The Number Way to Make Your Trainer Angry

The Number One Way to Make Your Trainer Angry

Top 10 tips on how-to stay motivated to exercise all year-round.  

There are a few things that can frustrate me. Slow internet speed, no access to WiFi, sale items at grocery stores that are sold out, traffic, weeds (I hate gardening), and even Facebook frustrates me when they change their algorithms – yet again!

As I gotten older technology, and such, is frustrating me at faster pace than it used.

People, however, aren’t.

The number way to make your trainer angry

With age I am finding I actually have greater patience with clients and individuals than I ever have had before. That is until they do this:

They head out of town for a vacation, or a business trip, or because of family matters, and they leave their home and their runners behind.

They decide that because they are “away” they don’t need to maintain their fitness and health program.

I’m not quite sure why they do this.

I have heard a variety of excuses, though.

For instance: I didn’t have time, there wasn’t a gym, or my personal favourite, I never workout when I’m away.

It baffles me that people would consciously and purposely lose the strength, flexibility and aerobic capacity that they have just spent the last 9 to 10 months working so hard to get.

Fitness-with-PJ-Nikes-Quote

How fast you will lose your fitness?

Because you will lose it.

Your aerobic fitness will start to diminish in as quick as seven to fourteen days.

As for those muscles that you have been working so hard to build, in the most drastic scenario studies have shown that you can lose as much as 80% of your strength and tone in as little as two weeks.

80%!!! That’s a big loss.

For the more deconditioned individual, you will lose even more with any hiatus.

Studies have followed new exercisers as they began an exercise program and then stopped it and found that after two months of quitting their newfound fitness program they had lost all of their original gains!

They were back to square one again.

Fit people – your outcome is not as bad, but it is still worrisome.

After 2 months off of your program it is estimated that you will lose about 30% of your gains.

How quick can you get your fitness back?

The question then begs to be asked – how long will it take to get it all back then?

Researchers say that is hard to predict, but for athletes it could take as much as three months to regain your previous fitness level, and for new exercisers it might be as much as three to four months.

So, let’s do the math. Say you’re a new exerciser who started a regular fitness program in January with the rest of rush and you decide to stop exercising for the summer.

You then start up again, say after the kids go back to school in September. It will now take you until the beginning of December to gain back the fitness that you originally had in June when you stopped.

But, then guess what? It’s Christmas.

Now there are parties to go to, schedules that are busy, and the mentality of “I will start up again in January” sets in.

And then after Christmas comes winter holidays, because most people take off some time in the January to March months.

Then there is spring break and then guess what? It’s summer again.

It’s a vicious cycle, with no end in sight and absolutely no fitness gains to be seen.

That is, unless, you decide to break the habit of thinking that exercise is something that can be dropped from the schedule and put back in again when it suits you better.

Exercise is a necessity at maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

It is our only proven fountain of youth, disease-fighter and “I-feel-awesome” medicine all rolled into one.

So I ask you, why would you purposely give all of that up?

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10 Tips to stay motivated all year-round

1/ YouTube.

There are a plethora of awesome fitness YouTube channels that will warm you up, work you out and cool you down. If you haven’t already subscribe to my channel and you will have access to workouts that you can easily do in your home, with some of them under 20-minutes.

Fitness with PJ YouTube channel

2/ Never allow more than two days without exercise.

I live by this rule. Why two days? Because once two days has gone by it’s way to easy for that to turn into three days, then four days and before you know days become weeks and months.

3/ Always pack your runners.

Where ever you are in the world if you have your runners you can get a workout in. Whether it’s a quick jog, or a series of bodyweight exercises you can maintain your fitness.

4/ Google.

Before you head out of town Google the area and see what there is available. Try a fitness class there to keep you motivated and to try something fun. I have done STEP in Hong Kong, yoga in Mexico, spinning in New York and Zumba in Hawaii.

5/ Wear a tracker.

Wear a fitness tracker and aim for the same step count and calorie expenditure as you would at home.

6/ Wake up earlier.

If your family is not keen on exercising while on vacation then set your alarm 30 minutes earlier and get your workout in before they get up.

7/ Pack it.

If you know you won’t have access to any equipment pack some exercise tubing, your iPod, a timer and a skipping rope.

8/ Track it.

Use an app, or write your workouts down, but track what you are doing. When it’s on paper it makes it more real and real will help keep you accountable.

9/ Penalize yourself.

Studies have shown that people who have to pay others when they don’t stick with their goals tend to achieve their goals. You see we hate giving away hard earned cash, so make a deal with yourself for every day you don’t exercise you owe your favourite charity $5.

10/ Make food and sleep a priority.

Eat the best you can and get a good night’s sleep and you will make it a lot easier on yourself to stay motivated with your fitness all-year around.

When I travel I eat the same way I would at home for breakfast and lunch and do my best for dinner. I still enjoy my travels, while my body continues to appreciate good healthy food.

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The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine

The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine

The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine

Best lower back stretches – right here!

I loved filming this workout “The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine”. You see it’s a treat when I can film a workout not be a sweaty mess afterwards!

This particular workout is pretty much for EVERYONE!

If you:

  • Sit a lot during the day
  • Have low back pain
  • Have had low back pain
  • Want to improve the mobility of your hips and spine
  • Need to unwind before bed
  • Or, need to get the body moving in the AM

This is the perfect workout for you.

So… you see what I mean. The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine is pretty much for everyone.

The lumbar spine has 5 motion segments. Most twisting and bending is divided among those segments, although the majority of the motion takes place in the lowest two segments, called L4-L5 and L5-S1.

The structures in these two lowest segments are the most likely to wear down over time or be injured.

The Best Lower Back Stretches - Fitness with PJ

That smoking — the bad habit that increases the risk of dozens of diseases — can also lead to backaches.

One study found that smokers are nearly a third more likely to have low back pain compared to nonsmokers.

6 Common Culprits to Low Back Pain

1/ Too much sitting. The body was meant to move, not stay static for long periods of time. If you are stuck sitting make it a point to get up and move every 20-minutes for 30-seconds.

2/ Bulging or ruptured disks. Disks act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. The soft material inside a disk can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve. However, you can have a bulging or ruptured disk without back pain. Disk disease is often found incidentally when you undergo spine X-rays for some other reason.

3/ Skeletal irregularities. Back pain can occur if your spine curves abnormally. Scoliosis, a condition in which your spine curves to the side, also may lead to back pain, but generally only if the scoliosis is severe.

4/ Arthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back. In some cases arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.

5/ Osteoporosis. Your spine’s vertebrae can develop compression fractures if your bones become porous and brittle.

6/ Muscle or ligament strain. Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement may strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. If you aren’t in shape and place constant strain on your back it may cause painful muscle spasms.

The Best Lower Back Stretches

 

10 Ways to Keep Low Back Pain Away

In addition to the workout above!

1/ Get more exercise. While you may think it best to rest your back if it’s hurting, experts recommend the opposite. Regular physical activity can help ease the inflammation and muscle tension.

2/ Watch your weight. Extra pounds, especially around the mid-section, can make back pain worse by shifting your center of gravity and putting strain on your low back.

3/ If you smoke, stop. Smoking restricts the flow of nutrient-containing blood to the spinal discs (not to mention what it does to the rest of the body).

4/ Sleeping position. If you are prone to back pain sleeping on your side with your knees pulled up a bit and a pillow in-between them may help ease the pain. Back sleeper? Then put another pillow under the knees.

5/ Posture. Pay attention to your posture and when seated be sure to push the bum to the far back of your chair and keep your knees a bit higher than your hips. Standing for long periods of time? Position one foot higher than the other using a small stool.

6/ Avoid high heels. Sorry, but high heels shifts your center of gravity and places a strain on the low back. Stick to one-inch heels if you can.

7/ Stash the skinny jeans. Tight clothing interferes with bending, sitting and walking – all of which can aggravate low back pain.

8/ Lighten your wallet. For you men out there, sitting on overstuffed wallets can cause discomfort and pain. Lighten it up, or take it out of your pocket when seated (such as when driving).

9/ Pick the right purse. Messenger bags are best for the back (where the strap hangs on the opposite shoulder of the bag). These types of bags help to distribute the weight more evenly and keeps your shoulders and back pain-free.

10/ Forget the back braces. There are a variety of braces on the market and while they may be helpful after certain kinds of surgery they is absolutely no evidence that these braces can help treat chronic pain. In fact, they can actually add to the pain as the muscles will get lazy because they are not being used everyday to stabilize the spine.

 

The Best Lower Back Stretches - Fitness with PJ

 

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8 High Protein Breakfast Recipes

8 High Protein Breakfast Recipes

8 High Protein Breakfast Recipes

Healthy High Protein Breakfast Recipes To Help You Lose Weight

In last week’s blog I revealed one tried, tested and true method to help you eat less throughout the day – eating a high protein breakfast.

A higher protein breakfast has a lower glycemic control on the body meaning your blood sugar levels will be more stable, which in turn will lead to the desire to eat less through the day.

All of this then translates to a slimmer and trimmer you.

8 High Protein Breakfast Recipes

To help you get the recommended 25-35 grams of protein every morning I have put together eight of my favourite high protein breakfast recipes (each recipe serves one woman – so adapt for kids and men).

1/ Egg Whites with Feta and Spinach 

1 cup egg whites

2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup chopped spinach

Pepper to taste

Directions: Scramble egg whites with feta and spinach until cooked, adding pepper to taste.

Calories: 173

Protein: 31.1 grams

2 / Berry Banana Protein Pancake

1 scoop protein powder (I am in love with this brand!)

1/2 ripe banana, mashed

1/4 cup blueberries

1/3 cup large flake oats ground in blender or food processor until it becomes a fine flour

1/2 cup liquid egg whites

1 tbsp ground flax seed

1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Cinnamon to taste

Directions: add everything in a bowl and mix together. Spray a medium-sized skillet with nonstick spray, then place on medium heat. Pour the batter in and once you see tiny bubbles on top of the pancake, flip. When each side is golden brown breakfast is ready!

TIP: I like to make 5 of these at once and freeze them individually. The night before you want to eat one pull it from the freezer and toast it in the AM. Try topping with smashed raspberries, or almond butter or jam.

Calories: 380 (this depends on your protein powder)

Protein: 39.7 (this depends on your protein powder)

3 / Breakfast Bento Box

2 hard-boiled eggs

1.5 ounces goat’s mozzarella (or whatever cheese floats your boat)

20 almonds (about an ounce)

Half-cup of grapes, or a small orange, or small apple

Directions: prep it the night before in a container and BOOM, breakfast is waiting for you in the AM. This is a great breakfast idea for those of you who do not like to eat first thing in the morning and instead would rather wait until you got to work.

Calories: 400

Protein: 25 grams

4 / Avocado Toast with Cottage Cheese and Tomatoes

2 slices Ezekiel bread

1/4 cup cottage cheese

1/4 of an avocado

A few slices of tomato

Pepper to taste

Directions: toast your bread, spread the cottage cheese on top, layer with avocado and top with tomatoes and pepper.

Calories: 400

Protein: 31 grams

Super food selection for health diet in porcelain bowls over distressed wooden background.

5 / Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Parfait

1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt

Half an apple, chopped

One ounce walnuts, chopped (about 14)

2 tsp raw honey

Cinnamon to taste

Directions: combine everything in a bowl and stir.

Calories: 419

Protein: 29 grams

If you have trouble choking down anything but coffee in the a.m., stop feeling guilty – you aren’t going to kill your metabolism by skipping breakfast. Instead, enjoy your cuppa joe and have your breakfast mid-morning.

6 / Brownie Batter Overnight Oats

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt

1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (or more to taste)

1 pack of stevia (more or less to taste)

1/3 cup large flake oats

1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder

Directions: in a small bowl mix everything together, cover and store in the fridge. In the morning give it a stir, add some more almond milk if you it’s too thick for you and enjoy!

Calories: 245 (depends on your protein powder)

Protein: 28.3 (depends on your protein powder)

High Protein Breakfast Recipes - Fitness with PJ

7 / Berry Protein Shake

1.5 cups of water

1 cup raw spinach

2 cups frozen berries

1/2 cup 0% Greek yogurt

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Directions: Put all your ingredients in a blender, blend well and enjoy!

Calories: 354 (depends on your protein powder)

Protein: 27 grams (depends on your protein powder)

8 / Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

1 heaping scoop of chocolate protein powder

1/4 cup natural peanut butter

1 ripe banana, mashed

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup quick oats

1/2 unsweetened coconut

2 egg whites

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mash banana and add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Spoon onto a parchment paper lined tray and bake for 15-minutes. Should make 6 cookies.

Calories: 184 (per cookie)

Protein: 10.5 grams (per cookie)

 

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20-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout

20-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout

20-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout

If you want an efficient workout, this is it! My 20-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout leaves no muscle behind.

We cycle through 20 exercises, once through, using a pair of dumbbells so you can:

A) Workout in the comfort of your home

B) Get all the major muscle groups trained and toned in your body, as well as the stabilizers and core

Each move will target an opposing muscle group, alternating between the upper and lower body, while also getting some great ab work in too.

Tools needed:

Beginners: a pair of 5lb, 8lb, 10lb

Intermediate: a pair of 5lb, 8lb, 10lb, 12lb

Advanced: a pair of 8lb, 10lb, 12lb, 15lb (and super advanced 20lb)

20-Minute-Full-Body-Dumbbell-Workout-Fitness-with-PJ-Blog

20-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout

 

20-Minute-Full-Body-Dumbbell-Workout-Fitness-with-PJ-Blog

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
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10 Awesome Hacks That Will Make You Healthier

10 Awesome Hacks That Will Make You Healthier

 

10 Awesome Hacks that will make You Healthier

I don’t know of a single soul who has not wished for a pill that they could take for better fitness.

It would be so much easier, wouldn’t it?

Easier than all that time, that commitment and sweat you have to deposit for a better-looking body that will stay above ground for the longest period of time.

However, we don’t have that… yet.

Currently there are no secrets, no pills and no magic formulas (no matter what Dr. Oz says) that will get us healthy.

What I can share with you, though, are some life hacks that you can add into your day. Easy hacks that will improve your health, your fitness and your waistline.

10 [awesome] hacks that will make you healthier

1/ Have protein for breakfast.

Specifically over 30 grams. A study by the Biofortis Clinical Research team at the University of Missouri showed that protein in the morning can help you consume fewer calories throughout the day, as well as burn more fat over time.

The likely reason is due to an improved glycemic control protein has on the body. In other words, your blood sugar levels will be more stable, which in turn will lead to the desire to eat less, while that in turn will lead to a slimmer and trimmer you.

Some examples of a high-protein breakfast are:

  • 1 egg + 1 cup of egg whites (33 grams) scrambled with veggies
  • Egg, black bean and cheese burrito. Try this recipe – it rocks!
  • ¾ cup of plain Greek yogurt and mix in 10-15 grams of protein powder to both up the protein count as well as change the flavour (I love strawberry protein powder in my plain yogurt)
  • A quinoa parfait mixed with Greek yogurt is another great high-protein non-egg option
  • High-protein overnight oats, with added tablespoon of chia seed to add another 4 grams of protein
  • Protein Pancake
  • Slow Cooker Frittata
>> Never Eat This for Breakfast

2/ Ditch the car.

While fitness is important for better health, you cannot ignore the other 23 hours of the day. In fact the science is showing us that it is what we do throughout the day that will better health.

These incremental movements we do throughout the day are called non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). This is the energy (calories) the body expends for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise.

The more NEAT we have in our lives the better off our body weight is, as well as our blood pressure, blood sugar levels and stress levels.

Control these and we also ward off a host of diseases.

Some examples of adding NEAT into your life are:

  • Walk whenever you are on the phone
  • Have a walking meeting at work, or instead of coffee out with your friends enjoy your java while walking
  • Take the long way to the bathroom at work
  • Go for walk and do some stretches at lunchtime
  • Get a pedometer to encourage you to walk more
  • Always use the stairs
  • Get up and move around every 30 minutes when on the computer
  • Park your car in the farthest stall away from your destination’s door
  • Stretch while watching television (I am always stretching when watching a movie at home – now if only the movie theatre would be so accommodating!)
  • Do some squats at every commercial break, or before you park your butt on the toilet
  • Perform 10-minutes of yoga before bed. Try this stretch routine.
  • Wake up with 10-minutes stretches or yoga. Try this workout.
  • Walk to the store
  • Make it a point to never go from the dinner table to the living room couch! Spend at least 30-minutes, following dinner, on your feet and moving around.

3/ Get some sleep.

The science on sleep and its importance to our health is abundant. The consequences of lack of shut eye range from higher disease risk, lower mortality, increased waistlines, lowered immune system, depression, memory problems and even accidental death.

>>> How to Improve Your Sleep

Sleep is just as important to our bodies as the air that we breathe and the food that we eat. You see it’s during sleep that our body is tending to our physical and mental health and getting us ready for another day.

>>> Try my Stretches for a Better Night’s Sleep tonight!

Some sleep hacks that you can add into your life for better quality shut eye:

  • Turn off all electronics at least one hour before bed
  • Maintain the same time you go to bed and get up all week
  • Keep your bedroom clutter-free, dark and on the cooler side
  • Try meditation and/or yoga before bed to help calm the mind and central nervous system
  • There are also natural sleep aids such as: melatonin, valerian, chamomile, magnesium and calcium. Talk to a health practitioner, however, before adding any natural herb or supplement to your diet as they can interact with certain medications.
>>> Click here for more awesome sleep tips.

4/ Have your workout clothes ready.

Whether you workout in the morning, or after work, have your gear ready and waiting for you. This one tip has even helped me!

I have started performing fasted cardio 2-3 mornings a week and knowing my gear is out and ready for me gets me out of bed.

I have everything set up. My water with BCAAs is sitting by the sink and my workout gear, my runners and my iPod are in the spare bedroom (so I don’t wake loving husband).

On the flip side, if you want to workout in the evening have your gear in your car and do not go home until you workout.

In my experience most people see more success with sticking to their workouts if they get them done in the morning, or before they go home from work – because once you get home chaos usually ensures, or the couch starts to beacon.

Follow my 1-month training program for fast results.

1 Month FREE Workout Plan - Fitness with PJ

5/ Eat off of smaller plates.

Smaller plates, as well as taller thinner glasses, gives us the illusion that we are eating and drinking more than we really are.

Yes, as ridiculous as it sounds we are actually able to fool ourselves from ourselves.

Here’s a good example. Take a look at the picture below.

Each dot is the exact same in diameter, but doesn’t the one on the left look bigger?

So, if this were a plate or bowl of food it would also seem bigger to your brain, and in turn your brain would mentally “think” that it’s eating more food than it really is therefore telling our stomach to shut up and be satisfied.

Yep, like I said it’s that easy to trick ourselves!

5/ Drink water.

Our body cannot distinguish whether it is thirsty or hungry. Rather it has one signal that it releases when it craves either, and in my experience people are usually dehydrated before they are actually hungry.

TRY THIS: When you get the “signal” from your stomach have a large glass of water and wait 10 minutes. Stomach still grumbling? Have another glass and wait another 10 minutes.

In addition, do not want you to drink too many of your calories either.

Recent studies have found that the calories we consume in liquid form don’t “register” as food in the brain’s satiety centres.

Water is the only liquid that will “fill us up” – anything else is simply extra calories to our waistline.

6/ Keep your workout short and sweet.

Perform a higher intensity workout, like a HIIT or a Tabata, so you can reap the benefits without having to spend a lot of time working out.

This is key for those days you do not want to workout because simply the act of knowing your workout is only 15-20 minutes makes it that much easier to get your runners on.

Need some workout ideas? Try these workouts:

7/ Listen to a podcast or audiobook to get you through your cardio.

Keep your brain busy and learn something new – all while performing your cardio.

Need some podcast ideas? Here are a few top the rated health and fitness podcasts that can be found on iTunes:

Fitness

Nutrition

Health

Self-Improvement

8/ Prep!

Prepare for the week ahead by menu planning and prepping your breakfasts, at least four lunches and a large salad (I call them BAS – big ass salads) to carry you through for dinner side dishes.

This one act alone can help you drop inches and fat, as well as save a lot of time for you during the hectic work week AND you will also get the bulk of your dishes done in one go. Awesome, eh?

9/ Pay yourself.

Start a “tip jar” and tip yourself a dollar (or a loonie for my Canadian peeps) every time you workout and meal plan and prep.

At the end of the month you should have yourself enough coin to buy a new workout top, or a treatment at the spa, or flowers to brighten your kitchen.

10/ Join.

Accountability will hold you true to your health and fitness goals, and nothing breeds accountability than registering and paying for a fitness class, program or a trainer.

This is one of the reasons my 30-Day Diet Bootcamp has quickly become one of my most popular programs.

Each week for four weeks my client meets me one-on-one or on Skype. This personal meeting encourages them to stay on point for the week because they are now answering to more than just themselves.

Got some fitness hacks that you use and work? Share below!
WAIT, BEFORE YOU GO

Want a full month’s workout plan? I’ve put together a one-month plan using my workouts from my YouTube channel.

Follow my 1-month training program for fast results.

1 Month FREE Workout Plan - Fitness with PJ

 

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