Chatelaine.com

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Chatelaine is a women’s lifestyle publication and is the largest circulation magazine in Canada, with a monthly circulation of over half a million and more than three million readers. I write a weekly fitness column and am a twice-weekly health blogger for their website: Chatelaine.com. These articles are frequently rerun on MSN and Yahoo.

Please note that I am no longer updating this page with new Chatelaine pieces, because I don’t have to. They’ve created a page on the Chatelaine website that has all of my articles listed, with the most recent being first. Go here to read all my Chatelaine stuff. 

 

Leeza Gibbons on fitness, weight loss and the freshman 15 – April 2, 2013
Leeza Gibbons is many things: TV and radio host (Entertainment Tonight, LeezaAmerica Now, the PBS weekly My Generation), speaker, activist, businesswoman (she has a successful scrapbook line), wife and Mom. She can now add New York Times bestselling author to the list. Read more…

 

How to beat running boredom: six tips – March 26, 2013
A little while ago I was talking to a friend about marathon training and she asked me how I avoid getting bored on long runs. “I’m in too much pain to get bored,” I said. Read more…

 

How to get a summer-ready body in three months – March 19, 2013
If you want to change the way you look for July, June is too late to start. If you want to look your bikini best this summer then you need to get started now. Read more…

 

How to transform from a walker to runner – February 26, 2013
I’ve talked to many people who never intended to be runners. They started off walking, and it just sort of happened. And it can happen to you. Read more…

 

The truth about boosting your metabolism – February 19, 2013
When I Google “boost metabolism” many of the results have words like “magic” and “miracle” in them. But the truth is, there is no magic. Read more…

 

The secret to losing weight from a former fat guy – February 12, 2013
It’s been 20 years since I was overweight, and I’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks for staying lean over the years. Think of this as part two to my last article about losing weight without losing your sanity. In this article I’m going to expand on the benefits of going to bed a little hungry. Read more…

 

Five ways to lose weight without losing your sanity – January 22, 2013
I have some bad news: Your metabolism hates you. Read more…

 

10 ways to stick your New Year’s fitness resolution – January 8, 2013
Waking up on January 1 with a Godzilla-sized hangover and dragging your butt to the gym because this is the yearyou’re finally going to get in shape is not a good plan. The night before you had a booze-to-blood ratio that would tranquilize a rhino, and now you’re on your way to a place you hate in an attempt to white-knuckle your way to weight loss. This ‘all or nothing’ thinking can last for a couple of months, but you can’t sustain something you hate long term. Read more…

 

10 gym-free ways to exercise and get fit – December 11, 2012
My friend Paul Plakas, whose show X-Weighted focuses on healthy weight loss, is doing a “get ripped over Christmas” event. I remember seeing him talk about it on Facebook and wondering, How is that even possible? Then I started thinking it was time for me to get it back in gear too. Read more…

 

Ten reasons Spinning is one of the best workouts ever – November 27, 2012
I live in Calgary. My bike is in the shed, and it’s going to stay there until this snow is gone. And though I’ve shared my opinions about hating indoor aerobics, cycling classes are the one exception I make when it comes to this. Read more…

 

Three reasons to do Tabata interval training, and three reasons not to – October 30, 2012
Tabata training (pronounced ta-ba-ta) involves a very short burst of all out effort, followed by an even shorter recovery period. The method involves 20 seconds of all-you’ve-got-intensity, followed by a 10 second rest, repeated up to eight times. Those 20 seconds last forever, and the 10 seconds of recovery go by in a flash. Read more…

 

Lose weight by changing the way you reward yourself – October 16, 2012
If weight loss is your goal, make sure you don’t fall into the “food reward” trap where you think every time you exercise you deserve a junk food treat. Obesity researchers have shown this phenomenon is quite common. Some people will burn 300 calories on an elliptical trainer and then reward themselves with a 500 calorie piece of cheesecake…now that’s just bad math. Read more…

 

10 health tips from Jessica Zelinka, one of Canada’s fittest women – September 25, 2012
If you’re looking for workout inspiration, look no further than Canadian Olympian Jessica Zelinka. In the last two Olympic Games, Zelinka, who has a chiseled physique that puts many a Greek statue to shame, achieved three top-10 finishes in heptathlon (seven track and field events over two days) and hurdles. Read more…

 

5 fitness tips to improve your sex life – September 11, 2012
When Bravo’s show, Miss Advised, hit the air waves earlier this summer, sex expert and radio host Emily Morse put herself out there as a single woman looking for love in the big city (in her case, San Francisco). Viewers watched as she, and fellow relationships experts Amy Laurent and Julia Allison, navigated the single world trying to find a love of their own (insert disastrous dates, threesome proposals and acrobatics here). Read more…

 

Hiking: how it blasts calories and boosts weight loss – August 28, 2012
We’re big fans of walking here at Chatelaine. It’s the single most popular form of exercise the world over, and the health benefits are tremendous. It’s viable to use walking as your sole fitness routine to achieve optimal health, physical performance and even reap the weight loss benefits if you do it enough. Read more…

 

12 ways to stay fit when you’re at the cottage – August 7, 2012
With summer often comes the challenge of keeping up our routines. Vacations and long weekend trips mean getting away from things like regular gym visits, fitness classes and running schedules, or maybe (like me) you couldn’t manage to get the bikes attached to the back of the minivan. I’ve put together a list of fun activities you can do while away that will ensure you don’t come home a dress size bigger. They’re designed to feel as little like ‘exercise’ as possible and will hopefully put a smile on your face as much as they’ll put some fitness into your days. Read more…

 

For July 2012 I did a 28-day fitness plan. You can access the whole thing here.

 

How to kayak your way to a fitter you – June 27, 2012
I have a two-person sea kayak that I christened, “The Marriage Saver.” My marriage wasn’t in trouble, but it would have been had I gone kayaking with my wife in separate boats. A two-seater removes any need for anyone to say, “Hurry up” or “Slow down” saving hours of frustration on everyone’s part. I’ve spent a lot of time paddling either alone, with my wife, or with my kids — it’s great fun and an incredible workout. Read more…

 

10 motivational tips to get your guy off the couch and into a fitness routine – June 13, 2012
A year ago I wrote an article for Chatelaine.com about fitness gifts for Father’s Day and said “no ties.” That whole “no ties” thing still stands. Read more…

 

How to stick to an exercise routine: Five motivators that work – June 6, 2012
We can’t always depend on ourselves to make it to the gym. We can be sneaky. So on those mornings when you’ve got a workout planned but are feeling sluggish, cranky or maybe even hungover, it helps to have a friend waiting on you to get the ball rolling. Read more…

 

The real secret to being fit and healthy: high-intensity vs. low-intensity exercise – May 22, 2012
I’m a big fan of hard work. It makes you faster, stronger, leaner, fitter, and healthier. Read more…

 

The key to finding time to exercise – May 8, 2012
I’ve read a number of time management books over the years (I fit into the small group of fitness trainers with MBAs), and they just confirmed my suspicions that the subject is overcomplicated. Allow me to un-complicate it for you. Read more…

 

Exercise motivation: 4 ways to find your why – May 2, 2012
When you’re in the back row of your first Zumba class missing steps, sweating hard, having a difficult time keeping up, and generally feeling out of place, you may ask yourself, “Why am I here?” Read more…

 

Menopause relief and exercise: How it combats four common symptoms – April 17, 2012
When I remember my mom going through menopause, I’m amazed my parents are still married. Now before you gather your torches and pitchforks, let me finish my story. Read more…

 

Get addicted to exercise: 5 ways to nurture a fitness habit – April 1, 2012
Things used to be different for me. I remember long drives to work where I would be stuck in rush hour traffic and see cyclists whip past me, pedalling hard on their morning commute. And I remember watching, from my window seat at the food court, people out for a run during their lunch break instead of partaking in the MSG-laced fast food bounty. Read more…

 

Park workout: a full body fitness routine to get in shape – March 27, 2012
There are so many great ways to embrace outdoor fitness, and I’ve always been mystified by those who opt for exercising indoors when they don’t really have to. The research shows that, for running versus treadmills at least, people go longer, harder, and enjoy it more. Read more…

 

Want to lose weight? Why exercise beats diet pills every time – March 20, 2012
Why sweat when you can pop a pill and the pounds will fall off? Oh boy, am I ever glad you asked that. Read more…

 

How to beat running boredom: Six tips – March 5, 2012
A little while ago I was talking to a friend about marathon training and she asked me how I avoid getting bored on long runs. “I’m in too much pain to get bored,” I said. Read more…

Walking health benefits: the gateway to fitness – February 15, 2012
Until recently, I rarely walked anywhere. I either ran, cycled or drove. For someone who loves to run, walking just seems so…slow! Why walk when you can run, I always thought. Then came a time when I couldn’t run. Read more…

 

Planning a summer wedding? Start getting in shape now – February 7, 2012
I’ve written in the past that you shouldn’t try to lose weight or get in shape for a single occasion, such as a beach vacation or a high school reunion. Instead, I’ve always advocated embracing exercise and healthy eating for the long-term, as doing so will encourage your fitness regime to naturally fall in line. Read more…

 

Health benefits of ice skating – January 31, 2012
Confession: I’m a Canadian male and I have never played hockey. I don’t watch it much either, usually only when my wife makes me. Something about playoffs. I’d rather cook. Ours is a strange relationship. Read more…

 

Learning to love exercise: the three stages – January 24, 2012
I suppose it’s still January, isn’t it?

How’s that New Year’s fitness resolution going? Struggling along? Have you given up already? What phase are you in? Read more…

 

Health benefits of cross-country skiing – January 18, 2012
When it comes to strapping two planks to your feet and going fast over snow, most of my experience involves relying on gravity for speed. What I’m saying is I generally prefer downhill skiing, but I do value cross-country skiing as an excellent and fun form of exercise. Read more…

 

Why you should run outside this winter – January 10, 2012
So many people view January as life-overhaul season, and it lasts about five minutes because people hate change. Did you resolve earlier this month to be kinder, eat healthier, exercise more, drive slower, drink less, yell less, be more generous and stop watching reality TV this year? That’s a tall order and a recipe for failure. Read more…

 

Should you resolve to lose the last 10 pounds? – January 3, 2012
It seems like everyone wants to lose weight, especially at this time of year. We also want greener grass, a nicer car, better behaved kids, and a cleaner house. I’d settle for my kids behaving well enough to do some more cleaning around the house. Read more…

 

Exercise is about a lot more than burning calories – December 21, 2011
After 18 years of being a fitness guy, it was in 2011 that I got my biggest eye-opener about exercise ever: I finally realized that burning calories is the least important thing exercise does. Read more…

 

Exercise can help beat cravings and holiday weight gain – December 13, 2011
That Toffifee stuff is the devil.

It used to be that if it had the word “nut” in it, my kids were allergic to it and keeping things like Turtles, Toffifee, Ferrero Rocher, pecan pie, and a whole host of other yummy nut-containing treats out of our house was no contest. Read more…

 

How to stay motivated to exercise during the holidays – December 6, 2011
We’re full-on into the holiday season right now, a time of year when people often find it difficult to stick to their fitness goals and find the time to exercise. I don’t think of struggles with sticking to a fitness regimen as a problem to be solved — I think of it as a solution to your problems. Read more…

 

Five reasons to ditch your personal trainer – November 29, 2011
I know people who will not work out without a trainer. I have a couple of friends who are top-notch trainers, and they have wealthy clients who use them for every single session. One friend has a client who is the wife of an NHL player and she trains her five times a week, for a hundred dollars an hour. Read more…

 

Practice is the key to getting fit and healthy – November 22, 2011
Everywhere you look there are outlandish claims of rapid weight loss. They all use numbers to express a ridiculously high number of pounds lost in a impossibly short period of time. A decade ago it was 12-week transformations, then eight weeks, then four weeks, then 17 days… Read more…

 

Should you weight yourself – November 15, 2011
There is a scale in our bathroom, but I never step on it. I have transcended its existence. Read more…

 

How to really tone your legs. Four key exercises – November 8, 2011
I’m going to sound like a broken record, but I know people like reading these body-part-specific articles. I’ve written about arms and Pippa Middleton’s butt and belly fat, and now we’re going to look at all the muscles from the waist down. Read more…

 

Is it really possible to lose a pound a day? – November 2, 2011
The grocery-store line has more than chocolate bars to tempt you; it also has a lot of sales pitches on magazine covers, ones that sound tempting but ultimately don’t stand up to scrutiny. Read more…

 

Want to get motivated to exercise? Enter a charity race – October 25, 2011
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming to a close and I want to give you something to think about for next year. Read more…

 

How to get strong and sexy arms – October 14, 2011
On a warm summer’s day, not long ago, I went for a bike ride. Then I stopped in a park near downtown Calgary and asked random women what they thought about my biceps. Read more… 

 

How exercise can help you overcome pain – October 11, 2011
I have some experience with pain, but I also know a thing or two about learning to overcome it. I broke both ankles through the growth plates as a teen, but now I run about 50K a week. I’ve blown two discs in my lower lumbar, but I spend about four hours each week lifting very heavy things. Read more…

 

How exercise can help prevent breast cancer – October 5, 2011
Some people think that they are a ticking time bomb when it comes to cancer, but it turns out that genetics only play a small role in contracting the disease — a 2008 review determined that only five to ten percent of all cancers, including breast cancer, are related to genetics. For those who do have the genetic tendency towards breast cancer, those genes translate in up to an 80 percent risk of contracting the disease during their lifetimes. Read more…

 

The absolute truth about burning belly fat – September 27, 2011
I’m about to do a bait and switch. Yes, we are still going to discuss belly fat, but I am not going to reveal some new miracle-happy-wonderful-ancient-berry-abdominal-crunch-master-9000 secret to targeting your belly flab. The truth is, there are no secrets to burning belly fat and there is no way to target it. Read more…

 

How to get gung-ho about fitness – September 20, 2011
Fortes fortuna adiuvat!

This Latin proverb translates to “fortune favours the bold.” As I write these words, twenty-two years ago today I met an amazing, brilliant and beautiful woman and boldly asked her to dinner. To my great fortune, she accepted. Read more…

 

Five ways to fall in love with autumn running – September 13, 2011
Although fall racing season has started, the weather gods haven’t necessarily gotten the message. It hit 30 degrees in Calgary on September 7th — after my 12K run I felt utterly depleted to the point where I thought the coming cooler temperatures might not be so bad. So thirsty… Read more…

 

Positive thinking really can get you in shape – September 6, 2011
If you look out the window into wind and rain, while wearing your running gear, and say “This is not going to be fun,” then guess what? You’re right. It is not going to be fun. Read more…

 

Five tips to burn post-vacation weight gain – August 30, 2011
I just got back from three weeks of vacation, and I have some work to do. I exercised a great deal while away, but my diet went completely off the rails. Get a bunch of family and friends together who like to cook and like to drink, mix in the awesome weather and beautiful scenery of the B.C. coast, and the calories just seem to ingest themselves. Before you know it, that bathing suit starts to feel a little snug. Read more…

 

Do you need to keep changing your workout to lose weight? – August 24, 2011
When they came out with the four-bladed razor, I just knew things had gone too far. This was yet another example of how something that worked just fine — the three-bladed razor — needed to be “improved” in order to charge more money. Sometimes, new isn’t always better — it can even be worse than the original. Read more…

 

Could you be exercising too much? – August 16, 2011
If you’re like the vast majority of Canadians, it’s not likely that you’re pushing yourself too far with exercise, what with only 15 percent of Canadians committed to a regular exercise regime. Read more…

 

Six strategic steps to help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals – August 9, 2011
I work in fitness now, but I actually have an MBA. There is one skill I developed from my education, beyond getting something that looked good on a resumé and allowed me to garner well-paying jobs until I decided to throw it all away so I could write about fitness (we all have our crosses to bear), and that is in the area of strategic planning. I’m going to share that learning with you on how it can be applied to getting in shape. Read more…

 

How hard should you train? – August 2, 2011
You know those fancy charts they have on treadmills, elliptical trainers and stationary bikes at the gym that talk about “fat-burning zones” and “cardio-training zones?” Well, if fat loss is your goal, you can pretty much ignore those charts. Here’s what you should do instead: Go as hard as you can, for as long as you can. Pretty simple. Read more…

 

Should you exercise when you’re sick? - July 26, 2011
I really hate it when sickness derails my exercise regime, so I have a tendency to slightly push the limits of what I should and should not do. I’ve also got a wife who is a family physician and two young children in school — the three of them tend to bring home every communicable disease known to humankind on a regular basis. I don’t like to let such things slow me down. Sometimes, I catch these diseases, and if I can, I still work out. Read more…

 

Does exercise prevent weight loss by increasing appetite? – July 19, 2011
This is a myth that is in desperate need of busting.

First off, allow me to explain the three things that exercise does do, ranked in order of importance: Read more…

 

Why crash diets don’t work – July 12, 2011
It seems like everyone wants to lose a pound a day (or more), but not only is this not realistic, it can blow up in your face. Sure, kill yourself with lots of exercise and go on an extended, ultra-low-calorie diet and you will lose weight rapidly — for a time. But it won’t be sustainable and you’ll quite likely end up gaining the weight back, and then some. Read more…

 

Six ways to balance family life with staying fit – July 4, 2011
I’m not the type of dad who lets my wife do all the parenting. We have an equal partnership, including in raising the rugrats. We’re also both active people, so it’s taken a fair bit of teamwork and parental juggling to fit in fitness without putting the local teenaged babysitter on retainer. Read more…

 

Top ten weight loss tips from a former fat guy – June 27, 2011
I used to be pretty overweight, and I’ve got the before and after photos to prove it. Many people lose weight and then regain it, but after hitting my high-point at the age of 25 I’ve continued to improve my physique over 18 years, losing around 50 pounds of fat and gaining roughly 20 pounds of muscle. Read more…

 

Why cycling is an amazing way to get in shape – June 20, 2011
If you’ve read my articles here on Chatelaine.com, you may have come to the conclusion that I’m a fan of running. You may not know, however, that I love cycling just as much; it’s just that I don’t love cycling in the winter, which is why I haven’t written about it here until now. Read more…

 

How to get a behind like Pippa Middleton – June 13, 2011
I can’t believe I’m actually writing this.

Still, when someone’s posterior bursts onto the scene with such rapidity that it makes international news and leads to a Facebook appreciation page with over 200,000 members, then maybe a few people would want to know how they could develop a similar attribute. According to one source, some women are looking to plastic surgery to make their behind look like that of the Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister, but I would never advocate such an approach. Instead, being me, I would rather kick your butt with exercise to give you a nicer-looking one. Read more…

 

Fitness-inspired gifts for Father’s Day – June 7, 2011
I am a dad, and I don’t want a tie. Seriously. No ties. Okay? Instead, I want something that lets me play at my chosen sports.

If you’ve got an active dad in your life (or if you’d like him to be active), here are some ideas for Father’s Day gifts he will like and actually use. Read more…

 

How to set and achieve fitness goals – May 31, 2011
Vanity is not a bad thing. When it’s used properly, a little bit of vanity can be good for your health. For example, a number of women have been prompted to quit smoking not because it destroys them on the inside, but because it causes wrinkles. Read more…

 

Why you should try kettlebells – May 26, 2011
I noticed that this thing, looking like a cannonball with a handle, started showing up in gyms about a year ago. I also knew that they’d been around a lot longer than that; Russians started using them as a training tool almost 300 years ago. Although by the early 20th century they had become less common in the western world — only used by those strange “strong men” — they’ve made an incredible resurgence. Read more…

 

Do walking and running burn the same amount of calories? May 20, 2011
I won’t keep you in suspense. The answer is “No.”

This is a common myth, even in the medical community. My wife (a family physician) told me she knows of many doctors who will say that walking a mile will burn just as many calories as running it will, but the math simply doesn’t add up. Read more…

 

Six important reasons to take “me” time to exercise – May 17, 2011
I think the word “Mom” is synonymous with “busy.” Saying someone is a “busy mom” is redundant, don’t you think?

Sorry, but I’m going to encourage you to get busier.

How can I — a man — identify with a mom’s schedule and how it can be adapted to include lots of exercise? Well, I’m married to one of those busy moms, and she makes lots of time to exercise. And doing so makes her an even more awesome mom because it makes her healthier and happier. Read more…

 

How to be a great personal training client – May 12, 2011
I like the realism and sound advice in X-Weighted, and I also like the show’s trainer, Paul Plakas. So, when I decided to get some opinions from well-known trainers on how you can be a better personal training client, I thought of Paul, and of course I also thought of my friend Terri Champagne. Read more…

 

How to relieve stress with exercise – May 4, 2011
Exercise is a great stress reliever, so it’s a good thing I do a lot of it. When I run or cycle, I’m away from computers and phones and kids and the media telling me the world is going to explode 30 minutes from now. I use this time to let my mind wander. I sometimes generate article ideas or come up with lines that seem witty at the time. Other times I fantasize about getting my book published and ditching the kids with grandma to take my wife someplace tropical.

Conversely, when I lift weights or go downhill skiing, my mind is totally occupied with thoughts of “Don’t drop that weight on your face” or “Don’t ski into that tree.” Read more…

 

Exercise motivation: Five unconventional tips to get you moving - April 20, 2011
As I write this, it’s April 14, 2011, in Calgary, and I am not in a very good mood.

Seriously, my butt is sore from spending two-and-a-half hours in a metal chair last night watching a tone-deaf junior high school musical, and this morning I awoke to about 20cm of snow on the ground.

Mid April and this much snow? I think Mother Nature woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Read more…

 

Does running really hurt your knees? – April 13, 2011
I’m a bit of a klutz. So far I’ve broken a total of nine bones, two of which were my ankles during my rapidly growing teenage years. Both of these ankles were broken through the “growth plates,” and both required a non-invasive procedure called a closed reduction so I didn’t wind up all lop-sided as an adult.

My ankles bothered me a fair bit during my 20s and early 30s, and then I started running.

And I failed miserably. Read more…

 

Want to run a marathon? Training tips and advice - April 4, 2011
I haven’t done a marathon yet, but it’s on my bucket list. My goal is to finish the 42.2K race in less than four hours, hopefully some time next year.

I average about 50K of running a week but I’m not an expert on marathons, so I spoke to someone who is. Colleen Parsons is director of health and fitness programs for the University of Calgary, and she runs their marathon training program. Read more…

 

Can rocker shoes really help you lose weight? – March 29, 2011
I’ve seen a lot of marketing gimmicks, and a shoe designed to battle cellulite is an interesting one, although not nearly as good as weight loss earrings. Rocker shoes — which have a thick rounded sole, requiring you do work harder to stay balanced while walking — have exploded in popularity, but are people buying them for the wrong reasons? I asked some experts for their opinions. Read more…

 

Can The Biggest Loser workout help you lose weight? - March 24, 2011
I’m not a fan of TV’s The Biggest Loser in general, but I want to focus on one particular aspect of the program that’s showing up in gyms, parks and living rooms: plyometrics.

Plyometric exercise involves quick, powerful movements that improve nervous system function and therefore increase sport performance. Athletes use plyometrics all the time to get better at their sport — basketball and volleyball players practice things like box jumps in order to improve their vertical jump, for example. For sports like baseball, tennis and golf, or even track events like shot put and javelin, competitors use upper-body plyometric moves like throws and explosive push-ups to bring up their game. It’s been shown that plyometric exercise can help athletes improve their performance in their sport, but it’s definitely not designed as a tool for weight loss. Read more…

 

Stretching 101: Four basic stretches and when to do them - March 15, 2011
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about stretching, so let’s see if we can clear some of it up by talking about the different kinds of stretches and what they’re designed to do, along with what they’re not designed to do. Read more…

 

Why women should lift weights and three rules to get started - March 8, 2011
In the past 17 years of being an active guy, I’ve patronized approximately 40 different gyms across five countries and two cruise ships. One thing I’ve noticed in that time is that women mostly stick to the aerobic machines like treadmills, bikes and elliptical trainers.

They really should come over and join us guys in the weightlifting section. Or, if you don’t like the way we smell (and who could blame you?), go to the women’s-only section or even join a women’s club. Read more…

 

Five ways to get active on March break – March 7, 2011
After a brutally cold February, the first week of March in Calgary had temperatures I termed “hideous below zero.” We all got pretty tired of it waiting for March Break for our chance to burn off those final bits of Christmas lingering in various spots not covered by a bathing suit.

If you’ve been hibernating just a little bit, then, well, I don’t blame you. People invented furnaces for a reason. Still, we’re reaching the point where the sun is out longer than the stars, the snow is melting to uncover brown grass, and pretty soon those street sweepers will be coming by to get rid of all that pesky gravel that makes rollerblading a high-risk activity. Read more…

 

Get your body back to health with Pilates - March 1, 2011
I once worked for a company that got REALLY UPSET if you didn’t spell out the corporate name in ALL CAPS.

Conversely, I think Joseph Pilates (were he still alive) would only be slightly miffed at those who spell Pilates with the first letter lower case. See, because unlike yoga, which is Hindi for “union,” Pilates is named  for the guy who invented it; a guy named Joe, but I digress. Read more…

 

Eight inspiring tips to get you out of bed and to the gym - February 22, 2011
I haven’t worked out for a week, but I’ve got a really good excuse. This excuse involves lots of Kleenex and orange juice, and I’m pretty sure that’s all you want to read.

However, when it comes to working out, many of us make up far less legitimate excuses like not having enough time, not having clean workout clothes, being too tired, being in a bad mood etc. Here are eight practical tips you can employ that help make those excuses even less valid, so you can fit more exercise into your life: Read more…

 

For Family Day, fun ideas to get active with your family - February 15, 2011
Half of the country has a holiday on Monday, whether it’s for Family Day, Islander Day or Louis Riel Day. For days when you don’t have to set the alarm for a week, here are some fun and active ways to enjoy the free days with your family. Read more…

 

Do you hate to exercise as much as Oprah? – February 8, 2011
I recently did a piece for the Los Angeles Times that was an open letter to Oprah Winfrey, who has publicly stated that she hates exercise. She’s been successful on and off with weight loss and maintenance, but even with her incredible force of will, Ms. Winfrey’s determination has not been enough to keep her exercising invariably – she dislikes exercise very much.

As the letter states, she needs to just forget about losing weight and feel the love. She needs to learn to love exercise. Read more…

 

10 thing we learned from Jack LaLanne - January 31, 2011
Al Gore may not have invented the Internet, but Jack LaLanne, who passed away on January 23, did invent modern fitness.

Sometimes called the “Godfather of fitness,” Jack was born in 1914, a time when circumstances ensured we got enough exercise. Back then, people engaged in a great deal of physical labour and activity in their everyday lives, but as mid-century approached technology started doing more of our work for us (not too mention junk food became more prevalent), and as a society we started to get fatter. Read more…

 

The truth about body-fitness competitions - January 25, 2011
I don’t own a Speedo. I’m not planning on buying one either because I’m not about to enter a fitness competition where I pose on stage. This is mostly because I shaved my chest hair once and vowed to never do it again. Read more…

 

Why you should enrol your son in gymnastics - January 24, 2011
Hockey and football aren’t right for everyone.

Kids need at least an hour of exercise every day to maximize health, although you can be pretty flexible about what that exercise is. Booting them out the door to play cops and robbers with the neighbourhood kids is just fine, but organized sport can also make an important contribution to a child’s growth and well-being. Read more…

 

How to start running: A step-by-step guide for beginners - January 18, 2011
I am happy to report that even though I stuffed my face with chocolate, turkey, stuffing, and candied yams and washed it all down with beer, wine, and coffee during the holidays, I actually gained very little weight. This is because I run.

Running is the king of both convenience and calorie-burning, but it takes planning, patience and persistence to become a regular runner. I tried and failed at least four times before I finally got it to stick. I’ve been a regular runner for over six years now, and I think it might hold this time. Here are my tried and tested running tips: Read more…

 

How to exercise on your tropical vacation - January 10, 2011
No one ever loses weight on a cruise ship.

I tried to once; my wife was on a professional development course each morning and I spent many of those hours running laps around the ship and working out in the gym. But dinner each night was a gluttonous feast not seen since the days of the Roman Empire, which more than wiped out my exercise efforts. Read more…

 

Can a workout partner motivate you to exercise? – January 5, 2011
Workout partners can be a double-edged sword: they can be great for motivation, or they can kill it. It really depends on the partner. So considering that forewarned is forearmed (another military analogy), let’s examine the potential positives and negatives of having a workout partner. Read more…

 

Six strategies to avoid weight gain now and in the New Year - December 22, 2010
I have a tendency to go a little wild during the holiday season. I also spend a lot of time in January doing laundry to wash my workout gear because I’m burning off all those extra calories I took in. It’s this annual thing I do. I don’t recommend it.

You may not want to gain the extra pounds in the first place and I can attest the first couple of weeks of the new year are pretty intense. So, if you’d like to learn to control your eating during the holidays, and the rest of the year, I spoke with an expert to get the facts. Read more…

 

Are you trying to lose weight fast? Here’s a much better strategy - December 16, 2010
Anyone who is overweight wants to be in shape yesterday. They’ve got a high school reunion coming up; Their friend lost weight; They’re taking a cruise to Romance Novel Model island…

If you’re overweight, you didn’t get that way in just a few weeks, and you won’t undo it quickly. There is no miracle berry juice that will help burn off a pound a day every day, smearing on some cream won’t melt fat, and Oprah can’t help you “Law of Attraction” the flab away. Read more…

 

Calories in holiday cocktails are sabotaging your weight loss goals - December 2, 2010
Hypocrisy Alert!

I drink. Over the holidays, I drink more than usual. Perhaps you do too, and perhaps you can make better use of this information than I do.

I’m not the only one who imbibes a little more during the holidays, as the month of December is seen as make or break time for the liquor industry. Still, with perhaps a little knowledge of the effect this has on you and your weight loss (or weight maintenance) routine, you can resist over-doing it this season. Read more…

 

Why to make exercise a priority during the holidays - November 26, 2010
I can pinpoint my favourite time of year to the hour.

It’s around 11:00pm on December 24th. The kids are in bed and (finally) asleep. My wife and I have loaded up the stockings and put the Santa loot under the tree. The stuffing is made and all the requisite groceries and libations are purchased for the next day’s feasting. And the house is actually clean, but that sure isn’t going to last once the festival of unwrapping commences at far too early the next morning. Read more…

 

Get ripped like Kelly Ripa – November 15, 2010
If you care about a man’s opinion, I think Kelly Ripa has nice muscles, but is perhaps too lean. In this photo she certainly looks good, but is very close to the minimum body fat percentage for a healthy woman; extremely low body fat in females can result in a loss of menstrual cycle and decreased bone mass. Another thing to keep in mind is that your breasts are largely comprised of body fat. Read more…

 

Workout clothes: Why you should go shopping for some new stuff – November 1, 2010
If you’re still wearing some old grey sweatpants with a hole in them and a t-shirt you painted the house in as exercise clothes, and you’ve got some money to spare, then I want you to go shopping. Read more…

 

A five-week plan to lose tummy fat, Part 1 - October 25, 2010
Patricia told me she was in a hurry. When it comes to getting in shape, I don’t do that.

Most times, I don’t do that.

I’m a staunch advocate of slow and steady wins the weight loss race, as I believe that the hare crashes and burns not far from the starting gate. However, Patricia is a special case. Read more…

 

A five-week plan to lose tummy fat, Part 2 – November 10, 2010
In Part 1 I introduced you to Patricia and how she had only five weeks until the Gemini Awards and a snug black dress with her name on it.

Now I’ll introduce you to her program and how she accomplished as much as possible in such a short period of time.

Because she already had a decent base of fitness to start with and she was highly motivated, we pushed it. Hard. I don’t really advise this in most cases. As I mentioned before, Patricia is special. Read more…

 

Workout routine for couples: Fight flab as a team - October 21, 2010
If that guy next to you with the twinkle in his eye is also sporting some flab around his midsection, and you’d like it if there was a little “less” of him to love, then a winning strategy might be to give him less of you to love too.

Confused? What I’m talking about is creating a healthy relationship, and by healthy I don’t just mean foot rubs, date nights, and weekends away, but working as a team to achieve your health and fitness goals. Read more…

 

How to lose instead of gain weight this winter - September 29, 2010
We Canadians are a hardy breed, yet we still have a tendency to hibernate during the winter, and by hibernate I mean cuddle up by the fire with a thick blanket and a cup of hot cocoa while waiting for spring. Unlike other animals, however, we’ve got an ample supply of food so we can gain weight during the winter rather than lose it. Read more…

 

Six ways to fall in love with exercise - September 20, 2010
I am not crazy.

I have run outside in minus 30C.

I have skipped out on free lunches to hit the gym.

My workout equipment is worth more than my car.

You could say I’m crazy for exercise and this is because I’ve got a positive mindset about exercise. I have a desire to be a workout warrior and you can too. Here’s how: Read more…

 

Why you should start running and how to do it - September 20, 2010
On the schoolyard field of battle known as gym class, I made the geeks look good. I was the most pathetically un-athletic dodge-ball target who ever got picked last by a team captain, and I hated running.

Hated, hated, hated it.

Now I average 50K a week, and if I can do it, you can do it—[Insert overused motivational quote here] Read more…