KR contributes a bi-weekly fitness column to the Edmonton Journal.

Real benefits proven for seniors to intensely exercise

As strange as the thought of grandma pumping iron and grandpa sweating it out on a spin bike sounds, it may be the answer to slowing down, even reversing the aging process. A study recently published in the Journal of Cell Metabolism (my go-to recreational reading resource) showed that exercise for seniors actually regenerates cells. In fact, interval type exercise (HIIT), bouts of intense exercise followed by a rest or less intense exercise, can reverse many degenerative problems associated with …

Wedding planning perfect time to get fit

There is simply no better time to get into shape than before a wedding. The stars are aligned. The happy couple are highly motivated. Mom and dad are on board. Your closest friends are inspired and supportive. Perfect! So, mom goes on a grapefruit diet and you spend half of your week chained to a treadmill. Maybe not the best approach. Take this opportunity to establish some real life-changing strategies and tighten up for your big day. These helpful hints …

When overweight becomes the new normal, we all suffer

Are you going with the flow, swimming upstream or perched comfortably on the bank watching the herd float by? According to statistics, more than 50 per cent of Canadians are overweight or obese. Despite all of the apps, fitness watches, diet books and exercise shows, things are getting worse — not better. Part of the problem is our tendency to be lulled to sleep by the oneness of group-think. We crave the comfort of acceptance, wrapped in the warmth of …

Summer sculpting starts in February with a three-legged stool

private fitness class

Warm weather hope is on the horizon and dreams of tighter muscles are in the air. Before you dive head first into the next fitness craze, heed this warning: You may never realize your desired goals if one of your legs is too short. The concept of a three-legged stool is a common business analogy. It symbolizes the interdependent importance of three pillars that underpin success (i.e., quality, price and service). Legs vary among people (or organizations), but they serve …

If you hate winter, don’t take up outdour walking. Instead find your own perfect fitness motivation.

To keep elephants in place, trainers use a simple rope tied to their hind leg. No chains or shackles, just a rope staked to the ground. The elephant could easily break free, but years of conditioning from a very young age has taught them to accept this weak restraint. Like the powerful elephant, we similarly become imprisoned by routine. As creatures of habit, we become mired in the path of least resistance, often to the detriment of heart, health and …

New Year’s fitness tips that could save your life

Every day the American Pygmy shrew eats three times its own weight in food. To make this happen, the shrew must snack constantly without sleep. An hour without food will result in death. No doubt their short, one-year lifespan can be attributed to consumption-related exhaustion. Looking to tame your inner shrew? Before making your annual New Year’s donation to a fitness centre near you, consider these simple tips. They may just save your life. Don’t: Don’t go from eating a …

Fitness tip: Don’t panic if you’re not a tech-savvy exerciser

I assume the unease I have for social media is the same discomfort people had for Elvis, disco and overpriced, designer underwear. Each generation is critical of the ideas and behaviours of the one to follow. It’s not simply new concepts that intimidate and test tolerance. It’s the lack of willingness to blindly follow suit. Boomers are entitled. Gen Xers are bitter. Millennials are spoiled. Things change, and each cohort questions the trends that didn’t mould their own experience. The …

Holiday fitness banter to get you through the Christmas party season

With the holiday season around the corner, does the prospect of standing around at parties with little or nothing to say make you a little Grinchy? Try working one of these topical fitness statements into your next festive conversation. If you don’t exactly embody muscle and vigour, simply preface your insightful quip by stating, “My trainer feels that…” (followed by one of the riveting statements below). Then state, “I find his/her sage advice is really upping my golf game.” Not …

Building willpower comes before building muscle

We recently had the privilege of presenting at the Prime Time for Women Conference at the Grey Nuns Hospital. Our topic, Growing Stronger: Simple Ways to Build Back Your Strength, focused on the mental and physical challenges associated with becoming healthy in a world of confusing information, conflicting messages and gimmicks. For most people, managing change and trying to work through personal barriers is much more challenging than the exercise itself. The success we’ve experienced with clients over the years …

Fitness tip: Which exercise is best? It depends on your goals and your fitness level

Every husband knows that the answer to the inquiry “Which dress looks nicer?” is yes. The question “which is better?” often precedes many of the exercise queries we entertain online and in the gym. People want to ensure that they are making the best use of time by selecting exercises that are effective and proven. While things are seldom black and white, there are often reasons why one approach may suit a specific goal over another. HIIT or strength training? …