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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/

Avoiding Weight Gain After Taking It Off

posted by Fitness Focus    |   August 14, 2012 17:31

A Solution to Weight Regain Through Increasing Muscle Mass & High Intensity Training

There is one absolute, most important factor in any sustainable weight loss program.  It goes beyond simply burring off calories through cardiovascular exercise and lowering calorie intake, but rather focusing instead on increasing overall muscle mass. Increasing muscle mass means a higher resting metabolic rate, which allows for calorie intake to stay higher and within more practical limits for the average person.  Many studies confirm the role of resistance training; it preserves muscle mass during diet controlled weight loss and a simultaneous increase in overall fat loss as a result.  If a person's resting metabolic rate account for over 70% of their daily energy expenditure and is determined by that person's fat free muscle mass, it only makes sense that attempts to lose weight through practices that can decrease muscle mass is inevitably counterproductive.

On the other hand, increases in fat free muscle mass from weight training lead to higher resting metabolic rates. Which, when combined with the added calories burned during resistance training and from excess post exercise oxygen consumption, can gradually and permanently decrease body fat levels when used in conjunction with muscle promoting high protein diets that are not overly hypocaloric.

Aerobic Exercise Vs Resistance Exercise For Long Term Weight Loss

aerobic exercise does not prevent weight regain

Aerobic exercise can decrease body weight, althouh it comes at the expense of maintaining muscle mass and thus does not prevent the you from regaining the weight again.

People have always been skeptical  rowards the use of exercise for muscle building as a main tool for weight loss.  Aerobic exercise is typically what we associate with shedding body fat, even though many studies find high intensity weight training to be more efficient than the conventional aerobic exercise for reducing fat mass. Aerobic exercise can indeed reduce fat mass, but has very little effect if any on the preservation of fat free mass. Not only does this increase the possibility of weight regain, but from a cosmetic point of view, diet induced weight loss using such forms of exercise would result in a smaller, but still flabby version of what you started out with if resistance exercise is not included in your regime. Following aerobic exercise, there is a miniscule increase in calorie expenditure for up to 48 hours after the exercise, but only if this exercise is done with a vertain degree of intensity and at a long duration. This seems like a relatively large window, however there is not an increase in resting metabolic rates.  On the other hand, increases in a person's muscle mass permanently increase thier resting metabolic rates, and the state of the after burn effect of high intensity training from excess post exercise oxygen consumption is also greater than that of aerobic exercise. 

The other factor that favors high intensity resistance training for long term weight loss without weight regain is the use of a high protein diet designed to increase muscle mass. Studies have shown that a high protein intake of 18% or more of total energy intakes limits weight regain in those who have lost weight.[28] Diet induced thermogenesis accounts for about 10% of energy expenditure and high protein foods not only have a high thermogenic and muscle sparing effect, but also promote higher satiety levels after consumption which can limit excessive calorie intake.

A reduction in body fat through high intensity resistance training doesn't yield the quick drops on the bathroom scale that would be seen from a higher volume of aerobic exercise with a low calorie diet, which in itself is a good thing as you don’t lose muscle mass in the process. However it does provide a long term solution for those needing to lose weight with the added benefits of increased strength and improved self esteem thanks to increased lean muscle mass. Muscle mass that is key to the development of the lean, toned and tight body that is without question the Holy Grail of our time. A look that is unattainable from high levels of aerobics and or low calorie intakes, as such activities have little effect on the increased development of skeletal muscle and from what we know can predispose you to regaining the weight you worked so hard to lose. 

Fitness Focus MS Marathon

posted by Fitness Focus    |   July 9, 2012 15:28

Come down to the gym to join everyone in the Group Fitness Studio at Fitness Focus on Sunday, July 29, 2012 for back to back group fitness classes in the Group Aerobathon for The 2012 MS Bike Tour in Regina.  The Marathon starts at 10:00am and runs until 4:00pm.  All Proceeds from the Aerobathon will go directly to The MS Society. Donate a little or donate a lot; what you give is completely up to you, every donation helps the cause and you don't need to be a member of the gym to participate, this event is open to everyone.

Can you imagine having Multiple Sclerosis? Multiple Sclerosis means that one morning you may not be able to walk when you wake up? Or that you may suddenly have impaired vision. Or that your memory will fail you for no apparent reason. The symptoms of MS are many and vary for everyone. It's estimated that approximately 55,000-75,000 men and women in Canada have the disease, and every day about three more people are diagnosed.

About the MS Bike Tour

You can be a dedicated cyclist or just looking for a bit of recreation, pedaling in the MS Bike Tours means you will be a part of an extraordinary group of Canadians who are getting outside to raise money in the fight against MS. The MS Bike Tour is a pledge-based fundraising event that provides Canadians with the opportunity to ride through scenic and often spectacular parts of the country. Over 10,000 cyclists are expected to participate in the 22 one-day and two-day tours taking place across Canada between June and September.

It has been a critical part of the MS Society’s fundraising efforts for over 20 years and proceeds from this event fund innovative programs and services and support ground breaking research dedicated to finding a cure.

Having multiple sclerosis means that one morning you may not be able to walk when you wake up. Or that you may suddenly have impaired vision. Or that your memory will fail you for no apparent reason. The symptoms of MS are many and vary for everyone. Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world which is why we need your help. All you need is a bike and the passion to help find a cure for MS!

If you have any questions about our Group Fitness Classes or the Marathon please contact us at info@fitnessfocus.ca

Print Your 2-Week Trial Membership

posted by Fitness Focus    |   January 12, 2012 16:20

It's the New Year, and chances are you're looking for a gym in Saskatoon.  Here is your chance to try Fitness Focus free for 2 weeks.  Come experience everything you need in a fitness centre with your trial pass that gives you access to the club and all major ammenities.  CLICK HERE TO PRINT YOURS

Your 2 week membership gives you access to The Gym, Cardio Theatre, All Group Fitness Classes, Unlimited Tanning, Towel Service, Lockers and more... Print your Trial Pass Today!!

If you have any questions about the gym, group classes, personal training or memberships, please contact us
email: info@fitnessfocus.ca
Phone: (306) 244-6413

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