Muscle Confusion Workout

Muscle Confusion Workout

Muscle Confusion Workout

A couple of weeks ago my computer’s hard drive fried on me – right in the middle of formatting this video. I cried. It was sad to see my old friend Mac give it’s breath, and take my work with it.

However, my BFF did not let me down. When I got a new hard drive put in and started the slow process of putting all my files back on the drive lo’ and behold there was the video.

Still there, waiting for it’s final edit. Waiting to be released it into the world.

Well… here you go world, meet one of my new favourite workouts.

Muscle Confusion – All Levels Workout

Loving husband had a ROUGH time with this workout. He was very tired and was wondering, near the end, what he did wrong in life to be saddled up with a personal trainer for a wife.

I, of course, remind him every day that he is damn lucky to have me. And he, of course, rolls his eyes every time.

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy forever. Click To Tweet

Tools needed:

  • Weights: light to moderate

 

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Top 4 Trainer Tips to Getting Toned and Fit Over 40

Top 4 Trainer Tips to Getting Toned and Fit Over 40

Top 4 Trainer Tips to Getting Toned and Fit Over 40

I saw a quote on the Internet the other day that made me giggle. It was a picture of a guy standing around a group of overweight seniors with the caption reading, “If you want to look young and thin, hang out around old fat people.”.

Now, that’s one way to do it, isn’t?

But if you live where I live you will be hard-pressed to find some out-of-shape seniors to hang with to make you feel better. All the seniors I know kick some serious butt and make a lot of twenty-year-olds look bad.

So, our next step is turning to fitness to help get us get fitter and feel younger.

Over 40? How to Get Toned and Fit

Whether your goal is to:

  • Lose weight
  • Build muscle tone
  • Prevent diseases
  • Or simply stay above ground for the longest you can

These four tips will help get you there far more effectively than other training technique.

1/ Consistency.

One of the first rules of achieving better fitness is frequency.

I know, super boring, right? However, you cannot expect to see any change in your body or fitness with an inconsistent workout plan, or by training just once or twice a week.

How often should you be training then, for results?

Three times a week strength work, twice a week aerobic, or interval work, and everyday stretching.

Seems like a lot?

Well, for the bulk of those days (the strength and cardio workouts) you would be training for less than an hour. Take 45 minutes against the rest of your 24 hours, and you have less than 4%.

Meaning that less than 4% of your total day is used exercising.

If you can’t invest in a measly 4% towards your health, then you need to be careful because you just may become that old fat person others go hang out with to look and feel better.

Make Time For What Matters - Fitness with PJ


2/ Strength.

As we get older we naturally lose our lean muscle mass. Women, between the ages of 20 and 40, will lose on average 3.6 kg of muscle while gaining 10 kg of fat. Men, between the ages of 20 and 80, will lose one quarter of their muscle mass (Dr. Michael Colgan).

And guess what? Running, cycling or other aerobic sports will not prevent this loss.

Researchers at McMaster University compared a ten-week program of weight training plus aerobic exercise against aerobic exercise alone. The aerobic group showed only a 2% increase in cardiovascular capacity and an 11% increase in endurance.

The weight training plus aerobics group showed a 15% increase in cardiovascular capacity and a massive 109% increase in endurance!

For strength the results favoured weight training even more. The aerobics group showed no increase in arm or leg strength while the weight training group showed a 43% increase in arm strength and a 22% increase in leg strength.

Building your strength and lean muscle mass will:

  • Boost your ability to burn fat
  • Grow bone density
  • Improve immunity
  • Combat diabetes
  • Reduce joint pain found with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Strengthen your heart
  • Yield better coronary artery flow in the heart
  • Produce greater sub-maximal endurance and less fatigue.

3/ Intensity.

Exercise intensity matters far more than duration when working out.

In a study called the Copenhagen City Heart Study, the researchers there followed a random sample of about 12,000 people in Copenhagen for 21 years.

These 12,000 all cycled and what the researchers found were that the individuals who typically rode fast on a regular basis (so biking at a higher intensity) lived 5.3 years longer than those cycled slow.

A study found in the American Journal of Health Promotion showed that women who engaged in shorter bouts of more intense exercise had a lower body mass index than those who stayed at a steady state when exercising.

This particular study found that for every extra minute of high-intensity exertion a woman did each day was linked to a .07 decrease in body mass index. And that’s only one minute.

Imagine if you did five to ten minutes a few times a week?

i'm-the-personal-trainer-your-mother-warned-you-about-fitness-with-pj

Try these high-intensity workouts (suitable for all levels):

35-Minute Bodyweight HIIT

24-Minute Ab HIIT

TRX Tabata – Part 2

TRX Tabata – Part 1

30-Minute Dumbbell Tabata

STEP or BOSU Ball HIIT

4/ Attitude.

If you have an attitude and demeanour that you are going to try, that you are going to allow yourself to get uncomfortable, and that you are going to take it one day at a time and not get frustrated with the process then you will get amazingly fit and toned.

I have trained thousands of people in my 20+ years and the ones with a positive attitude always achieve their goals.

However, if you constantly say to yourself:

  • There’s no way I will ever be able to run for that long.
  • I won’t be able to hold a plank that long.
  • I can’t find the time to workout.
  • I’m too old.
  • I”ll never be able to squat, lunge or perform a push up.

Or, if you play the victim and claim “How did this happen to me? I used to be able to…” then all hell will break loose in your brain and you will never successfully reach your goal.

Tapping into the power of the mind is used with athletes all the time.

They are taught to visualize their course, their upcoming match or event. They are coached to visualize themselves doing it, step-by-step, and then winning it.

They know that negative self talk will manifest into their grey matter, then into their muscles until it finally becomes their new reality.

So, stop being a victim and start taking control. Stop talking to yourself poorly and in a way that you would never talk to anyone else like.

Treat yourself with the respect you deserve and you will not only be fit and toned, but you will also be happy and content.

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Sexy Thighs Leg Workout

Sexy Thighs Leg Workout

Sexy Thighs Leg Workout

This leg workout is the BOMB! I thought, when we started, it would take 40-45 minutes tops… oops, 55 minutes later we were done.

Poor loving husband was done in more ways than one too.

This is the perfect leg workout for anyone looking for:

  • A kick a** leg workout
  • Stronger legs
  • Toned looking thighs of a goddess
  • A core workout without having to do one damn crunch

I am in love with this leg workout and I am so happy to get out there to you!

Sexy Thighs Leg Workout

Tools needed:

  • A sturdy chair
  • A pair of moderate-heavy dumbbells
    • Bodyweight – 5lb: Beginners
    • 8-10lb: Intermediate
    • 12-15lb: Advanced to freaking hardcore

 

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What is a Hot Flash?

What is a Hot Flash?

What is a Hot Flash?

I have been cold for most of my life (and I’m talking physically, not metaphorically).

I am always the one with a sweater on, even in the dead of summer. I am the last one to turn on a fan when working out, and I once wore a scarf – in Mexico.

I am probably the only woman on earth that couldn’t wait for menopause and hot flashes to start.

Fast forward to today and here I am kinda wishing I wasn’t so vocal to the hormone gods that I wanted some hot flashes.

What Exactly is a Hot Flash

Hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause. It’s a quick feeling of heat that is not caused by any external sources, leaving us sweating from our scalps all the way down to our toes.

They can range from mild and tolerable, to downright troublesome, and all the way to severe and debilitating.

Some women can have hot flashes for decades, while others for just a few years.

A few weeks ago I reached out to my community to ask them how a hot flash felt for them, and here are some of the responses I received:

“A heat that feels like it’s “radiating from your body” late at night or the early hours of the morning…often accompanied by a sweaty neck and restless sleep.”

“…my experience has been with night sweats which you wake up and find yourself very hot and sweaty, sometimes having to change because you have soaked your pj’s – not fun! I have experienced day ones too, which you don’t give you any warning. One minute you’re fine and then the next you are wanting to take your clothes off because you are so hot and uncomfortable. It can be very embarrassing depending where you are, thank goodness I don’t get those very often. I do find if I have had wine that night that I am more prone to having a night sweat.”

“Hot flashes are a very uncomfortable feeling as they come suddenly and leave suddenly. Nights are the hardest as I dress up, undress, dress up, undress, probably 20 times a night.”

“Before hormone replacement I was getting hot flashes that would make my head and face feel like a volcano had erupted on it.”

“…a hot flash feels like my blood is burning up from the inside of me and my face and neck area gets very red, my arms are really hot and a darker color. Thank god they don’t last too long. You can feel them coming on and then you feel normal again.”

Researchers believe that women with hot flashes have more sensitive thermostats in their brain, so they are only comfortable in a small range of temperatures (North American Menopause Society – NAMS).

Researchers also hypothesize that hot flashes may be because of a change in our circulation (WebMD).

Dr. Karen McGee, naturopathic physician in Fort Langley who specializes in women’s health, says that a drop in estrogen is one of the factors in a hot flash, however she says that it is a bit more complex than just low estrogen.

She explains that we are actually designed to fight off hot flashes, but lifestyle hinders that fight.

There is a layer of our adrenal glands that releases sex hormones, and these hormones can prevent hot flashes. But, throw in a busy lifestyle and chronic stress and our adrenal glands are left being busy dealing with day-to-day life stuff. They are unable to balance the thermoregulation needed to prevent a hot flash.

And so the hormone sh*t-storm begins.

funny-menopause-hot-flash-quote-fitness-with-PJ

Hot Flash Triggers

While you can’t escape hot flashes during menopause, there some triggers you can avoid to help with the intensity of them.

These are:

  • Stress (to keep your adrenal glands happy)
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy Foods
  • Tight clothing
  • Heat
  • Cigarette smoke

NAMS recommends if your hot flashes are mild or moderate you may find relief by simply changing your lifestyle.

But, if you have severe hot flashes, while you will still benefit from lifestyle changes, you may also choose to take a nonprescription therapy or a prescription medication, including hormones to help you manage your symptoms.

Lifestyle Changes

A big lifestyle change that can help produce a difference with hot flashes is to stay cool (both physically and metaphorically), and reduce your stress.

Other relief options can include:

  • Avoiding warm rooms (no more saunas or hot tubs), hot drinks and foods, alcohol, caffeine, excess stress, and cigarette smoking.
  • Wearing layers of clothing made from light, breathable fabrics. This way you can remove a layer or two when you’re hot and replace them when you’re cooler (this is a tactic I use).
  • Using cooling products, including sprays, gels, and a Chillow pillow.
  • Reducing stress and promoting a more restful sleep by exercising regularly.
  • Meditation, yoga, qigong, tai chi, biofeedback, acupuncture, or massage will also lower your stress levels.

When you feel a hot flash coming on:

  • Try “paced respiration” (NAMS). This is slow, deep, abdominal breathing where you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. You want to breathe like that for only 5 to 7 times per minute. So it is much slower than usual, and continue breathing like that until you feel the flash subside.
  • You can also try different strategies to stay cool while sleeping, such as dressing in light, breathable nightclothes. Or, wear workout wear, like a Nike dri-fit top.
  • Use layered bedding that can be easily removed during the night.
  • Cool down with a bedside fan.
  • Keep a frozen cold pack under your pillow, and turn the pillow often so that your head is always resting on a cool surface.
  • If you wake at night, sip cool water and to get back to sleep try meditation, paced respiration, or getting out of bed and reading until you become sleepy.

Women who are overweight tend to have more hot flashes, so maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly will help in both decreasing the hot flashes while also improving your overall health.

Nonprescription Therapies

Many nonprescription therapies can help reduce hot flashes, but not because of how you would think.

Researchers claim that nonprescription therapies work because of the placebo effect.

When nonprescription treatments are studied scientifically (NAMS) it has been found that they are JUST as effective as the placebo.

But, even if relief is simply all in our heads it is still worth a shot to try, yes?

Yes, I think so too.

Some remedies you might want to consider for hot flash relief are:

  • Soy: eat one or two servings of foods daily (containing isoflavones). This can be tofu, tempeh, soymilk, or roasted soy nuts.
  • Supplements containing soy isoflavones.
  • Herb supplements: such as black cohosh, have also decreased hot flashes in some studies

Prescription Therapies

Dr. McGee sees success with her patients using bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (replacing your estrogen and progesterone).

Estrogen, in a pill or a transdermal patch, is highly effective at reducing, and in some cases, eliminating symptoms.

However, there are risks with hormone therapy (HT).

Long term studies of women receiving oral preparations of combined hormone therapy of both estrogen and progesterones were halted when it was discovered that the women in the study had an increased risk for heart attack, stroke and breast cancer when compared with women who did not receive HT.

Later studies of women taking estrogen alone showed that estrogen was associated with an increased risk for stroke, but not for heart attack or breast cancer.

So, the decision to start, or continue taking, HT is a hard one and a very individual choice. Talk to your health care provider to weigh the pros and cons.

Other prescription therapies include:

  • Low-dose depression drugs like fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), or venlafaxine (Effexor)
  • Clonidine, a blood pressure medication
  • Gabapentin, an anti-seizure drug
  • Brisdelle, a paroxetine formula specifically for hot flashes
  • Duavee, a conjugated estrogens/bazedoxifene formula designed to treat hot flashes

You can also read what the North American Menopause Society recommends by clicking here.

 

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15-Minute Total Body Stretch

15-Minute Total Body Stretch

15-Minute Total Body Stretch

When I was younger I used to scoff at the whole stretch/yoga thing. While I did the typical after workout stretches with my clients and classes I was never really committed to maintaining any type of flexibility program personally.

I thought I would be young, agile and free from tight muscles and tendons forever. Ha! Then I entered my mid-life.

It’s Fine to Have a Tight A**

While it is admirable to have a tight behind, or tight and toned thighs, what is not so charming is the inability to touch your toes.

Tightness in the muscle, tendons and fascia happens through age, overuse, underuse as well as injury.

When we age, we lose some of the water in the tendons, making them stiffer and more susceptible to injury.

When we overuse a muscle we can create muscle tightness because it is always in a contracted state. And when we underuse our muscles, such as sit in one position for long periods of time (like me sitting here writing this blog), we create muscle tightness as a result of the restriction in movement.

All of this can add years to your body, as well as decrease your quality of life.

 How Much Stretching?

This can all be avoided, though, with a regular stretch program – and with a HUGE emphasis on the word REGULAR.

Because tissue is elastic in nature it will always go back to its original length. So, stretching once or twice a week will not train that muscle to stay in the new lengthen position you are asking it to stay in.

This is even more true after the age of 40.

To really see changes in your flexibility, and keep your body agile and young,  you need to stretch every day.

Aim for 5 minutes a day to start and work yourself up to 15-30 minutes. The key here is consistency.

Total Body Stretch For All Levels

Join loving husband and I in this total body stretch routine. It’s perfect for all levels of flexibility, and a great addition for after your workout as well as first thing in the morning.

 

Want More Stretch Routines?

15-Minute Morning Stretch Routine

Hamstring & Hip Opener

Foam Rolling Routine

15-Minutes to a Stronger Low Back

10-Minute Morning Routine

10-Minute After Workout Stretches

 

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