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

If you hate winter, don’t take up outdour walking. Instead find your own perfect fitness motivation.

To keep elephants in place, trainers use a simple rope tied to their hind leg. No chains or shackles, just a rope staked to the ground. The elephant could easily break free, but years of conditioning from a very young age has taught them to accept this weak restraint. Like the powerful elephant, we similarly become imprisoned by routine. As creatures of habit, we become mired in the path of least resistance, often to the detriment of heart, health and …

New Year’s fitness tips that could save your life

Every day the American Pygmy shrew eats three times its own weight in food. To make this happen, the shrew must snack constantly without sleep. An hour without food will result in death. No doubt their short, one-year lifespan can be attributed to consumption-related exhaustion. Looking to tame your inner shrew? Before making your annual New Year’s donation to a fitness centre near you, consider these simple tips. They may just save your life. Don’t: Don’t go from eating a …

Fitness tip: Don’t panic if you’re not a tech-savvy exerciser

I assume the unease I have for social media is the same discomfort people had for Elvis, disco and overpriced, designer underwear. Each generation is critical of the ideas and behaviours of the one to follow. It’s not simply new concepts that intimidate and test tolerance. It’s the lack of willingness to blindly follow suit. Boomers are entitled. Gen Xers are bitter. Millennials are spoiled. Things change, and each cohort questions the trends that didn’t mould their own experience. The …

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 …