Travelling? Bands Are It!

 Hi All!

OK, I know, a lot of people don’t love using bands. But when you see the effect of this routine from Prevention Magazine, maybe you’ll change your mind!

I love it most because it’s portable, which means when you go on vacation, there will be no excuse (see yesterday’s blog) to vacation from your fitness routine! Enjoy!

From Along the Fitness Trail,

Tracy

Here’s the routine:

BandWorkout

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Tricking or Treating?

Hello All Creepy Critters (et al)!

Tis another season of tricking and treating. Witch are you doing ghoulfriends and boilfriends?

And I don’t mean the lizard you mean to put into Aunt Martha’s apron pocket or the soaping you intend to put dad’s car through or even the pillow case full of goodies you intend to reap from your neighbours.

I’m talking about the tricking or treating you’re doing to/for yourself. Not just today but every day. Ever hear the ghostly sounds of the excuse train running through your head? Then you know what I mean.

Come with me to unhallowed ground where few mortals dare to tread. The graveyard of broken dreams. The abyss of best intentions. Where the excuse train pulls into its…last…stop.

Take a breath. Don’t be scared. Join me in treating yourself with as much respect as you can possibly muster–before you go screaming stark, raving mad into the night from too much self care.

Instead of tricking yourself out of all the things that are good for you. The things that go bump in the night, that rattle your brains when you are fiercely alone with yourself. Where excuses hold no more water.

Make, instead, a conscious decision to list 3 things every day that you can do to treat yourself well. Then see if you can live up to that list.

I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks and I find I’ve been treating myself a lot better. I don’t ignore those nasty little voices in my head that tell me to go for a workout or call a friend or stop chewing on my fingers!!!

What three things would you do to treat yourself better today? Write them down and then let me know how they turn out.

Along the (Spooky) Fitness Trail,

Tracy

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EdgeWalk, Follow Me and Other Updates

Hi All!

If you missed it, my story on EdgeWalk in Toronto made it’s debute in the Friday version of the Ottawa Citizen’s The Wrap (click on Wrap Oct5 p1 at the end of this post and scroll down).

AND, equally exciting, I’ve finally found the widget so that you can officially follow me! It will automatically send you, as I understand it, my blog posts. Yippee!! Just look to the column on the right and select the FOLLOW button.

Last weekend, my fitness trail took me to Cumberland and the Fall Colours Run. I warmed up on the 1 km Turkey Trot with my nephew, Jack. I’m so proud of him! His five-year-old little body did that run 1 minute faster than last year!! Next year, we’re going to invite Quinn, my three-year-old nephew, to join us. And maybe the year after that? Kaya. And then…well, Tessa will be three by then…!

Then I did the 10 km and I was delighted to have improved over last year’s dismal time!! Regardless, it’s still a beautiful, hilly run and great for a challenge.

I still haven’t got a job (Oh please someone, let me come and write for you!!). I was close, but the cigar wasn’t handed over. Better luck next time.

And, on a final note, Happy Birthday Great Gram!! She’s been dead for many years, but today I can’t help but think of her. She was a wonderful role model and I learned so many lessons from her. I can only hope I can have such an influence on my nieces and nephews.

From Along the Fitness Trail,

Tracy

PSWrap Oct 5 p1

PSS Good luck, Cindy, on your big run in Cal.

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Frolicking in the Fall!

Hello Everyone!

Yesterday I forced myself to go for a run. I mean, I had to force myself kicking and screaming!!

I pulled on my running pants, sports bra, and long sleeve running top. NO!! It’s raining out there!!

I put on a jacket. But it’s only 12 degrees out!!

So, what, you’d rather have 40 degrees?! No humidity. Terrific.

Oh, but my glasses are going to fog up. That’s what running hats are for.

Oh, come on, you know you don’t really want to go.

My shoe laces were a mess and I struggled to put my shoes on over my socks.

See! See! It’s a sign.

That was the conversation I had with myself. Eventually, the healthy side won and out I went.

At times I could barely see through my glasses (oh, when am I going to get laser surgery!). But, you know what? It was actually a really pleasant run. I did 11.5km and I felt great.

I hate to say, “I told you so, self, but, I TOLD YOU SO!”

What excuses are you making??

From Along the (wet) Fitness Trail,

Tracy

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Everything Old is New Again?

Hi All!

I just saw this on the sympatico site and thought you might find it interesting:

The vampire trend just won’t die. And now there’s some medical muscle from the Stanford University School of Medicine to back the benefits of blood-sucking. (Hear me out.)

The study suggests that when older mice were injected with blood from their more youthful counterparts, they experienced a “rejuvenating effect.” With the help of young blood, aging mice generated three times the amount of nerve cells as they normally would.

And it works both ways. When the plasma of older mice was injected into young mice, the production of new nerve cells in the brain slowed down.

Obviously, this doesn’t directly apply to humans but here’s the takeaway: What in blood is causing this? And can scientists use this information to reverse the clock on dementia or Alzheimer’s?

Turns out it might be a protein called eotaxin. Older mice have more of this protein circulating in their blood, compared with young mice. Young mice injected with eotaxin generated fewer nerve cells and experienced memory loss. 

The scientists are now studying the role eotaxin could have on aging brains. Eventually, this research might lead to the end of the age-old question, “Where’d I put my car keys?”

– Marlene Rego, web editor, besthealthmag.ca

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Have You EdgeWalked Yet?

Hi All!
After a hiatus, I am finally back. I have so much to write about!

The first thing I want to share with you is my trip to Toronto. Two weeks ago I was in Toronto for a whirlwind of activities: friends, family, conferencing, and being a tourist. It was so much fun.

But along the way, something stopped me in my tracks: EdgeWalk on the CN Tower.
If you haven’t heard of this latest attraction on the CN Tower yet, check it out on line (www.edgewalkcntower.ca/).  (I’ve also written about my experience for The Ottawa Citizen which you can read when it comes out in a couple of weeks—I’ll let you know).

It was an amazing experience—amazingly terrifying and amazingly beautiful! Whenever I do these crazy, fun, amazing activities they always scream at me, “why the heck don’t you do this more often?”

When I say this to myself, I’m not just talking about the physical adventure of, say, EdgeWalk, but the experience of challenging any part of the mind, body and/or soul.

Sometimes, for example, at work I need to walk on the edge of my skills, push them a little further. Stretch myself so I can be that much better. At home, I need to step up to the edge to communicate a little better with the people I love, because sometimes I become complacent. At other times, the adventure is to look inside to challenge my own thinking or behaviour  or trusting my own instincts to the nth degree.

EdgeWalk reminded me of the results that pushing the envelope can inspire. Yes, it stopped me cold, but when I accomplished my task, I had grown by leaps and bounds in only half an hour! I saw a beautiful view that few people get to see without bars or mesh or glass. And I saw the beauty within myself: courage and spirit and curiosity.

Have you taken an EdgeWalk recently?  How do you know if you have? If something is really difficult, if it pushed you to expand yourself in ways you weren’t even sure you were capable of, you are doing an EdgeWalk.

The beauty of doing any EdgeWalk is that it’s amazingly terrifying and amazingly beautiful. It is a moment of transformation which answers the question, “Why on earth, would you scare yourself silly like that!”

From Along the (high altitude) Fitness Trail,
Tracy

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Four Minutes to Fat Loss & Greater Fitness

Hi All!

Sounds like a late night TV ad, doesn’t it? But you actually can get great results in four short minutes. If you’re a realist at all, however, you’ll know that any workout this short is going to be really hard.

And it is. That’s the Tabata Protocol, an interval training method developed by Izumi Tabata, a researcher and head coach of the Japanese speed-skating team.

Imagine going as hard as you can (that’s 9 or 10 on a scale of 1 to 10) for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds rest—and doing that 8 times. There’s your four minutes. Doesn’t sound so bad does it?

Well, give it a try and you’ll find it’s not for your average bear! I had my Bootcamp class work on it after a demonstration by Personal Trainer Corey Santamaria, a Tabata trainer at Carleton U.

We started with four Tabata intervals of burpees and worked our way up to eight over eight weeks (along with our other Bootcamp activities). Then we added skipping Tabatas. It was interesting and a real workout—even for Bootcamp veterans.

That’s what’s great about Tabata. You can start with one set if you’re a beginner and as your heart becomes more conditioned, you simply add on more intervals.

It’s also fun because any activity can become a Tabata interval. You can hit the fitness trail or hit a heavy bag or hit the floor for some burpees! Anything goes! Although it’s recommended that you start with cardio activities, and then add on play things like weights or bosu.

Your heart rate will skyrocket during this workout because it takes time to build up heart and lung capacity, so wear a heart rate monitor and record your maximum heart rate. Do this workout 3 times per week–no more. You need a good day of recovery between workouts.

When you see your maximum heart rate is lower than previous workouts, you’ll know you’re becoming more conditioned and you can add another interval.  

If you want to increase your aerobic and/or anaerobic capacity, lose weight and/or reduce fat, or you don’t have a lot of time for training and/or want to maximize the time you have, Tabata is for you!

If you like the research behind your workouts…

Dr. Tabata conducted his original study at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. Using highly-trained endurance athletes in peak physical condition, he found that skaters who used the routine five days a week for six weeks improved their maximum aerobic capacity (which measures your body’s ability to use oxygen) by 14% and their anaerobic capacity (which measures your ability to go really hard for as long as you can stand it!) by 28%.

By comparison, a study of traditional aerobic training (70% of aerobic capacity for 60 minutes) for the same number of weeks showed an improvement in aerobic capacity of only 9.5% and no effect on anaerobic capacity. Now those are results!

So whether you’re interested in running (or biking or skating or…) farther or faster (or both), the Tabata Protocol is a great workout. Why not give it a try? If you do, let me know your results!

 To Your Health!

Tracy

 For Tabata’s full research, go to: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8897392
Effects
of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max. Tabata I, Nishimura K, Kouzaki M, Hirai Y, Ogita F, Miyachi M, Yamamoto K.

For more information on Tabata workouts, see the following websites:

http://www.tabataprotocol.com/

http://www.intervaltraining.net/tabata.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_interval_training

http://www.healthhabits.ca/2009/01/21/warning-tabata-workouts-will-cause-fat-loss/

http://www.healthhabits.ca/2009/01/19/tabata-training-101/ 

*** Medical Dislaimer ***

You know the drill: Go see your doctor before starting any kind of exercise routine.

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