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

Recipe for long lasting success.

A little less than half of the world’s population is overweight and working on dropping pounds. So, with forks down and trainers laced, what are your odds of lasting weight loss? Success can be affected by many variables but the determining factor is all in your head. Anything below a commitment rating of nine (out of 10) gives you an out. Frankly, the number for success is closer to 10 but I don’t want to be a downer. Technically, a …

Retrain your brain

Take a look at your favourite chair. Now, check out your gym bag. Which of the two leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy? If you’re like most Canadians (and you haven’t repurposed your gym bag for transporting baked goods), you will choose the chair. According to a new study, evolution has conditioned us to loaf. In his research, Matthieu Boisgontier from the University of British Columbia found that our brains are wired for sedentary behaviours. Subjects in the study avoided …

Weight training key to greater gains

The cold autumn winds are upon us, which means if you left your exercise progress on a summer patio somewhere it’s time to recommit. This may surprise some in the treadmill crowd, but cardio may not be the magic cure-all they think it is. In fact, some forms of cardio may be aversely affecting your gains. Sure, exercise like walking and running is affordable and accessible, but it simply may not be the right ingredient if your focus is weight …

Switch up bilateral exercises with unilateral alternatives

When posing for a picture do you favour one side of your face over the other? According to a study published in Psychological Science, we assess someone’s face within 100 milliseconds of meeting them. It seems putting your best cheek forward isn’t just about vanity, it’s common sense. How about below the neck? Are you in the habit of putting your best foot forward? Chances are your best foot, or hand for that matter, will reveal your dominant side (right-handed …

Choosing active, healthy lifestyle can boost retirement

The other day I noticed an unusual older couple in the grocery store — upright, muscular, confident and lithe, with the warm glow of active, outdoor living. These two didn’t look good for their age, they looked good. I’m always amazed at the number of people who hang it up once they hit their sixties (fifties? forties? thirties?). Are you designing an exceptional retirement or accepting a mediocre one? Take a look at the following statements and see if one …

Is momentum killing your gains?

When working out, you want to ensure your efforts are producing great results. Going through the motions isn’t in anyone’s best interest. Often, how you initiate movement during exercise and maintain tension throughout can make or break overall effectiveness. The saying, “An object in motion stays in motion” is great for pushing a stalled vehicle or giant rocks but not so much when muscle development is your goal. Throwing steel around in the weight room may make you feel productive …

How healthy is your work culture?

It all starts when we are children. Conformity. Sameness has its place. It has allowed us to survive as a species. If we were all off doing our own thing, nothing would get done. Social rules keep us safe and help us fit in. The problem with conformity however is that it often occurs at the expense of independent thinking, creativity and personal freedom. With all of the technological advances we’ve made in the past 50 years, groupthink has led …

Popular but potentially ineffective gym moves.

Before copying the resident gym hardbody or You Tube star, make sure you understand the dynamics and implications of the following popular but potentially ineffective gym moves. Buns of steel Ladies, kicking your leg out like a ballerina on the stair machine to shape your glutes is a graceful but ineffective movement (not to be confused with the “Stairmaster Slouch” where people drape their upper body over the console as their feet move at mach speed). Without getting technical, this …

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 …