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

Cardio vs Weights: Which is best?

When should I do cardio and when should I hit the weights? For many people, cardio is their default exercise. That’s why there are limited vacancies in the treadmill line at 5:30 p.m. Treadmills are accessible and they have TVs! Popularity aside, is cardio the best way to become fit? Well, that all depends on your definition of fit. Too many exercisers adopt a one-size-fits-all approach, telling themselves “as long as I show up and jump on the elliptical trainer …

Five tips to help you stick to a long-term weight-loss strategy

According to Women’s Health magazine, close to 80 per cent of women say they would feel better about themselves if they could lose a few pounds. Not overly Earth-shattering. Most people would like to lose a couple pounds. The interesting thing about the research, however, was that more than half of women who exercise become depressed after losing five per cent of their weight. I guess you can think of it this way: You’ve decided to scale an imposing mountain …

Internal time clock also regulates things such as weight gain

Your first cup of coffee early in the morning or that late night bowl of cereal before bed may be killing your diet. For people trying to lose weight, when you eat may be just as important as what you eat. Dr. Satchin Panda of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has conducted some fascinating research on circadian rhythms and how they affect many aspects of life, including weight management. According to Panda, the light sensors in our eyes set …

Spring prep for your summer wardrobe

With summer only a month away, we find ourselves confronted with the prospect of a less forgiving wardrobe. Common sense dictates that we maintain a healthy weight throughout the year but somewhere along the line this thinking escapes us. In fact, 33 per cent of overweight and obese North Americans report they are at a healthy weight. Something isn’t working. The western lifestyle is broken. Hopefully the Q & A below will shed a little light on making your summer …

Weight Training Is Good: Enhance your golden years.

Yet another study has come out praising the benefits of weight training for those over the age of 65 (and anyone whose physiological age equates to 65 — a.k.a. people who spend their week slumped over a desk). Here’s a quick summary of the study: Weight training is good. You should do it. Weight training is good. For those that require a little more substance, the study published in the journal Preventative Medicine tracked 30,162 adults aged 65 and older …

Posh, foodie calories are still calories

With fork in hand I write this column while eradicating the remains of an Easter carrot cake that, by all accounts, was consumed unaccompanied. Typical hosting etiquette was shed like a Caribbean tan as I served myself first and often over the long weekend. Carrot cake is my crack cocaine. Left to my own devices, I would have eaten the whole thing in one sitting. Some claim I did. Frankly, I don’t recall — it’s all a bit of a …

Big Gains for Seniors

If you’re older than 50, its time to seriously start thinking about exercise. Why toil through a lifetime of hard work to find you can’t move at 60? Retirement should be about enjoying the fruits of your labour, not sitting it out. Never exercised before? No worries. Research strongly suggests fitness neophytes have everything to gain and nothing to lose by lifting weights and performing cardio. In fact, those following the right formula can recover decades of lost health. Your …

Does your fitness centre empower you?

A number of years ago, we headed into the Canadian wilderness, young kids in tow, for some time off the grid. With life’s comforts heaped into a wobbly canoe, we left the portage store hoping nothing vital was missed in all the chaos. After a wonderful week of sun, we packed up the canoe for a three-hour paddle in the rain — my wife at the bow, me at the stern and the kids playing under a makeshift tent in …

Want to lose weight and gain muscle? Stick to the basics.

A number of years ago while living in Ontario, we helped sponsor a young man from Sierra Leone. He was fascinated by many everyday things we take for granted. I’m not talking the typical Canadian traditions such as hockey, coffee and doughnuts. It was the mundane stuff that sparked his interest. (He stared intently at a hamburger for 10 minutes before asking what to do with it.) Of course, he was intrigued by snow and wanted to know how we …

Building a healthy chest.

Even if you bask in the glow of a sunny disposition, the stresses of daily life are pulling you down. Cellphones, computer screens, poor flexibility and weak back muscles are dragging you into a default slouch. We’ve talked before about the importance of strengthening mid-back and shoulder muscles to counter the strain brought about by gravity, muscle atrophy and computers. To promote functional health and stability, it’s just as important to understand the impact a weak or overdeveloped chest can …