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Exercise For A Solid Bottom Line


Well the stats sing it loud and clear. Lack of physical activity can have a damaging effect on you and those you work for. That’s right, your risk for diabetes, heart disease and obesity grow yearly while your productivity at work or in your own business has a subsequent decline.


Leading a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious and calorie sound diet with regular physical activity above and beyond what your body is normally accustomed to, have an exceptional impact on just how well you perform your day to day tasks.


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Personal Responsibility To Diet


Everybody is on a diet. Some diets are just better than others. One of the difficulties in maintaining a healthy diet today is due to the abundant temptations and opportunities for overindulgence of food and drink. Good food…really good food. When all of the choices and quantity is under your nose, how do you say no?


The reality of it all is that one-day it will catch up with you. You will look back and wonder where the extra 20 or more pounds came from. By then you may not have the health or fitness to assist in the weight loss and your battle with food will take on a new dimension. 


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These are your goals or what you want to have happen. When you say you want to get in shape you really need to be specific. ‘Getting in shape’ looks different to everyone. To some, it means losing 10 lbs, to others it means feeling fitter and being able to do more physical activities with less effort. So, write down what your definition of getting in shape is. Make a list of three things that you want to see happen.


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It is not in the thinking but in the doing!


The population has never been more educated about fitness and nutrition than today. The majority of people know that we should be exercising and eating well. In fact healthier food choices are more accessible than they have ever been. Even in fast food operations.


We are on average about eight pounds heavier than the last decade. Obesity is on the rise. The average male gains approximately 22 pounds of fat over a 20 year period. That is a one pound gain each year. 


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Somewhere between thinking and doing, lies MOTIVATION!


Sad but true, more than half of the hundreds of thousands of people who started a regular routine of activity and nutrient crackdown regardless of the time of year will succumb to the ‘zone’ and give up. Old habits sneak back into their life, other things take priority over exercise time, meal planning is feeling a little too much like work and you just don’t seem to be seeing the results from exercise that you expected. This is the time to gather your ammunition, so that you are as prepared as possible when the fall out ‘zone’ beckons you to go back to your old ways. 


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Work Smarter not Harder


The idea of "the harder you work out, the better your health" is no longer the focus of exercisers around the country. In fact a new exercise revolution that stresses, ease on bones, joints and muscles and offers moderate stress to the heart and lungs is taking over with big results.


Research shows that a modest amount of enjoyable physical activity each week can extend your life. That’s good news for those who think that getting in shape is too much work.


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When I revealed the amount of calories you burn after a half hour of brisk walking was less than 300 calories, my client turned to me and said, “so, if I just didn’t eat 300 extra calories my body didn’t need, then I could forgo the walk?”


Well, not exactly. You see over eating and inactivity is the reason we gain unwanted pounds. When you eat the same number of calories you burn off in a day you maintain your weight. If you want to loose fat you must somehow tip the scale so that you burn off more than you consume daily until you have reached your goal weight. You can do this by one of two ways. Reduce the calories you consume or increase your activity so you use more of your stored calories for energy.


There are 3500 calories in one pound of fat. One pound of extra fat also brings with it 1 mile of extra capillaries bringing more fat to the fat and three pounds of pressure over the low back and hips. We know it takes a fair amount of activity to burn 300 calories. It also means that you have to do that activity for a total of approximately 12 hours over one week to lose one pound of fat that week. Reducing your daily calories by 500 for seven days will also result in a one-pound loss of fat in one week. 


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The Fat Frenzy


Every source of media is jumping on the low fat, no fat, lite, protein not carbs diet saga. The calls coming in on diet confusion to health professionals are on the rise and the population seems miffed at what is clearly the best strategy for reducing fat. Let’s shed some light on the confusion.


Any registered nutritionist and diet specialist continually come up with the same recommendations. A diet high in complex carbohydrates, rich in vegetables and fruits, low in fat and lean protein that does not exceed your daily caloric requirements will maintain a healthy weight and ward off disease. Sounds simple doesn’t it. Then why is the population in frenzy about fat intake and high protein diets? I believe it is the quick fix syndrome. Why take the scenic route when the short cut will get you there far quicker.


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Mention the word ‘interval’ training and it can be a sure fire way to intimidate some to steer clear. The thought of interval training conjures up images of super hard bodies, die-hard fitness enthusiasts and athletes. However interval training can be a most effective addition to any program allowing you to see faster results in less time.


The key to interval training is intensity. The technique involves intermittent exercise cycles of low and very high intensity. Each interval has a pre-determined time and intensity. The work interval (high intensity exercise) is immediately followed by a recovery interval (low to moderate intensity exercise) and repeated for duration of time. 


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Walk The Talk


Have you heard that the simple task of taking a walk is one of the best ways to take charge of your health? Walking briskly for half an hour just six times a month has been shown to cut the risk of premature death in men and women by 44 percent. Besides the obvious health benefits; the beauty of walking is, we all can do it. We need only a pair of shoes and a healthy attitude!


Many people choose to start a walking program in an attempt to lose weight. The weight loss is usually the cause of improved health. Unfortunately there are many who are walking yet fail to see a drop on the scales. Let’s take a look at a walking program that works on weight loss.


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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!


The national epidemic of obesity in North America is causing researchers to look everywhere for answers. More recently, the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas has published their findings from a series of longitudinal studies on the health benefits of leanness and the hazards of obesity. They have confirmed once again that aerobic exercise undoubtedly contributes to an over all weight loss program and reduces the likelihood of premature death. More importantly, they have also revealed, that low fitness levels seem to be more important than over fatness as a predictor of mortality.


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Steppin Out


Is the Okanagan sunshine beckoning you out of doors? Sunny days are one of the best motivators of physical activity. Now is a good time to get ready for the wonderful outdoor activities the Okanagan will be serving up all summer long. Runners and cyclists are on the streets and as the fields dry out they too will be filled with recreational athletes working on getting ‘in shape’ for the up and coming leagues and summer sports.


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Boomers are in worse shape than seniors!


Yes; you between the ages of 45 and 59. These Boomers, who are overweight or obese and inactive, see themselves living long into retirement, longer than the generation before them.


Here are the cold hard facts: One third of Canadian deaths are heart or stroke related. Obesity and inactivity puts you at a higher risk for diabetes, stoke and heart disease. Ten years from now half of the Canadian population will be over 40. In the near future we could have a heart health care crisis on our Nations hands.


The recent results from a poll done by Investors Group indicate: “2,170 Canadians, baby boomers have strong intentions to remain in the workforce, with 65% of respondents in the 45-64 age group saying they plan to work in their retirement years.” They indicated that theses boomers are expecting to be in good physical health to support their intention to stay working into their retirement. However; of those that retired early, 21% said that the reason they retired was due to a health condition. 


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Body Fat Testing


Body fat testing has been around for a very long time. In the world of sport medicine it has a very complex meaning. It is used to assess a baseline for weight loss progression for someone who is obese or it can also be used to guide a competitive athlete to achieve peak performance. There are numerous testing procedures for assessing body fat. They range from the simplicity of a tape measure to complex high-tech devices. A body fat test measures the amount of fat relative to total body weight. For example, if you have 25% body fat and you weigh 130lbs, 32.5 lbs of your total weight is comprised of body fat.


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So You Say You Want To Change Your Ways.


Too often people jump into action without considering all the factors that may prevent them from sticking to their new plan. Whether you are starting a new exercise program, changing your eating habits or plan to stop smoking, it is important that you make room for this new change. That means taking a good look at your life and finding ways to allow this change to become a way of life. Taking time to be well prepared for obstacles and excuses is so important in the process of change to ensure your behaviour of healthy living sticks. 


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Personal Prevention


Everybody is on a diet. Some diets are just better than others. One of the difficulties in maintaining a healthy diet today is due to the abundant temptations and opportunities for overindulgence of food. Good food…really good food. When all of the choices and quantity is under your nose, how do you say no?


The reality of it all is that one-day it will catch up with you. You will look back and wonder when the extra 20 or more pounds came from. By then you may not have the health or fitness to assist in the weight loss and your battle with food will take on a new dimension.


If you want to drastically lower your risk of lung cancer you would avoid smoking altogether. If you wanted to retire by the age of 55 you would live with less now to live with more then. If you want to get the best resale price on a car you have to treat it like it is always up for sale until the time actually comes to sell it. Preventive behaviour is also the answer for keeping a healthy weight throughout your life. 


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Don’t put off tomorrow….what you can do today.


One of the most common excuses for not fitting activity into every day living is lack of time. The reality is your time is 100% yours until you give it away. Who better to give your time to than you.


We find the time for an extra client and the all-mighty dollar, to catch our favourite television program, lunch or coffee with a friend or watch our kids in dance or hockey. You find the time to do the things that matter. People who cannot find time for recreation and exercise are obliged sooner or later to find time for ill health.


The time has come to get serious about making time for those things that improve your health: exercise, rest and relaxation, healthy eating and more play. 


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Have you ever heard the expression “change is as good as a rest”? It has never been truer when trying to attain a better level of health and fitness.


People who make lifestyle changes to have longevity and quality of life are motivated by all kinds of different reasons, including; an outlet for stress, a desire to be slimmer, to be in better shape, to have more energy, so they may do recreational pursuits with greater ease and to prolong or possibly save their life.


Why is it that some people manage to stick to their plan while others may not even launch into the first week? Or, after 4 or 5 weeks all changes turn back to old habits. I have watched hundreds of people attempt these changes. I believe their lack of success is due to the following deductions. Let’s see how you do.


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What is with all the excitement around taking a tiny white ball, following it around for several hours to see how many times it takes you to knock it into a spec of a hole. If that’s not enough you have to repeat it 18 more times! Ask a golfer and they will tell you discipline, control, solitude, achievement, socializing, mastering precision, athleticism, gratification and for the majority golf is therapeutic. You see, the game of golf can be played by anyone who can walk and hold a club. It brings to each individual a multitude of pleasures and benefits. You don’t have to understand why you play the game. You just play it. When you are in the mode of ‘play’ you can be anyone you want. You are no longer the executive with a deadline, a single mom, the disgruntled employee, or angry teenager. You can get lost for hours under a blanket of warm sun, engulfed in a serene landscape and the smell of fresh cut grass. You choose your company and your conversation. Your mood is whatever you want it to be. If you are one of those golfers who comes off of the course more frustrated than elated then maybe these tips will help you enjoy the game and improve your golf score.


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Why is it that some people can make a decision to be healthier and it just gets done, while others teeter back and forth from contemplation to action as though they are teeter totter champions?  Is it genetics, intellect, character...?  What the heck is it?


Well I have a theory and it isn't any one of those things.  It is all of those and then some.  I am not a scientist, a geneticist or a psychologist, but I have been in the health and fitness industry all my adult life.  I have a degree in exercise science and it  has helped me immensely.  However; experience and thousands of client outcomes over the last decades has given me more insight into human healthy living behaviour than any textbook. So I guess that makes me somewhat of a behaviourist.  And I think it gives me a little clout to speak on the topic.  Let me take you on a journey  and unveil what I think it takes to succeed at healthy living change.


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The Power of 10 (con't)


Next up:  #2 – The Power of Knowledge.  Have you heard the expression, “it’s not what you know that will hurt you,  it’s what you don’t know?  Well we believe that it’s more what you don’t know that you don’t know that will hurt you.  It always surprises me, when coaching, the number of people who don’t know,  fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates.  This is a big deal.  But an even bigger deal is that they didn’t know that they didn’t know fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates.


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