fitness

How To Get Active After Taking A Break

How To Get Active After Taking A Break

So, you took a bit of time off your workout regime, and now you’re struggling to get back at it. Maybe you extra day went from one day to a week. Maybe your break has really encompassed your entire life and you’re ready to change your lifestyle. Sometimes a break is the result of vacation, illness, or in my case laziness. Whatever the case may be, getting active after taking a break is one of the hardest things to do.

Find A Buddy

Finding a work out buddy is one of the simplest ways to get active after taking a break. Having someone to go to the gym with gives you accountability. When one of you doesn’t want to go, the other makes them, and while working out you have a spotter if necessary as well as someone to push you a little harder.

Do What You Love

Have you always had one particular exercise style that you love to do? Running. Deadlifts. Mine is swimming. If possible to go back to doing what you love to do, that might just give you all the motivation that you need.

Invest Some Dollars

It’s a fact that most people are inclined to get their monies worth out of something. If that something is a gym membership or a registration fee then so be it.

Take A Class

Signing up for a class is another great way to get back at it. The group setting is also great for accountability, and you might even fall in love with a new work out style. Take a peek at my HITT post if you’re looking for some inspiration.

Get Out Of The House

I know so many people who are able to work out at home, I am not one of those people. I need to get out of the house and workout somewhere else. Somewhere like a gym works best for me. Having other people around makes me more inclined to work hard. Others peoples results are often my own motivation.

Start Small

If you take a significant amount of time off from your work out routine, you can not expect to jump right back in where you left off. Start off slow, shorter distances, lighter weights. Before you know it you will be back where you were before you took time off, and soon surpassing those.

Getting back into your program is one of the hardest things to do, in regards to a workout routine. Whatever your reason for the break, the important thing to remember is that you’ve made the decision to get back at it. Hopefully, these tips help you get back on track.

How To Get Active After Taking A Break
How To Get Active After Taking A Break
Posted by Jenn in Fitness, 9 comments
How To Diet And Still Enjoy Your Favorite Holiday Foods

How To Diet And Still Enjoy Your Favorite Holiday Foods

The holidays are right around the corner. With the holidays comes to holiday meals and your favourite holiday foods. A smorgasbord of delicious holiday temptation. It is no secret that the holidays are the hardest time to stay on track with a diet. It’s no wonder that so many people start with the new year. Instead of losing track of where you are and where you’re going with your diet here are sometimes to help you stay on track and true to your diet.

Fill Up On Meats and Vegetables

Protein and fat are the two most filling macronutrients, so by focusing on meats, you will fill up faster, for longer. Add in the fibre in the vegetables, and you’ve got a match made in heaven. Plus, you know, vegetables.

To enjoy your meal, without feeling like you missing out or blowing your diet,  fill two-thirds of your plate with meat and veggies, focusing on meat when you can.  – Keeping in mind that turkey is very lean, especially in comparison to other holiday foods.  – The rest of your plate should be carbs.

Use a Smaller Plate

This isn’t a new trick. In fact, it might just be the oldest trick in the book. the theory being that the smaller plates make the portions look bigger; and a visa-vera. Buy using s smaller plate you think you’re eating larger portions than you would on a larger plate. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s worth a shot.

Drink Water

This is probably the second oldest trick in the book. Before your meals drink a glass of water. Better yet, follow each plate with a glass of water. This will help fill your stomach without overeating. Thirst is often confused with hunger and by increasing your water intake you prevent any potentially confusing dehydration.

Dessert

Who doesn’t like pumpkin pie?  But just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean its okay to inhale an entire pie.  One piece, topped however you want, eaten slowly will satisfy your cravings. Whatever your favourite holiday dessert is. Because eating half a pie to yourself seems like a great idea, until you’re finished.

Exercise

I know nobody wants to actually exercise on the day of a feast, but you really want to get the most out of your mean and maybe get some gains in, throw in some exercise. By doing some HIIT for a half hour, your muscles will be ready to take full advantage of your incoming nutrients. Finish your workout a half hour before dinner time, grab a quick shower and ready to make this meal work for you.

Enjoy the Holiday Foods

Not everyone will agree with this but the holidays are a time to spend quality time with your loved ones.  If that means going off your diet for one day then enjoy it. You’re going to have a much more enjoyable time if you’re not stressing out about what you can, or what you should eat. If you deny yourself, you’re setting yourself up for a bigger derailment later on. Plus, you can always make it up in the gym later.

At the end of the day the holidays, be it Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter or any other holiday you may celebrate,  are meant for enjoying. Food is a big part of that in our culture, but family is as well. Spend your time together while you have it. Hopefully, these tips help you to enjoy yourself, and the food.

How To Diet And Still Enjoy Your Favorite Holiday Foods
How To Diet And Still Enjoy Your Favorite Holiday Foods
Posted by Jenn in Fitness, 21 comments
How To Drink More Water. 12 Tricks To Help You

How To Drink More Water. 12 Tricks To Help You

One of my tasks in my weight loss journey was to start to drink more water. I used to drink very little water and a lot of Coke. If it wasn’t water it was coffee. While I have known for years that this is not the healthiest option, I was only recently ready for the change.

  • Prevent dehydration
  • Promote healthy organ function
  • Keep your muscles energised
  • To keep your skin looking good.
  • Probably a million other reasons…

So really there is no reason to not drink it unless you’re sticking to the age-old “Fish F*uck in it” excuse.

My entire life  I have been told that a person needs to drink 8 – 8oz glasses or 64 oz a day. While that is a good start, it is not necessarily enough. Doctors are now recommending half your body weight (in pounds to oz) to be more accurate.

Your Weight in LBS/2 = oz recommended in a day.

So if you weigh 200 lbs you need drink 100 oz of water. Not the commonly heard 64 oz.  I, weighing in much higher than I should need to drink about 100 oz, nearly double what I thought.

Easier said than done – shocking I know – Increasing your water intake isn’t necessarily as simple as it would seem. Especially when you’ve been surviving on caffeine filled drinks to get you through the days. So I compiled this list of tips and tricks to make it easier.

Start Slow

Start by gradually increasing the amount of water you drink in a day. Add another 1/2 glass or glass a day until you reach your daily goal. 

Drink the water you like

I don’t care what anyone says there is the difference between waters. Find one you like and drink that one. 

Add some flavour with fruit or herbs

The amount of water infusion recipes you can find is literally endless.

Try different types of water

Mineral, spring, sparkling, there is a water out there for everyone.

Use a water filter

This will save money over bottled water, and in some cases taste buds over tap water. 

Buy a new cup or bottle

Having a fun bottle or cup to use might make it easier.

Use a marked water bottle for easy tracking

Either having time marked on it, or even just OZ can help.

Drink at least 1/2 a glass before every meal

If you can, make it a full glass. Either way, this will also help prevent you from overeating.

Track it with an App

I personally use my Fitbit App but there are others out there. 

Set a reminder

If the App doesn’t remind you then try just setting hourly reminders on your phone or watch. 

Keep your cup handy

Keep it with you always

Use a straw

I drink way more water when using a straw, compared to just a glass. 

 

I can absolutely do this! I now drink an average of 4L of water a day.  It is harder when  I drink other things during the day but I still manage to get it done.

I do seem to spend an absurd amount of time in the bathroom these days though.

What are some of your tips and tricks to drink more water?

How To Drink More Water. 12 Tricks To Help You
How To Drink More Water. 12 Tricks To Help You
Posted by Jenn in Fitness, 13 comments
What To Do When Your Weight Loss Doesn’t Show On The Scale

What To Do When Your Weight Loss Doesn’t Show On The Scale

I was so confident. I had drunk nothing but water for 6 weeks, I had done an exercise of some sort every single day, and I have tried to control my portions at meal times. I was going to step on that scale and see a big difference. My weight loss journey was finally going to show some results. 

I was ready. 

I was wrong.

I had actually gained 2 pounds. Luckily my grandmother was there to give me a tin of cookies to make me feel better – I never did eat them. – But when I sadly returned home my husband, so kindly, reminded me that muscle weighs more than fat. 

Even though I was losing fat, I was gaining muscle,  specifically in my legs -thank you squats. – This is when I decided to take a different tactic when it came to measuring my weight loss.

Throw Away The Scale

Not literally, unless you are comfortable with that, but at least stop being chained to it. The scale is one thing. Your weight; and while that is a part of being healthy it is not alone in. 

Your weight fluctuates day by day, and even hour by hour. If you don’t weigh yourself under the exact same circumstances every day there is no real way to guarantee accurate results. 

If you must keep weighing yourself, try to do it once a week at most. 

Take Measurements

While this is something best done by a second person, to get the most accurate results possible, they are a great way to put a number on weight – fat – loss.

These numbers also can very be based on different circumstances, so try to make sure you.

  1. Measure in the same place
  2. Do it at the same time of day – preferably first thing in the morning, before any potential bloating sets in.
  3. Don’t measure after a workout, when your muscles can be a bit swollen. 

Benchmark Outfit

You always see the weight loss commercials where someone is standing on one leg of the pants they used to use. This is very similar. 

Pick an outfit that you started out in. Keep trying it on and watch it get looser and looser. Any time you feel like you’re not seeing results, try it on and see if you can see a difference. You may not be standing in one leg like those viral images, but you can probably notice a losser fit.

Goal Outfit

That outfit you’ve always wanted to wear, buy it. Keep looking at it as motivation. With some hard work and dedication, you will be able to rock it in no time. Then it won’t matter what the scale says.

Feel It

This is my biggest and most important note – one I would do well to remember – instead of focusing on what the scale says, or what the tape measure says to think about how you feel. Even the little things. Maybe you’re a little less tired then you used to be. Maybe you can walk up a flight of stairs easier than you used to be able to. I promise there is something, some non-scale-victory somewhere. a win is a win, and those my friends are definitely wins. 

 

Scales are probably going to disappoint you more than encourage you. Weight loss is not a straight downward line on the graph. It moves up and down and laterally at times. Add to this that your ideal body weight may not be your ideal body shape. 160 lbs of fat will look very different than 160 lbs of muscle. Your height, your shape, and your muscle will play such important roles in your weight, more so than any number on the scale. 

What To Do When Your Weight Loss Doesn't Show On The Scale
What To Do When Your Weight Loss Doesn't Show On The Scale
Posted by Jenn in Fitness, 20 comments
Why Tunnel Mountain is the Best First Summit

Why Tunnel Mountain is the Best First Summit

I’ve always wanted to summit a mountain. To get the unapparelled views of the surrounding for the very top. When we planned a trip to Kananaskis last summer I immediately set out to find a good hike for us to do.  When looking at neighbouring Banff, I stumbled on the Tunnel Mountain Hike, and it was a no-brainer. Hike in the beautiful Rockies, and summit my first mountain.

Tunnel Mountain is Banff’s smallest summit, located right in town. After doing some research I was promised a relatively easy hike. 4.3 km (up and down) with a gain of 300m of elevation. My hiking experience at the time was pretty limited, and my summit experience was absolutely zilch, so this sounded like something right up my alley. The promise of 360° views of the townsite, and surrounding peaks sounded like just the motivation I would need to get the top.

There are two parking areas. One offers quite a number of stalls and there is a short walk up to the second. This parking area, where we parked, only has about 6 stalls and in early August they are in high demand. The earlier you go the better off you’ll be. not just for parking, but for heat and business of the trail as well.

The Hike

The trail is wide and well-maintained with switchbacks the lead you up the mountainside, leaving the vertical gain very manageable. You walk easily through the trees and towards the top of the mountain, with plenty of gorgeous area with photo ops of the surrounding landscapes. While there is switchback there are points on the trail where the grade is still substantial, you are still climbing a mountain.

At one point we reached an area and I was sure that we were at the top, also we were not, and a kind lady told me we had just a little further so we ventured on.

When we got to the top there was no doubt, the signage made it clear. there is a wide open area perfect for picnics, although I hear there is a grassy meadow a little further down the trail I didn’t know about at the time. The views of the townsite below and surrounding mountains and river are spectacular. Exactly what I needed after the hike up the mountain. After a quick water and snack break, we headed back down the way we came. Providing the same useful information to people, “you’re almost there!”

The trail is very popular, so if you’re looking to be alone you may want to find another. It is a great first summit and easy hike for both children and dogs. For my first summit, it inspired me to add more to the list, both for us to do solo, as well as family friendly.

Tunnel Mountain Trail Information

  • Elevation Gain: 300 meters (948 feet)
  • Time: 2 to 3 hours round trip
  • Distance: 4.3 km (2.7 miles) round-trip
  • This trail is very popular and can get crowded in the summer and early fall months. Beat the crowds by hiking early in the morning or in the late afternoon.

Tunnel Mountain Trailhead

Lower Trailhead: In downtown Banff, from the southern end of Banff Ave., turn east on Buffalo St. (turns into Wolverine) to St. Julien Rd. Continue until parking lot on your left where a sign marks the trailhead.

Upper Trailhead: Continue past the Banff Centre. The trailhead is on the opposite side of the road from the Tunnel Mountain viewpoint parking area. This parking area is small as mentioned but shortens the hike to 3.6km.

 

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Why Banffs Tunnel Mountain is Your Perfect First Summit
Why Banffs Tunnel Mountain is Your Perfect First Summit
Posted by Jenn in Travel, Travel Alberta, 13 comments
Activewear Underwear What It Is And Why You Need It

Activewear Underwear What It Is And Why You Need It

Activewear has been some of my favourite clothing for as long as I can remember. They stretch they breathe, they look good. They are functional as well as stylish. I’ve always loved it, but I only recently started using it for its intended purpose. With my new found love for actually being active, I realized there is a whole level of activewear I had never noticed; yet is so very important. Activewear underwear. I’m not talking about the ever-popular sports bra. No, I am talking about actual activewear underwear.

This was a bit of a learning curve for me. I mean underwear is underwear right. You have those special “date night” ones, but working doesn’t need any special treatment. Boy, was I wrong. Nobody wants to bunch up fabric riding up your back, midway through a run. Or worse yet, odour from trapped moisture. Activewear underwear is here to help solve both those potential issues.

Choosing Activewear Underwear

When looking for activewear underwear, choose a pair with sweat-wicking fabric. Just like the rest of your activewear, it eliminates moisture quickly so you can stay dry even when you’re working up a real sweat. This won’t just make your workout more comfortable, it will also keep your underwear from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. – Which sounds like a recipe for disaster – Add in the order eliminating technology that goes hand in hand with any activewear and you’re on the path to a winner. Activewear underwear generally doesn’t come in fabrics that aren’t, workout-friendly fabrics, but just in case steer clear of cotton, silk and lace because they’re not very breathable.

Making sure your activewear underwear is sized properly is another important step to consider. The tighter it is, the more it’s going to uphold against you and potentially trap moisture, bacteria, and sweat that can lead to that bacteria growth we were talking about earlier.”  If, when you put it on, you fee feel restricted, or you see indentation lines in the skin, they’re probably too small.

Just like regular underwear, activewear underwear comes in all the cuts. Yes, even thongs. So, depending on what sort of activity you’re doing there may one or another that works better for you.  Whether you’re a fan of thongs or boyshorts, you’re looking for something that hugs your body enough to stay in place without riding or bunching. I generally spend FAR to much time worrying about panty lines with my leggings so I steer towards thongs, however, when running they can rub in all the wrong places.

Deciding what type of activewear underwear you prefer may take some trial and error. Every woman is shaped differently and has different style and preferences. So try a few brands, sizes, cuts, and fabrics. Not that you needed an excuse to go shopping. Right?

Do you have a favourite activewear underwear?

Activewear Underwear What It Is And Why You Need It
Activewear Underwear What It Is And Why You Need It
Posted by Jenn in Fitness, 14 comments
What You’ll Experience When You Take a HITT Class

What You’ll Experience When You Take a HITT Class

In January a local trainer was having a promotion for their HITT Class. 6 classes for $6. This gave me the opportunity to give this HITT thing a try, while also having my first experience in a group fitness setting.  The classes had to be used within a certain time period, meaning I would miss a week because of my trip to Maui, but it was still an awesome deal that I couldn’t pass up.

What is HITT Training?

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. The idea being that your heart rate is kept up, and you burn more fat in less time. It then creates an afterburn effect, where you continue to burn calories, and fat, long after your workout is complete.

The Class

My first day of class, my anxiety tried to convince me not to go. I generally work out alone, with headphones, and in my own world. But I made it there. After filling out some quick paperwork I took a look around. I could see 4 stations set up. Each for a different type of exercise, working different body parts and muscle groups.

The instructor introduced herself and she was friendly and FULL of energy. If I had to make a comparison, I would like her to my 7-year-old, after he drank a Redbull (hypothetically speaking of course). She started off with a light warm-up, jogging in place, then worked in some punches, and jumping jacks to get the blood moving. After this, she demonstrated each of the exercises. Then it was our turn.

For the next 30 minutes, we worked through each of the different exercises. They were all easily adaptable for anyone who couldn’t do a certain move because of injury or whatever the case may be. We did each exercise for 45 seconds, moved on to the next, and repeated each twice. Following the final rotation, we took a quick water break while we learned the next ones. Repeating this process until we had completed all the exercises. Afterwards, we did a cool down with some stretching.

First Impression

I left the class feeling a little disappointed. I had heard that this was going to be one of the most intense workouts I had ever had, and while I was sweating I didn’t feel like I had gotten everything I could have out of it. So, even I returned, I vowed to push myself harder.

The second class was set up identically, because obviously this is what HITT is, and so I tackled it with everything I had in me. This time when I left the class I left feeling satisfied. I had actually gotten what I wanted out of this class. The next day I was a sore. My muscle groups had received a good workout during the class and I finally felt like I got what I had expected.

My takeaway

Overall, for my first class setting, I walked away satisfied. I am not ready to commit to a class long term but I learned a lot of different exercises for different muscle groups and have started I have implemented HITT into more of my regular workouts during the week.

Should you take a HITT class?

If you’re looking for a class setting to get a good workout, that doesn’t involve a bike, then yes. Like any other workout, you’re going to get out of it what you put into it. The harder you work, the more results you will see. All the exercises are easily adapted to any body type and fitness levels.

 

What You'll Experience When You Take a HITT Class
What You'll Experience When You Take a HITT Classdiv>
Posted by Jenn in Fitness, Fitness Review, 8 comments
March Fitness Goals – February Reset

March Fitness Goals – February Reset

March. I want to blame the fact that February is a short month as the reason it seemed to fly by. But realistically, February was a month plagued by illness and migraines. With those, my fitness goals fell by the wayside. I was incredible for the first two weeks, followed by two weeks of about nothing. So I think we can all safely say I failed in my February achieving my February goals. However, I will not let this discourage me, as my February goals have now become my March Fitness Goals, with a slight edit.

If you’re looking for lifestyle goals, they can be found here.

Refocus on Fitness

If you read the beginning of this post, or even last months goal, you will know that this is, word for word what I set at my February goals. But, as I view goals as a “living thing” constantly growing and changing my March fitness goals are the same.

In February I said I just didn’t have to motivation to get back into the gym after vacation. In March, while it has a different cause, the end result is the same. I don’t want to do it. Not because I don’t want to be dit and health, but because I am a lazy person. My want is rarely overpowered by my drive.

Everyone has goals that they do not achieve. They point is to not get discouraged by them. reevaluate and reset your goals. Which is exactly what I did when I set my March fitness goals.

What are your fitness goals for the month? Or, if you have already made them, what are your fitness goals for the year?

 

March Fitness Goals
March Fitness Goals
Posted by Jenn in Fitness, 1 comment
February Fitness Goals

February Fitness Goals

Well, here we are, welcome to February. Were you one of those people that let their fitness goals slip away just a few weeks into January? If you were you aren’t alone. That doesn’t mean all hope is lost. February is a new month. This gives you the opportunity to re-evaluate, refocus, and adjust as necessary. Let us check in with last months goals.

 

If you’re looking for lifestyle goals, they can be found here.

January I had one goal.

Stay Active While on Vacation

I will give myself a passing grade on this, but definitely not an A.

During my week in Maui I had hoped to get a bunch of swimming, hiking, walking, and hopefully trying some paddleboarding. I did get TONS of walking in. More than doubled my average daily steps so that was a win. I also did a little but if hiking, not as much as I had wanted, but with the hiking, I also got to try some scrambling. Scrambling opened up a whole new world for me one that I hope to explore a little more in these coming months. I didn’t do any running or try any paddle boarding. BUT, I got a whole lot of recharge time and I most definitely needed that. I did get myself back into the gym after coming home so I there was a mark in the win column for that.

Refocus on Fitness

As much as stayed active during holidays, and I found my way back to the gym right after my holidays were over it wasn’t easy. After a week of relaxing and recharging, fitness wasn’t high on my priority list anymore. I want to continue relaxing and recharging. My HITT Class I took wrapped up (keep an eye out for that post as well) and I just don’t have to motivation to get back into it as much as I did before. Maybe it is because I don’t have a beach vacation in the foreseeable future to motivate me. It doesn’t matter the reason, we will refocus on our fitness together.

January is a promising time for most people, with their newfound dedication to fitness, or whatever their goals end up being. But it is also an overwhelming time when so many people are in the gym. Now that it has started to die down you can get in there, get on the machines and the equipment that you are comfortable with and refocus on your goals without being overwhelmed.

In February I will get back on track. I will get to the gym at least 4 times a week and hit my step goal daily. It is a short month, and I can hit my goals harder for March.

What are your fitness goals for the month? Or, if you have already made them, what are your fitness goals for the year?

 

February fitness goals
February fitness goals
Posted by Jenn in Fitness, 5 comments
January Fitness Goals

January Fitness Goals

New year, new you. Isn’t that the age-old adage? January brings a fresh group of people to the gym with a focus on their resolutions to get fit or lose some weight. People always seem to use new years as the time to set their fitness goals.  As the year goes on more and more of these people seem to drift away, until you are left with the dedicated people, most of whom have been doing this for years, with a few newbies with a fresh new dedication to their life.

I am the latter.

I have learned the key over the years to keep your resolutions and meeting your goals, fitness or otherwise. Start off small. There are not many things that are a fulfilling as hitting a goal. Just like crossing something off a list, or checking of something off the to-do list. Satisfying.

If you’re looking for lifestyle goals, they can be found here.

January I have one goal.

Stay Active While on Vacation

Lucky (for more than one reason) for me I am going to Maui. Hawaii has to be one of the most active places on this planet. Surfing. Yoga. Paddleboarding. Hiking. Swimming. I actually don’t anticipate a whole lot of problem with this one. However, vacation is one of those times where mentally, and often physically, you don’t want to do anything. You are there to relax.

My goal is to stay active and try to find new ways to do that. Maybe I give paddleboarding a try. Maybe I will find my love for swimming again. I definitely will be taking a run on the beach that everyone is always raving about. I have my eye on a few hikes and plenty of walking. I’m sure that with every word I type my husbands dream of a nice relaxing beach vacation drift further and further away.

 

January is a promising time for most people, with their newfound dedication to fitness, or whatever their goals end up being. Start with a small goal, and together in February we will grow from there. What are your fitness goals for the month? Or, if you have already made them, what are your fitness goals for the year?

JANUARY FITNESS GOALS
SET YOUR JANUARY FITNESS GOALS
Posted by Jenn in Fitness, 5 comments