November 3, 2017

This past weekend, I attended my favourite annual fitness event – the CanFitPro Vancouver Fitness Expo. I thought I’d share with you four bits of information that most stood out to me.

#1: Ideal Facebook post length is just 40 characters!

People are mostly scrolling both Facebook and Instagram looking at photos, so you may get away with most followers reading 1-2 sentences at best. #noattentionspan

– “Best of” Social Media for Fitness Pros with Amanda Vogel

#2: Just one night of sleeping only 4-5 hours = a 70% drop in natural killercells (Natural Killer Cells are lymphocytes/white blood cells that play a major role in the host-rejection of both tumours and virally infected cells, aka kill cancer cells.)

– Thrive: 7 Keys to a Healthier, More Meaningful, Impactful Life with Dr. Susan Biali

#3: Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (DRA) is the separation of the rectus abdominis muscles along the linea alba, or the inability to create tension across the abdominal wall.

  • 100% of pregnant women will get a DRA by the 35th week of pregnancy.
  • 55% of women with pelvic floor dysfunction (bladder accidents/leaking/pelvic pain) have a DRA.
My friend, Krista Dennett, and I, at a Core Confidence Workshop October 29, 2017 (my due date) at canfitpro Vancouver.

– What’s the deal with Diastasis? with Kim Vopni, the Vagina Coach from Bellies Inc.

#4: “Choice lies in the space between stimulus and response.”

The Calm Before the Client with Mia Jerritt of Integrated Life Strategies

February 10, 2017

We already know that sprinting is a time-efficient way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness.

We know that because most studies on sprinting are are done in a lab with equipment. A new study at McMaster University in Hamilton investigated whether brief, intense, stair-climbing would be just as efficient. (Note that intense means either taking the stairs quickly or two-at-a-time and pumping with your arms.)

The study, published in the ACSM’s Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, studied 31 previously sedentary women. After three rounds of continuously ascending stairs for 20 seconds, the women’s heart rates were similar to that after performing 20-second cycling sprints.

The takeaway?

As annoying as it may be, doctors are fitness professionals are still going to tell you to take the stairs. Now we know that those 20-second bouts of intense stair-climbing throughout your day will have the same effect as actually sprinting on a spin bike.

January 21, 2017

Writing was my first love.

When I was seven years old, I started my own newspaper. It was originally called The Baby Goat Express, and I guess when I realized that that didn’t make any sense, I renamed it The Nahanni Explosion. (We lived in the bush near Nahanni National Park in the Northwest Territories.) I took a Creative Writing course by correspondence in high school (and I wasn’t even that nerdy so that was a big deal). When Rory Gilmore decided she was going to journalism school, I decided I would, too. I got a summer job at the local newspaper, The Fort Nelson News. As I type this, this is actually on the front page.:

I moved across the country, by myself, at the age of 17, to downtown Toronto, to attend the Ryerson University School of Journalism, where I was accepted and embraced as the grammar Nazi I have always been. (The irony of that run-on sentence is not lost on me.)

In the summers between my third and fourth years of school, working at the good ol’ Fort Nelson News, I fell in love with a handsome Mountie (my first actual love, of course), who is now my husband. We stayed together through my last year of university and, after graduating from Journalism school, I moved back to Fort Nelson, and back to him.

Done with reporting, I got a job at the local literacy society. Here comes my second love… (not literacy that would make this story really boring).

Fitness is my second love.

I began working out in Grade 12 and continued when I went to university and was no longer dancing competitively. I gained the Freshman 20 and fought back hard, becoming fascinated with fitness, doing yoga, reading every fitness magazine, and falling in love with group fitness.

Eventually, after university, I began teaching fitness classes, and then yoga classes, which became so lucrative and popular, I quit my job at the Literacy Society and taught full-time. It was a dream. I was writing casually, and for free.

I guess you could say the body is Love #3.

A few years later, I wanted more. I wanted to know more about the body. I applied to go to Registered Massage Therapy School, which is a very intensive program in British Columbia. It was an incredibly busy and stressful two years, but then, voila! I was an RMT. (Not exactly that easily, but let’s say so.)

There I was: working full-time as an RMT, teaching 5-10 fitness or yoga classes a week, teaching weekend yoga workshops, and being that friend who has to book engagements two months in advance. I was very busy and very happy, but I missed writing.

Since journalism school, I will be honest; I have not often been paid for my writing. I specialized in online journalism where I learned about blogging and twitter (both of which were new at the time), and did little about either of them. At national fitness conferences, I took fitness writing lectures for seven years. I read two books about freelance writing and took an online course.

I never tried because I never wanted to fail. I never asked to be paid because I didn’t think I was worth it.

What if I wrote and nobody wanted to publish it? What if nobody wanted to read it? What if it didn’t make me any money? What if it took time?

So here I am, coming full-circle after learning to blog more than 11 years ago, finally publishing my first blog post.

I feel like my personal training client who has been walking her entire life, but is too scared to jump up on that little step. But more than that, I am telling you that it’s never too late, we have to make time, and it’s OK to take the long way.