Personal Trainer Kelowna

Posture

Posture

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym

 

Your posture says a lot about how your joints and muscles are working. How you look and feel is directly related to your posture but despite the importance of having good posture, most of us don’t do anything to improve it. Living with bad posture can be a dangerous thing as the muscle and ligament imbalances that result from poor posture can lead to all sorts of problems including:

  • Chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Foot, knee, hip, and back injuries
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Muscle atrophy and weakness
  • Digestion problems
  • Impingement and nerve compression
  • Sciatica

Correcting your posture may feel awkward at first because your body has become so used to sitting and standing in a particular way but with a bit of practice, good posture will become second nature. Your personal trainer will advise what particular strengthening and flexibility exercises would benefit your posture and any problems you may be experiencing.

Sitting slumped without any lower back support may feel more comfortable than sitting upright because it requires less effort from our muscles and your body will be used to adopting this position. Slouching doesn’t always cause discomfort but over time this position can place strain on already sensitised muscles and soft tissues and this strain may increase tension in the muscles which may in turn cause pain. It may not feel comfortable initially because your muscles have not been conditioned to support you in the correct position but you need together into the habit of sitting correctly.

Wearing high heels, excessive weight around the stomach and pregnancy can all cause an exaggerated inward curve of the lower back or a sticking out bottom. Core and buttock strengthening exercises and hip flexor and thigh stretches as well as making a conscious effort to correct your standing posture are recommended to help correct a sticking out bottom.

It is important to maintain a correct standing posture. The idea is to keep your body in perfect alignment, maintaining the spine’s natural curvature, neck straight and shoulders parallel with the hips. Try:

  • Keeping your shoulders back and relaxed
  • Pulling in your abdomen
  • Keeping your feet about hip distance apart
  • Balancing your weight evenly on both feet
  • Try not to tilt your head forward, backward or sideways
  • Keeping your legs straight but knees relaxed

Leaning more on one leg while standing, can feel comfortable, especially if you’ve been standing for a while but this is not good. Instead of using your buttocks and core muscles to keep you upright, you place excessive pressure on one side of your lower back and hip. Over time, you may develop muscle imbalances around the pelvis area, which can cause muscular strain in the lower back and buttocks. Other causes of uneven hips include carrying heavy backpacks on one shoulder, and mums carrying toddlers on one hip.

Many of us spend several hours a day working on a computer, or hunched over our phones, tablets, laptops etc and this can cause poor postural habits. Your neck and spine is designed to hold your head upright and by using this hunching position we interfere with the body’s natural ergonomics. Your head weighs 10-12lb and when bending your neck forward and down the force of the weight of your head on the top of your spine dramatically increases. The knock on effect of this is neck and shoulder pain, back pain, headaches arm and hand pain. This position can also lead to a tight chest and a weak upper back and over time can contribute to you developing a rounded upper back, which can cause shoulder and upper back stiffness.

Also holding your phone handset between your ear and shoulder can place strain on the muscles of the neck, upper back and shoulders. The neck and shoulders are not designed to hold this position for any length of time and this posture can place strain on the muscles and other soft tissues and lead to muscle imbalances between the left and right side of your neck.

So if you want to look and feel younger, look slimmer, feel fitter, get rid of those aches and pains, it may just need a few adjustments to your posture, talk to your personal trainer who will be pleased to advise a tailored program for you.

 

Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna Private one to one Personal Training Gym

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Personal Trainer Kelowna

Daily Vitamins

Daily Vitamins

Leigh Carter

Personal Training Kelowna

Private Gym

 

I have been asked by clients which vitamins I take on a daily basis. I have listed the following cocktail of vitamins and an explanation of the benefits of each of them.

  • Vitamin C in absorbic acid form or natural camu camu powder (2-3000mg)
  • Vitamin D in oil base 1-4000iu
  • Probiotics
  • Cod liver oil 3000mg
  • Psyllium husk
  • Progressive Vege Greens

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and has several important functions:

It is necessary for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue, which gives support and structure for other tissue and organs

The body needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal

It improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and helps the immune system work properly to protect the body from disease

It acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultra violet light from the sun

Camu camu is loaded with vitamin C, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and other nutrients. It’s one of the healthiest superfoods available, and has more vitamin C than any other food in the world. One serving of camu camu has 60 times the amount of vitamin C found in a single orange; this translates to 3,575% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C for every 100 grams of camu camu. Even just a tablespoon of camu camu powder can give you way more vitamin C you need for the day. Many of the health benefits of camu camu come from this extraordinarily high amount of vitamin C. Strengthening your immune system, fighting ageing, and reducing inflammation are just some of its potential health benefits.

Vitamin D which is also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” since it is made by the body after being in the sun and 10-15 minutes of sunshine three times a week is enough to produce the body’s requirement of vitamin D for most people. Those who do not live in sunny places may not make enough vitamin D and it is hard to get enough vitamin D from food sources alone. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium which is required for the normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. It also helps maintain proper blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.

I take my vitamin D3 in liquid drops in a base of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as a fat soluble vitamin, Vitamin D3 is best absorbed in a natural food oil base.

Probiotics is the name given to living micro-organisms – often referred to as “friendly” bacteria – that may have health benefits in the body. Many probiotic bacteria are similar to those found naturally found in the body, especially in the digestive tract.

Probiotics have become popular in supplements and as food ingredients, mostly used to promote healthy digestion. They are found naturally in fermented foods (such as saurkraut), yoghurt and kefir, fermented soy products, and in probiotic ‘shot’ drinks where their numbers are far, far higher than the levels found in fermented foods. They are also available as freeze-dried powders, capsules, and tablets. All probiotics must contain viable bacteria that are ‘alive’ when consumed.

Cod liver oil is the essential oil extracted from the livers of cod. The oil is commonly taken as a dietary supplement. It is one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and contains relatively high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D.  The exact concentration of nutrients in cod liver oil depends on the species of cod the oil comes from.

Fat is essential for every single cell in your body and by eating the right kinds of fats such as the omega 3 fatty acids in cod liver oil, your skin will glow, you will have increased vitamin and mineral absorption and a boost to your immune system. Eating healthy fats with a meal helps slow the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar, which helps to keep blood sugars levels in your blood stable.

The list of benefits of taking cod liver oil are:

  • Maintains joint mobility and flexibility
  • Could also be beneficial for your heart as they have beneficial effects on blood pressure, blood stickiness, inflammation and are prescribed to lower abnormally high blood fat levels
  • Cod liver oil is a rich source of vitamin D3, which is essential for absorbing dietary calcium and maintaining strong, healthy bones. Low intakes increase risk of rickets in children and, in adults, of osteomalacia (softening of the bones) and osteoporosis (brittle bones)
  • Omega-3 fish oils, especially DHA, may protect against progression of age-related macular degeneration
  • DHA plays an important structural role within brain cell membranes, improving their fluidity so that messages are passed on more rapidly from one cell to another. EPA is involved in cell signalling and also improves communication between brain cells

Psyllium is a form of fibre made from the Plantago ovata plant, a native of India and Pakistan, specifically from the husks of the plant’s seed. It’s most commonly known as a laxative. Research shows that psyllium has many benefits to the human body, from your heart to your pancreas.

Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative, which means it soaks up water in your gut and makes bowel movements much easier. Results are still mixed when it comes to psyllium and whether it is beneficial to irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease.

Research has also shown that soluble fibre can help manage cholesterol levels.

Psyllium is used in weight control and for general intestinal health. It contains a spongy fibre that reduces appetite, improves digestion and cleanses the system, making it an excellent choice for healthy dieting. It can provide the fibre that is missing on low carbohydrate diets. Studies and clinical reports suggest that psyllium may enhance the sensation of fullness and reduce hunger cravings.

VegeGreens is a comprehensive combination of over 60 land, sea and cruciferous vegetables, as well as super green foods, plant oils, phytonutrients, herbs & extracts and botanicals. With its eight distinctive blends of green foods and plant extracts, it supplies a spectrum of nutrients ranging from the rare trace minerals found in sea vegetables to the health-enhancing compounds exclusive to cruciferous vegetables. It is said to

  • Increase energy & renew mental clarity
  • Help to cleanse your body, strengthen immunity & balance pH
  • Support your heart, liver and digestive health

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

#leighcarterfitness

#privategymkelowna

 

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Muscles

Muscles

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym

 

 

Did you know you have more than 600 muscles in your body and they are almost half the body’s weight. They do everything from pumping blood throughout your body to helping you lift your heavy backpack. You control some of your muscles, while others — like your heart — do their jobs without you thinking about them at all. Muscles are all made of the same material, a type of elastic tissue, thousands or even tens of thousands of small fibres make up each muscle.

Muscles are the part of our body that allow us to move, a skeleton without muscles is useless. Muscles are able to contract and relax. When they contract, they pull on your skeleton allowing you to move. Muscles are connected to bones by tough, cord-like tissues called tendons, which allow the muscles to pull on bones.

Everything you do needs muscles, the muscles of your larynx, mouth and tongue to speak, the muscles of your finger to write or for your skeletal muscles to help your movement – walking, running, swimming. And the good news is they are efficient at turning fuel into motion, they are long-lasting, they are self-healing and they are able to grow stronger with practice.

You have three different types of muscles in your body: smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and skeletal muscle.

Smooth muscle is found in your digestive system, blood vessels, bladder, airways and, in a female, the uterus, and has the ability to stretch and maintain tension for long periods of time. Your nervous system controls it automatically meaning you do not have to think about contracting the muscles. For example, your stomach and intestines do their muscular thing all day long. Smooth muscle is also found in the walls of blood vessels, where it squeezes the stream of blood flowing through the vessels to help maintain blood pressure.

Cardiac muscle is found only in your heart and the walls of the heart’s chambers are composed almost entirely of muscle fibres. Cardiac muscle is also an involuntary type of muscle. Its rhythmic, powerful contractions force blood out of the heart as it beats.

Skeletal muscle is attached to bone, mostly in the legs, arms, abdomen, chest, neck, and face, they hold the skeleton together, give the body shape, and help it with everyday movements and are known as as voluntary muscles because you can control their movement.

Muscle strength is one of the keys to healthy ageing, after we achieve peak mass in our early 40s is when most people begin to lose modest amounts of muscle at that point and experience progressive deterioration as the years go by, especially if they have a sedentary lifestyle.

Regular exercise is an important component of keeping your muscles healthy because the more you work your muscles, the stronger they become. Activities such as swimming, running, walking and hiking are excellent activities that will challenge your muscles. Strength training is a more targeted form of working your muscles and increasing strength and endurance. Your personal trainer will advise on an appropriate form of training to benefit your muscle tone. When beginning any exercise program, it is important to start slowly, increase intensity in small increments and incorporate rest periods between workouts to allow muscles to repair themselves.

Diet is another important factor in keeping muscles healthy. Protein is important because it helps build and repair muscles. A special diet is not needed in order to ensure muscle health, as a well-rounded, balanced diet will provide sufficient nutrients. A balanced diet should be low in saturated fats, refined grains, sugar and cholesterol. Intake of fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources such as turkey, chicken and lean beef, nuts and low-fat dairy products should be high. Again your personal trainer will be able to advise on a healthy diet to complement the exercise program you are following. And remember adequate amounts of water is important for the health of our muscles as well as our overall health and especially important to keep hydrated whilst exercising.

Muscular injuries are extremely common and can range from minor to severe but can be prevented by taking a few simple precautions. Warming up before exercise will help increase flexibility and make muscles warm and cooling down after exercise will help loosen muscles that have been tightened during exercise. When a muscle strain or injury does occur, it is important to not push through the pain but give your body time to heal.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

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Personal Trainer Kelowna

Hay Fever

Hay Fever

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym

 

It’s about that time of year when, if you are a hay fever sufferer, you start to suffer. It’s an allergic condition also called allergic rhinitis, that is often seasonal, allergy to tree pollen is usually worst in Spring, allergy to grass and weed pollen is worst in the Summer and allergy to moulds occurs mostly in Autumn.

Pollen is a fine powder released by plants as part of their reproductive cycle. It contains proteins that can cause the nose, eyes, throat and sinuses to become swollen, irritated and inflamed. It is also common to feel lethargic.

Allergic reaction are more frequent and severe if you are over tired, under stress, recovering from infection or your immune system is compromised. There’s currently no cure for hay fever, but most people are able to relieve symptoms with treatment.

The most effective way to control hay fever would be to avoid exposure to pollen. However, it’s very difficult to avoid pollen, particularly during the summer months when you want to spend more time outdoors.

By taking some basic precautions it is sometimes possible to prevent the symptoms.

  • Try wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes when you’re outdoors.
  • Take a shower and change your clothes after being outdoors to remove the pollen on your body.
  • Stay indoors when the pollen count is high, if you exercise outside, chat to your personal trainer and ask for some workouts that can be done inside whilst the pollen count is high.
  • Even by applying a small amount of Vaseline (petroleum gel) to the nasal openings to trap pollen grains can help.
  • A nasal wash to remove pollens and allergens.
  • Keep windows closed when indoors, it is most important in the early mornings when pollen is being released, and in the evening when the air cools and pollens that have been carried up into the air begin to fall to ground level again
  • Treatment options for hay fever include antihistamines, which can help to prevent an allergic reaction from occurring and corticosteroids (steroids), which help to reduce inflammation and swelling.

For severe and persistent hay fever, there’s also a type of treatment called immunotherapy. It involves being exposed to small amounts of pollen over time, to build resistance to its allergic effects. However, this can take many months or even years to work.

A survey showed a clear link between stress and the severity of hay fever symptoms. Almost seven out of ten stressed-out hay fever sufferers rate their symptoms as unbearable or debilitating. As stress levels drop, symptoms become milder.

Another survey found that people with hay fever who exercise most have the mildest symptoms and the exercise will also help reduce your stress levels.

A healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables could also be beneficial but be aware than some healthy foods can make hay fever symptoms worse. Foods that can worsen hay fever symptoms for some people include apples, tomatoes, stoned fruits, melons, bananas and celery.
Eat foods rich in omega 3 and 6 essential fats which can be found in oily fish, nuts, seeds, and their oils. These contain anti-inflammatory properties, and may help reduce symptoms of hay fever.

Alcohol worsens hay fever as beer wine and spirits contain histamine, the chemical that sets off allergy symptoms in your body. As well as making you more sensitive to pollen, alcohol also dehydrates you, making your symptoms seem worse.

It was shown In a survey that people with hay fever who get a good night’s sleep tend to have the mildest symptoms. Just one in eight (13%) people who had at least seven hours sleep a night reported severe symptoms, compared with one in five (21%) who regularly had five hours sleep or less a night.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

#leighcarterfitness

#privategymkelowna