Kelowna Personal Training

Small Changes for fitness

Small Changes For Fitness

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

How about making some small changes to your life that could make some big differences to your health and well being. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make a difference.

Walking, power-walking or even jogging to work can make a big difference to your overall health and wellbeing. Walking at a leisurely pace for an hour can burn around 250 calories on average. When you’re carrying shopping bags, try to keep the weight even in each hand, your back straight, shoulders back and chest up for the best results. Try walking back home, or parking the car further away to ensure you get the most out of the mini workout. When you jog in cold weather, your body works hard to regulate its core temperature, meaning you use up more calories. Avoid the treadmill and head outdoors, wearing an extra layer instead.

Certain workouts and stretches are easy to do at your desk and can be done without your colleagues even noticing. So if you’re inactive for most of the day do try to have some kind of desk workout. Your personal trainer can help your with the best kind of workout for you.

Taking a lunch break will help you to unwind during work and reduces stress levels, boosting your productivity in the afternoon, and making it easier to sleep at night. If you’re able to get out into the fresh air and have a short walk, it will make all the difference. Just taking yourself away from your workstation for a short while will improve your state of mind.

Stretching improves blood circulation, increases your flexibility, improves your posture, reduces and prevents lower back pain, and can relieve stress. A simple five-minute routine every morning will wake your muscles up and prepare you for the day.

Instead of sitting through a five-minute commercial break on the TV, flicking through the channels, why not exercise through them. Try a quick high intensity circuit around your living room, which could include jump squats, crunches, leg raises, and step ups. Spend 30 seconds doing each circuit, with a 10 second rest in between, and you’ll be done by the time the commercials are done.

Cleaning and tidying has been proven to relieve stress as it acts as a form of meditation. It can also be a form of exercise, depending on what you’re doing and for how long.

Remember when you work out, you burn fat and gain muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat, which the scales do not show, so use your clothes as a guide instead, if they feel looser then you know you’ve made a difference, keep on working out.

Breakfast should be the largest meal to get your metabolism going and fuel you for the day, followed by a light, medium-sized lunch to keep you energised until evening, then a small dinner in the evening to just fill you with enough calories until bedtime.

Did you know it takes your brain around 20 minutes to register that your body is full? So give yourself time to enjoy the food and notice when you’re full. A number of studies have even found that you can lose weight just by eating slowly.

Small changes to your diet can make a big difference to your health and fitness. For example, try swapping mince beef for mince turkey to make a saving of roughly 125 calories per 100g, and maybe changing your plate size to a slightly smaller one, so that your portions are smaller.

Start writing out everything you’ve eaten and how much you exercise during the day. If you’ve skipped a day of exercise or binged on unhealthy snacks, writing it out can motivate you to stay on course and stop you from slipping back into old routines.

Save money and calories by making your snacks from scratch. Soup, crisps, bread and hummus can all be made at home using leftovers or store cupboard ingredients, you will know exactly what goes into your food. Homemade baked crisps using leftover vegetables like beetroot, turnips, or kale are far healthier than fried potato crisps. Adding nutritious grains, beans or pulses to stews, casseroles or soups will bulk them out giving you additional portions for lunches or dinner. It’ll keep you fuller for longer, too.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be bland – in fact, adding spices to your meals can aid in weight loss. Hot peppers contain capsaicin, which has been found to boost metabolism and curb cravings. If you can’t handle too much spice, you can use milder spices like turmeric, ginger and cinnamon, which also have health benefits.

Sugar is what what nutritionists call ‘empty calories’ – they contain no value or benefits. If you cut out one sugary drink a day, it could save 51,100 calories per year, which is the equivalent to losing almost 7 kilos in a year. Try replacing your sugary drink with hot water and a squeeze of lemon for a much healthier and cleansing alternative.

Fresh fruit juices and smoothies are delicious, but try not to drink your way to a full stomach. Chewing satisfies your stomach and allows you to get all the nutrients and fibres your juicer may have juiced out.

Prepare all your meals for the week on a Sunday evening, and divide them up into containers for each day of the working week. This way you will have a ready prepared lunch everyday, and you will have control of the food you are eating, you’ll probably be saving some money too.

 

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

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

Once a fatty always a fatty

Once a fatty always a fatty

Leigh Carter 

Personal Trainer Kelowna

&

West Kelowna

 

Inside me lives a little fat person, when it gets to friday he wakes up and quietly whispers in my ear that I should feed him junk food. He would very much like it if he could grow fat again and live in the real world. Most of the time he is able to give a very good reason of why I should feed him and more than I would like his sales pitch works.

When it came to losing weight and getting into shape all those years ago I guess I thought that when I had finally lost it all and become the fit, muscular person that I aspired to be, my problems with over eating and over drinking would be a thing of the past. Sadly this is not a fact, I have however over the last 17 years figured out how to control these urges and how to stay in shape, but that little fat person has never gone away. I couldn’t possibly write every way that I win these little battles as there is easily a million, but they serve me very well in my chosen profession as the people I deal with are all going through similar things and I can always offer a solution to a food/drink based problem.

To summarize I would advise to simply stick with little battles, don’t worry about how much weight you have got to lose overall or how your going to avoid eating and drinking food at that party, just deal with the smallest goal at hand, aim to move forward with your weight loss in whatever amount your capable at that point in time, wether that be just not putting on weight for the week or losing the minimum of one pound, or even putting weight on and understanding what it was that you got wrong and therefore avoiding that situation in the future.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Training Kelowna & West Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

 

Kelowna Personal Trainer

Sleep and Exercise

Sleep and Exercise

Kelowna Personal Training

Leigh Carter 

 

I went to the gym today, warmed up and set up the bench for some incline chest press. First set light, second set a little heavier and third set at full load. I have been lifting weights for a long time so am very much aware of what I can lift in any particular exercise. My first set at full load I failed early, second set was ok, third set I increased the weight and attempted my usual 8 reps, sadly I failed again. My whole session today was pretty much a fail, although each of my exercises was done with correct technique and done to failure, everything had to be done at a lighter weight than normal. When I got home I grabbed on of my prepared dishes from the fridge and ate it, I had green beans, chicken breast and a little home made humus. Immediately afterwards I started to crave something sweet. I then went to write my daily blog and stared at the screen for ages trying to think of a subject to write about, usually I already have something in my head and can get this done in no time at all but today was not working out to great.

Sleep and exercise

The problem here is simple and one that many people find impossible to solve. Over the last few days I have not had as much sleep as I would normally do and as a result my performance is dramatically down, my brain doesn’t seem to be running at full speed and my recovery from training has slowed considerably. Luckily for me this is not a common occurrence anymore as I realize how important sleep is to all of my health, fitness, strength and performance goals. I am very aware that if I do not get my regular sleep I gain weight and lose muscle along with general fatigue and increased days of sickness. Lack of sleep means that your body has not had the correct amount of time to fix itself from all the hard training and all the stress of the day. This lack of sleep means your body is stressed and will start to release more cortisol, this hormone does its best to make you store more fat and lose all that valuable muscle you have been building with those enormous workouts. Feeling tired also tricks you into thinking you need more sugar and usually you will eat it thinking it will help, but guess what? its just gonna turn to fat. In the gym the lack of sleep is evident in your performance and if you are not pushing yourself hard enough you will not progress with your goals and no sleep means no recovery. I understand that there is sometimes no way that you can schedule more than a few hours sleep in but you must understand that this can not be just how it is, so plan a little in advance and make sure that you can get your quota in. If your having a week that you simply can’t get to your bed early then tailor your workouts to suit that by doing less, make sure your eating regularly so that you avoid hunger and overeating of bad things. Turn the television off, stop drinking during the week and respect the hours that your unconscious, as without them you will fail. Sleep and exercise work together, without one the other does not work so well.

As a personal trainer it is my job to help people find ways to combine their lifestyle with their health and fitness goals. I don’t just tell people to do some squats or run to the end of the sports field, I help them manage their time, diet, sleep and anything else that could get in the way of having a healthy, strong and functional body for life.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Training Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

 

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Strength training as you age

Strength training as you age

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

 

Its tempting for me to write this article and fill it with tons of scientific facts and studys. But I am not going to because I want my message to be as simple as possible.

Imagine 2 men both standing half way up a mountain, they both decide that they love being up this mountain so they decide that they are going to stay up there for as long as possible, however both men are married and their wives will eventually be calling them to come down off the mountain and get on with the job list. The first man is lazy and decides he is just gonna lie down and enjoy the view from half way up, the second man however has a better plan, he decides that he is going to climb to the top. Eventually and at the same time both the men get the call from their wives and are told to stop messing around up the mountain and “come home NOW !” The first man gets up off the floor and slowly makes his way down the mountain and eventually gets to the bottom and meets his wife were he is promptly told off because he has far to many jobs that he should be doing at home, the second man however, along with knowing how beautiful it would be at the top of the mountain also realised that it would take twice as long to get to the bottom once his wife eventually called and was currently still half way up enjoying the view.

While I fully understand that this doesn’t sound like it has much to do with strength training as you age, my point is a very simple one.

If you are at the middle of your life and perhaps to busy to exercise, or you are soon to retire and plan on taking it easy then you must understand that you are without a doubt going to get weaker, more dysfunctional, and generally less healthy. This is a fact and if you look at the people around you who are aging badly, my bet is they are not doing anything to stop it. So heres were the strength training as you age comes in.

The solution

You’re at the middle of your life so you can choose to get stronger, fitter, healthier and more functional by eating properly, not drinking too much and getting the right amount of exercise, this way you’re making an effort to climb to the top of that mountain so when you start to get older your strength and fitness levels are high and its gonna take a hell of alot longer for you to get weaker and for you to come down off that mountain. So enjoy the view for longer, age properly so that you can continue to do all the things that you have always done with your body, age is simply a number when you treat your body right.

Strength and fitness training need not be something that you have to do in a gym and you certainly don’t need to look like a bodybuilder to do it, simple functional movements that your body should naturally be able to do are performed helping your body become stronger and better at what it was designed to do. Hiring a personal trainer to guide you through this is a great way to give the responsibility to someone else so that you can concentrate on the better things in life and enjoying the benefits of your strong, lean and fit body for the rest of your time up the mountain!

At Leigh Carter Personal Training Kelowna we specialize in helping people build better bodies, our fully mobile fitness service brings the gym to you at your home, local park, or anywhere you like. Our services have guaranteed results and are fun.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Training Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future