"Don't worry if you feel sick ... that's normal."
That lovely quote comes courtesy of Anouk Malavoy, who teaches the 6:30 a.m. Tuesday endurance spin class at Quad on King St.
Good to know I'm normal.
On Monday the Star ran an article I wrote about the efforts I am making to get fit, as part of my overall plan to become more self-reliant, or more predator than prey.
We will be back to knives, skidding cars, fire and first aid soon. But exercise is a big part of the project, so bear with me for a bit.
I plan to keep you posted on how I feel but I won't be posting my weight. Frankly I believe that pounds have very little to do with how you feel, and I think boiling it down to body size sends the wrong message to girls.
Since November I have been meeting with a personal trainer and recently started taking spin classes. Spinning is a punishing workout in all the right ways. Anouk said the reason you may feel a bit sick or green is because of the release of lactic acid throughout your body.
The best part: You are so focused on making it through, you can't think. Highly recommended for anyone who spends a good part of their day with their brain on overdrive at their desk.
It turns out a lot of people at 1 Yonge St. (the Star) like to spin, but colleague and personal finance and consumer spending whiz Ellen Roseman was the first one to raise the obvious point that exercise programs are expensive.
I know I am extremely lucky to have the cash and free time to zip around the city to build muscle and burn fat.
My methods are working – I would have to be funnelling ice cream for it to fail – but I wanted to offer a few tips on lower-cost ways for people to improve their physical fitness at home.
I hit up my trainer Jennifer Shearer for a few cheap ways to strengthen your heart and get in shape. She points out that meeting with a personal trainer doesn't mean shelling out significant amounts of cash and meeting three times a week. Shearer, also a holistic nutritionist, helps people design programs to do on their own then checks in with them every month or so to see how they are doing and to change the exercises.
Her full text is below.
Stairs: a great way to get your cardio as well as some strength training. A fast pace up and down allows the cardiovascular system to get conditioned. To gain some strength and tone try stepping up every second stair nice and controlled and let your top leg to the lift without pushing from the bottom, you will feel the difference!
Tip: for an added leg workout do some jump squats in place at both the top and bottom of the stairs between each set OR if you want to add in some upper body then do some push ups between sets!
Investing in a few sets of free weights or resistance bands will expand your options for training at home or on the go. Depending on your fitness level you may want a few heavier weights or some lighter ones...remember don’t be afraid to challenge your body with some heavy weights. With these items it allows you to do things such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, shoulder presses just to name a few!
Tip: the more muscle you have the more fat you will burn at rest! So instead of the 5 lbs go for the 8 lbs!
Tip: If trying to loose weight and burn fat or just trying to maximize your time, focus on compound exercises. These exercises utilize as many muscle groups as possible at one time therefore burning the maximum amount of calories as well as getting in a few different movements at once! An example of this would be a lunge with a shoulder press or a push up with a dumbbell row.