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Don’t Throw in the Towel

15 Mar

I am now convinced that age is merely a number.

I train 50 year olds that easily could pass as 20-somethings in the gym. And I’ve trained 20-somethings that could pass as 50 year olds. It is so evident to me the difference regular exercise makes in the aging process. I see firsthand it is essential.

If you wake up in the morning and you’re aching, sore, tired, bloated, or generally miserable chances are you’re not working out, or not working out hard enough – it’s not because you’re old. It’s unfortunate that somewhere along the line we seem to be taking in this weird message that workouts should be somewhat leisurely. I’m here to tell you that this is a lie. You need to sweat! Within 10 minutes of starting your workout you should be dripping. It’s vital that you keep challenging yourselves and not allow your workouts to get passive. I’m always upping the anti on my intervals, never settling with what I did for my last workout. Keep it exciting and your body will stay interested and keep changing.

In my training experience I’ve seen people let themselves off the hook with the age card. They throw in the towel after their first job gets stressful or life’s struggles get in the way. I tell them not blame the fact that they’re getting older on lowering the intensity because it is baloney! 50 is the new 25, you are young – but you need to workout to stay that way.
For you 20-somethings reading this, stay with it now! It is SO much easier maintaining than starting from ground zero. 30 minutes a day will go a long way 30 years from now! For some inspiration have a look at this couple!

If you’re looking for some suggestions to up the intensity give this a try.

What if the rest of your life was the best of your life?

Four Favourites

14 Mar

{Blend into your surroundings with this super cute bike lock! Only in Japan.}

{It’s their time of year again! Hyacinths have the best smell}


= Amazing healthy treat

{Frozen blueberries with one tablespoon of maple syrup drizzled over top}

{Yoga motivation video – sequel to the original}

I’m off to Halifax for a March break long weekend! I’m meeting up with my super fun sister Lindsay so we should have some great videos and how-tos for you! Check back for daily updates!

Do you burn the same amount of calories walking or running a mile?

13 Mar

Most runners have heard that running burns about 100 calories a mile. And I used to believe since walking a mile requires you to move the same body weight over the same distance, walking should also burn about 100 calories a mile. Sir Isaac Newton said so! When I first started running I had this 4 km loop that I would repeat over and over again. One day I remember thinking to myself; “Slow down! You just have to finish and then you will have burned the same amount so why bother pushing harder?”

In “Energy Expenditure of Walking and Running,” published December 2005 in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, a group of Syracuse University researchers measured the actual calorie burn of 12 men and 12 women while running and walking 1,600 meters (roughly a mile) on a treadmill. Result: The men burned an average of 124 calories while running, and just 88 while walking; the women burned 105 and 74. (The men burned more than the women because they had more muscle mass.) That difference adds up over the miles and weeks running vs. walking.

Running: .63 x your weight (lbs) x miles = net calories burned
Walking: .30 x your weight (lbs) x miles = net calories burned

Picking up the pace is also better for your heart, you won’t necessarily see the same heart healthy benefits if you walk to keep your weight down over running. The high intensity aspect running delivers is so important, your heart needs to learn how to deal with stress and get stronger from that. Walking just won’t stress it out enough.

I rarely, if ever run the same loop twice now. Variety is essential for exercise. I recently went back and did a similar variation of my initial route and I was done with 15 minutes to spare! I felt energized and was happy to get it over with quickly! So pick up the pace! Your heart and waistline will thank you for it.

Are you too Busy?

12 Mar

Do you feel like you’re running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off? Do you not have a second to spare to exercise?

I admit, lately I have felt a bit like a crazed headless chicken. Then I read this.

The last paragraph really hit home for me: What we need to do is change our language. Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to clean the kitchen, it’s just not a priority. But other things are harder. Try it: “I can’t exercise today because my health is not a priority.” “This week I ate poorly because my well being is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.

The truth is we need to make our priorities a priority again. In the modern world of facebook, twitter, pinterest, blogs, and more we can easily get sucked into the vortex and not realize how much time we aimlessly waste doing menial things.

Exercise is a non-negotiable, you’ll feel better and be more productive. I’m going to work on re-shifting my focus to my priorities … as for my kitchen, it will be cleaned eventually!

Interval Workout: Legs for Days

8 Mar

50 seconds on

10 seconds rest

Three rounds of the following exercises:

Airplane Lunge Jump

My Reps: 52-55-52

Dynamic Squats

My Reps: 38-37-42

Side Leg Lift Squats

My Reps: 24-24-24

Tricep Dips

My Reps: 24-27-32

Jump Squats

My Reps: 34-30-28

Toe Tap Backs

My Reps: Left Side: 60-56-60 Right Side: 59-56-60

= One round

Take one minute break between each round.

Complete three rounds!

Let me know how you did!

Athletes of the Month: Team Elliott

7 Mar

Friday mornings at 6 am I ride my bike up Mt. Pleasant hill to meet with Tom and Jennifer Steckel Elliott.

With two busy careers and two cute as a button kids aged eight and six they don’t have much time to dedicate to exercise, yet I think they look like supermodels and they have the physical prowess of competitive athletes!

I met Jennifer at the Bod Squad last summer. She was always an enthusiastic participant and since the summer we have continued training with her husband Tom. Jennifer and Tom are a unique husband and wife team, not everyone can exercise side-by-side their spouse! The best thing about training Tom and Jennifer is their willing attitude. The exercises I make them do are absolutely insane and not once have they refused – one arm push-up, no problem!

This dynamic duo have carved out what works for them for their fitness routine and they stick with it! Fitting in workouts early in the morning gets them done and out of the way. Jennifer believes in doing two or three really intense workouts per week, Tom on the other hand does our Friday morning insane workout and then chooses to do small frequent workouts throughout the week like ride his bike to work or go for a jog. Jennifer recommends having an appointment, like a class or a trainer because that way you will stay committed to your program. They both eat healthy diets and have always kept up their physical fitness. From what I observe these two have fun with their fitness, I think that’s been a big key to their success!

Congratulations and thank you to these athletes of the month!!

889 Yoga

6 Mar

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with Christine Russell (left) of 889 Yoga.

Since taking the plunge into the world of entrepreneurship two years ago I’ve had the opportunity to meet with some of Toronto’s best fitness and business minds. My meeting Christine yesterday was so inspirational that I thought I would share some of the highlights with you. She is a beautiful person from the inside out!

The Russell sisters are in their late 20s and they are a true Toronto success story. They started 889 Yoga in 2007 and haven’t slowed down since! With a partnership with The Thompson Hotel and a bustling wellness practice there is no stopping these two ladies!

Christine’s top piece of advice for me – someone new to the fitness world, was that everyone is going to have an opinion and in some way they are going to tell you that your plan will be impossible to achieve. Christine advised me to stay true to what I do best and do that really well. At 889 Yoga they just passed their 5 year anniversary – proving any of their doubters absolutely wrong! After meeting Christine and seeing their successes firsthand it re-confirmed for me that when you follow your passion and you set out to be the best at what you do, and do it well, there’s absolutely no stopping your potential.

The importance of flexibility was also stressed by Christine, and not just in the yoga sense of the word! This is something that absolutely rang true for me. When you have your own business you need to constantly be adapting and open to change. Eight months ago I never would have thought that my business would have been going in this direction, but I’m so happy with it! I’ve learned to really slow down and figure out what’s right long term. I’m the type of person that likes to dream big, and dream up more from there! Seems like that philosophy worked for the Russell sisters, so I’m going to keep on dreaming big!

Lastly it’s just really nice to see really nice people doing really well!

Many of my serious yogi friends tout 889 Yoga as the absolute best in the city, top instructors in a beautiful facility. I will certainly be signing up for some much needed zen asap! Hope to see you beauties and bodies there!