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

Making New Years Resolutions That Stick

Almost 50 per cent of us commit to some form of New Year’s resolution. The other 50 per cent are realistic. With a success rate of less than 10 per cent, it seems that late-night, libation-steeped goal-setting may not be the best approach to self-improvement planning. Still, where there’s opportunity, there’s hope. Close to one-third of midnight revellers focus on diet and weight loss while the rest zero in on finance, love and lifestyle. With close to 100 per cent …

Tried and True Fitness Resolutions

Here’s a New Year’s resolution question I never get asked. “Is pairing a balanced diet with vigorous physical activity the best way to achieve one’s health and fitness goals?” More likely, I’m being asked about a diet that attempts to replicate primal eating patterns (weeds and mammoth) or the single best exercise to carve new-found abs in under two weeks (as demonstrated by a shirtless 20-year-old on Instagram). Tried and true, evidence-based exercise may be the best way to gain …

Building Strong Arms for Summer Starts Today

This holiday season, when bidding a fond farewell to guests, note whether your arm keeps waving after your hand has called it quits. Tight arms have long been a sign of strength and virility. Just Google “Michelle Obama arms” or “Hulk Hogan 24-inch pythons.” Firm arms are “in” for both men and women and available to anyone who takes the time to sculpt them. If you want shapely guns to compliment your sleeveless attire this summer, start building your biceps …

Find Your Gateway Exercise

Have you uncovered your gateway exercise? What’s a gateway exercise you ask? Pretty much any physical activity that gets you hooked and leads you to a habit of better health. It’s that first positive workout that inspires you to show up a second time and a third. Anyone who’s had a ‘bad trip’ in the gym knows that one negative experience can derail the whole thing. If you’re just getting started (or re-started) here are a few pointers that could …

Building better posture using these back and shoulder exercises

Walking and sitting upright may become a distant memory as our hunched, technology-driven existence influences evolution. Unfortunately, this is a trend that can’t be remedied by the occasional plank. Without question, postural strength relies on a solid foundation. But there’s much more to structural integrity than rippling abs. Way too much attention has been paid to a tight stomach, no doubt stemming from Hollywood’s infatuation with low body fat and rolling, abdominal topographies. Equally important to a sturdy core is …

No Pain, No Gain?

Nothing has both inspired and terrified budding fitness enthusiasts than the age-old adage “no pain, no gain.” Question is, does it work? Well, depending on your perspective, this can be a good/bad news story. The details of the story revolve around individual goals and the motivations that inspire them. There is a significant difference between exercising for health and exercising for performance or aesthetic purposes. Those in the health camp can rest easy. To achieve results, pain doesn’t necessarily factor …

First and final line of defence against fast food should be ourselves

Recently, CEOs of the major fast food restaurants were challenged to eat from their respective kids’ menu for a week. The point being whether these industry leaders were willing to eat from a menu that served questionable food to children. Interesting proposition, but I believe there is a much more important discussion that needs to take place a little closer to home. It’s all too easy to pin the ills of society on big, bad capitalists. Surely someone is to …

Weight loss prep for winter migration

With trees clinging to fall plumage, some people are already turning their sights to sunny destinations. Not a bad timeline if shedding pounds is part of the preparation. A 30 pound drop in fat is significant but entirely doable if your sights are set on a February departure. The prospect of looming beachwear may be the best body shaping motivation going. If you’re an aspiring part-time snowbird looking to trim down for your winter migration, consider these beach friendly tips. …

Setting up your affordable home gym

Not everyone has the time or desire to join a fitness centre. Luckily, outfitting a home gym has become easier with more affordable equipment and the advent of functional training. If you’re thinking about making better use of a bedroom, basement or condo social area, consider outfitting your space with some of the pieces below. Keep in mind, you get what you pay for. Avoid going too cheap — unless you’re looking for something to hang clothes, in which case, …

Secrets to aging well include taking control, eating healthy and exercise

More than once my wife has been mistaken for my older son’s girlfriend. A few times for her sister’s daughter. Not sure who they think I am. Exercise, proper nutrition and good stress management are the controllable factors to aging well. Of course, you can’t reset your chronological clock. But you can affect your physiological age, to the good or bad, by 20 years. That means the average 50-year-old can choose to feel like 70 or 30, depending on how …