Kelowna Personal Training

Building Bones

Building Bones

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Exercise is vital at every age for healthy bones, it not only improves your bone health, it also increases muscle strength, coordination, and balance, and it leads to better overall health. Like muscle, bone is living tissue that reacts to increases in loads and forces put upon it by growing stronger. It does this all the time but any increase in ‘loading’ above normal levels has the best chance of increasing bone strength.

For most people, bone mass peaks during their thirties and after that time, we can begin to lose bone, so all the more reason to keep exercising. Exercising allows us to maintain muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which in turn helps to prevent falls and related fractures. This is especially important for older adults and people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

By taking enough exercise you will not only feel good and reduce your risk of osteoporosis and fractures but exercise will also benefit your heart and reduce your risk of many other conditions such as cancer. Exercise helps with many types of pain and stiffness, and specific exercises can also help with the pain and problems caused by fragility fractures.

One of the challenges is knowing what exercises are the best ones for you, your personal trainer can put together a program that will suit you and also give some advice on diet with food to improve bone health in mind.

There are various types of exercise which will benefit your bones:

Weight-bearing which forces you to work against gravity including walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis, and dancing.

Resistance training, which can be done by machine based exercises, or by using free weights to exercise

High impact exercises, skipping, jogging, jumping and ball games such as basketball and netball

Balance training which involves doing exercises that strengthen the muscles that help keep you upright, including your legs and core. These kinds of exercises can improve stability and help prevent falls.

It is good to vary your exercises and to make them progressively harder. Also short high intensity exercises rather than long, slower, lower impact exercises are good for bone strength.

Swimming and cycling are non weight bearing exercises which do help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits but they are not the best way to exercise your bones.

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Training today for your free consultation

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Exercise and Stress

Exercise and Stress

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

We’ve all been there, when start to get a little crazy at work, you start to go a little crazy in life, your body starts reacting muscles may be tense, especially in your face, neck, and shoulders, leaving you with back or neck pain, or painful headaches. You may feel a tightness in your chest, a pounding pulse, or muscle cramps, even have trouble sleeping. Then you could start a cycle of worrying about these physical symptoms and that leading to more stress.

Exercise is an effective way to break this cycle, as well as releasing endorphins in the brain, physical activity helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body. Since the body and mind are so closely linked, when your body feels better so will your mind and you will often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s stresses after your workout in the gym. By lowering your stress levels you will begin to have a sense of command over your body and your life.

With regular exercise you will begin to lose your daily tensions, the repetitive motions involved in exercise promote a focus on your body, rather than your mind. By concentrating on the rhythm of your movements, you experience many of the same benefits of meditation while working out, by focussing on a single physical task you can produce a sense of energy and optimism and may find you are more able to focus on the tasks in hand, thinking clearly and calmly. Regular exercise can increase your self confidence, as it relaxes you it can lower the symptoms associated with anxiety and stress. Also can improve your sleep which suffers if you are stressed.

All types of exercise can increase your fitness and decrease your stress, but it is important to choose an activity that you enjoy rather than dread, otherwise you will defeat the object if you are stressing over doing a 5k run if you’d rather be swimming a few lengths in the pool. Try a variety of activities until you find some you enjoy and you’ll be more likely to stick with your workout routine. Get together with your personal trainer and come up with an exercise regime to suit your lifestyle and your needs and will build up your fitness levels gradually.

Don’t forget apart from being a good stress buster, exercise also has these added health benefits

• strengthens your heart
• increases energy levels
• lowers blood pressure
• improves muscle tone and strength
• strengthens and builds bones
• helps reduce body fat
• makes you look fit and feel healthy

Schedule your exercise in and make it part of your daily/weekly agenda.

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

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Leigh Carter Personal Trainer

Healthy Foods that Satisfy

Healthy Foods That Satisfy

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Most people who have tried to lose weight through dieting usually agree that the constant hunger feelings they experience are often the thing that stops them from reaching their goal. This is why most diets don’t work long term. Although we experience hunger when we don’t consume enough calories the type of food we eat can have an impact on the satisfaction we feel after eating. The feeling of fullness we feel after eating a meal and internal factors such as our fat stores, then determines the time before we feel the need to eat again, thus controlling the amount of food we eat.

When our food is digested and the nutrients are absorbed, a series of signals are sent to the hunger/fullness centres of our brain, hormones are then released in response to the nutrients as they enter the bloodstream, which trigger our bodies to recognise that we are full and usually the process takes about 15-20 minutes. Eating too fast therefore encourages over eating, as you may not recognise how full you are until you’ve eaten too much.

The type of food we eat is very important. There are different types of food to enhance the feeling of fullness and therefore reduce food intake and help with weight control and healthy eating management.

Food types such as vegetables and fruit and foods with a high water content such as soups and stews are low calorie foods allowing you to eat more of them without consuming too many calories. Chunky bean soups are a good lunch option as they are also high in protein, fibre and resistant starch, a ‘slow release’ carb that keeps blood sugar levels steady.

A fibre-rich diet is thought to enhance the fullness feeling and help with weight management as it contains foods that have a low energy density, such as fruit and vegetables, which when eaten in the same quantities as high energy dense foods are equally as filling, but provide less calories. For instance an apple which is rich in fibre, and combined with a tablespoon of protein-packed peanut butter or a handful of almonds is a great snack, slowly releasing its energy and to keep you full for longer.

Studies have shown that foods high in protein seem to keep us fuller than foods high in carbohydrates or fat.  High protein foods include lean meat, fish, eggs, pulses, nuts, yoghurt and tofu. The simple egg is an excellent source of high-quality protein, a large egg contains around 6 grams of protein and includes all 9 essential amino acids. Making this an easy option for breakfast or lunch, no end to its versatility.

Greek yoghurt is a good source of protein, in fact it contains double the protein content of regular yoghurt and half the sugar and is great option either at breakfast or as a snack to manage appetite levels. Topped with fresh fruit and oats for added fibre and nutrients.

Carbohydrate choices such as wholegrain bread and pasta and oats gradually release their energy and keep us feeling fuller for longer unlike the white bread and pasta options which are quickly digested and absorbed by the blood.

Fat is also filling, but is also very energy dense and excessive consumption can lead to weight gain plus a diet high in saturated fats can negatively affect heart health. The best foods to choose are those high in heart healthy fats such as nuts (also high in protein) and avocado or drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil on a salad.

If you are trying to lose weight try to eat mindfully, thinking about what you are putting into your body and take your time to enjoy it, try to include a small amount of protein at each meal, plenty of vegetables and fruit, avoid sugar and processed foods, do not deny yourself everything or you will crave everything bad and your diet won’t last long, eat healthily. If you have a bad day, get over it and start afresh the next day, don’t make it a bad week. Talk to your personal trainer who can advise you on the best kind of eating regime to suit your body and lifestyle.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna

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Kelowna Personal Training

Healthy New Year

Healthy New Year

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Recent surveys have shown that fewer than half of us now make a New Year’s resolution to get healthy by following a strict diet. It seems most people now have decided that eating a more sensible diet every day and ignore those short term fad diets.

Well this certainly is the most sensible approach, those diets rarely have the desired long term results. Apparently it takes 21 days to introduce a habit, so following a diet for a very short time is never going to be a success. It is far better to make small gradual changes to your diet that you are likely to stick with.

The answer is not always totally cutting things out of your diet, but looking at what changes you could make to make everything more healthy, making the portion sizes smaller, or maybe having some things as a treat to yourself instead of an everyday option.

A positive approach to healthy eating is all about looking at simple ways to increase the nutritional potential of your everyday diet. Simply sprinkling some berries and nuts over your morning porridge can increase the vitamin and mineral content. Vitamin C from the berries, potassium, iron and magnesium just some of the minerals from some nuts.

By choosing a wide variety of foods, a rainbow of fruit and vegetables, lean meat, fish, grains and pulses, whole foods for some fibre, you will not only be giving your body the nutrition it needs but also you won’t get bored eating the same things all the time.

To sustain a healthy diet you need to bring back the joy into eating. Mealtimes should be relaxing and enjoyable. If you focus on what you are eating, savouring every mouthful and thinking about the flavours, appreciating every bite, you will feel more satisfied at the end of each meal. Rushing around grabbing a bite where you can, unconscious grazing that many of us do daily, will just add stress to our already hectic lives. Slowing down is one of the best ways you can get your mind and body to communicate what you really need for nutrition, we often eat long after we are full. By slowing down we can give our body a chance to catch up to our brain and hear the signals to eat the right amount. Also by removing distractions like mobiles and TV we can concentrate on our food.

Make sure you are really hungry and not dehydrated. Hunger is often confused the need for a drink. Try a glass of water when you feel hungry and see how you feel.

And to compliment your healthy eating regime, why not think about improving your exercise. Just like your healthy eating, getting fit is about small steps and adding a little more each week. Again small changes and realistic goals that you are going to stick to are the only way to success. Your personal trainer can tailor a fitness program that will be realistic and sustainable, leading to a fitter you for 2018.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

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Healthy Christmas

Healthy Christmas

Healthy Christmas

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Is there any such thing as a healthy Christmas? Did you know the average person can consume a large 6000 calories on Christmas Day! Enough calories to last an average woman three days. This is not the end of it – there will be the Christmas parties, drinks and nibbles with friends, and all those left overs. It is a difficult time to stick to our usual healthy eating habits and exercise regimens. We need to enjoy ourselves but also not make it too difficult for ourselves in the New Year with a big weight gain and lethargic bodies to deal with.

If you’re going to a party straight after work, don’t skip lunch for fear of overdoing your daily calorie intake, you will be so hungry and probably make bad food decisions. By eating a light lunch and then shortly before you go have a snack such as a yogurt or a couple of pieces of fresh fruit and a handful of nuts, this should take the edge off your hunger. Faced with a buffet, resist the temptation to start filling your plate at one end of the table and continuing to add to it until you reach the other. Portion control at a buffet can be difficult for even the most determined healthy eater, so before you pick up a plate, pause to look at all that’s on offer, decide on perhaps three things you’re going to enjoy most and then help yourself to just these. Once you’ve selected your food from the buffet, step away. When food is within easy reach we’re prone to graze mindlessly, and try to avoid too many crisps and salted nuts, they’re loaded in calories and salty too which will make you drink more.

Many festive favourites are loaded with calories, fat and sugar (mince pies, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, big tins of chocolates), but there are plenty of healthier seasonal options to enjoy, Brussel sprouts, dried dates, chestnuts, cranberries, salmon, satsumas, almonds, Brazil nuts, pomegranates and fresh figs are all more healthy seasonal treats. So try to go easy on the fat laden, sugary treats and nibble on the healthy ones. Avoid overloading on starchy carbs by replacing some roast potatoes with parsnips, celeriac or sweet potatoes.

Dinner with family and friends often means we spend longer sitting around the table and the longer we linger, the more likely we are to keep eating even if we’ve had enough. So clear the table when everyone has finished eating and move into another room to continue the conversation this way you won’t be tempted to overeat. Also listen to your body and give it a chance to feel hungry before you eat and it’s good to make sure you really savour the indulgent things and eat them slowly and mindfully.

So try to pace yourself, it’s so easy to cram in too much then wonder why you’re so worn out.  Burning the candle at both ends also affects your waistline, as too little sleep causes leptin levels to drop and trigger hunger, while levels of ghrelin increase telling the brain we need to eat.

Try keeping some healthier snacks to hand in your bag when rushing around doing the Christmas shopping, this means you won’t succumb to those fat-laden coffee shop options when you need a mid-shop energy boost, some fresh fruit, or small bag of nuts and seeds will keep your energy levels up.

Don’t forget alcohol is packed with empty calories, and research shows alcohol not only increases our appetite but can weaken our willpower, meaning we’re even more likely to overindulge on festive nibbles. By adding ice to alcoholic drinks you will dilute them, choosing lower-alcohol drinks such as spritzers and punch will cut the calorie count.

Exercise will help you to maintain your weight during this time, so instead of sitting in front of the TV go for a walk with the family, hit the golfing range with friends, go for a swim or if it snows build a snowman, and don’t forget your personal trainer is on hand to help you get through this season of excess.

Remember everything in moderation and have a very Merry Christmas.

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

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