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

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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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Bones and Exercise

 Bones and Exercise

Leigh Carter

Personal Training Kelowna

Private Gym

 

Bones are quite literally the support system of the body, so it’s important to keep them strong and healthy. Bones are continuously being broken down and rebuilt in tiny amounts. Before about age 30, when bones typically reach peak bone mass (which varies from person to person), the body is creating new bone faster, but after age 30, the bone building balance naturally shifts and more bone is lost than gained. You won’t feel your bones getting weaker but once it happens a minor bump or fall can leave you with a fracture or long term pain and disability.

So it’s never too early to start, the more you build them up the more you’ve got when you’re older. The latest research shows that to strengthen our bones we need to be doing the right kind of weight bearing exercises and seriously looking at our diet.

  • Weight bearing exercises include activities that make you move against gravity while staying upright. They can be high-impact or low-impact. High-impact weight-bearing exercises help build bones and keep them strong – Brisk walking, dancing high impact aerobics, stair climbing and tennis all put stress on your bones which is what you need to strengthen them.
  • Low-impact weight-bearing exercises can also help keep bones strong and are a safe alternative if you cannot do high-impact exercises – using elliptical training machines, low-impact aerobics, stair-step machines, fast walking on a treadmill or outside are all examples.
  • Resistance exercises include activities where you move your body, a weight or some other resistance against gravity – lifting weights, using stretch bands or the weight of your own body (as you do in push-ups) are all good as they apply stress to the bones.
  • Non-impact exercises can help you to improve balance, posture and how well you move in everyday activities. These exercises can also help to increase muscle strength and decrease the risk of falls and broken bones – balance exercises that strengthen your legs and test your balance
    Posture exercises that improve your posture and reduce rounded or “sloping” shoulders can help you decrease the chance of breaking a bone, especially in the spine.

Diet is an important factor too. Calcium, whilst being important, needs vitamin D to use it effectively. As we know sunshine is the best source of vitamin D. Studies have shown that half of us are low in vitamin D and one in six is deficient during the Winter and Spring when most of us don’t get enough sunshine. You need to build up your supplies during the summer, aim for two 10-minute sun breaks a day between May and September, without sunscreen, to allow skin to soak up the sun and strengthen bones naturally. Your body makes vitamin D from the action of UVB rays in sunlight on your skin.

A diet that is rich in vitamin D is therefore one we should aim for – oily fish, eggs, fortified cereal, vegans can find vitamin D in fortified plant milks, such as soy, hemp, rice, oat and almond.

As well as dairy products and fish with bones, beans and greens vegetables are also good sources of calcium. Vegetables such as spinach, Swiss chard, watercress, parsley and beets contain calcium but also oxalic acid, which blocks the uptake of calcium to the bones. Therefore try having broccoli, spring greens and kale instead. And it’s always best to try to get your calcium from food rather than supplements.

The University of Surrey recently found potassium to play an important a part in bone health, by reducing the excretion of calcium and slowing bone breakdown. Good sources of potassium include: potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, tomato sauce (without added salt or sugar), orange juice, tuna (fresh, frozen or tinned, but avoid tuna packed in brine), yoghurt and fat-free milk.

Other factors that will help are –

  • Keeping an eye on your weight but think slim but not skinny,
  • Reduce the salt in your diet which can lead to calcium loss from the bones
  • Too much alcohol interferes with the absorption of calcium and vitamin D
  • Stop smoking, studies have shown a direct link between smoking and decreased bone density

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Training Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

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Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect

Leigh Carter 

Personal Training Kelowna

Private Fitness Studio 

 

I am writing this today firstly so that you are all informed as to my decision and also so I am officially accountable for my actions. As you may or may not no, my wife and I recently made the decision that in January of next year we will not be eating any processed foods of any kind or drinking alcohol for one year. On the face of it that sounds simple right ? well just start to think about that and try to comprehend what it entails. The menu can only be fresh veggies and lean meats, no sugars, no flavourings, no pre made cooking sauces, nothing that has not been prepared by our hands out of the whole ingredient, no cheat meals at all.The not drinking alcohol is something I don’t really want to talk about, the thought of a friday without a few beers or a social event sipping on water makes me question my sanity for thinking up this idea in the first place, but to see if the grass is in fact greener on the other side it needs to go and we will soon have our answers. I will be documenting every single minute detail of the whole process and blogging daily about the experience good and bad. When this is all done we hope to have enough amusing and informational content for perhaps a book. If you want to read my devious blogs on this subject and what the rules are please click on the below links.

HOW THE IDEA CAME ABOUT

THE RULES OF PLAY 

HOW WE WILL START THIS 

Todays blog is to state that we have now decided to have a practice month, this will be in the month of November. We want to do this to give us an insight into what we are going to be up against, it will help us in the planning of our food for our year and will also help drop a few pounds pre christmas !!

So look forward in November to me bitching and complaining about how much I would like a beer and about how much time I am spending preparing food, maybe a few of you could join me in this insanity ?

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Training Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

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Personal Trainer Kelowna

Packing on mass

Packing on mass

Leigh Carter 

Personal Trainer Kelowna

&

West Kelowna

Above is a picture of what I should probably describe to you as one of the main reasons I am where I am today, these men where who inspired me as a youth to pursue my eventual career as a personal trainer. If it was not for Arnold I probably would not be as happy as I am these days. When I was younger my focus with regards to exercise and fitness was soley based on looking a particular way and as a result my training and diet was simply aimed at lean muscle. My gym hours were spent bodybuilding, and all other times I was focused on how much I was eating, how much protein I was consuming and searching for the gym routine that would get me that extra mass that I so desperately needed. These days my routines are far from what they used to be, now aimed at health, strength, function and my diet is minimal to keep my weight down. I was recently asked by my nephew to look at his friend Connors training routine and his diet as he said he is having a hard time packing on any mass. This is not something I have had to do for a long while as I do not train people in this way anymore and do not follow this training structure. But it does however interest me as I still have the greatest respect for the bodybuilding culture and now looking back to my earlier years am wondering what I would do differently if I could go back with my current knowledge.

So here goes.

When you are young and lean it seems like muscle comes slow and your weight never seems to go up, you eat tons of food and spend hours in the gym doing routines you recently pulled off the internet or read in muscle and fitness. The thing is though you never seem to get anywhere fast and it is very annoying.

From looking at Connors routine and his diet and also knowing what he looks like he would fall into the category of what the internet likes to call the HARDGAINER, this basically means he is super lean and finds it hard to put on even a few pounds. His routine is typical for someone that is totally committed to the goal of mass and that was one of the mistakes if I could go back I would correct, he is quite simply doing to much of everything and not enough of the stuff that counts. Spending hours in the gym doing hundreds of sets per body part might work for some older  people but when your young it just aids to the calorie depletion and the muscles are just getting broken down far to quickly for them to rebuild and grow. Less is more is very important here, my suggestion might seem far to simple and if you would have told me this when I first started training I would have listened, nodded, smiled and gone straight back into the gym and done my usual 2 hours a day of breaking to much muscle down.

So my suggestion to him and my earlier self would have been this, concentrate first and foremost on getting your technique PERFECT on the exercises that actually count

  • Squats (Overhead, front, back)
  • Deadlifts
  • Standing Military press
  • Dips
  • Pullups
  • Olympic lifts (Cleans, Snatches etc)
  • Bench press

When I say PERFECT TECHNIQUE I mean perfect, setting yourself up In your earlier years will pay you back in years to come, seriously if you can’t do these movements like a pro then keep practising, pay a trainer use less weight and when you have perfected them you will be able to EFFICIENTLY start piling the weight to that bar and working the correct areas of your body and not messing yourself up or being restricted by you shit technique.

So when stage one is over and you are the master of the basics you will probably notice that you have started to grow a bit, and that will continue now give that you can actually start to progressively lift heavier.

lifting heavier is key here, you might think that thousands of sets is going to eventually make you look like a monster but when you are young and lean its simply wasting your time. So sort out your lifts, then progressively with some form of structure start to focus on getting stronger on all of them, this means making sure that every week something is going up. Along side this you need to be eating enough whole food to raise you weigh slowly. This probably means eating more food than you could possibly imagine but unless you are not putting in weight you are not eating enough.

Cardio at this point needs to be regular but only focused on performance and not take up much of your week, interval training is the best so lots of sprints, intervals on the rower will keep your cardiovascular system healthy and will help with your lifting.

When it comes to all the little exercises that you think are making the outer head of your bicep more pronounced etc, you need to leave them alone until you have created some solid mass. If you aim to double all of your lifts within one year guess what ? if you manage this you will be MUCH MUCH BIGGER, if you aim to spend hours and hours in the gym doing different variations on a bicep curl guess what ? in a year you are gonna look pretty much the same maybe a little leaner.

So here are my basic rules

  • EAT ALOT AND CLEAN (SERIOUSLY EAT ALOT, LOOK TO GAIN A POUND A WEEK)
  • PRACTICE TECHNIQUE
  • FOCUS ON STRENGTH PROGRESSION
  • HAVE CLEAR STRENGTH GOALS (TARGET THE ALMOST UNACHIEVABLE)
  • STOP DICKING AROUND DOING LITTLE EXERCISES
  • WHEN YOUR HAPPY WITH YOUR MASS MAYBE THEN START DOING A FEW LITTLE EXERCISES
  • INTERVAL TRAINING FOR HEALTH

 

Monitor everything, this enables you to be the judge of how your diet looks and your training looks because that article on the internet was probably written by some dude on steroids that has no problems putting on size. So monitor your food and if your not putting in weight adjust it by 500 calories and then give it a week and see where your at, eat clean foods and don’t worry to much about the exact protein just make sure that every meal has some meat or fish and some simple carbs along with a ton of veg and amp up your calories with good fats from nuts and seeds, leave the protein shakes for when you really can’t get a good solid meal,  with regards your training it would take me to long to write out exactly how you should structure it but quite simply get your technique perfect then lift heavy weights at low reps making sure every week your weights or reps increase a little. As soon as you can rep a weight for more than 6 reps increase the weight. With legs still keep a few exercises in there with high reps (15) they seem to respond well to high reps but don’t forget your heavy low rep squats and deadlifts as they will stimulate a ton of growth.

And thats it really just progress your strength and eat everything.

And as for my nephew James and my adopted nephew Connor you have both got a job In my gym when your ready. 

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna & West Kelowna for your free consultation

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