feel more refreshed, healthier, and those intense food cravings will release their hold on you just a bit more.

6. Make Breakfast a Priority

Now that you’re sleeping better, you can wake up earlier and get a good breakfast in your body. Everyone is different and you might need something that your partner or child doesn’t like or desire. Experiment with different types of food for your morning meal, alternating savory, sweet, liquid or combination breakfasts.

You might notice that a protein rich meal keeps you filled longer. Or perhaps you find that a light meal of fruit and herbal tea is perfect.

Try it out and notice what happens during the day with your cravings. Your first meal can determine your energy for the rest of the day.

7. Skip the White Foods

Any white, refined food is going to steal nutrients and energy from your body. This includes white flour, white sugar, and white table salt.

All of these foods are stripped of nutrition, vitamins and minerals, and offer only the jolt of carbohydrate or sodium. Without any supportive nutrients, your body must draw on its own precious stores to metabolize the refined food, leading to depleted energy over time.

8. Sweeten the Deal

Use more naturally sweet foods instead of relying on white foods, candy, and soda for energy.

Include sweet root veggies, fruits and even whole grains to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Sweet potatoes offer carotenoid antioxidant and help your body respond to insulin better. Parsnips are high in silicon and fiber and are high in calcium. Beets are high in boron, a mineral critical for the production of human sex hormones.

Adding daily doses of sweet veggies, you’ll crave less sugary treats, and you’ll be giving your body necessary nutrients for long-term health.

9. Move Your Body Like Your Life Depends On It – Because it Does

Whatever form of exercise you choose: running, walking, swimming, biking, dancing, weight lifting or machines – just move. Daily. As if it were your last day on earth.

If you incorporate anything from the list above you will be on your way to preserving or regaining your health and vitality in the New Year.

Look for Topricin in pharmacies, natural food stores and other fine retailers nationwide, including Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World, Fred Meyer, Wegmans, and other retail stores throughout the U.S., as well as direct from the Topical BioMedics’ online store. To learn more about Topricin, go to http://www.topricin.com.