6 Reasons To Start Weight Training Immediately

And No, Getting “Jacked” Is Not One Of Them

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I worked out for years—hard, and almost every day—but it seemed to make little or no significant difference to my shape. Hours spent on the treadmill and in down dog were certainly gratifying, energizing and healthy, but they weren’t giving me the toned arms and abs that motivated me to go in the first place.

They say that exercise is only 20% of the battle when it comes to weight loss, and that diet is the most important factor. But what you do at the gym (and how you do it) plays a big role not only in the shape of your body, but also your endurance, mobility, mental and physical strength, plus your ability to achieve and maintain your goal weight.

So aside from looking good in spandex, here are a few other benefits to grabbing a set of dumbbells:

Improves bone density.

Whether you're 16 or 60, having strong bones are a very good thing. Strength training prevents osteoporosis and will keep you more active as you age.

Burn fat.

You’ve heard this one before, but it deserves repeating. The more muscle you have, the more energy your body uses on a daily basis—this means more fat burning, in the gym and on the couch. 

Move better.

Weight training strengthens your connective tissue, tendons and ligaments, which improves motor control (the connection between your brain and your body). In fact, it will actually improve your other fitness activities—yoga, running, tennis, etc.—and helps to prevent injury.

Weight management.

Having more muscle mass speeds up your metabolism and helps regulate your blood sugar, making it easier for you to maintain weight loss—even after a Rice Krispy treat or two.

Improves your mood.   

Weight training literally lifts you up (sorry, I couldn’t help it). Not only do you get a rush of endorphins from the workout, but you will also feel a sense of accomplishment after completing a weight training session and the adrenalin will give you an added pep in your step.

The outfits.

No, you don't have to wear a leotard to do squats, but it makes it a bit more fun. 

Serious about making a change? The magic really happens when weight training is combined with proper nutrition. If you’re interested in learning more about nutrition coaching and getting a personalized meal plan, contact me to set up a free consultation.

xx Mia

 

 

 

 

 

The Real Reason You're Not Losing Weight

Tired Of Trying, But Never Tipping The Scale? Maybe Your Goals Are To Blame

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DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR? “Starting tomorrow, I’m not going to eat any crap and in 2 months I’ll be in the best shape of my life.” Did it happen? 

Why is it that so many of us make the same New Year’s resolution year after year expecting a different result from the year before? How is it that people go on crash diets, only to end up heavier than they were before they started? According to Amy Cuddy, social psychologist and associate professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, our goals are too big, too broad and too focused on the outcome over growth (listen to her talk on Big Think).  

If you’re feeling down about not being able to achieve your weight loss goals, you are not alone! A shift in your approach could be the answer to making a positive lifestyle change. Here are a few tips:

Change your mindset not your mind.

You want to be fit and healthy, awesome! Instead of obsessing over looking like Gigi Hadid or Ryan Gosling and getting all bummed out when that doesn’t happen, focus on personal growth, on becoming a healthier version of you. Making incremental change over a longer period of time will give you smaller, more realistic milestones to celebrate and motivate you for the next challenge. So ask yourself: what can I do today to make positive change? It could be as simple as drinking three litres of water or eating more vegetables.

Give yourself realistic, well-planned goals.

Trying to lose 15 pounds by Christmas? Rather than fixating on the outcome, focus on the steps you need to take in order to get there. When something feels impossible, it can be really demotivating. Think about what you want to achieve today or this week in order to get you to your three month goal, and make sure it's realistic. A healthy number would be one-two pounds/week—depending on how much you have to lose. Keep track of your progress each week to keep you honest and motivated. 

Focus on the process.

There shouldn’t be a start or an end date to your “diet” and making too many drastic changes to your lifestyle at the same time is not sustainable or fun. This is why crash diets don’t work. Let your journey guide you and your body will change—perhaps without even realizing it. And who knows? You may even enjoy your healthy diet and lifestyle changes.

Measure success based on how you feel, not how you look.

If you’re feeling proud of the progress you've made and motivated to continue, that is success. Remember, at the core of your weight loss goal is a desire to feel good about yourself.  Focus on your inner self and give your body some love—it will love you back! 

And if you’re totally lost, find someone to help you manage and plan your goals. An investment in your health—whether that’s a personal trainer or a health coach—will pay for itself in the long run.

xx Mia

6 Reasons to Snooze Through Spin Class

How A Change In Your Sleeping Pattern Could Benefit Your Health 

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Is sleep the new sweat? I used to love talking about how I “only got 4 hours of sleep” – I was up late working or (more likely) watching Game of Thrones, woke up at 6:15am and made a mad dash to Johann’s Vinyasa Flow class, triumphantly arriving just in time to score the last mat in the front row. Sound familiar? 

When you live in a big city and you’re constantly on the go, rest can seem like a foreign country. Or something that people who live in the suburbs do. We somehow got this idea that the more we do, the more we can fit in, the better we will be. But this is simply not true.

I’m not saying don’t exercise or go to yoga, you definitely should – just don’t do it at the expense of your beauty sleep.

Not convinced? Here are 6 reasons to stay in bed (you can thank me when your alarm goes off tomorrow morning):

1.     WHEN YOU’RE TIRED YOU OVER EAT: Studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a night are more likely to put on weight. When you’re sleep-deprived, your leptin levels (a hormone which make you feel full) decrease and your ghrelin levels (the hungry hormone) increase. 350 calories on the treadmill doesn’t make up for your afternoon trip to the donut shop – even if it’s gluten free!

2.   LACK OF SLEEP STRESSES YOUR BODY: Sleep deprivation increases cortisol, the stress hormone, which is linked to a variety of issues, including: weight gain, anxiety, digestive problems, a weakened immune system, infertility, inflammation and more.

3.     SLEEP BOOSTS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM: On the flip side, when you get enough sleep you get sick less. Proper rest keeps your immune system strong and able to ward off bacteria, germs and viruses that could make you sick and miss even more gym classes.

4.  SLEEP IMPROVES YOUR MENTAL WELLBEING: Sleepiness makes you irritable, which overtime can lead to depression and anxiety. If you’re looking for a pep in your step, a few extra Z’s could be all you need.

5.     LACK OF SLEEP AGES YOUR SKIN: It’s true! Chronic sleep deprivation strips collagen out of your skin (gasp!). There is unfortunately no amount of bone broth or yogi inversions that can make up for this (although both of these things will make you look younger).

6.   SLEEPINESS DUMBS YOU DOWN AND MAKES YOU FORGETFUL: This one might seem obvious, but still deserves a mention: when you’re tired, you’re just not as mentally alert and your capacity to learn is reduced. Want to look smart at work or ace that test? Don’t burn the proverbial midnight oil. Go to bed.

So how much sleep should you be getting? We all need to find our “sleep” spot, some people need more, others less, but generally 7-8 hours is good. Experiment to see how much sleep is right for you.

Remember: quality is more important than quantity – we don’t want just any kind of sleep; we want deep REM sleep. Some tips: wear an eye mask, turn off all screens one hour before bed (yes that includes your phone), try a magnesium supplement or meditate.  

xx Mia