Home » Inspiring Stories

Inspiring Stories

How Not To Fall Off The Exercise Wagon: 5 Stick-to-it Tricks Hint: Make It Fun!

  • by

Happy New Year! This is traditionally one of the busiest months for gyms. Every January, hordes of people emerge from their cozy, eggnog-laced, chocolate-soaked, couch-shaped stupor, put on neglected workout gear and sign up for a membership. They come thinking they’ve gotta suffer to get fit; some have wildly unrealistic exercise goals (like one gentleman in my class who asked me to help him lose 26 lbs in four days!). They… Read More »How Not To Fall Off The Exercise Wagon: 5 Stick-to-it Tricks Hint: Make It Fun!

Inspiring People: Teresa Maria Muñoz

This is Teresa Muñoz. Teresa and I first connected on Facebook, when she commented on a post I wrote on another inspiring person, Germana Viani. Motivated by Germana’s story and vivacious health, Teresa – who hadn’t exercised regularly for many years – began attending my Body Sculpt classes at Spartacus Gym. One class per week turned into two, and then three. Now, just 5 months since her first visit, Teresa… Read More »Inspiring People: Teresa Maria Muñoz

What Are You Made Of? This Body Scanner Will Show You

Have you ever wondered what your exact body fat percentage is? Whether your muscles are symmetrical or not? If you have dangerous visceral fat? Scoliosis? Osteoporosis? I’ve been curious about my body composition, so I went to see Peter Schwagly at Bodycomp Imaging Inc. for a total body composition scan and analysis. This Body Scanner Will Show You What You’re Made Of Peter uses a machine called a Hologic DXA (dual… Read More »What Are You Made Of? This Body Scanner Will Show You

Five Simple Travel Health Tips How To Go On Vacation And Not Leave Your Health At Home

  • by

There’s nothing more rejuvenating than taking a well-deserved vacation. But going on a holiday shouldn’t mean leaving your healthy lifestyle at home. In fact, taking a break from your healthy habits can seriously hijack the fitness goals you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Vacationing doesn’t have to equal weight gain. Believe it or not, by trying these five simple travel health tips, you might even find the scale tipping in your favour… Read More »Five Simple Travel Health Tips How To Go On Vacation And Not Leave Your Health At Home

How To Combat Stress, Anxiety and Depression Help May Be Closer Than You Think

The Most Effective Way To Combat Stress, Anxiety and Depression Most people know that exercise can improve physical health in many ways, from maintaining a healthy body weight and lean muscle mass to preventing obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure. But did you know that exercise is also one of the safest and most effective ways to combat stress, anxiety and depression? It’s not surprising that diagnoses of… Read More »How To Combat Stress, Anxiety and Depression Help May Be Closer Than You Think

Go Play Outside! The Awesomeness of Outdoor Exercise

image: canstockphoto.com

image: canstockphoto.com

I love gyms. I love the variety of equipment, the communal workout atmosphere, the predictable and familiar environment. Gyms are also guaranteed to get you hot and sweaty when it’s 4 degrees and raining on a dark January night.

But lately, I’ve been taking my clients – and myself – outside to exercise.

Even a 5-minute walk outside can improve your mood and self-esteem

Some of the great things about outdoor workouts are obvious: being in the sun on a nice day; breathing the fresh air. But research suggests people who exercise outside have more energy and positive feelings, feel more revitalized, and have less depression, anger and stress. We tend to exercise longer and harder when we’re outside as well.

Head for a park, a trail in the forest, the beach. Even a small green space with a park bench will do. Step ups, push ups and tricep dips can all be done with a stable chair, bench or step. Playgrounds offer lots of fun ways to get fit while feeling like a kid again! Ask your trainer to take part or all of your workout outside, or join an outdoor boot camp class.

Each spring as the weather gets warmer, I look forward to training my clients in the park near Spartacus Gym. Partner exercises are especially fun as they infuse a sense of play into what can sometimes be a pretty gruelling workout.

Here are some outdoor exercises you can do with a weighted ball, but a single hand weight would work too.Read More »Go Play Outside! The Awesomeness of Outdoor Exercise

Second-Hand Sophisticated: How To Make Something From (Almost) Nothing Fitwear Finds For Frugal Fashionistas!

ThreeColours

Making old clothes look better than new


“I love new clothes. If everyone could just wear new clothes everyday, I reckon depression wouldn’t exist anymore.”

Sophie Kinsella, ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic


Finding activewear that’s unique, stylish and flattering but doesn’t break the bank can be tricky. Plenty of trendy stores will sell you stretchy pants in the latest colours, but these could set you back as much as a good pair of jeans.

Like Sophie Kinsella, I adore new clothes. But no matter how much money I make I’ll never be able to satisfy my Lulu-lust for brand new stuff. My solution? A creative combo of gently-used basics and DIY home tailoring. Sound complicated? It’s not. All you need is a sense of adventure, a few basic supplies and an eye for potential.Read More »Second-Hand Sophisticated: How To Make Something From (Almost) Nothing Fitwear Finds For Frugal Fashionistas!

Lifting Weights: What’s Right For Me? Light Weights or Heavy Weights - Just Lift

image: canstockphoto

image: canstockphoto

When I was in my early 20s, my friend Jodi announced she was beginning a weight training program. At first I was skeptical. I’d never met any women who lifted weights and I assumed it would make you look bulgy and unfeminine, like the Incredible Hulk. But after a few months, rather than bulking out in all the wrong places, Jodi was looking strong, toned and still very feminine. Intrigued, I joined my first gym and learned how to use the machines, and I’ve been hooked on resistance training since.

Trust me, I’ve been lifting weights for 20 years, and I’ve never once been mistaken for a man.

The benefits of strength training go far beyond aesthetic appeal. The CDC recommends two to three sessions per week for men and women of all ages, to strengthen bones, prevent falls, maintain a healthy body weight, improve sleep, relieve arthritic pain and control diabetes.

image: canstockphoto

image: canstockphoto

So once you’ve made the choice to add resistance training to your workout, where should you begin? Heavy weights or light? The simple answer is, it depends. What are your fitness goals? Do you have experience with strength training? Are you working with any injuries?Read More »Lifting Weights: What’s Right For Me? Light Weights or Heavy Weights – Just Lift

Free Float Giveaway: And The Winner Is… Subscribing Has Its Benefits!

After a particularly tough workout, I love to go for a float. The combination of weightlessness and muscle-relaxing Magnesium Sulfate soothes my tired body and releases any emotional stress. In fact, the Australian Institute of Sport even considers flotation therapy an essential part of training for Olympic athletes! So, Viv Santi‘s next Pilates workout had better be a tough one. Viv is the lucky winner of our Spring draw for a… Read More »Free Float Giveaway: And The Winner Is… Subscribing Has Its Benefits!

Walk This Way: Three F’s For Better Health Walking to Improve Your Health, Step by Step

Me at Mt. Maxwell, Salt Spring Island

My hike up Mt. Maxwell, Salt Spring Island

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

Thoreau 


My client and friend Annie is an avid walker. She averages 40-60 minutes at a time, strides with a brisk pace and prefers forested areas over city streets. She’s slim and fit, never seems to get sick, and appears to be healthier than many of her peers, even her teenaged children. Annie walks nearly every day, rain or shine, and credits her energy and strong immune system to her daily hike in the woods (and, of course, to the Hatha Yoga class I teach Annie and her friends twice a week!).
Walkers and runners expend roughly the same amount of energy per kilometre; it just takes walkers longer to do it
Annie (right) and her friend Elaine

Annie (right) and her friend Elaine

It might surprise you to learn that walking can be a very effective cardiovascular exercise. In fact, walking provides the same health benefits as running: reduced risk of hypertension, heart disease and diabetes, increased bone density, and weight control. While running appears to be a better bet for those of us looking to shed a few pounds, it tends to put more strain on the body’s muscles, tendons and joints.

 Walking has spiritual, mental and emotional benefits, too. Many of the world’s greatest thinkers walked: Beethoven, Nietzsche, Dickens and Aristotle all walked daily. An outdoor hike in the woods can clear the mind of clutter and increase your attention span. There’s also the very real interaction between the chemicals emitted by trees and plants and our lungs as we breathe them in.


So, what’s the key to effective cardio by walking? Simple — the three F’s!

Read More »Walk This Way: Three F’s For Better Health Walking to Improve Your Health, Step by Step