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

Sensible tops scare tactics when making good food choices

We’ve been fielding many questions lately about the What the Health documentary currently running on Netflix. If you haven’t seen the movie, its based on the premise that big industry (U.S. meat and dairy) has buddied up with government and non-profits, much like the tobacco industry did years ago. The documentary suggests agencies trusted with keeping us healthy have compromised their mandate in exchange for lucrative funding. There are no shortage of documentaries out there questioning the value of meat-based …

Fitness Questions and Answers

Often the best learning comes from questions or comments that have been posed by others. That said, it’s time for another edition of Overheard in the Weight Room. Q: I’m pretty active in the summer months. Can I wait and start exercising in the fall? A: Define active. People tend to overestimate their activity levels regardless of season, unless you are the person who admits, “I sit all day.” Just because you’re outside and moving around doesn’t mean you are …

Weight Training: Quality vs. Quantity

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Tighten muscle and lose fat now with these revolutionary new exercises. With summer comes a hot list of innovative exercises that flood print and video (much the same for fall and winter by the way). That’s 10 new exercises you aren’t currently doing. Oh well, change everything or add 10 more movements to your existing list (then ask for time off work because your workout just passed the three-hour mark). Just how many resistance exercises are too many? As with …

Help reset the clock by squatting with consistency

Watching a toddler squat down to scrutinize ants the other day reminded me how much we’ve lost to years of sedentary living. We were designed to squat comfortably and lift reasonably heavy objects without folding like a taco. In fact, Olympic weightlifters spend hours in the gym simply trying to re-establish this innate, primal pattern. You’re mistaken if you think that lowering a loaded diaper to the ground while maintaining a straight back is unique to being an infant. In …

Four important pillars for finding a personal trainer

Think of the professions that demand a high level of expertise. From medical practitioners to auto mechanics, we all want to know that we have someone who takes care of us. Someone that’s honest, ethical and, most of all, knows their stuff. Fitness is no different. If you’re investing all that hard work (and money) you want to ensure that your personal trainer is much more than abs and sinew. After recruiting and developing fitness staff for close to 30 …

Lure of the 16-inch plate

I noticed a few things while vacationing in the Mayan Riviera a few weeks ago. First, without inked family likenesses, angel parts or apocalyptic landscapes covering my body, I felt somewhat naked. Thigh tattoos referencing Dante’s Inferno were big. Second, it seems consumption levels straight out of Sodom and Gomorrah (intended to relieve the drudgery of daily temperance), may not be the exception. Nay, based on the weight and scale of plates passing our poolside buffet, I’m guessing epic carb …

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

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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 …