Are you a proactive person?
If you have your Christmas presents all bought already, then you definitely are!
I, on the other hand, am happy I've got all my Halloween candy bought this past week.
Being prepared and having a plan is one key strategy to being a more physically active person.
Why you may ask?
Because when excuses and obstacles come up (they will!) and challenge your ability to move, the plan is there to support you.
One way I can help you today, is to assist you with your planning.
We all know come Halloween, the days start to get colder and potentially the days get shorter (all my Canadian subscribers know this more than ever!!)
And with the change of season, we may need to make some adjustments particularly related to any outdoor activities we may choose.
I say a little prayer every October that the snow (yes, I said it) doesn't arrive until after Halloween. Poor kids traipsing through snow on October 31. I've done it before, have you?
Yet we know the S word is on its way at some point.
There is no time like the present to prepare and today I'm sharing a video with you that I wrote the script and "starred" in many years back. The content is still relevant as we move into the colder season.
NOTE: Although the audience was walking leaders, you too are your very own walking leader! The advice still applies.
Insight to Action:
What is one suggestion from the video you could implement in your physical activity (it doesn't have to be only walking) to make sure you have a plan for the winter months?
I invite you to start planning before the S word arrives! ❄️
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S. If you haven't signed up for my online course, Top 3 Problems with Outdoor Walking: A detailed guide to the unexpected tips about outdoor walking, this is the time to prepare for outdoor walking! And it is completely free! 🎉 If you have done the course already, it is time to review it again to ensure you have all the tools ready for the upcoming outdoor walking season.
That's all the time you need to reap the rewards of physical activity.
Or is it?
Does that sound like a lot of your time? To put it into perspective, your entire day is 86,400 seconds!
Since we typically don't speak of time in seconds, let's go with minutes.
That is 10 minutes out of the 1440 minutes in a day.
Still pretty astounding stuff!
This is the health promoting messaging I speak of every week with my patients:
For as little as 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, you will get health benefits.
Yet, this week some new research passed over my desk. Research out of the UK that looked at over 79,000 adults' physical activity and mortality risk.
The research findings concluded that any time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity was beneficial to reduce the risk of death.
So imagine all the combination of ways to accumulate your physical activity in a day!
Got 7 minutes?
Take a walk around the block.
Got 5 minutes?
Climb up and down a set of stairs.
Got less than 3 minutes?
Turn on your favourite song and dance! 🕺🏽
Top 1950's song, Jailhouse Rock is only 2 minutes 26 seconds.
Top 1960's song, Twist and Shout is only 2 minutes 34 seconds.
Top 1970's song, Love Train is only 2 minutes 58 seconds.
Top 1980's song, The Loco-Motion is only 3 minutes 13 seconds.
Top 1990's song, Wannabe is only 2 minutes 52 seconds.
So many songs to choose from! Here is the Spotify playlist for you!
Now, we always need to remember that this is only one study and this research was not done on you. There is a growing body of research that is demonstrating the benefits of short duration physical activity.
Time for insight to action:
What are the ways you could build in short duration physical activity into your day?
If you deal with pain, injury or a chronic health condition, could you slice and dice your physical activity into 10 three minute bouts in the day?
Make a list of all the places in your day that you could sneak in an extra 3 minutes of movement.
Overall, keep in mind that the more you move your body, the more benefits to be had!
Stay well and happy moving,
Happy Thanksgiving weekend!
It can be hard sometimes to appreciate our bodies.
A pull here.
An ache there.
And sometimes outright pain that makes us feel like not moving at all.
You feel broken.
I get it. I'm there right with you.
How do you manage the pulls, aches and pains your body has?
Is it time to listen to what your body is telling you?
I mean, really listen.
How can you change the way you interpret your discomforts?
Recently, I've been learning about the Japanese art of repairing the broken, Kintsugi.
Essentially, it is the practice of physically mending areas of breakage in pottery.
Think shattered plate dropped on the floor!
The Kintsugi practice takes all those broken pieces of ceramic and reforms the plate by filling the cracks with lacquer either dusted or mixed with gold, silver and platinum.
Talk about highlighting the cracks with some valuable material!
Now you might ask, "Lisa, what does pottery have to do with physical activity?!"
Well, I'd like you to look beyond the surface and to the deeper meaning of Kintsugi - the appreciation of what is imperfect.
Our bodies have and will continue to have pulls, aches and pains. Thank goodness we get these signals before we really push too hard. Is there a place where we can appreciate these signals?
Can we value and embrace our bodies' cracks and the history they represent?
With doing so, will this allow you to connect to your story, your history and more the way your body can move in this moment?
On this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I encourage you to consider the Japanese art of Kintsugi. Look for the ways your body, with its imperfections, can move well.
Say thank you.
Give thanks to all the cracks that can be highlighted with liquid gold.
If this is intriguing to you, watch this recent video on the concept of Kintsgui and how it relates to how our bodies feel.
Stay well and happy moving,
Do you ever have a day when you go from one thing to another?
And at the end of all of it, you feel too tired to even think about exercise?
When you get to the point in your day when the TV is calling with whispers saying, "Watch me. Come on, just one show."
Your day has been filled to the brim and you can't imagine putting one more foot in front of the other.
Maybe you feel:
It may in fact be mental rather than physical fatigue that drives you to the couch. Because on reflection you realize that most of the many activities in your day were in fact not active at all.
This week, I had a day just like this.
And believe it or not, I did not want to get to my workout.
Negotiations began in my head.
"Oh, tomorrow you'll get to it."
"Oh, you deserve to stop and turn on Netflix."
"Oh, Lisa, you are SO tired. How could you ever exercise now?"
This may be something that happens to you every week (or day for that matter).
Can you guess what I did?
I recognized my thoughts. And I simply tried. Trying is all you can do.
Was the workout the best?
Was I pushing myself hard?
Did I get through it?
One is better than none.
So what can you do when this inevitability happens to you?
Check you thoughts.
Check them again.
And maybe, just maybe imagine your thoughts AND feelings once you've completed your physical activity.
Because moving your body might simply be a reset button and you might become surprisingly recharged.
On the harder days, it may serve you to use your thoughts to your advantage and use statements like:
I am capable.
I am strong.
I am a movement maven/master (I dare you!)
Believe it or not, sometimes I use my own name to help me get through.
With every step, pedal, or stroke, I cheer myself on with "WORK" then "MAN", "WORK", "MAN", "WORK", "MAN", "WORK", "MAN".
It is amazing how my own internal personal cheerleader keeps me going!
What are some positive thoughts you use on those hard days?
Hit the reply button and share your moving/engaging/uplifting/energizing/invigorating thoughts with me!
Stuck on finding the right words? Check out this recent article on moving mantras. It might help you solidify your encouraging thoughts on those hard days!
Stay well and happy moving,
The amazing thing about the human body is that it does SO many great things automatically without us even thinking about it!
Sometimes it takes a bit of reflection to appreciate how our bodies work. More specifically, what movements the body does day in and day out to keep us functioning. This is human kinetics or the study of how the body moves.
And this is totally my shtick!
The hip for example, is so good at its job that we sometimes miss if it isn't working properly especially with the movements I talk about in this week's video. We can compensate by using the spine or twisting the pelvis to get the movements to "work".
Take this time now to connect to your own hips with these specific movement patterns!
A constant team player.
Unwavering devotion to get you from point A to point B.
Hip flexion and extension are the unsung heroes of the hips!
I hope you enjoy this week's video. If you do, please like the video and share it with anyone who you think might benefit from some concentrated attention in their hips!
I am here to support you in your physical activity journey. AND by learning about how your own body works, connecting the dots of what works and doesn't, you will find increased ease in your body AND your physical activity and exercise routines.
Stay well and happy moving,
A common question that I get asked time and time again is about what type of exercise should I do first.
Do I start with cardiovascular exercise (cardio) like using the elliptical trainer or do I start with resistance training (RT)?
The great thing about this question is that there have been multiple scientific studies that have looked at this specific question and found some interesting results.
The most interesting outcome has been the interference effect. When I hear the word interference I think of a sporting context where the defence has "interfered" with the offensive play. Kind of like in football where the ref signals a foul when one player is illegally tripping, pushing, or pulling the other player who was eligible to catch the ball. You know those big plays in the end zone!
So within the exercise context, the interference effect means that the initial exercise mode interferes with the second mode.
When we structure our workouts with back to back cardio + RT or RT + cardio, it is possible for the interference effect to occur.
More specifically, a moderately intense bike ride may fatigue the leg muscles so much so that when it is followed by squatting exercises, the legs are unable to produce the same amount of force they normally could if done without the prior bike ride.
What is the common rationale is that the body is fatigued (physically and mentally) and is unable to perform as expected. However, it is also possible that the energy required to perform the second mode has been depleted and thus our performance is hindered as we don’t have the appropriate energy to complete the movements.
Most studies (but not all) have shown that the second mode usually gets the short end of the stick.
Cardio + RT favours:
RT + cardio favours:
Although science can provide some answers, it is also important to know what works best for your body. We have to remember that study results are not on you. And sometimes it takes some personal experimentation to determine the best order for you.
I like to recommend to start with the mode that you want to focus on that day. Put all your energy resources from the start into the first mode then know the secondary may not get the best from you.
To give you a glance into my exercise routine, I simply start with a brief cardio to warm-up then head into my RT, thus possibly limiting the fatiguing effects on my muscles by limiting my cardio time.
When I want to focus on cardio, then I solely focus my efforts there. Little to no RT that session.
Yet, in those time crunched moments, I jockey between intervals of cardio with RT for a real challenging session. I'll save more on that for another day!
Finding the right balance of cardio and RT can be tricky. If you are finding you aren’t making the gains you'd like, sometimes it might be your exercise mode order.
Feel free to reply back to this email if you need an exercise order tune up!
I am here to support you in your physical activity journey.
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S. Need to read the science? This recent research article will have you covered!
How's your week been?
Talking with so many new people this week, I've enjoyed learning about their story.
Inside their story, I hear so many opportunities to grasp some low hanging fruit.
What's low hanging fruit you say?
Well, in my world, it is the physical activity modes (or types) that are just within reach. Sometimes we don't see them very well and that's my job to help you recognize the easy wins.
For example, here are real life low hanging fruit that I helped my new clients with this week:
1. Brenda* recently started back to work at her company's office. Before working from home, she would dedicate part of her lunch hour to go for a walk. She hasn't thought about this routine in over a year and she recognized that this in fact was one simple step (no pun intended!) she could take towards accumulating 150 minutes of walking per week.
2. Sarah* has so missed swimming at her local pool. As soon as she could go back to the pool, she started to swim twice a week when the pool opened at 6:30 am. However, her swims have been shortened because the open time is later in the morning. Wanting to get more time in the pool, we discussed and researched another pool, further from home but closer to work that opens at 6 am. An easy win for increasing her swimming.
3. Ken*, who has osteoarthritis in his knees, wasn't doing any exercise. Walking hurts although he would love to spend more time outdoors. In our conversation, he tells me that he has physio exercises from two years ago that he use to do. After reviewing each one and tweaking them slightly, Ken is now equipped to get back to the exercises he already had at home.
What is your low hanging fruit?
What is just within your grasp that could get you moving more?
Is it a recumbent bike in your basement?
Is it an evening walk with your neighbour to catch up?
Is it a shelf of fitness DVDs that need reviewing (i.e., try them!) and donating the ones that no longer work?
Is it working with me? Recall last week's announcement including the rare opportunity to work with me, one-on-one?! I've only got a few spots this coming September in my new Yoga Therapy Private Practice. Let's connect to see if it is the right fit. Send me an email at email@example.com.
Speaking of lemons…
This Sunday morning I'm busy squeezing lemons (not really, but let's pretend).
My boys are hosting a lemonade stand to raise money for the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation. This is our end of summer holidays party by having the "Super Summer Lemonade Stand" (the kids named it!)
If you live in the Edmonton region, check out a stand close to you!
I guess I'm picking my low hanging lemons this week!
Stay well and happy moving,
*Names have been changed for confidentiality
Refreshed. Renewed. Rested.
That's how I feel after taking some time off. I hope you too have had some time for that this summer.
I'd like to share with you my next video instalment of Real Moves for Real Life. We have so much to cover with the hips that this is the next hip video in the series.
The movements of hip rotation are ones we rely on as we move throughout the day but we really never give them much attention. Watch the video for my insights and exercises that will awaken your two hips!
With all the Real Moves for Real Life videos I am sharing with you, I try to sprinkle in some of my recent yoga therapy training but of course, I can't share it all.
It can be overwhelming to get your body moving and I want to help YOU. Provide you with a one-on-one virtual experience of moving and feeling better!
And now, here's the announcement!
This Fall I am opening a yoga therapy private practice. I have limited spaces (3-4 max) that I can accept at one time. The commitment is for five sessions over three month period.
The best part is that since you are on my email newsletter, the first two people to commit will get 20% off my yoga therapy package!!!
This is an opportunity for you to work one-on-one with me! This isn't something I regularly offer and you are the first people I am sharing this with (okay, maybe not the first. My husband is tired of me talking about this already! LOL! But he can attest that his yoga therapy sessions have been "relieving").
If you are interested, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd love to chat if this is the right fit for you.
You don't have to have ever practiced yoga before (my husband sure hasn't) or have any knowledge of yoga. Simply, showing up because you want to CHANGE is all I require. We will explore the way your body moves together and come up with a plan that is specific to you!
You can also read more about the yoga therapy practice on my website.
That's all from me for right now.
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S. And for fun…the real Hip to Be Square!
onIt's that time of year again that I take a pause on all things work and take some time away from the computer. Or at least try! Be sure to read to the end of this email to hear some brief updates and housekeeping items I'd like to share before I go…
With not being in your inbox until later into August, I wanted to share with you some links, videos and articles of interest. Feel free to peruse them over the next few weeks.
I'm seeing more published research on mask wearing and exercise. Dive into the details here:
The impact of face masks on performance and physiological outcomes during exercise: a systematic review and meta-analysis 😷
I don't know lots about Tai Chi but one day I think I'd like to try. Here is a webinar on the benefits of Tai Chi:
Webinar Replay: Combating Stress with Tai Chi ☯️
ParticipACTION is 50 years old! Watch some of their iconic commercials and access all of their resources here:
50 never looked better! 📺
Know someone that lives with Parkinson's Disease? Check out this article on the newest exercise recommendations here:
Recommendations on Weekly Exercise and Physical Activity Routines for Patients With Parkinson Disease 👩🏼🤝👨🏻
Are you thinking of icing sidewalks? I'm sure not! But in preparation for unstable sidewalks, roads and surfaces, best to get a head start on your balance training. Check out this article with some great exercise recommendations here:
10 exercises to improve your balance, prevent falls, and stave off injury ⚖️
Housekeeping notes for you:
I'm over a year in with a weekly email newsletters to you. Thanks for letting me be in your inbox week after week! Please know that I consider it a privilege to be there.
Yet, it is still a work in progress and I thought best to share with you that I haven't completely figured it all out. Long story short, I've been bouncing between two platforms to share my regular weekly newsletter and on the first of the month using an automated service to send you an article round up email that includes great articles, videos and recipes. And guess what?! It hasn't been working as smoothly as I'd like (who would have thought trying two platforms would be an issue?!).
Some people get all the emails and some people are not getting them all (mostly the first of the month emails). With that being said, I am going to take some time to transfer to one platform (mostly for my sanity!) and try to keep the first of the month newsletter but it will look a little different. All the same content but coming from me directly not the automated service. Make sense? On August 1, you may receive two copies of the article roundup. I apologize for any inconvenience.
My goal is to have my newsletter in your inbox on Sunday morning and the article round up arrive on the first of each month. You can also think of me as your fairy godmother for when you feel confused about all things physical activity, exercise and moving your body!
If you enjoy my content and want to make sure that you see these emails, you can drag them from your promotions folder to your inbox or add email@example.com to your address book.
Wishing you a wonderful August!
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S. Believe it or not, I'm building my Fall schedule right NOW! And it includes offering Yoga Therapy! Into August, I'll have the booking system up and running. Learn more about the details on my website now!
I'm really glad I am part of not one but two book clubs. The books we read are ones that I may not normally pick up and they tend to be fiction which I rarely read on my own.
What I do read on my own is non-fiction, evidenced based books mostly on exercise (surprise!) but also business, psychology and biographies.
This month I completed my book club books already so I "released" a book from being on hold at the library. It's been on my hold list for months and I purposely kept it there until I knew I could dive in with my full attention.
The book is called Burnout: the secret to unlocking the stress cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski. I heard them on a podcast months back and what they shared was enlightening to me about stress.
As you can guess, they talk about physical activity. Not exercise per se but moving your body. And how it is the single most efficient strategy for completing the stress cycle.
Woot Woot! You can imagine me cheering.
Not to say I'm not learning anything from this book because that is simply not true. But what it has helped reinforce is the idea of physical activity's power over the past 16 months.
Physical activity can no longer be looked at only as a "weight loss tool" or something that builds strength. It is much more than that!
Think about it...
Have you looked at moving your body as something to do when dealing with stress? Has the impact of a world wide pandemic changed your opinion of moving your body?
If you haven't thought about it, I'd encourage you to do so now. Moving gives us space to not only improve our physical health but also our mental, emotional and spiritual health.
And if you are like me, this has been essential in 2020 and 2021.
Now reading this book couldn't have been at a better time.
This past week I received some heart retching news. A high school friend and former water polo teammate of mine passed away. I can't tell you how much this has hurt my heart. He was 41 years young.
The day I found out I luckily had a swimming lane booked and it seemed so fitting that with bouts of crying and sadness, I was able to move my body through the water and help complete the stress cycle - grief.
Grief isn't a one day thing by any means but that swim was EXACTLY what I needed to move through the immense emotion.
It was even more fitting as our friendship grew at the pool. My swim felt freeing and smooth with the rush of the water after each flip turn and push off from the wall being releasing.
No other way to honour my friend…and myself.
This week's event has been challenging - on many levels than I care to admit. Yet what I want you to consider is now you have the opportunity too to use physical activity to deal with whatever stress comes your way.
Want to learn more about the Burnout book? Check out this TED Talk with the authors.
Stay well & happy stress relieving moving,
P.S. Believe it or not, I'm building my Fall schedule right now! And it includes offering Yoga Therapy! Into August, I'll have the booking system up and running. Learn more about the details on my website!
P.P.S. If you are new here, you can read previous newsletters here. This newsletter content isn't something I share anywhere else (it's not even accessible without this link). I try and give my newsletter subscribers the best of the best! I hope you enjoy the content as it keeps your week focused on moving your body…whatever is the best way for you!
Missed my most recent newsletter? Don't worry, I've got your back. Find all my exclusive letters here on this private blog. ~Lisa