Many people find themselves out of synch with their regular fitness habits over the holidays. In addition to missed workouts, there are food treats galore, indulgent office parties, and – often – lots of wine to wash it all down.
Here’s what we tell our personal training clients who are worried about all their hard work going out the window during the month of December.
The Body Mass Index - or BMI - is an algorithm of weight and height that was created by insurance companies many decades ago to help determine a person's risk for disease or mortality.
Fast forward to the present day and it's commonly used as a measure of health - but it shouldn't be. From a fitness perspective, this simply doesn't make sense because it doesn't factor in muscle mass or bone density. A person who is lean and muscular but has big bones could have a very high BMI. And on the flip side, someone with a healthy BMI can be 'skinny fat' and unhealthy. (Here's a detailed article about its shortcomings, if you're interested in more detail.)
So if the BMI isn't reliable, what IS a good measure?
This has been a sleepless week in the Nielsen household as our youngest, 2.5-year-old Grant, has been under the weather with croup. Normally though, we're a family that takes sleep very seriously - hitting the hay early (by 10) and waking up with the birds.
So this week, which we've spent feeling grumpy and agitated, has been a good reminder of just how important sleep is to our basic functioning. It also plays a more significant role than most people realize when it comes to fitness success, and fat loss.
Well Toronto. This is the LAST week of school for most children which means that summer vacation is around the corner. For many people, summer is an easy time to fall of the fitness/wellness wagon due to many factors (kids home, vacation, BBQs and beer, just to name a few).
Here are our tips to make sure you stay on track this summer.
Every month, our team gets together for a professional development session where we share knowledge and increase our skills so we can better serve clients.
Recently, team member and recent graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine Kamala Sivasankaran led a very informative session about stress, hormones and weight gain. This is an important topic to understand if fat loss is one of your goals. So we thought we'd share some of the key points of her talk with you here.
I was talking to a client this week who came to us because he had a significant amount of fat to lose He's motivated and making great progress towards his goal. As is often the case, many of the people in his life are also overweight. He told me that they often make comments to the effect of "oh you're still on your diet" when they see him eating his healthy food. (Which is not at all uncommon, BTW).
I have always had a major issue with the show Biggest Loser. This article surfaced a few weeks ago, outlining exactly the reasons why. It is well worth the read.
The obese contestants on this show need the exact opposite of what they’re getting in order to succeed long term.
At this point in the holiday season, you’ve probably already done some indulging – and there’s lots more to come.
Although studies show that the average holiday weight gain is only a couple of pounds, they also show that most people never end up losing them – instead they accumulate year-after-year.
Here are a few ways to get through the festive season without packing on extra pounds.
Last week I posted about the ‘skinny-fat’ phenomenon. And it sparked a lot of interest in our readers, including one who pointed out on our Facebook page that, while skinny doesn’t always = healthy, overweight doesn’t always = unhealthy.
And she is right: it is entirely possible to be overweight, yet healthy ‘under the hood’ so-to-speak.
While it may be true that some – or it might even be fair to say most – overweight people have unhealthy habits, there are some who are strong, cardiovascularly fit, and otherwise quite healthy.
But I will say that it’s rare for someone to be doing all the right things in terms of diet and exercise and still be overweight – there is almost always an underlying reason for the extra weight.
Poul Nielsen is the owner and operator of Nielsen Fitness, Toronto's leading team of in-home personal trainers. He has 16 years' experience in the fitness industry and has taught courses in Fitness and Lifestyle Management at George Brown College.
In addition to exercise (obviously), he loves spending time with his family, playing the guitar, strong coffee - and dark chocolate!