March - September 2016

The Journey of Losing 110 lbs

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I have been meaning to write about my journey on how I lost 110 lbs (2009 - 2011). It took me almost two years to lose the weight. But, eventually, I got it done.

I never wanted my friends to either to talk about it or take pictures of me; I didn't want to accept the reality. I was obese and was not going to do anything about it.

At the time, I was going to college full time in Miami, Florida. Eating whatever I wanted (fan of the dollar menu) and for sure not stepping close to a gym. I would even avoid walking. Haha, silly me.

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In 2009, I decided I needed to change. I needed to get my health back. I would always tell myself I didn't have time to workout or prep my meals or sleep. I told myself "Sergio Make time!"

Once I was mentally in the right place to accept what needed to be done, I started my adventure to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

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How much weight? I didn't know at the time. I just needed to start somewhere.  I started with small goals. For example, I'm going to lose 5 pounds this month. Once I accomplished that goal I moved to the next goal. Losing 10 pounds, and so on. Finally, from 320 lbs to 210 lbs!

 

 

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HerE ARE the 5 CHANGES I MADE that helped my weight loss journey!



1) Resistance Training - Compound Movements

 

Focusing on big muscle group movements would help me burn more calories while building muscle. Compound movements engage more than one muscle group. 

I made these exercises a priority at the beginning. I would add this full body workout 2-4 times in my weekly routine.

Resistance Training

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Push Up

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Squats

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Deadlifts

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Rows

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Planks

Article about how often should you be working out!

Remember to stretch after your workout!

 

2) High-Intensity Interval Training - Steady State Cardio

 

Circuit Training
CT Is the completion of 2 or more exercises performed back to back.

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15 Reps of Deadlifts - 30 Reps of Kettlebell Swings

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20 Reps of TRX Squats - 20 Reps of TRX Squat Jumps

 

Metabolic Training
It's similar to circuit training; it just requires you to minimize rest times to maximize burning more calories.

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Battle Ropes - Slams - 10 Sets, 30 Second Work, 10 Second Rest

 

MMA (Combat Sports) 

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Wrestling & Kickboxing

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Boxing

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Muay Thai

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30 second rest at lvl 10 - 30 second burst at lvl 20

Add these exercises to your workout to switch up your routine!

Listening to Ultimate 80s Songs helped me keep pushing and focused on finshing these workouts! Songs like debbie gibson lost in your eyes.

 

3) PORTION CONTROL AND AVOID FAST FOOD

 

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It's difficult at the beginning, but it just takes a couple of days for you to adapt to eating less.  It's not about being full, it's about being satisfied.

- Eat more fiber (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.) 
- Eat healthy fats (avocados, tuna, nuts, dark chocolate, eggs, etc.)
- Increase protein intake
- Decrease carbohydrate intake (in particular on the nights where there is no workout planned)
- Minimize simple carbohydrates (baked goods, cookies, white bread, fruit juice, white pasta, soda pop, jam, white rice, etc.)
- Increase complex carbohydrates (spinach, apples, zucchini, asparagus, brown rice, kidney beans,  whole wheat bread, lentils, etc.)
- Don't starve
- Avoid eating late at night (try and make your last meal 3-4 hours before you sleep)
- Avoid fast foods at all time

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It was my wedding night, I swear.

Some tips on lowering your cholesterol! 

 

4) Drink water or more water

 

- Replace caloric drinks with Water
- Drink before you eat
- Drink water before, during and after going to the gym
- Drink at least 6 - 8 ounces of cups of water
- If you get tired of drinking water because of the taste, add some lemon slices
- Drink cold water in the morning

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Cowboy Charmander making sure I drink my last 2 cups of water

5) Sleep more

- Stops you from going to the fridge
- The more you sleep, the more you burn calories
- More energy, less fatigue
- The body recovers quicker rather than sleeping less

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This is the 6 - 8 hours of sleep face


Sergio Pedemonte is a Your House Fitness personal trainer based in Toronto, ON. To view her profile click on her name.


Add Variety To Your Workout Routine


Feeling a little bored with your fitness routine?

We all get one-track-minded sometimes when it comes to choosing workouts, which ultimately leads us to plateaus and boredom.  How do we add variety to our fitness?  Here are a few different exercise options that can really add great depth and variety to your fitness routine!

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Climbing

Climbing activities have great benefit for us.  Not only is it a great strength exercise, but climbing is also all about ENDURANCE while developing BALANCE, CO-ORDINATION and CORE STABILITY.  Add a day or two of climbing to your routine and it will add an awesome dynamic aspect to your training.

Try these stretch' after climbing!

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Drumming

That’s right folks, I said DRUMMING.  Being a drummer myself, I find many positive exercise benefits that transfer over from DRUMMING into modern fitness.  DRUMMING is also about a combination of STRENGTH and ENDURANCE, while promoting increased neurological development with PATTERNS, SEQUENCING, and TIMING.  DRUMMING has also been noted as a top DE-STRESSING activity, promoting RELAXATION and a HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM by Dr. Barry Bittman.

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Boxing

Like other martial arts, BOXING provides a fast paced CARDIO and STRENGTH building activity into one package.  BOXING builds TIMING, SPEED, and POWER and provides an awesome outlet to RELIEVE STRESS.  BOXING promotes a great deal of CORE ACTIVITY as well AGILITY and also improves EYE-HAND CO-ORDINATION.  BOXING will make you SWEAT!  It is still one of the top FAT-BURNING exercises out there!

Check out how to hit some pads

Moving in boxing?

Different combinations in boxing

Give these fitness activities a try, and see how it adds variety to your workout routine!

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Eric Zimmerman is a Your House Fitness personal trainer based in Toronto, ON. To view his profile click on his name.


Women and The Weight Room

The Weight Room & Women

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Women and The Weight Room

Okay, we have probably all heard and read a million times how important it is for women to lift weights, so why do the majority of women I know still not do it? When I talk with them about it they say the same things we were hearing 10 years ago “I don’t want to get big” is the most popular reply, followed closely by, “I don’t know what I am doing in the weight room and I find it intimidating to be in there.” These are all valid thoughts and feelings, so what can we do to change it for ourselves now and women in the future?

Let’s look at the beginning of weight lifting for men: when they are young, they begin to go in groups where they start to learn the basics of the gym setting, what dumbbells and barbells are used for and how to structure basic workouts where they are encouraged by their coaches and peers to get into the gym and get lifting. If you go into any gym now shortly after school time you can easily see these groups of young men lifting, chatting over weights on their breaks and of course, flexing in the mirror. But where are the young women? If in the gym at all, we might find these women stuck in the cardio area where they are slowly but surely carving out their comfort zone while in the gym. We still don’t see the same social support of getting girls into the gym as we see for the boys, which is silly when you think about it, because young women can benefit from weight lifting just as much as the young men will and do.

Weight lifting is great for so many reasons, not only does it help to strengthen bones and of course muscles, but it helps to shape the body and keep the mind and joints healthy (if done properly). It can help us achieve our activities of daily living more efficiently, have more energy throughout our days, and help us build our self confidence and it doesn’t stop there, the list of benefits is literally endless.

So how can we start to make this change right from the beginning? I think we should throw out these old ideas of “lifting is for the men” and include women. Instead of going to the gym with your best friend every night for spin class, hit up one of your favorite lifters and ask him or her to tag along. Hire a Personal Trainer who can show you the ropes. We need to start to look at our bodies and realize that muscles are muscles, it doesn’t much matter if they are on a male or female frame. They require the same sorts of heavy lifting and progressive overload if you want them to look firm and toned. Women have to take the necessary steps to get out of cardio and group exercise land and into the weight room.

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As a female who has been lifting heavy for almost 8 years, I can promise you that you won’t ever get too big; the women that we see on social media or in magazines who are more muscular then what the average woman would prefer have taken certain steps such as specialized exercise programming and nutrition plans that foster that type of muscle growth. Without the assistance of a professional and very specific protocols, the probability of that happening to you are basically slim to none. We need to encourage and educate our daughters and other young women to learn and start these habits early as they will benefit them their entire lives. We need to use our own bodies to show the benefits of weight lifting and help break down the fear surrounding the weight room. We need to help to educate our friends and family members on the weight room basics and above all else we all need to help everyone feel comfortable and welcome in the gym so that men and women alike can have healthy, fit and strong bodies.

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Exercises That Help Manage Chronic Pain


Exercises That Help Manage Chronic Pain

 

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When it comes to fitness, there are many misconceptions surrounding the idea that pain

should halt workouts. Many people believe that once the pain is felt, workout routines

should come to an end. In the physiotherapy industry, we spend many hours working

with patients in an effort to manage pain. Exercise is an integral aspect of pain

management. In other words, sometimes in order to reduce pain, exercise is needed.

Thanks to the good folks at Your House Fitness who are revolutionizing the fitness

industry and burying these misconceptions which have been detrimental to many

Canadians.

 

Chronic pain and fibromyalgia may not have any known cure, but that does not mean

that these conditions should go untreated. With physiotherapy and a great exercise

routine, pain could indeed be decreased. Here are 5 exercises that help decrease the

symptoms associated with fibromyalgia and chronic pain.

 

Aquatic Workouts

 

If traditional cardio exercises such as running or cycling feel a bit rough on the joints,

then fitness professionals recommend aquatic exercises like swimming to help manage

chronic pain. The great aspect of aquatic therapy is the fact that there are no issues with

gravity, meaning that there is no pressure on the joints. If you suffer from chronic back

pain, swimming is highly recommended because it is easy on the spine. Another massive

benefit of aquatic exercises is that with less gravity, your limbs will expand and this may

relieve any painful pressure surrounding the joints.

 

Walking

 

According to a study published by Northeastern University, the “reciprocal, back and

forth motion” associated with walking is great for relaxation for chronic pain. Maura

Iversen, a researcher at Northeastern University states that the motion associated with

walking is great for those who suffer from fibromyalgia because the constant motion is

known to relieve pain. Walking is great because it helps reduce stiffness and opens up

circulation within the body.

 

Yoga

 

Practicing yoga may help decrease symptoms associated with fibromyalgia and chronic

pain, according to the Journal of Pain Research. The study found that participants

reported less pain after yoga and were more mindful of their condition. Yoga is great

because it helps with blood circulation, which is known to decrease inflammation. It’s

important to remember that you may not be able to complete all poses if you suffer from

chronic pain, but yoga is a great place to “open” up the body and reduce stiffness.

 

Weight Lifting

 

Strength training is great for those who suffer from many conditions because strong

muscles tend to decrease pain. Many ailments which physiotherapists help treat are

directly caused by weak muscles. Weight lifting helps increase adrenaline and may

improve your quality of life. Remember to start slow and to keep the weights light until

you are ready to progress with strength training.

 

Stationary Bike Exercises

 

If walking is a bit too difficult on the knees, then perhaps try the stationary bike. This is

another example of a light aerobic exercise which may help decrease pain. The

stationary bike is great because you are able to go at your own pace and take pressure off the legs due to the force of peddling.


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This post was brought to you by Health Max Physiotherapy, a group of physiotherapy

clinics located in Toronto and the GTA. A Special thanks to Your House Fitness for

letting us reach out to you guys!


Finding Your Time


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Finding Your Time

At Your House Fitness, we are servicing a lot of clients who are frequently up in the air. Most of the time on work and the remainder of the time on vacation. Traveling between meetings in different cities across the US and Canada or simply driving between cities in Ontario.

Most of us have the intention to keep fit and healthy, we feel that things tend to get in the way due to commitments or self ambition.  Speaking of ambition, we all have a balanced goal of investing our time in our health as well as our careers. Realistically, we get caught up in one and totally neglect the other. Balancing your program isn't just your fitness, it's delegating what is manageable and what can really be done on a daily basis, upon exerting the least stress as possible. 

Saying you have ''no time'' could be something you'll say for the rest of your life.

It's best to sit down at the table and figure out a plan that is suited to you.

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The Hotel Goer

For those who are up early, boarding the plane and commuting between hotel rooms, exercising at your home or condominium that morning is out of the question. Making sure that there is 30-45 minutes in the day ahead is important. Research if there is a gym or exercise room at the destination you’re scheduled to check in. If there are locations you visit frequently, plan your programs accordingly, as you know the equipment that is available at the other side. Before heading to the airport each morning, remembering to eat well and staying hydrated is essential, as traveling in the air can take a lot of people.

 

Hotel Gym

Design your 30 minute workouts properly for the hotel gym. Make sure that your warm up activates all muscle groups and flexors before training. Make sure that some bodyweight and free weight exercises are performed to improve overall functional strength. Test all fitness components by including what's needed within your minutes:

Warm Up

4-5     Warm up by machine or light circuit routine

Cardio

8-10   Test your cardio fitness in intervals. Test your HR to improve your fitness

Strength

10-15  Make sure to add bodyweight exercises to improve functional strength

Stretch

4-5    Recover your muscles from your workout and improve your flexibility

 

No Gym, No Worries

Some of the best workouts are not completed with the use of a lot machines, or even free weight equipment for that matter. Fitness can be packed as light as your luggage. Within your small travel case, you can add some apparatus that will help you complete a full body workout when you arrive at your hotel room. Upon arriving, you can take advantage of what is available in your suite, as well as any surroundings, such as a courtyard or park.

 

Boarding The Plane

 

Theraband    ( Avg Travel Weight - 7.05oz )

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Therabands are the lightest and easiest to fit in your travel case. You can complete a full workout with a band. It can be tied around the upper and lower extremities of your legs to work all muscle groups of the lower half of the body from your core, hips, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. They are also very useful for mobility and rehabilitation exercises. They are also great for using in the hands for upper body stretching. Using external objects, you can tie the band to work your upper body muscle groups, where you can perform multiple repetitions.

 

Resistance Band    ( Avg Travel Weight - Light 2-4lbs - Moderate 6-8lbs )

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Resistance bands carry out the same functions as the theraband. These bands offer a bit more grip with the addition of stitched handles. They also carry more weight. This is to work the bigger muscle groups with tougher repetitions.

 

Fold Up Mat    ( Avg Travel Weight - 2-4lbs )

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Fold Up Mats, such as Yoga Mats, can be used for various cardio and strength exercises. Predominantly used for abdominal drills, mats can be used to do bodyweight circuits that improve full functional health.

 

Agility Ladder    ( Avg Travel Weight - 1 -2.5lbs )

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Agility Ladders are easy to pack and unfold. It is very useful for traveling as it gives a great amount of length for for the weight it carries. Once unraveled, the ladder is great for coordination & balance drills, as well as lower body exercises. Again, tying a theraband around your legs, can add more intensity to your workout with this piece of equipment.

 

Packing Your Car

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If you are the executive that travels to and from Toronto, you can be setup for your fitness commute at all times, by only taking up a section of the boot.

When packing your car with the equipment mentioned above, there is more freedom of adding some heavier apparatus than opposed to traveling airborne. You can add the following to get a better workout on the go:

 

·      Dumbbells

·      Slam Balls

·      Ropes

·      TRX

 

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Pick Your Park

There are plenty of parks around to create a great circuit. It's also a great time to get out in the sun and do some recreational and social.

Pick a place where you have plenty of space use all your apparatus to its best potential. Choose a venue where there is hills, so you can include sprints in your workout. If the park is big enough, you can perform long distance running too.

High Park and Christie Pits are two large parks in Toronto I recommend for testing all components of your fitness from all the light carry equipment mentioned in the passage.

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Ben Walker is a Your House Fitness personal trainer based in Toronto, ON. To view his profile click on his name.


Lowering Your Cholesterol

Simple Methods Of Lowering Your Cholesterol

 

What is Cholesterol?

We all want a healthy heart.

One main key in life is to keep your cholesterol at a minimum.

To put it simple, cholesterol is fat in the blood. As it exists in all cells of the body, it is continuously traveling through the bloodstream. It travels in small sacs called lipoproteins. These packages are made up of lipids on the inside (fat) and proteins on the outside.

Lipoproteins support cholesterol as active transporters, by ensuring that its functions can be met throughout the body. These metabolic reactions include:

 

·      Hormone & Vitamin D Production

·      Enzyme Production for Digestion

·      Production Of Bile

·      Cell Membrane Growth & Support

 

Does my body need more Cholesterol?

Your body does not have to intake excess cholesterol, as your liver produces the amount that is needed to circulate the bloodstream.  If you have a diet that is high in saturated and trans fat, your liver will stimulate by producing more cholesterol that is needed.

 

Dangers Of High Cholesterol

The first danger an individual can experience is that there is no signs or symptoms to tell that somebody has high cholesterol. A regular check up is the best way to determine its status.

Some of the most acute and fatal medical emergencies can be a result of high cholesterol. Too much can build plaque on the coronary arteries, can cause blood pressure to rise and can result in a heart attack or stroke.

 

LDL Cholesterol

LDL Cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoproteins, are said to be the bad cholesterol we consume from the food we eat. These lipoproteins, along with fat and calcium, build the plaque inside our coronary arteries, which eventually breaks off and causes a rupture in the vessels of our heart. 

 

HDL Cholesterol

HDL Cholesterol, also known as high-density lipoproteins, are said to be the good cholesterol as its function actually counteracts the effects of LDL Cholesterol.

This form of cholesterol helps clear the pathways of our coronary arteries and fights against plaque, spacing the lipoproteins in the bloodstream, allowing them to travel freely and more effectively.  

 

Balancing Your Cholesterol

Lowering Your LDL Cholesterol in Your Diet

 

Niacin

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Niacin is works well in both ways. It reduces LDL and triglycerides in the bloodstream, while increasing HDL. It is advised that you consume Niacin in small amounts on a daily basis. Sources include:

 

·      Mushrooms

·      Sunflower Seeds

·      Pork

·      Beef

·      Tuna

·      Chicken

·      Avocado

 

Fiber

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Fiber attracts itself to cholesterol and attaches to lipoproteins. It depletes LDL by 5-6% in each cell. Good sources of fiber include:

 

·      Wholegrain Rice, Pasta and Bread

·      Oatmeal

·      Beans

·      Nuts

·      Fiber Enriched Cereals (Bran)

·      Crunchy Vegetables

·      Green Vegetables

 

Reduce Saturated and Trans Fats

While Niacin is present in Pork, Beef, Liver and other sources of red meat, it is best to eat cleaner sources that contain the vitamin such as chicken, fish and other vegetables, due to the high levels of saturated fat. Cookies, cakes and chips should be kept to an absolute minimum too. Trans fat is worse for stimulating LDL cholesterol in the liver.

 

Raising Your HDL Cholesterol

 

Physical Activity

Exercise is the most efficient way to raise your HDL levels. Aerobic exercise is also essential for burning triglycerides in the blood.  HDL builds slower than LDL, but keeping fit is the fastest way to a healthy heart.

 

A Simple Start If You Have High Blood Cholesterol

Step 1: Start adjusting your diet lightly, stay hydrated.

Change can not be easy and it requires time and patience. The best way to develop habit is small increments at a time.

Don't skip breakfast. When you wake up, make sure that you can eat something that is low in cholesterol and stay hydrated. A perfect breakfast would be oatmeal with skim milk, mixed with a combination of light fruit. Oatmeal helps to lower LDL Cholesterol, and is a very healthy long lasting stable carb. It reduces the temptation to eat badly or too often throughout the day. Add flax seeds and other other high fiber grains that are even tasteless to increase good cholesterol. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help you exercise, increasing your HDL levels.

 

Step 2: Start exercising lightly

If somebody has high cholesterol and high blood pressure, it is most likely they need to lose weight under safe guidelines at the beginning.

Don't over exert yourself too much and put excess pressure on your heart.

 

Safe Exercises If You Have High Blood Cholesterol

All the exercises listed below can be included into one workout routine with lengthy rest periods. Each drill is effective in weight loss. Drinking small amounts of water between each exercise is even more important for daily hydration levels.

 

High Incline Walk

Raising and decreasing the incline on a treadmill is a great way to start adjusting to cardiovascular exercise. This is a safe way to control your heart rate and start burning calories. It will also help activate muscles in the legs, core and back for when ready to progress to other exercises.

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Light Biking

Like the treadmill, the bike is another machine that can be utilized under your control at the gym. Changing the resistance in intervals, you can lightly challenge your aerobic capacity and make steady improvements.

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Small Step Ups

Step Ups are very good for functional health. We repeat this movement consistently. Whether its taking the stairs, climbing a wall or going hiking, we are always stepping up. Not only will small steps help you lose weight very quickly, it will help strengthen your legs, lower back and hips. There is more hip activation in different kinds of step ups, which is important for keeping healthy knees, so you can perform the exercise at a later stage itself. Another benefit of step ups is improving your balance. Buy a small stepper for at home if you don't have one in your own exercise room!

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Bench Squats

Bench squats, opposed to a squat, are more safe for anyone who has issues with balance or lower back pain. This exercise is again very good for improving hip and core strength, as well as the prime movers in the legs.

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Light Free Weight Exercises & Machines

It may not be time for holding that plank or performing various isolated core exercises just yet, but while we are losing that weight, you can still keep your upper body strong and progress easy. Remember, it all burns calories, and building that lean tissue on your body will always increase weight loss no matter where its situated. Choosing 3lbs or 5lbs dumbbells, you can test how many repetitions you can do in seated position.

·    

Step 3: Reduce Substances That Promote LDL Cholesterol

 

Smoking

Smoking will affect your aerobic capacity significantly. It depletes HDL Cholesterol but also affects its improve it through cardiovascular exercise. After the succession of quitting smoking, you will see dramatic results within a year. Huge increase in stamina and a significant reduction in heart rate and blood pressure.

 

Addition Of Sugar & Salt

There is enough sugar and sodium in the food we eat, especially anything that comes out of a packet or a can. Natural sugars from fruit and stable carbs you eat is enough. As for sodium, there is no need to use the salt shaker at the table at any time. A reduction in both helps the blood flow better in high density.

 

Anabolic Substances

If you are looking to increase you athletic performance, anabolic drugs or substances will lower your HDL levels and increases your LDL levels after use rapidly. Best to stay away.


Ben Walker is a Your House Fitness personal trainer based in Toronto, ON. To view his profile click on his name.


A Different Way Of Stretching


After completing a full body workout with Daniel, I wanted to show him several static stretches with the use of a band. 

The band adds more diversity into your stretches. It is also able to target deeper muscles that are not targeted doing regular stretches.

I highly recommend these stretches after finalizing a workout to improve overall flexibility.

- Holding time: 30 seconds to 1 min

The thing to remember here is to allow the band to do the pulling for you. There should be no activation of muscles.

Back Stretch

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Daniel is not retracting his shoulder blade. This avoids any type of unnecessary activation. Instead, he is slightly rounding his shoulders, this allows the band to pull his upper back to allow a deeper stretch on the upper back muscles (Trapezius, Rhomboids, Teres Major/Minor, Posterior Deltoids and more).

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This is another stretch that focuses on the elevation of the scapula and stretching the following muscles: Latissimus Dorsi, Trapezius, Deltoids and Biceps. 

Note: If you fully extend your arms you'll have deeper stretch on the bicep muscles.

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Daniel is allowing the band to pull him forward, by doing this there is an involuntary elevation of scapula. This stretch primary lengthens the Latissimus Dorsi (Lats). 

Chest Stretch

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If you notice that band is below Daniel's elbow joint. Daniel is slightly leaning forward, this allows him to get a deeper stretch on the Pectoralis Minor and Major. The more you lean forward, the deeper the stretch will become.

Leg Stretch

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The band helps Daniel's hips tilt forward (Posterior Tilt). This stretch focuses on the Hip Flexor Muscles (Psoas Major, Iliacus, and more).

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In this picture, Daniel is laying down on the floor with the band inside his ankle joint. I added a Kettlebell on the right leg to act as an anchor so the hips don't come up (by allowing the hips to go up it adds less of a stretch to the hamstrings). This stretch focuses on stretching the Hamstring muscles.

Bonus Stretch!!!

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Yes yes yes! The band was not required for this exercise (Couch Stretch), but its still one of the best stretches for the hips and Quadriceps muscles. 


Sergio Pedemonte is a Your House Fitness personal trainer based in Toronto, ON. To view his profile click on his name.


Looking out for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


What is Carpal Tunnel?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a medical condition, where the median nerve becomes trapped and compressed at the wrist.

The nerve itself originates from the brachial plexus, a bundle of networking nerves, located above the clavicle region on each side of the neck.  It’s the only nerve that travels through the carpal tunnel, hence the danger of it being pressed.

People who suffer from CTS will feel the pain systematically to where its present, but over time shooting towards its origin as the syndrome onsets and becomes worse. Therefore, pain in the arm will start travelling upward towards the cervical region.

 

Early Signs And Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel

The systematic pain around the wrist will mostly affect the muscular functions closest to the compressed nerve. The first complaint will be numbness and a sharp painful tingling sensation in the thumb, before feeling the same symptoms in the index and middle finger.

There may be a further loss in motor function. Grip strength can be weakened due to the weakened receptors in the hand. You may feel restricted from grabbing something with force. A common indicator of CTS is experiencing extreme pain in the wrist while sleeping, which can often wake you up.  

 

CAUSES   

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Diabetes

Carpal Tunnel syndrome is diagnosed in 27% of Diabetes patients in North America today.  The effects of high blood pressure and increase in weight is said to play a role in making the canal for the carpal tunnel more narrow, adding extra compression to the median nerve.

 

Pregnancy

The build up of fluid (edema) in the limbs during pregnancy, causes swelling and applies pressure to the wrist.

 

Hypothyroidism

Thyroid Dysfunction causes fluid to be retained in the connective tissues in the body. The tissue overlying the wrist is affected by this swelling also.

 

Work Related

Many office and manual workers are diagnosed on a daily basis due to excessive motion or hyperextension that chronically wears down and compress the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. Hyperextension could be a result of poor wrist position when using a mouse, keyboard or typewriter. 

 

Self Harm

As seen above, the causes of weight and high blood pressure play a major impact in CTS.  Addictive habits such as smoking, drinking and eating can contribute significantly in causing carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

What you can do?

 

Improve your work setting

Make sure that you’re keyboard and chair are aligned properly for good posture and not hyperextending the wrist at all times. Keep your chair higher if possible and keyboard less inclines.

 

Keep healthy weight and blood pressure

Avoiding binge eating, smoking, drinking and other excessive habits.

This can help reduce the compression of the root canal over time, keeping BP reduced and avoiding the risk of diabetes that contributes to CTS.

 

Take breaks and practice good posture

Stress will also cause the compression to accelerate in the carpal tunnel. Take breaks, relax the shoulders more and practice good posture. This will also keep the brachial plexus functional and healthy from where it originates to the wrist.

 

Practice Your Grip

When holding items, try to use your hand opposed to just your fingers. This is important as a lot of the muscles supporting your wrist can become frail and weak.

Use your palm to grip to avoid imbalances.

 

Weight Training And Exercise

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will develop in the wrist, and its primary symptoms offsetting from where the problem is localized. However, training the muscles from the upper traps/ cervical region to the hands will ensure that the muscles will stay strong, loosed and well balanced, helping the nerves travel well from the brachial plexus. This way the median nerve can operate healthy from its origin to the wrist.  Cardiovascular exercise will keep your weight down also and be beneficial for avoiding CTS.

 

Don’t Promote A Thyroid Condition

·      Reduce Smoking

·      Increase Selenium Levels In Your Diet

·      Don’t overuse fluorides (Toothpaste, Mouthwash, Antiseptic)

·      Don’t over consume Soy products


Ben Walker is a Your House Fitness personal trainer based in Toronto, ON. To view his profile click on his name.