Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Defining yourself as a healthy active INDIVIDUAL

Being married for just under 3 months my friends still warn me of the “newlywed ten” or the “first year fourteen,” they say that even I will gain weight and let myself go now that I am married.  

My first 10k race in 2008
8 months after I started running
But fitness and health are part of my identity, of who I am as an individual, and I will not lose that as I build my identity as a husband. 

I spent a great deal of my adult life single or dating, I was motivated to keep up my appearances, I was driven to keep myself busy and entertained, and I had the freedom to cook meals that served ME -no one else.  I spent my time rock climbing, rollerblading, killing WODs at CrossFit, and researching new paleo meals. 

Fitness and living well have become a part of who I am, and it can become a part of WHO YOU ARE too! 

Begin by adding something active to your life once a week. When I first got into fitness I started with running, it’s cheap and you can do it whenever is convenient for you.

Start off with a 5-10 minute warm up, increasing your intensity from easy to power walking pace.  Then jog for 1 minute and power walk for 5 minutes -repeat three times for a total of 18 minutes.  Wrap up with a 5 -10 minute cool down decreasing your intensity from power to easy walking. 

This is a great way to start and will only take about 30 minutes! Eventually you can try building up to a five-kilometer run, and guess what, you’ve already taken the first step to becoming an active healthy individual!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


A couple of weekends ago my wife, Kelly, and I went to Sumner, Washington for a Crossfit Level 1 course. I was taking the course because I love Crossfit, I want to increase my knowledge and eventually open up my own affiliate.

Over the weekend I listened to the lectures and took part in the learning activities - including a ramped up version of Fran with ring pull ups and dumbbell thrusters! In the evening Kelly and I studied, she helped me study in ways I have never studied before. It was amazing! I was filled with knowledge.

The next day I took the certificate exam. I  finished in five minutes and spent the next twenty minutes reviewing my answers. While reviewing I reflected on the time my wife had spent with me.

Kelly had taken time off work to come down to Sumner with me, she studied with me, and talked me down when I was getting frustrated. She spent her entire weekend encouraging me.

This is all part of our relationship. When there is something our partner loves to do we will try our best to be there for them. This kind of encouragement creates a strong bond and environment where both parties are encouraged to grow. This bond is the foundation of our home of healthiness.

Oh, and because of her help, my certificate is in the mail. Yahoo! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why Women should lift heavy (and why partners should encourage it!)

I was talking to my mum the other day - who btw is a major inspiration! She's 50 something, had a heart attack just over a year ago and has worked her body (and heart) back into better shape than ever! 

Her new goal is to "tighten things up" (what woman doesn't want that!?). I told her to continue focusing on her strength training and to use heavier weights...she asked why. This is why. Strength training with heavier weights:

This pretty red kettle bell is 32 kilos or 70
pounds! A little heavy for me but I
can lift it! 
  1. Burns more fat and calories than traditional cardiovascular training. This is because your metabolism is fired up for many hours after your training session.
  2. Results in more muscle definition and tone. 2-5 pound weights do not challenge the muscles enough to produce noticeable results. 
  3. Helps strengthen and protect your bones against osteoporosis. Similar to muscle, bones increase in strength and density with weight training and impact. 
  4. Increases strength and functional ability! Allowing you to live without assistance to lift groceries, move your couch, open a pickle jar, etc. Giving you freedom and empowerment!
  5. Helps protect your joints and prevent injuries. Joints rely on surrounding muscles for balance, stability and protection.  

Now husbands, the weight room is an intimidating place for many women. If your wife feels this way, accompany her there! If you are both unfamiliar with your local weight room, ask for a tour. As a weight room attendant at Port Moody Recreation Centre, I can tell you we love showing people around!

And finally women, you will not get bulky giant muscles from lifting heavier weights! Mostly because:

  1. Women do not naturally have enough testosterone
  2. People in general do not eat the large amounts of protein required
  3. We do not train nearly hard or heavy enough.
Women in the muscle building magazines train and diet extremely rigorously to look the way they do, it does not happen accidentally. 

My mum's already increased her weights from 4 to 8 pounds...what about you?!

Picture Courtesy of amy leigh PHOTOGRAPHY

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Thinking about health on vacation

Thoughtful words at Yoga Soleil
in my new CrossFit Sumner shirt 
Andrew and I are currently on a mini vacation...well we are in Sumner, Washington. I am vacationing while Andrew completes his CrossFit certification (Go Andrew! He's gonna be a kick-ass coach, look out for him!). 

With all this time on my hands I got to thinking about holidays. We all have vacations where we come home feeling like we need another - exhausted, bloated, and maybe slightly guilty for how we have treated our body.  I am determined to come home from this mini-vacay feeling rested, healthy and positive! 

So instead of sleeping until noon and spending FULL days lazing about I checked out CrossFit Sumner and Yoga Soleil...THEN spent guilt-free days in savasana (yogi for laying on my back), reading at the beach, and pampering myself! 

Andrew and I have also stocked our mini fridge so we can keep up our Paleo/clean eating for breakfast and lunch which, similarly allows us to have delicious guilt-free dinners (and desserts!). 

So take the time to do something active on your vacation, get it done in the morning before the temptation of the afternoon siesta derails you and remember your post vacation self will thank you for your new holiday habits!