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

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? …

Exercise your willpower before building pecs and glutes

A popular documentary circulated a while back suggesting that many people simply do not respond to exercise. Despite best efforts, it seemed that a large percentage of exercisers weren’t seeing results under test conditions. The documentary called these people non-responders. Unfortunately, the documentary may have served as a ‘hall pass’ for many by inadvertently suggesting that they skip physical activity altogether. Without results, what’s the point? Various health and wellness academics weren’t exactly sold on the non-responder theory so they …

Fitness tip: What’s the best exercise, cardio or weights?

This week I thought I would post some comments that were shared by clients. All names have been changed to protect the innocent. Women and cardio Jane: “Why do women gravitate to cardio instead of weights? My husband says that weights are more important than long bouts on the treadmill. I’m kind of worried that he is right.” KR: “Hmm, as you are a woman and I am not, perhaps you should tell me.” Jane: “I think it’s because cardio …

Stop snacking, start listening to mom’s healthy living advice

“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you 100 times…” Mom always knew what was good for us. Most of the time, her wisdom was simply common sense, and as we know, common sense needs to be challenged. “Don’t lick the frozen pole.” (Did it.) “Don’t put the pin in the socket.” (Did it.) “Don’t forget to invest early because your money will compound annually and yield dividends down the road.” (Mmm, let’s just say I will be working for …

Winter is coming — time to get in the game for getting fit

In the concrete jungle, the hearty Canadian spends much of the warm summer months foraging outdoor patios and cafés in preparation for the harsh winter ahead. With the looming prospect of ice and snow, Canucks are thankful for a harvest laden with highly processed bounty. Assorted charbroiled meats and deep-fried starches with fermented and sugary drinks fortify a diet rich in saturated fats and refined carbs. The high-calorie regime forms a thick insulating layer that envelopes the Canadian’s midsection. This will …

Fitness fads — from trackers to kinesio tape — only work if you do

“Hey Chris, how’s your fitness program going?” “Great, I just bought this new fitness tracker. It monitors my heart rate, my sleep cycles, my steps per day and it syncs with all of the stuff that’s supposed to sync.” “How does it help?” “Well, last night I didn’t sleep a wink and the tracker told me that I didn’t sleep a wink!” “That’s awesome!” “Also, I sat in a chair all day and it actually knew that I didn’t move …

Jackson’s Gym a reminder that everything old is new again

As Aspen Properties prepares to open their brand new state-of-the-art fitness facility for their tenants in the downtown Bell Tower, I was privileged to tour the original Jackson’s Gym by Aspen General Manager, Morley Barr. Opened by George Jackson in 1923, Jackson’s Gym is considered the oldest private fitness club in Canada. To this day the gym is used by a dedicated core of active members. Stepping into Jackson’s Gym is like stepping back in time. The welded cannonball barbells …

If a fitness promise seems too good to be true, it is

If you believe late-night television, the elixir of healthy living ends in a 99. For 10 easy payments of $29.99, you can sport ripped abs, curvy hips and shapely thighs. Why spend hours in the gym grunting and sweating when, for only five minutes a day, unwanted pounds can melt like butter as you tighten and shape muscle. The Core Maker 2000 is revolutionizing the fitness world! It’s affordable, effective and conveniently stores under your bed — where it will stay until …