Monthly Archives

March 2018

5 Easy Activities to Include in Your Daily Routine to Decrease Risk for Falling

By | Active Aging

As discussed in an earlier blog- balance is the body’s coordination of three systems, vestibular, visual and the feedback from your joints that help to keep us upright. Your balance needs to be practised on a regular basis in order to decrease your risk for falling. The following activities will help to improve and maintain your balance.

1. Sit to stand (AKA chair squats)

Strength is an important component of balance. Sit to stand from a chair without using the armrests, is an easy and effective way to improve your leg strength and it is a dynamic activity that challenges your balance. You can also increase the difficulty of this activity by adding weights. Complete 10 times every time before you eat a meal.

2. Change your base of support while doing exercises

Challenge your balance by using different bases of support. For example, try feet close together, tandem-one in front of the other or standing on one leg.  An adult should be able to maintain balance for 30 seconds in all those positions with eyes open. Practice should be completed daily.

3.  Close your eyes

By closing your eyes, the input of vision is lost, thus the other systems have to work harder. Do your sit to stand or standing on one foot with your eyes closed. Try your biceps curls in standing with eyes closed, try brushing your teeth standing on one foot with your eyes closed! All of these activities can help to reduce your risk of falling.

4. Stepping programs with a cognitive skill

Stepping programs such as Otago Exercise Program and FaME (Falls Management Exercise) are well established and evidenced-based exercise programs that you can find online. The next level is to complete those stepping programs but overlay it with a cognitive skill, i.e. name the months of the year backwards, or counting backwards from 100 by 7’s.  Many falls happen when people are multi-tasking and this is a way to maintain your current level of activity and add that cognitive challenge.  Programs like Otago and FaME require about 50 hours of practice over 6 months to see and receive full benefits.

5. Walk or exercise on challenging terrain

Safely walking on challenging terrain will improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling. For example, walk on grass up and down hills, try stepping on and off a cushion in your home, or complete your weights while standing on a Bosu ball. The small perturbations in your centre of gravity while on uneven terrain strengthen your body’s ability to react and maintain your balance.

Adding balance activities 2-3 times per week will improve your balance, strengthen your muscles, vision and reaction times will all contribute to decreasing your risk for 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.

Best Ways to Celebrate Fitness Milestones!

By | Interesting Articles

At Momentum Fitness, we create goals with each of our members and clients, which can be anything from losing weight to creating a regular workout schedule. An important part of your fitness goal is the celebration that comes after each milestone you reach! Each step closer to your goal is a step towards a brighter, healthier future and it deserves recognition. Never forget how important it is to celebrate milestones along the way.  Small celebrations can include:

Write in Your Journal

Journaling about a positive experience, such as achieving a fitness milestone, allows your brain to relive it. It also reaffirms your abilities when the ugly head of self-doubt appears. The release of endorphins and dopamine will boost your self-esteem and mood. These reflections can become a catalogue of personal achievements that you continue to go back to, and it’ll help you stay committed to the end goal.

Share a Photo on Social Media

We aren’t the type of gym to promote before and after photos because we truly believe that feeling strong and healthy is the most important part of exercising. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge in a fun selfie and share your fitness story on social media! The encouragement from your followers can be very motivational, and you never know who you might inspire!

Treat Yourself

Go buy a gift card to your favourite store NOW and use it when you reach your NEXT milestone. There’s nothing more exciting than knowing that there’s a reward waiting for you! The anticipation for the incentive will keep you committed to your goal and ensure you keep up the great work. You can also treat yourself to a new pair of workout shoes, or a special event, like a sporting event or a spa day. You’ve worked hard and you deserve it!

Try Something New

Sign-up for a new fitness class you’ve always wanted to try. Sometimes, a reward can be as simple as switching up the routine! The classes at Momentum can be a really fun way to switch things up, or a yoga practice with our friends at Moksha Yoga Hamilton. Even something as fun as boxing with the punching bag at our Ottawa Street location can be a reward for your hard work!

Eat Out

We’re lucky to live in Hamilton and to be surrounded by dozens of incredible restaurants. Whether you want to stick to your healthy eating, give yourself a cheat day, or find something in between, Hamilton has a restaurant for you! Get together with some friends and treat yourself to a yummy meal. You can get a healthy vegan burger at Boon Burger on Ottawa Street, or flip the switch and go to HMBRGR for a treat. Whatever you decide to do, make it a memorable experience by inviting friends, dressing up, and celebrating your success.

Personal celebrations can keep you motivated, but sharing it with others is also really important! Having people on your team and celebrating with you makes all the difference! The staff at Momentum are always excited to celebrate our member’s achievements. We make a point of celebrating at the end of every challenge, race, or major event we do, and there’s a reason why! It brings our community together and awards everyone for the progress and commitment they’ve made to reach a new milestone or goal.

Our Challenge To You

Share one of your goals and milestones with a Momentum Fitness Coach, and ask them for ideas on how you might celebrate your milestone once you achieve it. What other ways might you celebrate this milestone?  How can you show generosity to those who helped you and ensure that your story of success is told? We want to hear about all of your success!

Things to Expect in a Gym Community

By | Interesting Articles

Things To Expect In A Gym Community

When it comes to finding the right gym for you, it’s important to consider the community within the gym. Different gyms have different atmospheres. Some are bigger where the same people won’t always attend the same classes, while others have a very close-knit community where you’ll always encounter the same people at the same hours. It’s important to ask yourself if you’re looking to find friends and really build a community, or are you just looking for a group atmosphere to workout in where you may meet a friend or two? At our boutique gyms in Hamilton, the option is yours!

Improve Your Experience

Training in a community of like-minded people can have a noticeable effect on your performance, but it will also greatly affect your experience in the gym. What’s most important is finding a gym that places emphasis on their community. You want to go somewhere that places a premium on building a culture where people want to workout, want to spend their time. More importantly, though, you want to feel empowered and encouraged by the staff and other members. The community at the gym involves more than just the people there. It’s a word that wraps up the overall feeling and experience of the gym. You should leave feeling that the experience was welcoming, friendly, fun and inspiring.

Community Builds Accountability

This sense of community really goes a long way towards strengthening a number of things. Being a part of a gym with a community that makes your gym feel like a second home helps to make your training more of a habit. Not only will you want to go to the gym more often, but that community fosters accountability. When Coaches and fellow gym members make it a point to say that they missed you last week when you would regularly workout, you’re more likely to go than to skip a day.

Share Your Purpose

This is the kind of setting that motivates and helps to build more confidence the more you participate. People tend to quit going to the gym when they feel they aren’t succeeding, but it’s important to consider your goals and whether they are realistic with your timeframe. When you’re a member at a gym with a strong community support base, your Coaches and friends can help remind you of your goals and encourage you to meet them. Something as simple as talking about why you decided to start your workout routine can be that foot in the door to building a relationship in the community. Suppose you’re training for an upcoming road race, letting others know your goals could introduce you to one of our Run Clubs. Participating in club or classes are always great ways to build friendships, and strong community relationships within the gym.

We’re Better Together

Remember that in this kind of community setting, your Coaches are just as serious about helping you reach your goals as you are. And people who have become your friends will help to keep you motivated when you fall off track.

The truth is, we aren’t wired to be our best on our own. We crave community – it’s in our DNA. We need accountability where discipline wanes. Join a gym that fills that need.

Momentum Fitness puts a strong emphasis on our people – they’re one of our greatest values. That’s why we make it a priority to host regular member socials and connect our members to one another. In the past, we’ve done curling, rock climbing, indoor skydiving, paint nite and a brewery tour, to name a few. This has always been a great way to bring our community together.

We also believe in the importance of bringing our members and community together during big events, like the upcoming Around the Bay race, Climb for Cancer, and Road 2 Hope race. You can count on us for the biggest cheer stations and the best after parties!

At the end of the day, the best way to get a feel for the community is to visit the gym and experience it in person. If you want to learn more about a gym before checking out the space, look at their website, social media pages and Google reviews.

5 Benefits of a Personal Trainer

By | Interesting Articles
Personal Training is an asset to every member at Momentum. Our Coaches are there to help you focus on the goals and to help every step of the way. Our Coaches should be your go-to people for any question, goal, progression, injury, or need at the gym. Not only are our Personal Coaches the experts on exercise, but they also offer support for your fitness experience in many ways.

Motivation

Someone spotting you and encouraging you to do your best each and every workout will surely help you to get the best out of all your workouts. Not only will you work that extra bit harder to get those final reps out, having a personal trainer there beside you will provide you with the confidence and the know-how for each of your exercises.
 

Accountability

Having a personal trainer to keep you accountable is a great way to keep heading back to the gym. Think of your Coach as an expert buddy – you’d never leave them hanging. Having someone there to keep you moving forward towards your goals and helping you every step of the way is huge.

Knowledge Sharing

Personal trainers are a wealth of knowledge for everything gym related. Need some guidance on how to use a piece of equipment? Need some guidance on switching up your workout routine? Maybe you even just want to chat about nutrition. Your personal trainer is your go-to for anything that you will need when working out in and out of the gym.

Performance Boost

Personal training is the best way to help you get to the next level with your fitness. When you begin personal training, your Coach will develop a macro plan for you, based on your goals. They’ll take all factors into account, including injuries, health issues, diet and lifestyle. They’ll progress you through a series of exercises at a pace that is comfortable, yet challenging enough. If you’re just starting out, you can meet with a Coach to get everything you need to start your fitness journey. If the gym is your home away from home, try a Coach to help you with your form and periodization.

Building Community

Our Coaches know a lot about our members, including what motivates them, their goals, and when they workout. If you’re looking for a partner to workout in tandem with, personal training is a perfect place to connect. They are also an awesome connection to have if you’re looking to join any number of fitness clubs at the gym or in Hamilton. Stopping and talking to one of our Coaches is a great place to start!

Connect with a Momentum Fitness Coach Today!

10 Tips for Race Preparation

By | Workout Tips

You’ve already completed the first two steps in preparing for your race. You signed up, and you’ve been training your body for months. Now, it’s time for a new kind of preparation. The next thing to think about is the preparation you should do leading up to the race. At Momentum, our team has participated in dozens of races, and we’ve compiled our best tips to help you prepare for the big day.

1. Focus On The Date Of Your Race

This may seem obvious, but keep your eye on the job ahead. Knowing that you are just a few weeks away from your race, be sure to clear your schedule and make time for the necessary training and planning to help you stay on track.

2. Study The Details Of The Course

Whether you’re doing a 5km race or a 30km race, it’s good to study the maps and course breakdown. You should spend some time on the route (walking, running, cycling or driving) and become familiar with the course. Based on your own capabilities, break down the race into times. For example, figure out how long you would like to take to complete the first leg of the race, but keep it realistic. By doing this, you’ll know what to expect, which will help you feel calm and ready for the event.

You can go beyond that, and figure out how long it’ll take you to get to the start line from your house on the day of the race. Learn which roads will be closed for the race (if any) and determine the best route to get there. There’s nothing worse than being late to the start line!

3. Visualize Your Race

Visualization is a powerful thing. Go through the whole detail of picking up your race kit, dropping your bag off, warming up, and so on. Visualize yourself at the start line and keep telling yourself you can do this. If you know that there’s one particular challenging part of the course, picture yourself getting through it with a smile on your face. Imagine that you can hear the cheering crowd as you pass the finish line. Believing you can is half the battle in race preparation.

4. Get The Gear You Need

If you need to buy new gear then now is the time! Don’t go buy new gear the day before your event. You will need to have trained in your gear before race day to get used to it. Now is a good time to make a list of all the items you need. Will you bring water, gel packs, or music? Do you want to wear a hat, or maybe spandex under your shorts? Check what mandatory kit is required and ensure you have it. Tick the items off your list as you get them.

5. Whatever Training Plan You Are Using, Stick To It

You’ve come this far in your training, and now is not the time to change your tactic. Believe in your plan – you are a rockstar! The important thing right now is to stay focused and consistent with what you’ve been doing. If you’re looking for something new for your next race, check out our training plan here as a guide to help you progress. If you are training with friends or our Run Club, then let those people reassure you and knock out any doubt. Like we said, you are a rockstar!

6. Don’t Ignore Those Nagging Injuries! 

If that achy knee just isn’t going away, go and see the experts for advice. Whether that’s your family practitioner, a massage therapist, chiropractor or physiotherapist, just go! Determining the problem in a timely manner can save you a lot of anguish in the future or on the day of the event.

7. Show Your Muscles Some Love

Use stretching exercises and yoga to enhance your training. Our partnership with Moksha Yoga Hamilton is a great way to get you into the studio and on the mat for your practice. Our Coaches are also an incredible resource for exercises and stretches to help prepare your muscles for race day. Coach Cole spends 20-30 minutes a day stretching, and recommends this to all of his runners in Run Club. His advice is to stretch from the ground up for ten to fifteen minutes, focusing on every major muscle group. Then, spend another ten to fifteen minutes foam rolling. It may seem like a lot, but trust us, your body will thank you!

8. Plan Your Diet And Hydration

We can’t stress this enough! It is vital to feed yourself right and drink the right amounts while training for a big event. Leading up to the race, you’ll want to maintain an intake of protein with carbohydrates. Why? Well, these have been shown to increase the absorption of glycogen, which is the body’s store of carbohydrate kept in the muscle and liver, and these help to give you energy. Fluid intake needs to be at a premium since water is also needed for glycogen storage. Definitely, avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks as these can have a dehydrating effect on you, but we highly recommend a huge pasta dinner the night before the race!

9. Get Plenty Of Sleep And Quality Rest

Focus on dialling down your life and commitments so you can log a few extra hours of quality, peaceful sleep. Heading to bed earlier, taking naps, or sleeping-in on the weekend before are great ways to weave in a little more pillow time during your taper.

10. Plan A Finish Reward

This is the easiest part! With the upcoming Around the Bay Road Race, Momentum Fitness is proudly hosting an after party at our George Street location. We want to celebrate your huge achievement in finishing the race! Get ready for some pints, yummy snacks, massages, stretching, and a few extra surprises! By signing up for Team Momentum, you immediately receive information on how to prepare for the race, along with all the details you’ll need for race day, including details on our after party. Consider Momentum as your own personal race day concierge! See you at the finish line!

Tyler Nicklin Member of the Month

By | Member of the Month

 

Congratulations to Tyler Nicklin, our member of the month for March!

Tyler has been a member of Momentum for 3 years, and she is on a streak of 50 consecutive days (and counting) of being at the gym!

Tyler started off her journey with Momentum coming in with her Mom as a guest, and she’s been coming to Momentum ever since. When Tyler started at Momentum, she was in culinary school at Niagara College. Tyler found that she loved what she did, but needed to find a balance between the culinary arts and healthy living. “Which is also the reason why I have to come to the gym. I work at Rapscallion, and it’s delicious.”

Barriers

One of Tyler’s barriers to exercising is finding the motivation to make it to the gym every day. She’s found that if she wakes up in the morning, and makes a point to come right to the gym, it helps her to maintain her fitness goals. “If I leave it, or if it’s my day off, and I think ‘I can go anytime,’ I don’t end up going. But if my alarm goes off at 9:30 every day, then I just go to the gym straight away to start my day.” This has helped her to accomplish an impressive 50 consecutive days of making it to the gym, with no signs of slowing down. “After I gave myself a week of relaxation after the holidays, I said to myself, ‘I’m going to go to the gym today.’ Then I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll go 3 times this week,’ and I just haven’t stopped coming every day since.”

Empowered by Movement

Tyler has noticed some significant changes in her life since she began coming to the gym. Practical things that help her in her everyday life around the workplace are a good example of these changes. “That actually was one of the original reasons I joined a gym. At work, and being a girl in the kitchen, I always had to ask the boys, ‘can you carry that, can you carry that, can you carry that.’ I was sick of having to ask them to have to do stuff for me.” As you can imagine, carrying a heavy bag of potatoes or a huge pot of water requires some serious strength, and also the knowledge of how to lift it properly. Now, carrying a heavy bag of flour is a piece of cake for her!

Tyler’s been holding herself accountable by posting a photo or video on Instagram each time she comes to the gym. She knows that the Coaches are waiting to see her photo, so she can’t miss a day!

The Power of Momentum

When we asked what impact Momentum has had on her, Tyler Simply replied “It’s had a great impact. I used to be a part of one of the big gyms before I switched to Momentum. I would go in and I didn’t really know what I was doing. I’d go to the gym, but I don’t think it was really doing anything. Because I was just kind of wandering aimlessly, and I didn’t know what I was doing. It was huge, and there were people everywhere, and it was very intimidating. When I started coming to Momentum as a guest with my mom, I immediately didn’t go back to my old gym.” She attributes this to the community at Momentum, as well as the Coaches, and the commitment they have to help you succeed.

Advice

Tyler shared advice for someone who is new to the gym or who has never been to a gym before. “Talk to the trainers and get the information you need because they’re resources to help you succeed. And you should definitely do that instead of guessing, or assuming you’ll be fine. The other thing is, just do it! You can talk about going to the gym, but you’re the one who’s going to make yourself get there!”

Thank you, Tyler for sharing your story with us, and congratulations again on being named our member of the month!