October 15, 2015

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Surefire Ways to Stay Fit Over Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is a holiday that focuses on family, gratefulness, and (arguably) most importantly, food. However, with food comes huge amounts of calories that can be a temptation for some and a guaranteed weight gain for others. There are a few simple ways that can help you control your weight over the holiday and not leave with a few more pounds than you arrived with. Here are out top 5:


Get fit with family - There is no reason that spending time with family means sitting around. Get outside and play a fun filled game of soccer, badminton, basketball - even a game of hide-and-go-seek or tag is a great way to stay active. The best part: get the kids involved. They’ll love that you’re spending time playing with them.

Lay off the dessert - Keep in mind where the most calories are coming from. Aside from the turkey skin, dessert filled with fats and sugars is often the biggest downfall. Try skipping the pie for fruit - or just having one slice, minus the whipped cream topping.

Portion control - This is the biggest piece of advice out there. No one wants to spend their holidays avoiding the foods they love. Rather than sitting out on delicious turkey dinner, try taking smaller amounts and chewing slowly - this will make you feel full sooner! Savouring the wonderful foods slowly can actually be more enjoyable than shoveling heaps of food into your mouth.

Easy on the sides - Focusing your appetite on lean white turkey meat and veggies is a better way to avoid the surprising fats and sugars held in many side dishes. Just because it’s called green bean casserole, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy! Be aware of what the dish actually contains.

Eat breakfast! - Never, ever skip the most important meal of the day! Even having a small breakfast such as an egg and a slice of whole grain toast will help curb your appetite and avoid binge eating later in the day.


October 15, 2015

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Pros and Cons of Hiring a Personal Trainer

 

There are many reasons why you should hire a personal trainer. However, it’s not all sunshine and six packs. There are a few things you should consider if you’re thinking about hiring a professional to guide you through your workouts and push you towards your goals.


Pros


Better workout - Chances are, having someone guiding you through your workout and planning exercises and a schedule that fits your needs is going to maximize your efforts and help you reach your fitness goals.

Knowledge and expertise - Personal trainers have the know-how that means you don’t have to do research and spend hours trying to figure out how to perfect your form. They do it all for you - aside from the actual workout, of course!

Motivation - Possibly the biggest factor that keeps us at home is getting the motivation to get up and go to the gym. Knowing that someone you hired is waiting there for you makes it almost impossible to give yourself reasons to stay at home - and once you’re there, they push you to your limits for success.

Cons


Getting a credible trainer with proper certification - A difficult task is finding someone who actually knows what they are doing. Just because someone looks fit or has a great body, that is not reason to hire them. Personal training requires anatomical knowledge and the ability to personalize a routine and work around any physical limitations you might have.

Cost - Perhaps the largest con of getting a personal trainer is the cost. Quality is never cheap and finding the budget for someone that’s right for you can sometimes prove to be too much for your wallet to handle.

Finding someone with experience who fits you - There is nothing wrong with hiring a young personal trainer. We advise that you make sure to opt for someone with personal training experience, particularly if you struggle with any health or physical issues. You want to feel comfortable with your trainer and there should be a relationship of trust maintained. Finding the trainer that’s perfect for you can be very difficult - but not impossible.


Overall, we agree that while there are some cons to hiring a personal trainer, if you have the time to find a good fit and the budget to maintain them you’ll find you can reach your goals more efficiently and push yourself to places you may not have gotten yourself.



October 15, 2015

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Is Cricket the Sport for You?


Cricket is well known as a sport that can literally go on for days without stopping. Some say that it’s also well known as one of the more boring sports in existence. However, with over a billion fans in India alone, we decided to give it a chance and take a look at what could make cricket the sport for you.  

Improve Endurance - There’s a lot of running in cricket. In fact, it’s mostly based in running, and it’s well known that games can go on for hours on end. This makes cricket a great sport for endurance, particularly when it’s played outside in more extreme weather conditions.

Co-ordination - Hitting the tiny ball with your bat may seem easy, but when the ball is smaller than a baseball the task it not an easy one. Having the balance and hand-eye coordination to complete such a feat is no simple task and makes it a valuable skill in and out of the field.

Communication - Knowing your teammates and being able to communicate well with them is essential in the game. Not only within a match, but honing your communication skills carries on well outside in the real world. Having great communication is essential in all jobs and careers!

Team work - Having great teamwork skills in invaluable in and out of the game. Building relationships and team skills will aid long term success -  and knowing how to work well with others will get you far in life.

Patience - Patience is a virtue, one that’s sometimes necessary when watching or spectating a cricket match. This is often a slow-burn game, which can make the final result extremely rewarding for players and attendees. Having the patience to make it to the end is not a feat for everyone, and is often what makes cricket such a valuable sport for young people to learn and enjoy.

October 15, 2015

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I’m injured. Now What?


We have all been here at one time or another. Whether it’s caused by a sport or just bad luck, there have been times in our lives where we find we are stuck with an injury. There are still things you can do to stay fit while you recover. Make sure you take it slow and always, always consult a physician - especially if you don’t want to end up more injured than you started out. That being said, here are a few things you could do to stay sane and stay fit while you’re recovering from an injury.


Yoga - Yoga is a great activity because it can work around injuries. Breathing exercises increase blood flow and provide balance. It also provides a mental aid - learning patience and peace can be vital when you’re injured and the inevitable frustration that comes with it. Even simple meditation can work wonders.

Swimming - This is a perfect sport because it relieves impact on joints and muscles that are injured. Many people who struggle with chronic illnesses like arthritis or diabetes find that swimming is extremely beneficial. Swimming is also fantastic because you can swim for 10 minutes and still work out a large variety of muscles without too much strain.

Walking - We had to include this one. Walking is a great form of exercise that almost anyone can do. It’s perfect because you can easily choose the amount of time you are walking and it’s low risk, particularly if you have an arm or upper body injury. You can also go for a walk with family or friends to keep it interesting.

Golf - Golf can be a great sport to learn while you’re injured. It still provides a good amount of physical activity and many find it highly enjoyable. Finding a low-impact sport that you enjoy can be more beneficial than trying to build muscle when you’re injured!

Biking - Once you’re on your way to full health, a great way to work back up to your regular workout routine is biking. It reduces the impact on knees and legs and is a great cardio alternative to running or jogging. To further lower strain on the lower body, opt for a stationary bike rather than working through the bumps on a road or trail.


Injuries are no fun. What’s worse is trying to get back into the game before you’re ready - be sure to consult a physician before you start exercising again! And above all, learn how to take your time. Your body can’t bounce back right away to the way it was before your injury. Talk it out, cry it out, and find the best in the situation - there’s always a silver lining!

October 15, 2015

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Eating Healthy on a Budget


Not all of us can afford luxury gyms and organic meals. What many fail to understand however, is that being on a tight budget doesn’t mean giving up on being healthy - especially when it comes to food. Here are our top tips for keeping slim without the extra cash!


Avoid name brands - This is perhaps the most obvious mention, but it is still worth discussing. Name brands are very often the exact same product in different packaging, for sometimes up to twice the price of no name brands. There are many arguments about slight taste or texture differences, but when you’re on a budget, it’s not worth the extra cash.

Coupons, coupons, coupons - You would be surprised at how much you can save by collecting coupons! Things such as $2 off cereal or 1 free carton of strawberries adds up fast and you could save enormous amounts every time you shop! Another way to save is signing up for a rewards program - gathering points for getting groceries and eventually earning your way to free groceries or coupons!

Bulk up a cheap meal - Always a cheap buy, pasta and tomato sauce is a staple in a budgeter’s diet. We suggest using whole grain pasta and adding ground turkey (often cheaper and healthier than ground beef!) and veggies to bulk up this dish into a proper healthy meal. The same can be done for other cheap finds - find ways to be creative!

Make your own soup - High in volume, low in calories: soups and stews are a great way to fill up the right way, at the right price. Making your own soup is as easy as buying Oxo cubes,  veggies, and (optional) a bit of meat. There are many soups that require even less! Stews can turn even the toughest cut of meat into a melt-in-your-mouth dish - throw in some potatoes and carrots and you’ve got a meal that will satisfy the hungriest of families.

Buy in bulk - Purchasing things like cereal, nuts, granola, and various baking supplies may seem convenient in the grocery store but there is always a cheaper way! Buying these and more items at a bulk food store can save you more money than you’d think. Having a membership to Costco can also be handy for those with larger families!

Don’t balk at frozen - Buying frozen veggies and fruits is undoubtedly cheaper than buying fresh - and it lasts longer, too! Because these items are frozen fresh, they don’t actually lose the valuable nutrients found in grocery-store-fresh food. The textures are not the same, but the difference isn’t noticeable once you’ve thrown them into a stir fry or soup.

October 15, 2015

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Bowling: Is it a Sport?


When you first hear the word “bowling”, the first thing that comes to mind is probably memories of being a youth and bowling for your friend’s birthday. Most would say bowling is more of a game than a sport, but we set out to prove otherwise.

The definition of a sport - As defined by Merriam-Webster, a sport is “a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other”. By this definition, bowling is a contest, and by running and tossing a ball you exert muscles in your arms and legs, arguably your core as well. Professional bowling has leagues, rules, and fierce competition. By strictly definitive jargon, bowling is in fact, a sport.

What professional bowling physically requires - As many people play bowling as a game rather than a competitive sport, the physical aspects of bowling are rarely considered. Not only does it require your arm to carry up to 16 pounds of bowling ball, but you must be able to put enough velocity behind the ball for it to travel down a specified route and distance. Your legs must also be able to carry you and that ball to gain enough speed to create that velocity. Repeat this several times in a match, several times a day in a competition. Just try to pick up that 16 pound bowling ball after a day like that!

The skill - Not only does bowling require very particular hand-eye coordination, but to throw a ball down a 60 foot alley to hit a target that is roughly 2 inches in size arguably requires a great deal of skill and practice. To repeat this targeted hit multiple times in a game requires even greater skill.  

Not only the technical skill and physical ability, but the pressure and mental concentration required to repeatedly hit the target right on point makes bowling undeniably a sport in our eyes. And we’re sure that professional bowlers across the world would agree!

October 15, 2015

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A Sport For All Ages: Table Tennis


Often played for fun, table tennis is an incredibly versatile sport able to bend from 8 to 80 years old. Fast paced and intense - it’s one of our favourite sports to play, and this is why:


Keeps reflexes sharp - At any age, developing fast reflexes is beneficial to your overall health and well-being. This is especially true of youngsters and the elderly. Having fast reflexes can not only improve your table tennis game but help in a variety of other ways in day-to-day life. In fact, many disabled players can match up evenly against any player due to the versatility of the skills required.  

Low impact - Unless you bump your hands on the table or trip over your own feet, there’s no contact in this sport. It’s low risk and high reward - triumphant wins with injuries as rare as a snowman in the desert.

Long term sport - Once you start playing this game it’s hard to stop, and the nature of the game lends itself well to being a sport you can play over the course of your life, in a competitive sense and a casual one.

Gets your mind racing - Along with quick reflexes, table tennis requires lightning fast thinking. Expecting moves and looking for weaknesses in milliseconds is a vital part to competitive play. This is especially beneficial for older athletes!

Anytime, anywhere - The great beauty of table tennis is that it takes up a small amount of space and can therefore be played almost anywhere. It’s also indoor and thus is a year-round sport! Versatile and tons of fun, it’s hard to resist the pull of ping pong!

Low cost - Even the most expensive paddles used by professionals only cost a few hundred dollars, and a basic paddle will only run you around $50, and can be used for years. This makes table tennis one of the cheapest sports out there!

October 15, 2015

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8 Sports You Should Try At Least Once


We all get a little tired of the same old workout, the same old gym. Why not try one of these exciting sports that just might spark a new interest for you? Even if some of them are once-in-a-lifetime!


Ultimate Frisbee - This is certainly a full body workout that can be done in the gym or outside. A great team sport, you may leave a game with some newfound friendships as well as sore muscles.

Water Polo - If you enjoy swimming, you should try your hand at water polo. Moving through water as a team makes this sport unique and a way to spice up your pool time!

Horseback Riding - The thrill of sitting atop a large, powerful animal can feel freeing, particularly for those of us who spend our workout time in the gym

Bungee Jumping - Perhaps more of an adrenaline rush than a sport, bungee jumping is one of those thing you just have to try… at least once in your life.

    Archery - This one switches up your regular routine. Many cities have indoor and outdoor archery, making it a great year-round sport. Plus, loosing arrows can feel pretty darn cool.

       Scuba Diving - Vacationing? Try out scuba diving! You’d be surprised at how much swimming around can work your muscles. And the landscape is pretty awesome too!
         Rock Climbing - Indoors, outdoors - rock climbing is a flexible sport that challenges your mind and body. Oftentimes, getting to the top requires extreme determination and a lot of upper body strength.
           Dirt Biking - If you’re a fan of cycling, dirt biking might be something you should try out. It’s a little extreme for some, but gives you more of an adrenaline rush than taking your regular bike out for a spin.




          October 15, 2015

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          8 Reasons Why You Should Play Badminton


          1. Calorie burner - Melting through 3-400 calories per hour, this is not a sport for the lazy. Not only are you running around, but you have to produce powerful swings that can shoot the birdie - or in professional terms, the shuttle - at speeds of up to 200km/hr. The currently highest recorded smash reached a whopping 332km/hr. That takes some serious strength!

          2. Low impact - A popular sport for all ages, badminton is very low impact. The biggest risk you take is stumbling on your own feet and taking a tumble to the floor. Many people who have come back from serious sports injuries invest their time in badminton and are pleasantly surprised; maybe you will be too!

          3. Work on those reflexes - Badminton is a game that requires lightning-fast reflexes - with the shuttle traveling as fast as we talked about above, it’s no surprise! Not only will you improve your reflexes, but also hand-eye co-ordination.  

          4. Easy to learn - The rules aren’t hard and the community is welcoming; if you steer clear of sports that rely on complicated guidelines, you might want to give badminton a chance. The basics are learned in minutes - making it enjoyable from the get go!

          5. Competitive? Check - It’s not all fun and games. If you weren’t surprised by this point, the highly competitive nature of professional badminton may make you question what you thought you knew about this sport. While casual play is quite friendly, competitive clubs can be cutthroat.

          6. Agility like a cat - Along with speedy reflexes, your ability to zip around the court comes in handy during a game of badminton. If you’re not light on your feet, you’re in for a lesson or two!

          7. Become a social butterfly - Join a club and you might be pleasantly surprised at how friendly and social it is. New players often go home after their first meeting with a growing list of new companions. It’s one of the most welcoming sports communities out there!

          8. Fun for the whole family - Unlike many sports, badminton can be played at all levels and at all ages! Take to the court for a fun or competitive family match with your kids and you’re sure to have an absolute blast!










          October 15, 2015

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          8 Exercises that Burn More Calories than Running


          Let’s face it - running, while possibly being the easiest way to work out, isn’t for everyone. That’s why we’ve gone in search of exercises that burn the same amount - or even more calories than pounding the pavement. Running burns, on average, 600 calories per hour (10 per minute). Here are our favourite exercises that burn more:


          1. Skipping - Jump rope burns 13 calories per minute - that’s 780 per hour. It still counts as cardio for those who don’t want to give up on their cardio workout. While a high impact activity, many find it worth the effort.

          2. Rowing - This can be done either in the gym on a machine or with the real thing if you live near an accessible body of water. Burning a solid 680 calories per hour and maybe catching some great scenery counts this one in our books.

          3. Boxing - If you’re more of a competitively driven person, boxing may be right for you. It’s intense, can be done against an opponent or a bag, and melts through 727 calories per hour.

          4. Swimming - Doing the front crawl for a full hour will burn 818 calories (and it’s a great full body workout!) Swimming is a great option for the elderly and injured as it’s difficult to aggravate injuries or create new ones in the water!

          5. Martial Arts - Another competitive sport, doing martial arts for 1 hour will help you get rid of 744 calories, and is a great option for those seeking to learn a new skill as well as get a workout.

          6. Stationary Bike - While not the most thrilling sport, many people find the low impact cardio of the bike easier to handle than running. Plus, you’ll burn a whopping 782 calories each hour.

          7. Cross-country Skiing - If winter sports are your thing, try out skiing. Burning 720 calories per hour, it also give you the chance to get outside in the winter and see some scenery.

          8. Kettlebell Swing - This exercise is not for the faint of heart. 20 calories are burned each minute, and while we don’t think most people could last for an hour, in theory it would burn 1,200 calories. It’s a definite way to get that heart pumping if you’re up for the challenge!