Saturday, November 8, 2014

Today I Was My Own Personal Trainer

Today at the gym I was my own personal trainer. "But aren't you always, since that's your job?" you ask. The answer is no, I'm not. When I am at the gym I am just an average women there to try her best to motivate and push herself, and not give up. 

I, along with many others I'm sure, often go into the gym not having a plan for what i will do. Most of the time i just wing it. I may do some cardio, then do some work on the cable machine, then some free weights, and probably end off with some stretching and ab work. But generally I don't push myself as hard as i should.
You may be asking why I don't practice what I preach on a regular basis. My answer to that may be the reason why I have hired personal trainers to train me in the past. Or why I am currently attending another instructor's Pilates class on Thursdays. Or why I feel I need to get to the gym to do my workout rather than doing it at home. The answer to that is because I am only human! I will be the first to admit that it's not easy to push yourself beyond your limits. But today I did. 


I started my day off with a nutritious and filling breakfast so I had more than enough energy to get me through my workout. 

Is anyone else loving the ripe pomegranates this time of year!?
Whole grain and granola cereal with yogurt, pomegranates, walnuts, and almond milk
I went into the gym with a plan. And I told myself I would do every single part of that plan. And I am proud to say I did!! I talked myself through every single set. And convinced myself often throughout the workout why I was doing it. Because I would feel so much better after, and because i knew that is how I would get results.  And so I pushed. And pushed. And finished! And the sense of accomplishment I feel now is greater than any other feeling.

Here is what I accomplished today:

30 minutes elliptical intervals
5 minutes dynamic hamstring, quad, hip flexor, and adductor stretches

Superset #1:
Bosu burpee with jump squats onto bosu x20
Curl and press standing on bosu-15 lbs x10
3 sets each

Superset #2: 
Swiss ball jackknives with hands on bench x12
Swiss ball pec flys 15lbs x12
3 sets each

Superset #3: 
Split squat jumps x20
Tricep cable pulldowns 25lbs x15
3 sets each

Superset #4:
Incline leg press 180lbs x10
Push ups x10
3 sets each 

Check out some of my other blog posts for some other great high intensity workouts!! 

You can be your own personal trainer too. You can convince yourself to get to the gym and sweat your ass off. I know you can. And if you feel you are needing more of a challenge than what you're willing to give yourself, then feel free to give me a call!!! I would be more than happy to help you :)

Just remember, exercising is a large part of your health and well being. You owe it to yourself to get your body moving. Ready....go!!! 

Thanks again for reading!!! And have a fabulous weekend!!!!!
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Living My Dream

Living my dream. Just writing those words in the title of this blog brings tears to my eyes. The amount of passion, joy, and fulfillment I feel every time I reflect on my career and how my business has grown over the past few years, is indescribable. There are no words to express how it feels to wake each morning and get excited about going to work. Helping people strive to be the best they can be, and inspiring others to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, is what I love to do, and it is rewarding to say the least.


A few months ago I was presented with an opportunity that would change my career path entirely, for the better of course! When I was approached by the community manager of Kabbage, an online provider of small business loans, and asked to participate in their "Live Your Dream" campaign, I thought this would be the perfect way to reveal my new business venture! But before I delve into that let me give you a brief overview of my experience in my field thus far. 

I graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2008 with a Bachelor's of Arts in Kinesiology and Physical Education and a minor in Psychology. I then worked in a physiotherapy clinic in Stratford for the next 3 years and gained a huge amount of knowledge regarding the human body, chronic pain management, various injuries, and rehabilitation exercises for those injuries. I took this knowledge in 2012 and started my own personal training business working at Anytime Fitness and seeing clients privately in their homes. In January 2013 I realized my true passion was doing in-home sessions and so I left the gym and became registered with the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario. 

My time is now spent as a Registered Kinesiologist travelling from house to house delivering therapeutic fitness programs and rehabilitation exercises. My clients are dedicated, motivated, reliable, and mean more than anything to me. They tell me on a regular basis that I am the highlight of their week, but may I say they are also the highlight of mine. :)

Current job title: "personal trainer with a kinesiological perspective". 

Ok so back to this career changing opportunity. Here it is:

In a matter of months I am going to be opening MY OWN private personal training and fitness studio!!!! This has been my lifelong dream and it's finally happening!! Introducing: FOREVER FIT HEALTH AND FITNESS STUDIO. The name implies that fitness and health should be a lifelong effort, not a short term "health kick" or "fad". This is a mentality that I instill in my clients on a daily basis. 

Am I terrified, nervous, and skeptical? Of course, but I have a motto that I stand by that says: "You can do anything you set your mind to". I know I can do this and am willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. I am going to continue doing what I love to do, and will now have the luxury of having access to equipment, space, and will be able to see many more people each day!!

So now I know you're probably wondering about some details of this new business venture so here you go. The location will be in Petersburg, Ontario (just minutes from Kitchener-Waterloo) directly across from the historical Bluemoon Restaurant. The opening date is yet to be determined but it will be sooner than you think. The space I am renting consists of two rooms with a total size of 4500 sq/ft (way more than enough room to run, jump, skip, hop, get fit and have fun!!!). Oh and did I mention there will be a smoothie bar offering various types of healthy protein shakes!?


My services will include:
  • -          Private/semi-private/couples personal training sessions 
  • -          Small group training (6-8 people max)
  • -          Biomechanical assessments 
  • -          Specialty classes (low back pain, chronic injury management, pilates etc)
  • -          Therapeutic exercise program designs
  • -          Educational workshops and seminars 

Here is a sneak peak into what's to come in a matter of months! 
This vacant space is currently undergoing renovations and lots of changes!! 

The smoothie bar, change room, and waiting/consultation area
The main entrance/welcome area
Restroom/towel service 
The fitness area: where all the magic happens!! ;)
So there you have it. A dream turned into a reality. Proof that a thought or idea, placed into action, combined with a little planning, and lots of help from others (a huge thank you to my interior designer, financial adviser, graphic designer, landlord, friends, and family, for all the help you have given me so far!!) can quite possibly turn into an (almost) completed project!! 

My advice to you: stay positive, be proactive, set goals, dream big, and be an achiever!!! Again, tears coming to my eyes, and yup, are now rolling down my face. If I can do it, you can do it too. I believe in you just like I believe in myself. 

Thanks so much for reading and for all your support. xo

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Outdoor Bootcamp Style Workout Plan (guaranteed to make you sweat!)

Hi!!! Thanks for joining me here again!! I know it's been so very long since my last post, time totally slipped away from me!

I have been super busy with a BRAND NEW business venture of mine and I can't wait to share the news with you in another post :)

Today I had every intention on hitting the gym before our round of golf this afternoon, but when I woke up and saw how beautiful it was outside I knew I was not about to spend an hour of my morning inside. So I put together a plan in my head for an outdoor workout! Here it is!!

Last weekend at Rivers Edge 
My workout began with a run to the park as my warm up with Molly (~5 minutes)

When I got there I let Molly off leash to roam free and chase after her balls while I got to work!
She loves her balls!!
20 minute workout:

1 lap sprint around the ball diamond field (.25km, ~1 min)
15 push ups
20 jump squats
25 running mountain climbers
30 bicycles
1 lap sprint around the ball diamond field (.25km, ~1 min)
15 push ups
20 split squat jumps
25 side leg raises/side
30 oblique crunches
1 lap sprint around the ball diamond field (.25km, ~1 min)
15 push ups
20 speed skater lunges
25 wide knee mountain climbers
30 sec side plank
1 lap sprint around the ball diamond field (.25km, ~1 min)
15 push ups

By the time I finished I had sprinted 1 km, done 60 push ups, and worked my legs and core hard. I was drenched in sweat and ready for my jog home (1 km, ~5 minutes)

And I am writing this post while riding my stationary bike (additional 30 minutes) and downing some fresh cucumber vitamin water!! Super refreshing!

Total workout time =1 hour :)

Do you prefer to be outdoors when the weather is a perfect 22 degrees and sunny!? What do you like to do for outdoor exercise?

Thanks for reading!!! Stay tuned for my big new business venture announcement! I will also be posting regular updates on the progress on my Facebook Fan Page so be sure to check it out and "like" it!!
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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Top 10 Healthy Breakfast Ideas!! (And some recipes too!!)

Hey there!!! Thanks for stopping by!! 

Almost weekly I am asked by clients, friends, and family for healthy breakfast ideas. If you follow me on Facebook you will know that I often post what I am eating for breakfast with the hopes that it will give others ideas and inspire them to also make health conscious morning food choices. Below I have put together My Top 20 Breakfasts (and a few recipes too!!)! Hope you enjoy!!! 

1) Veggie omelette with avocado on whole grain bread with fresh fruit on the side. A well-balanced and nutritious meal guaranteed to give you the energy you need to start your day!
2) Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal
I was in the mood for something different for breakfast so decided to spice up some oatmeal to add nutrients, protein and most importantly flavour. Here is the recipe I used:

Ingredients:
1/3 C rolled oats
2/3 C unsweetened almond milk
A few frozen blackberries, mango pieces and strawberry slices
2 tbsp hemp hearts
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp pure maple syrup


Directions: 
Mix all ingredients together and cook on high in microwave for 3 minutes. Remove, mix well and let stand for 2 minutes. Serve and enjoy. Makes 1 serving 

3) Whole wheat toast with honey, almond butter, sliced banana, topped with hemp hearts and served with orange slices, grapes and a coffee  


4) Special K protein and All Bran Cranberry cereal with mixed fruit and almond milk
5) Vegan blueberry-banana protein pancakes



Ingredients: 
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
- 1 large ripe mashed banana and 1/2c blueberries
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vanilla vegan and gluten-free protein powder
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon 
- sliced bananas, blueberries, walnuts and 1 tbsp real maple syrup for toppings 

Directions:
 Whisk wet ingredients and fruit in a small bowl. In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry mixture. Heat frying pan with coconut oil over medium heat. Cook pancakes until bubbles show through then flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes (approx). Transfer to plate, add toppings, serve and enjoy!!! Warning: this recipe makes lots of pancakes so if you're only cooking for one or two people I would recommend cutting the recipe in half!

 6) GREEN SMOOTHIE! 

Do you feel low on energy? Try making a GREEN SMOOTHIE! Add 60% green and other vegetables, 40% fruits, honey, (optional) and water to a blender. Blend, drink and feel your energy levels rise!! 

In the GREEN SMOOTHIE pictured below I included: Parsley, cilantro, spinach, banana, strawberries, grapes, chia seeds, hemp hearts, honey and water. Delicious!!! 

Other ingredients you could include are: Kale, mixed greens, romaine lettuce, avocado, apples, berries, celery, broccoli, peppers, carrots, oranges, dandelion greens, mango, kiwi, swiss chard, and cucumber. Google "GREEN SMOOTHIES" for recipe ideas!!



7) Breakfast wrap with fresh fruit. Whole wheat tortilla filled with egg, cheese, coleslaw, fresh salsa and guacamole. Served with a sliced banana, blueberries, and of course a coffee
8) Mexican style egg muffin. Farm fresh egg with low fat cheddar cheese, guacamole, and fresh salsa served on a toasted whole wheat English muffin with orange slices 
9) Egg and guacamole salad with hemp hearts, spinach and tomato on a toasted whole wheat english muffin 

 And last but not least my all time favourite! 

10) Delicious chocolate banana protein smoothie!! 



Recipe: 2 scoops chocolate protein powder, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup water, 1/2 banana, 3 large strawberries (I use frozen fruit), 1 tbsp natural peanut butter, 1 scoop greens+
Blend it all together, serve, and enjoy!!




Well there you have it!!! My Top 10 favourite breakfasts!!! I hope you enjoy them as I did and continue to do!!! 

Please feel free to comment below and tell me if you have made any of these and if you have any other healthy breakfast ideas! 


Thanks again for reading!!! Have a wonderful day!!! :) :) :)
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Christine's 90 minute "little bit of everything" intense workout!

I wanted to write a blog post on my awesome workout tonight but I must start off by saying what a great day I've had so far! I was super productive before going to work in Stratford today! Managed to get some work done from home and then cleaned and tidied my whole place. Then Molly and I got out for a 20 minute brisk walk and then she had a great 45 minute treadmill workout while I did my cleaning. After work I stopped to grab some groceries and was so happy to see what almost everything I wanted to buy was on sale!! P.s. if you are in need of toilet paper Zhers has it on for $6 (regular $17!!)

I also purchased a tropical house plant, and these lovely flowers. I figured if we could not feel Spring outside yet at least I could experience it indoors!! 


This evening ‎I had planned to meet my sister at Goodlife at 5 for a workout and was I ever looking forward to it!! I arrived at 5:15 eager and ready to work hard. I was full if energy and had my whole workout planned out in advance. I find pre planning my workouts helps me motivate myself to work harder. If I know what I should be doing with regards to reps, sets, and weights, I am less likely to skip out on some exercises, do less weight, or quit early on a set. 

Loving life on the elliptical 
I got a call when I got to the gym from my sister saying she was going to be late so I got started with a run. I followed this with the elliptical, weights, and finished with abs. 

Here's what I was able to accomplish in 90 minutes; 
- 15 minute treadmill run ranging from 6.5-8.5 mph ( gradually increased the speed as time progressed)
- 25 minutes on the elliptical at level 14 with forward/backward intervals
Superset 1: seated wide grip cable row x12 70 lbs with narrow grip push ups on bench x12- 2 sets each 
Superset 2: Romanian deadlifts with shoulder press 60 lb barbell 2x 12 each 
Reverse lunges with knee up 2x12/ side 

After this my sister was done her cardio and she joined in with me. She did the first part of the superset while I did the other then we switched.
Superset 3: Burpee, mountain climber/push up, shoulder press x10  (yes it sounds complicated and it is so I included a video of this one. Replace the jump with a shoulder press! ) with 5 lb prone reverse fly (5lbs) and tricep to extension (15 lbs) x12 each- 2 sets total of each of the three exercises 

Roman chair back extensions x30. Why wouldn't I do more of these after doing them last week during our Filthy Fifty workout and not being able to walk for three days after!? :P

I finished off the workout with a very short ab workout. I had plans at 7 this evening so I was a little pressed for time! Nevertheless I did get this done:

20 ab crunches 
20 oblique crunches
20 oblique crunches with knee in 
20 crunches legs in air
20 oblique crunches legs in air
20 bicycle crunches 
20 double leg extensions with reverse crunch 



My friends are here now so I have to go!! Hope you enjoyed this post!! I know I enjoyed the workout and can't wait to do it again! 
Girls night!!! 

HAVE A GREAT EVENING AND WEEK!!! :)
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

How we defeated the Filthy Fifty and how I am recovering from my DOMS

Hello again!!! Welcome back!

This week's workouts have been great so far and I wanted to share with all of you lovely readers how much I enjoyed it despite wanting to vomit a few times and waking up barely being able to climb down my stairs and lift my arms to dry my hair! :p

The week started with a pre St. Paddy's Day workout at Goodlife Fitness which consisted of 40 minutes of interval cardio training followed by some light stretching and core strengthening.
Good ol' cardio workout

Well deserved and much needed prior to partaking in some Paddy's Festivities! Great times were had by all!!
Yesterday I was feeling a little unmotivated to workout so my sister suggested we follow a workout she had done recently and was super challenged by. Little did I know how extremely difficult it would be!!! It was brutal...but I loved it! I especially loved the variety and intensity of the exercises, highly recommended! 
I introduce to you The Filthy Fifty: 
Here are the modifications we made:
- I added 30 lbs to the lunges and did dynamic forward lunges instead of walking (to save space)
-did 30 lbs for the push press and 15 lbs for the kettle bell swings
-added 10 lbs to the back extensions
-did sit ups instead of wall balls (her workout didn't even have wall balls but I'll try that next time!)
-did jump squats instead of double unders (not enough room to use a skipping rope at the gym!)

She said the goal is to try to accomplish this in under 30 minutes. We did it in just over 26 MINUTES! She warned me I would want to vomit after and she was right. So that's what Crossfitters go through every single work out!? No wonder they are so fit and strong! I think I will be doing this workout again very soon and am determined to beat my time each workout! This routine combined with a 15 minute run was just what I needed to sleep like a baby last night!
This evening we hit the gym for over 2 hours. I had a little more energy today and so my sister and I began the workout with 30 minutes on the elliptical. For the rest of the workout we decided that we would each choose two exercises and super set them for 3 sets each then the next person would choose the exercises. Here is what we accomplished:

Superset 1: 2 minutes treadmill sprint + 2 minutes rowing
Superset 2: Narrow/wide grip lat pulldowns + seated leg extension (felt awesome after yesterdays crossfit workout!)
Superset 3: Weighted calf raises + Plate weighted oblique side bends
Superset 4: Dumbbell chest press + shoulder press
Superset 5: Cable oblique trunk rotations + double arm cable row

We finished the workout with a family stretch and core session!



Trying to play volleyball tonight proved to be a huge challenge and I was reminded of the 500 reps I did yesterday every time I squatted or lunged for the ball! Nevertheless, we came away with a BIG W and it feels great! Tomorrow I plan on another gym workout- most likely only cardio- that is if I can walk down my stairs to get there!

Oh how I love exercise! Really, I do!

Here are three ways to deal with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) following a hard workout:
1: Heat- think hot bath, hot tub, or sauna. The warmth will bring oxygen to the area sending more nutrients to soothe the aching muscles.
2: Movement and stretching- gentle and low intensity. Nothing that will work the already sore muscles too hard. A brisk walk, jog or yoga class should do the trick. As much as you feel you just want to sit still to avoid pain, you will feel better after you move- trust me on that one!
3: Massage: The increase in blood flow and circulation will again deliver more oxygen and nutrients. Plus it feels great!

I would love to hear if you have ever experienced DOMS after a workout, sport, or activity. And if so, what caused it and how did it feel? Any tips on how you survived the pain!?



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Friday, February 28, 2014

My Intense Bosu Workout!!!


Welcome back and thanks for reading!! It's been quite a while since my last post and I apologize for that! This month has gone by so quick!!!

Anyway, I have done several workouts since I last wrote and can honestly say I have done really well!! My last blog post which you can find here talks about how much I struggled getting back into it after my vacation to Jamaica. Since then I have made an effort to get to the gym most days of the week and to control my portion sizes when eating. I have also learned to accept and embrace the weight that I've gained since my trip and am slowly seeing the numbers on the scale decrease. Yeaaaa!!!!

Today I decided to switch things up and do a workout in my home gym with my adorable dog Molly- doesn't she look happy?!!!  

Here is my intense BOSU ball workout!! Enjoy!!

Warm up: I chose to do 10 minutes on my stationary bike 
Circuit (plyo): 
1) 50 high knee jogs on bosu (dome side)
2) 40 split squat lunge jumps with front foot on bosu (dome side) 20x/side
3) 30x/side fast mountain climber jogs with hands on bosu (flipped)
4) 20 double leg jumps on/off bosu (dome side) 
5) 10 bosu burpees (holding onto handles of bosu)
                **Repeat #1-5 2 x each**
Circuit (strength): 
1) 20 deep squats on bosu (flipped)
2) 20 pushups with hands on sides of bosu (flipped)
3) 20 deep lunges with back foot on bosu (dome side) 
                **Repeat #1-3 2x each**

Circuit (core- all on dome side):
1) Medicine ball shoulder press Russian twists- 10 lbs (see video below) 
2) Front plank on bosu to fatigue!
3) 20 crunches plus 20 oblique crunches on bosu
4) Side plank on bosu to fatigue!! 
                **Repeat #1-4 2x each**


video

Hope you enjoy this workout as much as I did!!! I'm 42 minutes in on my bike while writing this post (and Molly is 62 minutes in--what a workout for her!!)

Now I'm off to clean, go to work, then celebrate the weekend with my boyfriend eating some Chinese food (a once a year occurrence for me!) and hot tubbing with some friends in Woodstock! 

I hope you have a great Friday and weekend!!! Remember to be happy, stay fit, eat healthy, and have FUN!!!!

Until next time.....

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

My Top 10 So Far This February!

So far February has been a fantastic month filled with lots of activities and fun! I have been getting back into the 'swing of things' and counting down the days until Spring-as I'm sure most of you are as well!! I feel I have finally gotten back into my fitness routine and feel a lot more confidant about my goals and life in general after sharing some of my struggles which you can read about here.

I would also just like to say a huge THANK YOU for all the overwhelming feedback from my last post. I had close to 600 views on my last post and several comments on my blog, FB, and through private messages all of which were very positive and inspirational and I really appreciate it :)

Here are the highlights from my February this far!

1) Several cross-country skiing adventures with my dog Molly. I think she has enjoyed it more than myself sometimes and being off leash and running free has left her a happy, healthy, dog who sleeps like a baby at night! Such a great feeling to be outdoors on the trails, zooming along without a care in the world! 
2) 10 pin bowling on a Friday night. What a great way to keep active, have fun, and satisfy my competitive personality (despite falling short of a win!) Those 10 lb balls are hard to handle! Next time I'm opting for 5-pin!!! 
 3) Outdoor trail hikes with Molly and my lovely family <3. This day was -23 with the windchill but dressing for the cold and walking quickly helped keep us relatively warm! Doesn't everyone look so happy! 2 hours later we were all ready for a hot shower and tea!!
 4) Sunset walks with Molly. Perfect way to end a busy day at work. Even though I didn't have a chance to hit the gym I felt great after this short but brisk walk. Every little bit counts right!?
5) Watching the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics!! Been looking forward to this for months and it's finally here! So what if there was a slight malfunction while displaying the 5 Olympic rings!? Makes Vancouver's cauldron lighting look not so bad!! 
6) 90 minute walk along the Grand River in Kitchener on a beautiful sunny day! I can always count on my family to keep Molly and I company! Thanks Davey! :)
7) Watching Canada win a GOLD AND SILVER medal in Woman's Moguls at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics! We have 4 medals so far (tied with the US and in 4th place!) and it's only day 2!! Way to make us proud Canada! 
 8) Meeting my friend's new German Shephard puppy! Isn't She adorable!? You can check out +Brittany Stager's blog at http://www.mydailyrandomness.com/ I love reading her posts and I'm sure you will too!
 9) Attending the Total Woman's Show on February 9th with my darling sister and mother. Great times with great people!
10) Goodlife Fitness workouts! This picture was taken after a busy weekend and was well deserved! 

Well there you have it...my last few weeks in a nutshell!!! I hope you have had a good month so far! I'm not sure about anyone else but I am definitely looking forward to some warmer weather and Spring can not come soon enough!!! But for now I will dress warm, use my car remote starter, and continue to take advantage of my indoor home gym and Goodlife Fitness!

Thanks for reading and for your support!! And feel free to share my blog with others!


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