Personal Trainer Kelowna

Being a Dad

Being  a Dad

Leigh Carter 

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

So on wednesday at 04:54 I officially became a dad to my beautiful daughter Lyra. I realise that this might not seem terribly relevant to personal training but I like to sometimes put other stuff on here that is important to me.

When I was young I was pretty irresponsible, I liked to do whatever I wanted and not much got in my way. Fun was always my main objective, school work, chores, jobs were the very last thing on my mind. At school I didnt feel like working hard was important, I was about a hundred foot tall, had orange hair, spots and a wandering brain. I compensated for this by being the class jester and being generally naughty, something that I was pretty good at. I failed all my exams and continued to invest as much of my time on amusing myself for quite some time after leaving school.

Throughout this process my dad supported me, did not lose his patience with me and continued to believe in me. I will say that at the time we could not have been more different people. I was all about myself and for want of a better word, a bit of an idiot. My dad however continued to not give up on me and supported any movement I made in a more responsible direction. A responsible direction did come, it took a while but eventually it did come. One day after a string of job changes, house moves I started to go to the gym, this was something I had never done before. For the first time I started to feel like I was naturally good at something and enjoyed learning about how to be better at it. After a while I began to realise that maybe this was something that I could turn into a career. Once again I turned to my dad who without question helped me back to college and supported me throughout this process. So here I am many many years later, I have my own gym, my job does not feel like a job because I enjoy doing it and I have my own family that I can support with the money I get from essentially having fun. I often think about how my life got to this point and wether it would have been different if I had tried harder at school or if I had stayed in a few of those crappy jobs a bit longer etc, but the thing what brought me here is not coincidence or my lack of effort for things that I didnt like doing. The thing that brought me here is my dads constant support of what I wanted to do and what made me happy, it took a lot of attempts but eventually I found something that I liked, I was good at and I made a career out of it.

For some time now my family have commented on how much I am turning into my dad, if you had of told me this when I was younger I would have told you were to go, now though I take it as the highest compliment. My dad has always been there for me and without him I would not be were I am today. Now that I am a dad and I have little Lyra to guide, I can only hope to be at least one percent as good as my dad was to me, because if I am even that, Lyra will be just fine.

So dad when you read this please know that I love you and cant thank you enough for getting me to where I am today.

 

 

 

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Healthy Winter Foods

Healthy Winter Foods

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Perhaps while you are waiting for Christmas festivities and food to start you may be able to fit in a few healthy dishes and return to them after the Christmas period. This time of the year is a good time to enjoy foods of fibre, colour and flavour, legumes, cranberries, citrus fruit and winter squash are just a few of the nutrition-packed must-haves for cold winter days.  Your personal trainer can advise you on a healthy nutritional diet that will suit your lifestyle.

Legumes are a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils and are very versatile and nutritious. They are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also contain beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fibre, they are a good source of protein and can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more fat and cholesterol.

Cranberries are often referred to as a Super Food due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content. They are particularly rich in polyphenols, and have a lot of other helpful phytochemicals as well. These chemicals probably explain some of the studies showing the possible health benefits of cranberries that include:

Lowered risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function, decreased blood pressure.

Prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections (they are antibacterial and also keep bacteria from “sticking” to the inside of the bladder and ureters)

Similar effects in the GI tract – help prevent bacteria from causing food-borne illness

Similar effects in the mouth – may help prevent tooth decay by discouraging bacteria and preventing them from “sticking”

Prevention of the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which may help prevent atherosclerosis and improves blood vessel function in people with atherosclerosis

Some studies show that cranberries can either raise HDL cholesterol or lower LDL cholesterol.

And half a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories!

Citrus fruits include oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits, in addition to tangerines and pomelos. Not only are the citrus fruits in this diverse group delicious and refreshing, they earn their definition of an all-star food because they contain compounds called flavonoids, which may have anticancer properties. Citrus flavonoids are also antioxidants that can neutralise free radicals and may protect against heart disease. Studies show that citrus flavonoids may improve blood flow through coronary arteries, reduce the ability of arteries to form blood clots and prevent the oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which is an initial step in the formation of artery plaques.

Citrus fruits are also high in vitamin C, and are good sources of folate and thiamin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from damaging free radicals. It is also required for the synthesis of collagen, which helps wounds heal and helps hold blood vessels, tendons, ligaments and bone together. Folate is necessary for cell division and DNA synthesis. Thiamin is a B vitamin important in metabolism.

Oranges for instance are loaded with vitamin C, one orange offers up more than 100% of your daily requirement of power-packed vitamin C, as well as other disease fighting nutrients, they have folate, a B vitamin that may help to keep your heart healthy, as well as fibre and potassium.

Squash comes in a wide array of colours and sizes. Winter varieties of squash tend to be more nutrient-dense. They generally contain much more beta-carotene and more of several B vitamins than summer squash. Butternut squash’s beta-carotene content even rivals that of mangoes and cantaloupe. And that’s a boon in the fight against cancer, heart disease, and cataracts. Beta-carotene may also play a role in reducing lung inflammation and emphysema. Winter squash also contain beneficial amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and fibre.

One of the main reasons why red cabbage is such a popular vegetable addition to meals is the wealth of phytochemicals, antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Some of these essential components include thiamin, riboflavin, folate, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, and potassium, as well as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, dietary fibre, and the B vitamins. It’s antioxidants like anthocyanins and indoles are extremely valuable for human health.

The health benefits of red cabbage are said to include:

  • Prevention of premature ageing
  • Reducing the chances of cancer
  • Improving the health of the skin and eyes
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Helps to build stronger bones
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Prevents diabetes
  • Improves heart health
  • Slows down the onset of Alzheimer’s
  • And treats ulcers

Kale is being called a nutritional powerhouse whilst being low in calorie, high in fibre and has zero fat and also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below:

High in iron which is essential for good health, such as the formation of haemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more

High in Vitamin K which can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease

Contains powerful antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers

It is a great anti-inflammatory food containing omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders

It is high in Vitamin A which is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers

It is high in Vitamin C which is helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration

It is high in calcium per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility

It is a great detox food as its fibre and sulphur are both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy

Carrots are loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene, a compound that converts to vitamin A in the body and Vitamin A is essential for a strong immune system and healthy eyes, skin, and mucus membranes. These orange veggies are also loaded with vitamin C and lutein, which are all antioxidants. Some studies have shown that eating carrots can reduce risk of cancer and even prevent cardiovascular disease.

Lastly after all this talk of veggies and fruit, don’t forget the turkey. This is a great winter food, it’s lean, a great source of protein, and from a calorie standpoint, it’s remarkably low. So turkey soup, a turkey sandwich on a hearty whole-grain bread, as well as turkey on its own, is always a treat on a cold winter day.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

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Personal Trainer Kelowna

Eating all the Christmas Food

Eating all the Christmas Food

Leigh Carter 

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training 

 

Fairly soon all the christmas foods are going to start dancing for me and tempting me to eat them. To be honest some have already creeped there way into the house in the form of mulled wine and warm festive cider. At this time of year it is inevitable for some people that there exercise routines will slack a little and there weight to rise a due to all the parties and indulgent foods. You probably think I am now going to go on about moderation and how you can make low fat low sugar versions of some of your favourite dishes, well I’m not, quite frankly I fully endorse diving into christmas and enjoying all it has to offer. Yes this does mean you will put on weight, yes this does mean that when christmas is over you will have some extra fitness work on your hands, but why not just enjoy it for what it is, this is once a year and for whatever christmas means to you, punishing yourself for bad food choices or drinking a little to much is pointless. Part of your health and fitness journey is to understand what food does to you and to be responsible for your actions. So how about this, as christmas approaches, ramp up your cardio a little, make an extra effort in the gym to beat a few of your personal best lifts, go for a few extra walks with the dog a week, cut out some of your unnescasary carbs from a few of your meals. Make sure you keep up the exercise throughout christmas and then when it is all over, don’t stress about what the scales say just clean your diet back up and start to set yourself some new fitness goals for the year. Part of being in control of your weight and fitness is to be able to eat for function and to eat for pleasure but not letting either of them affect the other.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

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Personal Trainer Kelowna

Winter Fitness Kelowna

Winter Fitness Kelowna

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

As the temperature drops and the mornings are darker, it gets harder to work up enthusiasm to get out of bed and certainly for any kind of exercise. It’s quite natural that your sleep and waking cycles become disrupted as the days get shorter this leading to fatigue. Less sunlight means that your brain produces more of a hormone called melatonin, which makes you sleepy.

So you need to boost your vitality during the winter months, even opening your blinds or curtains as soon as you get up to let more sunlight into your home can help. Try to get outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, even a brief lunchtime walk can be beneficial. Make your work and home environment as light and airy as possible.

We need good night’s sleep and although it’s tempting to go into hibernation mode, you should not snooze for longer as this can make you feel even more sluggish during the day. We don’t need any more sleep in winter than in summer.

Once the sunny days are over and the cold days upon us there’s a temptation to forget the salads and fill up on starchy foods such as pasta, potatoes and bread. You’ll have more energy if you include plenty of fruit and vegetables and try to avoid foods containing lots of sugar – it gives you a rush of energy but one that wears off quickly.

Even though exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing on dark winter evenings, it’s probably the most important thing you can do to make you feel more energetic, get involved in some kind of physical activity every day, exercise in the late afternoon may help to reduce early evening fatigue, and also improve your sleep.

Research has shown that regular exercise strengthens your immune system so it can fight off bacterial and viral infections. When you exercise and get your blood pumping, immune cells circulate through your body more quickly helping them seek and destroy infections, but this boost only lasts for a few hours, so exercise needs to be regular for long-term effects. Your personal trainer can advise you on a programme that will suit your needs along with some nutritional advice to get you through the winter months.

Stress has been shown to make you feel fatigued. If you feel under pressure for any reason, you may find it helpful to do some kind of exercise. Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol and also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. Endorphins are responsible for the “runner’s high” and for the feelings of relaxation and optimism that accompany many hard workouts.

And whether we like it or not the festive season will soon be with us and we will probably spend a month eating, drinking and generally making merry. We need to get in top shape by then if we’re going to survive it, so start now, jump out of that bed and get exercising.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Training Kelowna today for your free consultation

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Personal Trainer Kelowna

Should I punish myself for failing on my diet

Should I punish myself for failing on my diet

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

 

Let’s start with the title of the blog ” Should I punish myself for failing on my diet”. There are 3 words in this that I am not very fond of, “Punish” “Failing” “Diet”.

When starting out on correcting the way you eat there is no failing, there simply is observing and monitoring the good and bad results offered from eating the wrong and right foods. This process can sometimes take a while, its an educational process and a very important one. I ask all my clients to closely monitor what they are eating, weigh themself daily and I closely monitor their performance within my gym. I suggest good foods and offer simple explanations of why and what good the foods do for them. The daily weigh in offers the client a reflection of their efforts good and bad.

After a while it always goes the same way, clients begin to learn the exact correlation between what they are eating and what is happening to their body as a result. This process allows them to be accountable and to make decisions based on facts, saying that you failed is no longer a possibility as the outcome of the cake was already known, it was their choice that they ate it and hopefully they enjoyed it. The fact here is that they understood what was going to happen and chose to be happy with the outcome, they also understand that maybe this week their weight loss might not happen or that they are going to need to do a certain amount of extra work to delete said cake.

Knowing all the facts is important, punishing yourself is not something that needs to happen and thinking that you are on a diet is setting yourself up to fail. Eating correctly, understanding the outcomes of your decisions and working in the gym with a purpose will get you results and make you happy with all the decisions you make.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

#leighcarterfitness

#personaltrainerkelowna

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