Balanced Living

Tune-Up, Renew, or Re-Commit to Your Fitness Goals!

Posted by Arja on February 4 in Holistic Health

When I design a program for a client I always include exercise recommendations, no matter what their health and wellness goals may be.  Everybody needs to move their body, and if your goals happen to be fat loss, then I can guarantee you that you won’t achieve long-term success without including exercise in some way or another.  Exercise gives us more energy, helps us sleep better, and makes us stronger and less prone to injury.  With this in mind, I’ve teamed up with Justine Cappel from Twenty Toes Fitness to offer you a fantastic promotion this month!  Tune-Up, Renew, or Re-Commit to your fitness goals!  Justine was kind enough to drop by and offer her spin on how to realistically incorporate regular exercise into your routine.

Recently Arja and I met for coffee and a chat.  I looked over the delicious sugary treats and did a quick burpee-equivalent calculation in my head.  I considered the caffeine-spiked bevvies and settled on an herbal tea. (Yes, this took loads of willpower, and I may have been cursing under my breath…I’m a real person too!)

We discovered that over and over again Arja and I hear the EXACT SAME THING! Nearly all of my personal training clients name weight/fat loss as a top goal.  These same women also cite time as the limiting factor in terms of being able to exercise.  Ok ladies, we hear you loud and clear, and we can totally relate:  you have a few pounds to shed, BUT life is just so ridiculously hectic that your goal sometimes feels out of reach.  (Insert deep breath here.)  When it comes to exercise, you need to use your precious time wisely. 

Steady state aerobic activity, such as running on a treadmill has tonnes of positive benefits.  Over time you’ll decrease your resting heart rate, decrease your blood pressure and increase your aerobic capacity, just to name a few.  However, spending hours on a treadmill is not the best way to use your time, unless your number one goal is boredom.  Don’t get me wrong, you can certainly burn a few hundred calories while doing this type of exercise, but you will burn limited additional body fat throughout the day.  Check out this article from the New York Times on why sometimes exercise doesn’t lead to weight loss.

Another option is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This is not a beginner-appropriate style of training. Rather than maintaining a steady state on the treadmill or bike for example, we use a pattern of variable speeds and intensities to bring the heart rate into different training zones.  We cycle through this pattern for a period of 20 – 30 minutes.  You’ll be burning calories at an increased rate not only while you’re exercising, but also hours later while you’re vegging on the couch watching episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (which you’ll need to do, since you’re going to be TOTALLY exhausted.) 

Resistance Circuit Training progresses through a variety body weight or other weight-bearing exercises, usually with minimal breaks in between.  Some examples would be squats, lunges, push-ups or my all-time favourite, the burpee. Programs can be modified to suit all levels and you don’t need a lot of equipment, time or a fancy gym membership for challenging circuit workout.  All you need is a little space in your home.  Like HIIT training, you’ll continue to burn calories at an increased rate for hours after your workout.  So, this is a winner if you like to burn calories while you’re doing nothing…which I do!

Let’s take it from the top.  You have limited time and a goal on your mind.  You want to choose a convenient program that maximizes your return on investment. Try a fully-body in-home resistance circuit. When I work with my in-home clients we train for an hour, but I also design programs that can be completed in half the time.  In an ideal world you fit this into your schedule 2 – 3 times per week, but I want to remind you that anything you add to your routine is much better than what you’re doing right now (sitting on the couch and reading my blog post)!

Here’s the common sense part: eating a healthy diet AND engaging in regular exercise are necessary for weight loss and maintenance (I’m sorry, it’s an AND not an OR). Whether you’re a parent or a busy professional, you CAN fit exercise into a busy schedule without having to drag yourself to a gym, you just need to learn to train wisely. 

  Justine Cappel is a Personal Training Specialist, Pre & Post Natal Fitness Specialist and the Founder of Twenty Toes Fitness.  She brings a ‘normal-girl’ approach to fitness, rejecting the typical ‘no excuses’ mentality upheld by many fitness professionals.  Justine understands that being a mom means not only having a day job, but being a multi-tasker, chauffeur, tushy-wiper, chef, homework buddy, laundry-engineer and procurement specialist.

In her down time, Justine can be found chasing her little lady around or catching up on old episodes of 30 Rock with her husband.  She’s on a mission to create the best-ever smoothie flavour, and is known to break out into spontaneous verses of ‘Old-McDonald had a Farm.’

To find out more about in-home personal training and group fitness visit her at Twenty Toes Fitness.

arja pennanen lytle c.n.p. n.n.c.p certified nutritional practitioner

Arja is a Holistic Nutritionist with a passion for balanced living. She loves to help people sleep better, think better, feel sexier, and just generally feel better by putting the focus on eating foods that make you feel good. Arja uses whole foods, lifestyle adjustments, herbs, and some supplements to help people feel their best and achieve their health and wellness goals.