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So, You Want to Make Fitness a Habit

posted by Fitness Focus Trainers    |   March 7, 2019 23:13

When starting a fitness routine it can feel like there are no extra minutes to spare in your day in the first place. It can be difficult to see where you will make the time work. As a working, pregnant, mother I definitely feel you there. It comes down to this- if you don’t make the time, you won’t have the time, and you won’t reach your goals. It’s pretty black and white. So if you’re ready, really ready, let’s get started!

“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” 
–Samuel Johnson

Start small (you don’t have to jump right into some magical exercise routine, this is about a habit)

Look at your calendar and find the best place to make your minutes work, lets start there.

 

NEUROSCIENCE- HABITS

The basal ganglia is the holding place for our habits.

When you repeat something in your life it creates neuronal connections in the brain.

A lot of the time it turns into a subconscious decision, once the neuro-pathways are in place.

Start by strengthening the brain and then you will be able to strengthen the body.

Again it’s very black and white. Consistency + Repetitive Behaviors + Patience = RESULTS.

 

PURPOSE

Don’t just google how to workout and follow some random program by some fit model who has nothing to do with your life. FIND YOUR PURPOSE. WITHOUT PURPOSE THERE IS NO DRIVE! Why do you want to exercise? There are a plethora of reasons:

You want to keep up with your children
You want to get rid of diabetes altogether & get off the stupid pills
You want your sex life to flourish
You want energy for your job, increasing your chances of a raise
You want to look hot, no shame
You want your mental health to improve
You want to become a medieval fighter
You want better hand eye coordination to play better video games
You ache all the time, hating that your movement is inhibited

Start writing this down, we’re just getting started.

Once you have that in place, let’s start breaking this down. What would you need to change or improve to hit that goal or purpose? Instead of complaining to the people around you about your issues, it’s time to start taking life into your own hands and make some habits.

 

TAKE SMALL STEPS

Creating neuro-pathways in your brain takes time, that’s just a fact. So you are going to have to start with something attainable. Say 10 minutes of a home workout 3x/week. Once this becomes easy or has been in place for a couple weeks, you can add on.

Quickly on the nutrition side of things, don’t start by cutting a million things out and trying to “EAT CLEAN” all of a sudden. Start by adding in some healthy things to your routine. Proteins & healthy fats are going to keep you fuller longer, that is a good place to start. Add in protein at every meal and notice the difference it makes. You also need protein to build muscle, so if you want to tone up that’s a good place to start.


COMMITMENT

Book in time in your calendar for your workouts like a date

Leave your workout bag in the car so it’s ready to go

Track your food in a book or on an app (this is all about accountability & understanding the food going into your body)

Meal prep & make your food ahead of time (this is especially helpful for dinners at home for the family as well)

Make use of a crock pot overnight or an instant pot for quick dinners

Have a protein shake ready, for easy protein intake & to keep you from having a binge session when you get home out of hunger.

Grocery shop online if that’s an option for you. It keeps impulse buying at bay and helps you stay on track.

Don’t have binge-worthy snacks at work or in the house (get your spouse on board!). I told my husband he could have as much junk in his car or at work that he wanted; I just couldn’t handle it in the house.

 

STRENGTH VS CARDIO

Now there is no one size fits all when it comes to your fitness training.

Strength training will help you shed fat and build lean muscle tone. Getting bulky only happens if you’re set on that specifically. So the outcome is a fit look.

Cardio will help you lose weight, but you won’t have much muscle tone underneath.

So the next step is choosing how you want to look in the end result. There is no right answer; the beauty of fitness is that you get to choose your outcome.


POSITIVITY

Positive thinking is not some bull crap. Again the science on how the brain works is fascinating:

Negative Thoughts
Slow down brain coordination
Make it difficult to process thoughts or find solutions
Hinders creative ability
Decreases activity in the cerebellum
Impacts the left temporal lobe (fear factor), affecting mood, memory and impulse control
Positive Thoughts
Synapses (areas connecting neurons) increase dynamically
Increases mental productivity by improving cognition
Intensifies ability to pay attention, to focus
Improves ability to think and analyze incoming data
Improves ability to solve problems quicker and enhance creativity

 

HTTPS://METEOREDUCATION.COM/HOW-DOES-THINKING-POSITIVE-THOUGHTS-AFFECT-NEUROPLASTICITY/

When you talk to yourself going forward it’s time to change the conversation. It’s time to write some sticky notes on your mirror, find a self motivating song to play in the car on the way to work & start reading things that fill your mind with positive things. Mantras are also useful just to keep the dialogue flowing.

 

MUSIC

You know that song, the one that comes on the radio and you turn it up and it fills you with passion? If you are feeling unmotivated to do the things you have set out for your goals to happen, this is where your pump playlist comes in handy. You already have it made, in your phone and if you need to make it to the gym throw your aux cord in and get things pumped up! Make sure you have headphones for the gym or home workout as well so that you can tune into those vibes and get your body moving. Music was the only thing that got my butt in gear some days.

“Music is primal. It affects all of us, but in very personal, unique ways,” said Burdette, a neuroradiologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “Your interaction with music is different than mine, but it’s still powerful.

HTTPS://WWW.SCIENCEDAILY.COM/RELEASES/2017/04/170412181341.HTM

It’s really important that your music SPEAKS to you.

There is even science behind how your brain reacts to music, it can be an important tool to use when it comes to creating habits in your life.

Results showed that music increases an antibody that plays an important role in immunity of the mucous system, known as immunoglobulin A, as well as natural killer cell counts, the cells that attack germs and bacteria invading the body.


Listening to and playing music can also lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), according to Levitin and Dr. Mona Lisa Chanda, his postgraduate research fellow.

HTTPS://WWW.MEDICALNEWSTODAY.COM/ARTICLES/258383.PHP

 

Time to write out your list!

 

REWARD & ENCOURAGE

Don’t start beating yourself with a stick to get things done. Start treating your body and mind like a child; encouraging it every step of the way. Understanding that you can change your habits should be a freeing realization!

When you complete a task or goal find something to reward yourself with (I advise against it being food, if that is something you struggled with in the first place). There are so many other ways to reward yourself. This puts the brain in a place where it will want to do the task again even if working out didn’t feel awesome the first time, it will remember the reward it was given. 

If you remember anything from your high school psych class it should be about IVAN PAVLOV and his classical conditioning experiments.

Classical conditioning can impact our lives positively or negatively.

But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a choice in improving our lives using classical conditioning.

HTTPS://WWW.CLEVERISM.COM/CLASSICAL-CONDITIONING/

 

PERSPECTIVE

We in our western culture have the LUXURY of choosing a diet, a grocery store on every corner with every health food available, the option to go to a gym, the work hours that allow play & time management. We are in a bit of a bubble when it comes to our opportunities especially in regards to health & fitness. So take that as a bit of motivation and make use of your privilege.

STEP BY STEP
PURPOSE
GOALS- written out
STEPS
FOOD PREP
MUSIC PREP
COMMITMENT
CALENDAR
KEEP POSITIVE/ENCOURAGE
KEEP PERSPECTIVE
REPEAT even after “bad” days

When I first had my wake up moment and stepped on the scale back in 2014, I was devastated to see that I had almost hit 200lbs. Now I was very ignorant when it came to health. Zero tools were in place for nutrition and exercise. My first steps where calorie counting and dance dance on the PS3. Looking back it was the perfect place to start for me. I loved to dance and tracking gave me the opportunity to see what I was putting in my body. From there I wanted more and more, falling in love with the routine & the way my body felt after exercise. This journey has given me absolute compassion for others who are struggling with their own goals- so if you ever want some more specific help you know where to find me!

https://femaletrainer467632502.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/how-to-make-fitness-a-habit/

https://www.instagram.com/raellehousek/

 

The Benefits of Fitness and Maintaining an Active Lifestyle During Pregnancy

posted by Fitness Focus    |   February 24, 2019 10:08

The Benefits of Fitness and an Active Lifestyle During Pregnancy

There is so much information out on the internet these days and a lot of it is dated when it comes to pregnancy health & fitness. I am a personal trainer, instructor & certified in nutrition studies- as well as a mom & currently pregnant with my second child. The following is going to hopefully help you make informed decisions when it comes to your specific pregnancy health & fitness journey. ***The following is not intended to be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek advice from a physician before starting any kind of nutrition or exercise program.

 

Raelle Housek, Personal Trainer at Fitness Focus with Team Wawryk Pro Trainers

WHY EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY?

A healthy baby is top priority, your health is just as important BUT 

Your mental state is effected positively through exercise (and your partner will thank you)

Your aches and pain can actually find some relief through exercise

Pregnancy is exhausting for most of us, exercise helps with fatigue and sleep

Birthing a baby takes muscle, core strength and endurance

Fat gain during pregnancy can be limited and fat loss after baby will be easier

1. YOUR HEALTH

When that beautiful child comes into this world, it is going to be your responsibility to care for it 24/7; from feeding to changing and rocking to feeding… to feeding… to feeding… to feeding… you get the point. Those of you with children already know what I mean. Your health is going to need to keep up with the lack of sleep and lack of minutes you have for your own physical and nutritional state. When you take the time to exercise during your pregnancy, it gives your body the strength and endurance to keep up with your growing baby. Through all the holding, cleaning, cooking and running around you will do. I am a much better mom when I am in a good mood, have energy for life and joy to my step. My first son was very colicky, had a ton of trouble drinking my breast milk and would not breastfeed well outside the house without a fit. For a good 4-6 hours he would scream inconsolably and my partner and I would take turns holding and rocking him, giving him drops for his stomach and doing everything we could to keep him comfortable. The time I took for myself to exercise and take care of me was so coveted and gave me the drive some days to keep going.

2. MENTAL BOOST

Mood swings are not uncommon among pregnant women. Exercising on a daily basis is going to help you wade through the emotions that come and go, up and down. Endorphins are chemicals that are released in the body when we exercise which makes us FEEL GOOD; they also interact with the receptors in our brain that reduce our perception of pain. During my periods before pregnancy I felt like a storm of emotions, bulldozing it’s way through the week. The world felt like it was ending, my insecurities made their way to the surface and all I wanted to do was hide away and eat a bucket of chocolate fudge crackle ice cream. The day I took on exercise was the day all of those things faded from 100% to 20%. My week turned into maybe two bad days, and I was able to realize the feelings for what they were (a hormonal tornado) instead of reality. This bled into my first pregnancy, which naturally was full of so many hormonal ups and downs. I was full of insecurity and had a hard time dealing with the dump of hormones that would come. Taking a look back I wish I would have had this knowledge going in. After my first pregnancy I threw myself into exercise, maybe a little too vigorously, but it sure helped with my mental state throughout the hormonal changes after baby. This time around I have been able to keep a level head during those changes (alongside proper nutrition, but that I will hold for another time). There are many studies that show exercise helps with not just your hormones and emotions, but in the end managing depression and postnatal depression

http://time.com/4966319/exercise-depression-study/ 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/29/exercise-can-help-new-mothers-manage-postnatal-depression-study/

3. PHYSICAL BOOST

Pregnancy aches and pains are among my least favorite parts of pregnancy. My first pregnancy I didn’t move very much. I worked a desk job and was in the midst of moving into a new home. The puffy water weight was extreme, the weight gain was around 50lbs and my laboring was long. This time around I have kept up my exercise routine, my puffiness is low, but the relaxin hormone released has made my hips very loose and achy. Rolling over in bed, walking, back pain and exercising has all been effected by the pain. However I have found strengthening the muscles around the hips and stretching them out properly has given me so much relief! A lot of pregnancy aches and pain can be attributed to tight or inactive muscles pulling joints out of place. In the end exercising does not aggravate the pain, in fact it helps relieve it! Fancy that. Pair that up with a good chiropractor and massage therapist, and I have been able to continue working out even into this third trimester.

4. EXHAUSTION & EXERCISE

Ahh yes, I’m tired. The biggest issue some face for the lack of motivation to get moving. I’m not going to go on and on here, in the end moving and lifting weight is going to give your body a great sleep. It sounds simple, but it brings muscle fatigue and relieves stress. I wouldn’t recommend exercising within a couple hours before bedtime however, because of the energizing effects it has on your mind. Other factors that can effect your sleep include: nutrition, anemia and apnea; so if you think there is something else going on, I would have a chat with your doctor. If that has given you no answers, then a good nutritionist or registered deitician should be able to help you out. https://www.sleep.org/articles/exercise-affects-sleep/

5. PREGNANCY STRENGTH

When it comes time to push out that baby you are going to want everything working in your favor. Strengthening your body and core is a no brainer, it will only help when it comes time to bring that child into this world. There are so many safe ways to strengthen your body and core that I will talk about at another time.

6. WEIGHT DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY

First of all I just want you to hear that you have lots of time, time to get back into shape, time to be healthy, time to enjoy the process. Don’t worry about getting your “body back” in record time. Taking the time to exercise and watch your eating during pregnancy will help you gain less fat and help you lose fat when you’re done. Make it easy on yourself for later. Those around you still love you regardless of your weight and if they don’t it might be time to let them go. Take things one step at a time. I’ll post a really good process on how to lose weight properly after baby in another blog. Eat good food, fuel your breastfeeding if that’s what you choose to do, and start tracking what you eat- a lot of this is being mindful of what you’re putting in your body. Lastly find something you enjoy: join a group fitness class, pick up a $20 bike off kijiji, join a dance class, invest in a great stroller for walking or join an outdoors mom & baby walk. Start there, one change at a time, it doesn’t have to happen all at once.

CONCLUSION

Pregnancy is a time to take care of your body and the baby inside.

To read more blogs like this visit https://femaletrainer467632502.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/pregnancy-fitness/

Warning Signs Of Primary Immunodeficiency

posted by Fitness Focus    |   October 13, 2012 22:14

Approximately 13,000 Canadians suffer from Primary Immunodeficiency.

Your Immune System is a vast internal network of cells, tissues and organs whose job it is to protect your body from harmful invasion by foreign bodies such as viruses, bacteria and toxins. Primary immunodeficiency (PI) refers to an immune system that is either broken or completely missing from birth. It is not acquired after birth from infection or accident. It is a genetic malfunction, unique to an individual. Early diagnosis is crucial. Untreated PI can lead to serious damage to organs, physical disabilities and, in the most severe cases, death.

There are warning signs of PI, like recurrent infections of the ears and skin, pneumonia, bronchitis and sinusitis. For some, the first infection will be serious and life- threatening—a definite red flag that there may be a problem with their immune system. Some will suffer recurrent infections from infancy. However, some infants with PI will not show symptoms early on due to Immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody that plays a critical role in mucosal immunity. Babies receive IgA through breast milk from the mother or from antibodies that cross the placenta in the womb and remain in the infant’s body until four to six months of age when normal infants start to make their own antibodies. In some cases, warning symptoms will not show up until later in life, sometimes as far along as middle age.

Diagnosis begins with the understanding and recognition of the warning signs. Are there more infections than normal? Do infections recur after treatment with medications? Do infections not respond to usual medications? The infections involved differ for adults and children. Please see the charts to the right. All too often the significance of the warning signs is overlooked, sometimes because they may seem quite mild.

 

Here is our favorite article from the July issue of Saskatoon Well Being Magazine.

posted by Fitness Focus    |   July 3, 2012 16:13

Here is our favorite article from the July issue of Saskatoon Well Being Magazine.  This month our favorite article forcuses on infant wellness.

Most experts agree that breastfeeding is the best way to go when it comes to giving your baby the nutrition she needs during those all-important formative years. Breast milk contains over 100 ingredients including antibodies that protect babies from illness and strengthen their immune systems. Plus, your breast milk is specially formulated for your baby and its composition changes as your baby grows.

Sometimes, however, breastfeeding is not an option or a mother may choose to switch from breastfeeding to bottle feeding. A study published in Pediatrics in 2008 showed that “Breast milk alone did not satisfy my baby” was the most frequently cited reason by mothers who decided to stop breastfeeding their babies. Early on, many women have problems with sore, cracked nipples or clogged ducts and infections of the breast tissue (mastitis), which can make breastfeeding an unpleasant or even painful experience. Some babies have trouble latching on in order to feed properly and this can be frustrating to the mother.

Whether it is a medical issue or a lifestyle choice that motivates the decision to bottle feed, Well Being wants you to know the basics of what you’ll need to do it correctly to make sure your baby is getting all the nutrition she requires.

INGREDIENTS

Although they cannot imitate breast milk exactly, commercially manufactured infant formulas contain many of the vitamins and nutrients a baby would get from breast milk as well as others only available in supplements. Infant formulas come in powdered, concentrated and ready-mixed versions and are either cow-milk-based, soy-based or specially formulated for specific conditions. An iron-fortified formula is recommended for babies younger than one year.

Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada advise against attempting to make your own baby formula at home since it is difficult to make a homemade formula nutritionally complete.

HOW OFTEN AND HOW MUCH

Formula-fed babies generally have to eat less often than breast-fed babies. This is because formula is slower to digest than breast milk. (More complicated digestion is also the reason that formula-fed babies have smellier bowel movements.)

On average, your baby should consume between 150 and 200ml of formula per kilogram of body weight each day (between 2.5 and 2.5 oz per pound).

As your baby grows, feeding habits and amounts will change.

CHOOSING BOTTLES

When it comes to choosing the right bottle for your new little one, the choices can be staggering.

The first decision to make is glass or plastic. Glass is regaining popularity lately due to concerns over harmful chemicals in plastic bottles. There is a risk of breakage with glass, but they are made quite sturdy and you can purchase wraps made of silicone or foam to cushion the glass from falls. Plastic bottles are cheaper, but may not last as long as glass. Always look for BPA-free plastic bottles.

The size and shape of the bottle are the next considerations. Newborns won’t need more than four ounces, but as your baby grows, she will need up to eight or nine ounces in a sitting. You may want to buy bigger bottles from the start and just not fill them up entirely for your newborn. Bottles with air vent systems and ones with an angled shape may help prevent your baby from swallowing too much air along with her food, which can result in gas and digestion issues. If you chose a specially shaped bottle, make sure it is dishwasher safe and that it fits in your bottle warmer (if used). Drop-in plastic bottle liners are another option for reducing your baby’s air intake while feeding and they also cut down on cleaning time since the liners can be thrown away after use. Of course, liners do have a larger environmental impact.

Finally, you’ll want to decide on the type of nipple for the bottle. If your baby is exclusively formula- fed, the shape of the nipple is not as important, but if you plan to go back and forth between breast and formula feeding, it is a good idea to choose a wide-base nipple that resembles the breast so the baby won’t get confused and have latching on problems. Different nipples are designed to allow a faster or slower rate of flow and you may have to experiment with flow rate until you find one your baby likes. Slower is usually better to start out with and you can increase as the baby ages.

PREPARATION

Before using bottles and nipples for the first time, you can sterilize them in a rolling boil for two minutes. It is unnecessary to sterilize bottles before each subsequent use. Proper washing with hot water and soap is sufficient. If you do choose to sterilize, you can boil, steam, microwave or use a sterilizing solution.

Follow the instructions on the package of formula to figure out the proper amounts of powder or concentrate and tepid water you should mix together in the bottle, then screw on the nipple tightly and shake. If your tap water is considered safe for consumption, it is fine to use for formula, but you can boil your water before making formula if you have concerns. Warming is not necessary, but if your baby prefers it, warm the bottle by placing it in a container of hot (not boiling) water or by using a bottle warmer. Don’t use a microwave as it may create hot spots that can burn your baby’s mouth.

The formula is ready to eat immediately, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. If the bottle is left out for longer than an hour or two, throw the formula out. Discard any remaining formula when your baby is done eating.

COSTS

The costs of using formula can add up. Powdered formula is the least expensive option, followed by concentrated and ready-made formulas being most expensive. Specialty formulas will also cost more than basic ones. You can expect to pay between $1,500 and $2,000 for formula in your baby’s first year.

CONVENIENCE

You can’t beat the convenience of bottle feeding your baby. Being able to prepare bottles ahead of time means that you can enjoy some time away from your baby while your partner or other helpers assist with the feeding process. You may also be able to head back to work sooner since your baby won’t be as dependent on you.

BONDING

Some women worry about missing out on the bonding that happens during breastfeeding between mother and baby. If you spend time with your baby while you feed her, cuddling, making eye contact and placing her bare skin against yours, you should have no trouble creating a connection.

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