Bootcamp and Inclusion Workshop – February 3 from 2-4 pm

In your boots fitness is very excited to be working with F.R.E.E. Fitness and QUEERFLEX to bring you a “pay how you feel” bootcamp and Inclusion workshop with all proceeds going to Youth Empowerment and Support Services – YESS.

Did you know that as many as 25-40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ? Your donations will help to support youth of all identities who access the services of YESS!

When: February 3, 2018

2 pm-4pm

Where: Rock Jungle CrossFit Downtown

10528 123 street Edmonton

You might be wondering an inclusion workshop is all about….

Do you think that everyone should feel safe and welcome at the gym? Have you ever seen or heard something happen at the squat rack next to you that wasn’t quite right (and we don’t mean their form) but didn’t know what to do?

This workshop is for anyone that wants to learn what they can do to help create safer space for LGBTQ folks – or anyone who feels typically excluded in the fitness world – in their gym… we all play an important role in this!

In a nutshell – we want to inspire folks to think about some the barriers that individuals from the LGBTQ community face when going to the gym and brainstorm together to come up with ways that they can contribute to making these spaces safer, more inclusive and welcoming.

All you need to bring is your body, a friend, some water, and an open mind!

Aches and pains – something you just have to live with….or not?

As a personal fitness trainer, I constantly see people in the gym that are obviously pushing through pain, wearing braces or tape wrapped around knees, ankles, and wrists. I often overhear people talking about how the pain is just a normal consequence of a lifetime of sports and the good old aging process and that there is nothing that can be done about it. This makes me crazy! 

There is so much that can be done, and if you are in the gym already, why not work towards correcting the problem?!?!?!

But where to start? If you haven’t studied physiology and/or human movement science, you probably don’t have any idea and that’s incredibly frustrating, I’m sure!

In some cases, that fancy tape has been applied by a physiotherapist or other health professional to provide support during activity and the person sporting the tape is also actively involved in a rehab or corrective exercise program. This is the best case scenario but sadly, not the norm. 

Just because you have worked or played hard for years, does not necessarily mean that you have to suffer through aches and pains. The human body is an amazing machine. The intricacies of how the muscles, joints and connective tissues all work together to keep us upright and moving are mindboggling.

It is true that there are some health conditions such as arthritis, that cause irreversible damage to the joints, that are typical to the aging process in a large percentage of people. However, even the symptoms and discomfort associated with those health conditions can be drastically reduced if the body is in balance.

I like to compare the human movement system to the fly (rain cover) on a tent. It sits atop the tent and has many tensioning ropes that come off of the edges, each being pulled down to anchor it to pegs in the ground. Let’s compare this to the knee cap (patella). The knee cap sits on top of the junction of the knee joint where the bones of the upper and lower leg meet. As you can see in the image below, there are many muscles that act or on the knee cap, each attaching from different angles with various lines of pull. 

If any one of those muscles is too tight or weak, it can cause the knee cap to move outside of its normal path which can lead to joint damage, inflammation, swelling, altered movement patterns, and discomfort.

The knee is just one example of the complexity of joint function and the importance of muscular balance in restoring or maintaining proper joint mechanics and movement efficiency. 

The discomfort that accompanies joint or muscular dysfunction isn’t something that you just have to live with! 

***If you are experiencing pain, the first step should always be to make an appointment with a medical doctor, physiotherapist, or other health professional to be assessed and diagnosed. ***

As a corrective exercise specialist, I am trained and certified to administer movement assessments that will help to identify muscle imbalances as well as design customized exercise programs that will help to restore balance and get your body moving with optimal efficiency. I can also design programming based on the recommendations of your doc or therapist that provided the diagnosis. 

****Please do not go out and buy the fancy tapes and braces and follow some YouTube video that claims to know how to alleviate your pain with their taping techniques!****

This should be left to a professional, and furthermore, without actually working to correct the muscular imbalances and improper movement patterns, those braces and tape are simply a bandaid! I am sure that you don’t want to have to keep taping or bracing every time you want to move your body! 

**One final note; it is never too early or too late to address movement problems. I have worked with clients ranging in age from 8-80. **

Who can benefit from corrective exercise training?

In my opinion – EVERYONE! I have yet to meet anyone that has perfect posture and movement efficiency!

Below is a list of examples of things that can be improved or eliminated completely when a well designed corrective exercise program is followed consistently under the supervision of someone that has specialized in this area:

  • Children and adolescents – especially those that are actively involved in sports. More and more kids are overtraining these days in the pursuit of excellence and as a result, the rate of sports related injuries in kids is steadily on the rise.
        • Corrective exercise or “pre-hab” can be used to prevent some of the most common injuries by addressing the elements of fundamental movement that are not covered in the specific training for their sport.
        • Corrective exercise or “re-hab” can be used following a sports related injury to help to strengthen problem areas and decrease the chance of re-injury.
  • Chronic pain – According to results from the 2007/2008 Canadian community health survey, about 1 in 10 Canadians live with Chronic pain, pain lasting more than 3 weeks. And an estimated 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives, and many go on to experience chronic back pain lasting more than 3 weeks.

Some causes of chronic pain where the pain can be reduced or eliminated completely with corrective exercise include but are not limited to:

        • Injury – sports, motor vehicle accidents, sprains, strains, fractures etc.
        • Joint pain typical to the “wearing out” or degeneration of joints in the aging process
        • Muscular and/or joint pain due to poor posture and/or chronic imbalances in the kinetic chain caused by inactivity, habitual movement habits and patterns, and sleeping postures
        • Sciatica
        • Plantar fasciitis
        • Back pain and chronic back pain caused by poor lifting form, poor posture, inactivity, or habitual habits – for example – long periods of sitting at a desk, repetitive movements required at work
        • Joint pain caused by chronic disease such as Osteo and Rheumatoid arthritis (* see note below)
        • Muscular pain due to chronic diseases such as Muscular Dystrophy and Fibromyalgia (*see note below)

* Note – Corrective Exercise can not cure disease, however, when a well designed, customized corrective exercise program is performed consistently under the supervision of a qualified professional, the symptoms and discomfort associated with the disease can be reduced to increase quality of life.

Corrective exercise for the aging population

Corrective exercise can also benefit the aging population! Improving balance, agility, stability, strength, and flexibility can help folks in the aging population to maintain or even regain their independence. Following a well designed, custom exercise program under the supervision of a qualified professional will reduce the risk of falls, and improve quality of life by allowing them to enjoy their retirement without having chronic pain! 

If you would like more information about corrective exercise and how it might help you to improve your athletic performance, ease of movement, and/or quality of life, please don’t hesitate to drop me a Line . It is my passion and brings me such joy when I can prove to someone that they are not destined for a life of pain and movement limitations. 

One stair at a time – Free group training camps in support of the 2017 Great Stair Climb

I have recently decided to organize a team to participate in The great Stair Climb 2017, which is an event that is being organized by The mental Rescue Society in Edmonton to raise money for  the Momentum walk-in counselling center. Momentum, a non profit, walk in agency, offers mental health supports and services to individuals that cannot pay for or wait for help through the health care system.

Having struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my life, and not being able to afford the cost of accessing help, I am so thrilled to learn of an amazing service like Momentum and I am very excited to be able to help raise some funds to help them to continue to offer these much needed services to Edmontonians that are struggling with their mental health.

I have a team of 24 fabulous individuals that have volunteered to join me for this event. My team has people of all ages and fitness levels and together, we will climb stairs for 24 hours! This is a obviously going to be a very physically and mentally challenging event, but we will all support each other, taking it one step at a time, just as people that are battling mental health issues take it one day at a time.

I wanted to do something to help my teammates prepare physically for this event, so I am offering a series of free training camps, at the top of the stairs by the Royal Glenora in Edmonton’s beautiful river valley. The sessions will run from 6:30-7:30 pm every Monday, Starting on April 3rd, up until the event date of May 4th. Please come 10-15 minutes early to get registered!
I have received a lot of interest in these training sessions by folks that are not on my team that just want to get out and get moving for fitness. So…I have decided to open up this invitation to anyone that would like to join us. Please come out and get in on these free, fun and challenging training sessions!

Check out my Facebook page @inyourboots for more details about the location, and dates for these training camps!

Check out this video!

I just don’t have enough time to invest in the pursuit of healthy lifestyle changes! – Strategies to free up time to reach your goals.

 

Recently I made a post on my  Face book page about the obstacles or barriers that I struggled with when I decided it was time to move my body more and make some healthy lifestyle changes. I covered #1, in my most recent blog post. Check it out here.

Today, I want to talk about the #1 answer given when people are asked, “what is keeping you from reaching your fitness goals?”.

Time…. we can never seem to find enough hours in the day to do everything that we want and need to get done. Trying to fit in work, family life, social engagements, grocery shopping, household chores, and everything else that you have on your plate can definitely make it seem impossible to try to squeeze in daily exercise and planning and preparing healthy meals.

I think the only reason that I was able to strategize and work around this obstacle, was that I got real! I took a good, hard, and honest look at what I was actually doing with my time. I definitely had a lot on my plate as a single mom with 2 very young children, but I was determined to find at least 30 minutes a day to focus on my health.

I decided to challenge myself to keep track, in a daily journal, of how I spent every waking moment. I only lasted 2 days before this challenge drove me nuts, but what I discovered was mind blowing! Here is what I discovered:

I was wasting almost 3 hours a day, mindlessly scrolling through my various social media pages and playing games on my phone. 3 hours! That is a huge time investment for an activity that didn’t really improve my life in any way! (and just to clarify, reading my blog will improve your life! LOL)

I was spending about 20 minutes a day searching for recipes, trying to figure out what I would make for supper that evening, and then another 30 minutes running out to the grocery store to grab the one or two ingredients that I didn’t have on hand to actually prepare the recipe that I had decided on. Almost an hour wasted!

After coming to this realization, I knew that something had to change! I set myself a daily limit of 30 minutes that I could spend online or playing on my phone. It wasn’t easy and I had to set my phone out of reach so that I didn’t mindlessly grab it a hundred times a day like I was used to doing, but after a few days, I didn’t even miss it! The payoff was that I had an extra 2.5 hours of free time a day!

I also started to meal plan on Sundays and do one huge grocery trip for the entire week. The time that it took to plan and shop was probably about 3 hours, which is really nothing when you consider that I was spending almost an hour every day picking a recipe and grabbing groceries! So even with a conservative estimate, this was freeing up about 3 hours every week.

With two fairly painless lifestyle changes, I freed up a huge chunk of time each week, that I could then use to focus on my goal to  increase my activity level, and learn to prepare healthy meals. I even had time left over to relax and spend more quality time with my children!

Your time suckers may not be the same as mine, but I am willing to bet that if you get real and honest with yourself,  you can figure out some strategies of your own to free up at least an hour every day.

Obstacles are meant to be overcome! Don’t let your obstacles stop you from reaching your goals! Get creative and make a few small tweaks to your time management so that you can give yourself the time that you deserve to take for yourself!

What’s stopping you from reaching your fitness and weight loss goals?

Everyone that has found themselves wanting to shed some pounds, increase their activity, or get into shape have likely also found many reasons why they aren’t able to reach their goals. If you follow my facebook page, @inyourboots, you may have read my recent post about the top 5 things that I allowed to get in the way of starting my own weight loss journey. 

Today I am going to talk about the first thing on that list, which was feeling so overwhelmed by the number of pounds that I had to lose that it was just easier to not try at all.

At my heaviest, I tipped the scales at just over 300 lbs. I was told by my doctor that I was morbidly obese and that if I didn’t lose a substantial amount of weight, I was at risk of developing all sorts of awful diseases.

Well, the first thing that I will say, is that when you are as overweight as I was, you don’t need some white coat to tell you that you are unhealthy. You feel it with every breath and every step you take. You are totally out of breath after only a few stairs. Your joints send shooting pain up and down your body with every movement. And you are almost certainly feeling hopeless and depressed.

So when you start to look at the current information available about what your “ideal” weight is for your height, and you realize just how many pounds you would have to lose to fit into the “healthy” category, in your already fragile state, it can be completely overwhelming! My original goal, before I took any action to move towards it, was to lose 140 lbs. And the thought of that paralyzed me.

What did I do to get past that paralysis and get moving towards that lofty goal? I had to break it down into bite sized goals. Mini goals that I could actually believe I was capable of achieving. Although it is helpful to have some idea of your ultimate end goal, it won’t help to build you up and increase your confidence.

My first mini goal was to be down by 2 pounds after 2 weeks. When I reached that goal before the deadline, I felt amazing! I then set my sights a little higher and set a new goal of losing 3 pounds in the next two week period. I crushed that one too and was on top of the world! So you see, by just breaking the “big” goal down into smaller sub goals, you can actually start to feel empowered and in control as you reach them instead of focusing only on the “big picture” and feeling defeated before you even start.

Give it a try! I hope that this helps you to breathe deeply and recognize that weight loss and improving your fitness is a journey and not a sprint. Celebrate every success, no matter how small, and you will start to feel stronger and more capable of making it to the finish line.