We can have long term fitness goals, but what gets us there are the small goals that we set for each workout. Our WIN Trainer, Scott Paul, talks about how to set goals for your workouts so that you can achieve progress in your fitness.Read More
Keeping your body strong is essential at every age! Strength enables us to have the independence, ability and agility to confidently preform everyday tasks. Improving on strength also helps those who are athletic get faster and better performance. Our WIN Health Solutions Personal Trainer, Scott Paul, knows that strength is key. Read more about how this applies to everyone.Read More
If you feel like it's time to get your weight on track, or lose a few pounds or inches, it's important to eat smarter and exercise often. A very common theme in today’s sedentary society is that many people sit at desks all day, only to then go home, and sit on the couch to watch TV and unwind.
Eating smarter and exercising often... The two go hand in hand!
First I'll briefly review nutrition. I’m just going to talk about nutrition when it comes to weight loss. I’m not going to get into macros, micros, essential and non-essential. I’m going to talk calories. For some people to lose weight, calories in need to be less than calories out. In special situations this strategy may need to be individualized for a person, but for many people it's really that simple. If everyday you burned 2000 calories (from your resting metabolism, non-exercise activity thermogenesis, daily exercise and more), but you took in 3000 calories through your food choices, I would say it’s near impossible to lose any weight.
Next is exercise. We all need to exercise. Gone are the days of walking a few kilometres to and from school, loading a few hundred bails of hay or chopping wood so you can have a fire to cook dinner. We need to maximize the time spent in a gym or working out at home. Use as many muscles as possible. And use the big muscles. You will burn a lot more calories doing a Turkish Get-Up or a burpee than you would doing a seated bicep curl. And if you don’t know what a Turkish Get-Up or a burpee are, come train with me and I’ll be happy to show you!!
To recap, in order to lose some weight, be physically active and eat right. Use big muscles and many muscles when working out. Limit calorie dense foods. Eat more vegetables. And try to get an idea of how many calories you’re taking in so you can have a good understanding of portion control. By putting the time and effort in, and these pieces together, you’ll be set!
By WIN Contributor: Scott Paul, Personal Trainer
A hockey player skates down the ice, a sprinter runs the 100m, an older adult stands on their toes reaching for something up high and another person tries to keep control after stepping off the side of the curb. What do all these things have in common? They all require a degree of balance.
Balance is important in our everyday lives and the balance we have deceases as we age. That is one reason why we need to work on it. It is trainable. You can become better at it. Gymnasts who hop and jump on one leg onto a narrow beam do so with practice. You can get better, just as they do. I start to do a balance drill and have heard almost every time “oh, my balance isn’t very good”. I think “well, you’re in luck, that’s why we’re going to work on it." And that’s the thing; even those with the best of balance need to work on it.
I was at a conference years ago and the instructor leading the presentation said something that has stuck with me ever since. “To train balance, you need to put the body OUT OF BALANCE.”
It is like the Principle of Overload, where you must lift heavier and heavier, to get stronger. As you stand there, doing dishes, with two feet on the ground and about shoulder width apart, you’re not really working on balance are you? Just as you’re not working on strength by lifting your cell phone off the table.
There are many exercises we can do to work on balance, which for some might be just standing on a single foot, while others may need an unstable surface.
There’s the reaching drill, I often do with my clients at our wellness clinic niagara falls, where you reach to the front, to the side and to the back with one foot while standing on the other.
Also, try doing the dishes standing on one foot. That makes dishwashing a bit more challenging. Then try balancing with your eyes closed, or balancing while playing catch. There are tons of ways to keep it challenging and interesting.
Everyone needs to work on balance. For some it may be to help them with everyday tasks and for others it may be to help them with a particular sport. Balance is something that diminishes with age, but something we can train and get better at.
By WIN Contributor: Scott Paul, BSc, MSc (Candidate), Personal Trainer
Well, a new year has come, and along with it came all those resolutions. I am going to focus on a couple of familiar resolutions. The ones such as “this year, I will workout every morning”, or “I’m going to lose this belly and cut out the desserts”. Then, two weeks in, you feel you’d rather sleep in, or a friend comes over for dinner and you feel obligated to have a piece of apple pie.
These types of resolutions aren’t just seen at New Year’s. These health goals are made all year round. Everyone makes those resolutions. However, these types of goals and resolutions are just setting you up for failure. But why? I’ll tell you why. A person who is inactive and sedentary on December 31st is not going to all of the sudden become a new person on January 1st, waking up early to workout. Just as the person who is a little overweight and loves desserts, isn’t going to all of the sudden totally cut out the foods they love.
One of the reasons these resolutions almost always fail is because they are unrealistic. You need to take things one step at a time.
Let’s start with the inactive person. Their resolution should be to become more active...and that’s it!! Try parking a little further away, so you have to walk more. Maybe you can start taking the stairs instead of the elevator. It doesn’t have to be big. These initiatives makes you more active. Then a couple months down the road you can start taking it a little further, like getting a gym membership or seeing a personal trainer at WIN. ;)
And what about that person who loves desserts...or food in general, for that matter. This is the same idea as above. BE REALISTIC. If you’re going to lose a little bit of weight, do it right. Do it in a way that is healthy and in a way that will last a lifetime. You didn’t gain weight by eating desserts; you gained weight by eating too much dessert. This goes along with what I have always said and what many of you hear me say. Calories in need to be less than calories out in order to lose weight. I’m not going to go into it any more than that, because it’s as simple as it sounds. Just be realistic. If you’re use to having three cups of coffee a day with two creams and two sugars, cut it down to one cream and one sugar. If you’re having two helpings at dinner, try for one.
To make a New Year’s resolution last isn’t rocket science. You just have to be realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Set yourself up to SUCCEED!!
By WIN Contributor, Scott Paul, Personal Trainer
There is somewhat of a craze going on right now interval training. Many people seem to be doing it, from athletes to non-athletes, and rightly so. For someone looking to lose a bit of weight and get in better physical shape, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) offers some key benefits. For athletes, it offers more of chance to train the energy system that they use for competition.
First, let’s look at two of the key reasons why HIIT can be good for weight loss and getting stronger physically:
• It burns more calories and at a faster rate (and keeps your metabolism up a little longer). Burning calories is essential when it comes to weight loss, just as essential as it is keeping the calories going in to a minimum. When it comes to weight loss that is probably your main factor, because you can’t lose weight if the calories in are more than the calories out.
• People work, have kids, drive here, drive there, etc. and don’t have a lot of time. HIIT offers a much faster, more efficient way to workout. Train harder for shorter periods.
Now, lets look at how HIIT is good for athletes AND some things to consider. For the same reasons as above, HIIT can be very beneficial to the athlete. Depending on your athletic event is where this might get a little tricky. In many HIIT workouts you might go hard for 20-30 seconds, rest for a bit and repeat. As you may or may not know, you have energy systems and those energy systems play a big role in sport specificity.
Take hockey for example. A good shift is about 30-60 seconds long. Then you can spend about 2-4 minutes on the bench. So, many people and athletes figure 30 second intervals of sprinting will work. But do you spend a shift of 30 secondsskating at top speed the entire time? I don’t think so. Maybe 5-10 seconds of the 30 seconds is skating hard (and I don’t mean top speed, because you will very rarely skate top speed in a game). So your intervals should match that. 10 seconds of sprinting, 20 seconds of active recovery followed by a 2 minute rest.
If you play sports or just like to keep in shape for your own health, HIIT can give you that next level of training. We offer a variety of alternative health care services Niagara Falls at WIN Health Solutions, with personal training being one option. Call our clinic for more information or to arrange a personal training session.
By WIN Contributor: Scott Paul, Personal Trainer
To train or not to train?
Tough call, especially when it comes to early morning workouts, like the two ladies in the video. First thing's first: getting up in the morning. Make sure you go to bed early enough and then eat something small when you wake up in the morning…that way you’ll have the energy to train. Next, is the workout itself. Lets take the video as a great example of how hard you can work. The workout features exercises that train the entire body…core, balance, stability and done at an intensity that burns some major calories, while making you sweat.
The Turkish Get-Up is the first exercise seen here. Though it is a complicated movement that takes a bit of practice, it’s also a movement that targets core stability. Start without any weight, or a small weight, and get used to perfecting the movement. That’s exactly how these girls started, and now they do it almost flawlessly. Keep the arm straight and locked out, core tight and be sure to maintain control the entire way up AND down.
Onto the push-ups. One of my favourite exercises, as they can be done anywhere. This time, they are a bit more challenging as they are done on a Bosu ball. Grab the sides of the Bosu with the flat side up, maintain a tight and strong core and try to complete a push-up. Be sure to try and get a full range of motion by lowering yourself all the way down, until your chest almost touches the Bosu.
The last two exercises also are great ways to challenge balance, stability and flexibility while testing strength. In the first of the two exercises, maintain balanced on a single leg, while the back and the opposite leg is straight, hinging at the hips. Proceed to pull weight into chest, pulling with the back and squeezing the shoulder blade to the centre of back. The second exercise of the two sees a step-up to shoulder press. Get a step that you are comfortable with and step up while raising the weight above the head….all in one motion.
This workout is a great way to start your day and great way to get and stay in shape. How do start your mornings?