Monthly Archives

December 2017

The Real Secret to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution

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The Real Secret To Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution

For most of us, January is an exciting time to start fresh, set new goals, and say hello to new habits and lifestyles. We write down our New Year’s resolution, we share them with our friends, and we shout it out loud on social media.

Then comes February… And we ask ourselves, where did our New Year’s resolutions go? It’s not that we didn’t want to achieve our resolution, it’s that we often don’t set ourselves up for success, to begin with. So how can we maintain those goals throughout the entire year?

Typically, our New Year’s resolutions revolve around the idea of creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Exercising, eating well, and taking care of our mental health. First things first, let’s get back to the basics and then we’ll build from there.

  1. Plan Your Route

You can translate your New Year’s resolution into a SMART goal so that it’s Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, and so that there’s a Timeframe. Beyond that, you can break down your SMART goal to incorporate smaller milestone goals. Why is this important? Well, it’ll help keep you on track so that you have something to work towards each month. Not only that, but it gives you the opportunity to celebrate your success each step of the way.

Our Goal Setting Worksheet is the perfect way to set up your New Year’s resolution so that you actually see the benefits of it throughout the year.

2. Announce Your Commitment

Having accountability will keep you on track and it makes it easier for you to recruit friends and family for support along the way. Share your goal on your social media, blog, tell your friends, heck – shout it from the rooftops if you want to! By announcing it, you set a level of accountability and take it from the abstract to the tangible.

3. Recruit Your Support Team

You’ll need motivation, encouragement, resources, and maybe some tough love along the way. Be sure to ask key players for exactly what you’ll need. Task your mom with daily encouragement, your best friend with a butt-kicking when you need it, and your Personal Coach with inspiration if you get bored.

You can even add inanimate objects to your support team! In the past, we’ve found huge success by writing our goals down on a whiteboard that we see daily, setting reminders on our phone, and by using a Passion Planner to keep us on track. All of these things can act as your extra support team to give you motivation and encouragement along the way.

4. Make Your Goal a Habit

You need to turn your life goals into daily habits. A routine is something you do every day without fail, so that eventually, like brushing your teeth or putting on your seatbelt, you do it without conscious thought. Habits can be tricky to create, but not if you use the Compound Effect. The compound effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. You’ll find success in the moment to moment decisions that alone, make no visible difference whatsoever. But as you accumulate those habits by starting small and building off of them, the compounding effect is profound.

5. Create If / Then Plans

For most of us, it’s our human nature to love plans. Seeing success from your goal means more than just focusing on the goal. Think of a few potentially tough situations you may encounter in the first month (a party, getting sick, heavy workload) and how you’ll handle them using the “if/then” structure. “IF I get sick and I’m unable to workout twice, THEN I’ll make sure I’m in bed by 8 pm all week and schedule a light workout for the first day that I’m feeling better.”

Don’t get down on yourself and drop your resolution altogether if you fall off the track. Regroup, look at your SMART Goal Worksheet, follow your If / Then Plan, and start back as soon as you can.

It’s an exciting time of year, and one of the best ways to kickstart it is to join our 20 for 20 Challenge. Beginning January 11, 2018, you’ll get 20 days of 20 workouts and challenges, delivered straight to your inbox. We’re packing the challenge full of motivation & education to start your year off fresh.

7 Reasons to Switch Up Your Workouts

By | Interesting Articles

When it comes to exercise, many of us are creatures of habit. We head for the same class, log the same workout on the same piece of equipment, and run the same route every single time we lace up our shoes. Habit creates comfort, which can make it difficult to switch things up on our own.

Yes, regular exercise is undoubtedly good for you, but it’s also important to vary your fitness routine. Your body — and brain — will reap benefits when you try new activities. There are countless benefits to mixing up your workout routine, including stimulating different muscle groups and preventing boredom.

There’s no shortage of different types of exercises to try. Sometimes all it takes is a challenge, a workout video or a Coaching session to inspire you to shake things up. Here are seven benefits of tweaking your exercise routine.

1. Break Through a Plateau

If you’ve been doing the same activity all the time, you may have noticed that you’ve hit a plateau in reaching your fitness goals. This often happens because your body gets used to the activity and becomes very efficient. Eventually, that adaptation will mean that you burn fewer calories or gain less muscle when you’re doing the same amount of exercise as before. The solution? Challenge your body in a way that it’s not used to. Your body will have to work harder as it adjusts to the new activity, which means that you’ll become more successful at reaching your goals.

2. Prevent Overuse Injuries

There’s a reason why you get hurt when you put your body through the same motions over and over again. This is called a repetitive strain injury, which often occurs from doing lots of repetitive motions, such as running, hitting a tennis ball, kicking (in kickboxing or martial arts classes), or performing the same swimming stroke. By mixing up your activities, you give those overused muscles, joints, and ligaments a chance to rest and recover before putting them into action again. And if you do get injured, performing a different activity that doesn’t strain the same part of the body will allow you to stay in shape and heal at the same time.

3. Build New Muscle

Ever notice how you can quickly identify a professional swimmer by his powerful arms and shoulders and a long-distance runner by her chiselled legs? That’s because professional athletes focus almost exclusively on one sport — and that sport builds very specific muscles. But for recreational exercisers, the best approach is to do a little of everything. That way you’ll build a strong heart (for endurance), muscular legs and a powerful upper body. You’ll feel great and be physically ready to take on a variety of sports and activities.

4. Beat Workout Boredom

If you find yourself literally counting down the seconds left in your elliptical workout or can hardly stand the sight of the same streets as you run down them, it’s time to switch up your routine. Keep your workouts from getting stale by constantly trying new things. Venture into a Cardio-Core class for a total change of pace, or just try switching up your usual activity. For instance, instead of running the same distance at your customary pace, add some speed intervals. After you’ve warmed up, do a series of 30-second sprints followed by two minutes of slower jogging to recover. Keep repeating that, and you’ll reach the end of your run feeling invigorated.

5. Help Keep Your Brain Healthy

Exercise is essential for keeping your brain sharp and helping to prevent memory loss. And learning new skills also helps keep your neurons firing better. So learning a new exercise activity is a double-whammy when it comes to brain health. Ballroom dancing and other activities that require some skill and memorization are a good option. The key is to choose activities that keep you engaged; don’t pick things that you can do on autopilot. You don’t need to overexert yourself to reap the benefits of exercise for your brain and memory, but you should exercise regularly. Research shows that active individuals have a lower risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), and stroke, which can affect memory.

6. Meet New Workout Partners

One of the best ways to stay engaged with exercise — and committed to a regular schedule of activity — is to find people you want to work out with. And what better way to find someone than to try a new activity? Join a Momentum Club to find others to exercise with, try a small group class, or strike up a conversation while doing stretches in the gym. Better yet, ask a friend to join you in the gym for Guest Month this December!

7. Get Excited About Your Goals Again

When too many days in a row go by that you’d rather hit the snooze button than hit the gym, it’s definitely time to make a change. It may take a little trial and error before you find a new workout you enjoy but stick with it until you do. Then, change up your routine so that you include several types of activity every week. You’ll see better results and have a lot more fun doing it.

If you’re struggling to find the inspiration for a new workout, any one of our Coaches would be happy to provide you with the tools and resources to help you reach your goals.

This article was originally found and adapted from One Medical.

Active Aging Series: Balance

By | Interesting Articles

Balance

Our balance changes as we age due to a variety of reasons.

There are 3 systems which coordinate together to maintain it.

  1. The inner ear
  2. Vision
  3. Feedback from our joints and muscles

All three system co-ordinate in the brain – specifically in the cerebellum. The brain then sends out a response to maintain your stability or to adjust your body.

Balance can change as we age due to primary and secondary aging processes, as mentioned in a previous blog. Typically, our vision becomes weaker, perhaps due to glaucoma or cataracts. Often, the feedback from our body is less efficient and the output plan is less effective due to strength changes or complications from a chronic illness. However, with training, you can improve your balance. Think of this as the age-old, “Use it or Lose it”!

You can test yourself using The 4 Stage Balance Test

Overall, the best way to maintain your stability is to train the systems along with strengthening activities. Once you have identified where your balance is weakest, start with that position and build your endurance. For example, you can stand in tandem stance when doing bicep curls, or stand on one foot while brushing your teeth (or even close your eyes)! Balance training as part of the Canadian Guidelines for Physical Activity is identified as being beneficial to decrease your risks of falls.

 

Article Written by Laura Doyle, Registered Physiotherapist BHSc (PT), B.Ed., B. KIN

As a registered physiotherapist, Laura works at McMaster Family Practice. She sees patients while promoting healthy living and aging along acute and chronic health conditions. Laura is a Member of the Momentum community who makes time at lunch to workout. She is passionate about moving every day to maximize function and fitness throughout the lifespan.

Jason Farr Member of the Month

By | Interesting Articles

Congratulations to Jason Farr, our member of the Month for December!

Jason has been a member at Momentum Fitness for just over one year. His hard work and dedication have been unprecedented since the day he walked through our doors.

In the fall of 2016, Jason decided to make a renewed commitment to living a healthy and active lifestyle. This was following a medical issue that sent him from the first floor to the third floor, to the sixth floor at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He said that this particular health issue was born out of a bad lifestyle with a poor diet and very little exercise. Of course, this was a big change from the football and basketball captain that he once was back at Delta High, and he knew he needed to make a change.

The Wake-Up Call

After many appointments, tests, doctors, specialists, and thorough conversations, he met with a young doctor from Toronto. She said to him, “I’ll give you a prescription that’ll take care of you and your issue for the long term. However, you have to take this medication for the rest of your life. Ultimately, what will happen is that this medication will lead to another medication because there will probably be some side-effects. You’ll have to come back, and we’ll look at those side effects as they come up, but in a lot of cases, this is what happens.” The young doctors told Jason that the situation he found himself in is typically what she deals with in people who are 65+ years. Of course, this was surprising to Jason, as he’s only in his 40s. The doctor continued, “You can go and fill this prescription… Or, you can just go to the gym.”

Jason paused as he recalled this part of the story, with an astonished look on his face, which then transitioned to an ear-to-ear smile and a laugh, “I’ll never forget it.” It was clear that that was his impact moment. That was the moment that changed his life forever.

Over the years, people approached Jason to address their concerns from all different angles. From laughs on the golf course to genuine words of concern from his longtime friends and colleagues, Terry Cooke and Ron Foxcroft, none of it quite stuck. Ultimately, it took that doctor’s comment, and that prescription in her hand, to really put things into perspective for him.

On November 14th, 2016 he left that doctor’s office, and on November the 15th he became a dedicated member at Momentum Fitness, and he’s been exercising almost every day since!

Dedicated to the Core

If you’re a member of our Ottawa Street or George Street location, you’ve probably seen Jason more than once or twice. This means that you can attest when we say that this hard working man sweats it out when he’s at the gym because he works so hard! He is so dedicated to achieving his goals, which is absolutely clear as he focuses like a laser on his workout routine and his task at hand.

In the hopes that others feel inspired by his story, Jason shared with us that he began his journey at 355 lbs. He said, “To put that into perspective, that’s bigger than all CFL linemen, most NFL linemen, and clearly from my experience with that medical issue, I was on the cusp of becoming a burden to the healthcare system.” When given an option between taking the easy route or going head-first into combat, we all know that this Cllr. is ready to take on the giants. It just so happened that this time, he was fighting for his own health and life.

Just after his one-year member anniversary, Jason is now 75 lbs lighter, with an end goal of weighing 250 lbs. For him, though, it isn’t just about the weight and the number on the scale. His dedication to a healthy and active lifestyle means that he’s now able to play basketball and ball hockey with his son, and actually keep up! At first, he started exercising to overcome a medical issue. Now, he’s reaping the benefits of countless moments and memories being active with his family, which are really worth cherishing.

Jason reminisced over his very first workout at Momentum, and you could see a wave of nostalgia come over him. “Immediately after the first workout, I not only felt good about my workout, but I also felt good about the place. This is definitely the gym for me. I’ve tried many times in different ways to get fit, and for a number of reasons, I was just never really successful. When I came to Momentum I knew that the people here – the staff and the members – just made the perfect fit.”

The City Councillor’s Perspective

“From my role as a Councillor, it’s really impressive to see the impact of Momentum Fitness, 6 years after it first opened. It really speaks to where we’re at as a city. It’s exactly what we embrace in the core from an economic development perspective, but also from a sustainable city standpoint. What we have here is progressive growth. Momentum is a small business that adds up to big things through their huge community involvement, charitable work, and even the member social beer crawl. Those are the kind of things that help a good, local, small business succeed. You succeed when you embrace the community around you, and Momentum is the definition of that. It’s important because it inspires other small startups to do what Momentum does. And of course, I like being a part of that.”

Following his one-year anniversary and Member of the Month achievement, Jason is now ready to take his fitness to a new level. We asked about his greatest barriers to fitness, and like many of us have experienced, he’s hit a plateau with his workouts and feels that it’s time to shake things up a little. “If I can combine a better diet than I already have, and incorporate workouts provided by the Coaches who know what my goals are, then there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll reach my goal within my two-year plan.” Jason is highly motivated, and with each benefit that he experiences from increased fitness, he continually becomes more driven.

No Excuses

Cllr. Jason Farr works in the busiest ward, with a lot happening in the downtown core that he’s responsible for. His typical workday is 11-12 hours, so naturally, you would assume that there couldn’t possibly be enough time in the day for him to workout. Time would clearly be his best excuse if he ever wanted to skip the gym. However, by incorporating an hour and a half at the gym every day, he’s become substantially more effective at work and with managing his time. He says that this is because he is significantly more rested, he has a tremendous amount of energy, and all of this has made him way more efficient. “It wasn’t a benefit that I was expecting when I started this journey. Originally, I thought that I’d have to find a way to make up that time – I thought I’d just have to work 13 hours a day. But actually, I can get more done in a shorter amount of time because of my increased energy levels.”

It’s not only his energy levels that have improved, but his sleep has as well. “Originally, it was an issue with sleep that brought me to the hospital. Since working out regularly, I now sleep like a baby.” And as far as we’re concerned, that’s definitely a win in our books.

His Advice

When we asked Jason about his advice for new members or for someone who has never joined a gym before, he said, “Take the impression that you have about gyms and get it out of your mind, especially if that’s been something that’s held you back. This is way more than just a place that you go sweat it out. This is also a place where you can find a community. All of those stereotypes that come to mind when you think about a gym can make you feel intimidated. But at Momentum, the members and the staff have a tremendous amount of respect. You’re going to be respected, and your time is going to be respected. The staff are here if you need them, but they’re also very respectful.”

“The obvious words that come to my mind when describing Momentum are convenient, boutique, atmosphere, comfortable. It’s the opposite of what your stereotypical gym is. I hope that those words will inspire people reading this to at least be curious and come check it out. You won’t regret it – trust me.”

Thank you so much, Jason, for sharing your story and for inspiring others. And again, congratulations on being named our Member of the Month for December!