Well, it's been a very long time since I've written a blog. I've written anything ranging from light hearted to useful tips to even practical fitness workouts that anyone can do. After a long absence, I'm back with a message that some might think is bordering on heavy. Some things seem to be coming up with me that I'm seeing which are reminding me of past events. No cute photos, just my heartfelt experience.
Have you ever liked someone so much that you almost worship them? Have you ever know someone who is like that?
Maybe they emulate someone’s lifestyle, some of their language mannerisms (using the words that they do or speaking in the way that they speak)? Follow them around the world even?
Now, there may be a couple of things that you might have in common like perhaps singing, working out, eating certain things just for examples. Hey, you might even be fast friends! But where could it be coming from?
Having said that, I have ridden the wave of an exciting type of movement. I bought the equipment, the music, used certain words or phrases that I’d heard from people whom I admire and respect (past and present). I liked and like what they've stood for and what they happened to be selling if any.
Speaking in the past, where could this have come from? In my case looking back, I don’t think I really know my own identity at the time. I was dealing with a lot of stuff and frankly, PTSD from a very bad work experience and my Dad became ill. A lot happening.
And one day I went to a class that sparked a shift in my mindset. I got swept up in all hype and almost latched onto someone else's words and Philosophy's. I truly was effected by an experience that I’d had at a conference that year. But, thank GOD I grew out of that phase of my life. Geeeeeez! It was inauthentic. I think there was a part of me that desperately wanted to make some positive changes. So it was like a “Me Too” lifestyle.
The Me Too lifestyle for example would be the person someone likes says he works out hard every day to be in the best shape ever and wouldn’t you know it, the little lady likes to do all the same things that he does because it sure is healthy! Or the woman who goes to a fun party Latin fitness class where the instructor and all the participants are wearing ripped shirts with ribbon sewn to their pants because, EVERYone’s doing it..! It’s cool right?
Yep, I was into the catchy phrases and words and saying that I do this, “My body does that etc.” All that came from someone else. I met some genuinely good people in from that circle whom I still keep in contact with but I started to realize that it really was a kleeky group who never give me the time of day outside attending one of their workshops. They’d give shout outs and help promote certain instructors in their quest to run these movement classes but there was zero support for me in MY quest to do the same.
I started to realize that this was just bullshit. They weren’t interested in me at all! That’s when things started to change for me in another way. I started waking up…
I knew someone who connected with another person, practically followed them around everywhere. They eventually became great friends who were almost inseparable. Then that person became a part of the business then their partner. And one day, it happened that the Keener, ended up basically stealing their "Hero's" hard work away from them and made it their own leaving them having to rebuild. It was financial and emotional rape. Cue skin crawling.
At present, there are times where I do like to quote certain people and like their posts. If I do that, it’s because I do happen to agree with what they may be saying or asking for an opinion. It isn’t coming from “idolizing” them. I may very much like that person and appreciate their values but, I won’t hold them in Celebrity like Status. They’re not God-like, they can do wrong. I may not always agree with everything I see or hear from them. But, if something resonates with me, I feel it and take it in. I don’t worship anymore. And I don’t follow their every move on social media or by means of an airplane.
Yeah, people do have their own ideas and it sure is easy to get caught up in the fun stuff and exciting stuff and there very well may be some similarities between you both. But hopefully there won’t be any red flags down the road. Watch out for the eager beavers. Caution is so important. Protect yourself. And be authentic. There are some who might see right through it.
I was never a Sports Athlete. I didn’t enroll in Organized Sports or take Gymnastics as a kid but, I did like to go for walks and dance.
Near the end of High School I discovered Aerobics which essentially changed my life.
Being active does not have to mean being an Athlete or unrealistically skinny. But it does mean maintaining your health, being physically strong and staying flexible.
I have met some who are physically much older than their chronological age due to sedentary lifestyle with unhealthy eating habits. They are in poor health which is very unfortunate.
I am grateful for my health and the physical strength that I have now. I am stronger than I was over 20 years ago. And I have no intention of stopping now!
I applaud those who have kept their children in activities when they’re young. And to those who are making the lifestyle changes to improve their health now. Keep going and don’t stop!
Are you REALLY gonna eat that?? Is it going to make you healthy?!
In the wake of the at least 200 people falling ill after eating at the CNE this summer, It makes me wonder. Granted, it was recently discovered that the cause of illness was the Maple Bacon Jam at the Cronut Burger but in the past couple of years, there have been highly anticipated and high fat foods which the public seems to have lined up to sample.
The Canadian National Exhibition is a Toronto tradition and attended by thousands each year. Held during the last two weeks of August it signifies the end of summer.
Famous for the Midway, the Livestock/Farm Building, live shows and the ever popular Food Building.
The Food Building is a large Food Court with a wide selection which some feel like they’ve entered into a multicultural food Oasis where they can eat to their heart’s content!
There seems to be an annual type of Novelty menu however that I find quite disturbing. They’re known as the “Sinful or Decadent” festival foods which have many lining up to give them a try. Deep fried experiments.
Some examples of these festive foods: deep fried Mars Bars, deep fried burgers with a doughnut and croissant as the bun, peanut butter bacon milkshake, Smore’s Weenie, Chowdah Fries (fries with seafood chowder, bacon, chives and sour cream), pulled pork between two red velvet pancakes topped with syrup and butter.
I don’t know about you, but, I feel chest pains and nausea just thinking about all this...
Most people do not indulge on these types of food on a regular basis but during the summer holidays or special occasions some tend to throw all caution to the wind and "take the dare" without thinking about what they're putting in their bodies. And if the kind of people who make it a habit of eating high fat, high carb foods lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle, It's like a slow suicide.
Obesity is on the rise in Canada. (Obesity in Canada). How great would if be if being fit and healthy where on the rise..?!
I’m not in favour of hyped up promotion for such high fat and high calorie foods. I know people are going to eat what they want but if we could be on the verge of a health crisis and food like this is given publicity the bottom line here is if you put shit in your body on a regular basis, you’ll look and feel like it..!
Is that what you want?
If can encourage anyone? Perhaps you could share this with someone you may know. Get rid of Belly Fat! The older you get, the more reluctant belly fat becomes. Learn the proper nutrition and exercises you can try to get rid of the excess.
Written by Shelly Giggey
And reduce your waistline...
: Picture from a Groove Dance training. GREAT dancing!
Dancing is an aMAZING form of exercise. And for some, they have no problem just getting up and shaking their booty. But for others, it can be very intimidating..
There is always that person who stays put when everyone else is up on the dance floor.
There are so many different types but for me, what works is “DYI” or FREESTYLE. I don’t worry about following choreography. I just groove it and I don’t care if I’m the only one on the dance floor!
Have you ever heard the saying: If you can walk, you can dance?
If you feel embarrassed about dancing in public or even at home, I’ve got news for you. The only person who is judging you is YOU! Everyone else is too busy creating their own rhythm. They’re not watching you.
You shouldn’t be afraid to get up and do a little wiggling. Just go for it!
There are some pretty awesome benefits with dancing.: FLEXIBILITY is maintained, Your CARDIOVASCULAR level improves, ENDORPHIN release which gives you that “high”, It’s a wonderful STRESS RELIEVER, you can lose WEIGHT, improve LONGEVITY and even HAPPINESS.
Having a blast. "Country Style!" With my friends!
By Shelly Giggey
A pyramid that will help you burn calories and tone those muscles!
This routine is based on two sets of exercises with high repetitions using hand weights anywhere from 1 to 8lbs depending on your fitness level.
My early morning class earned their weekend guilty food pleasure splurge doing this. And they did a fabulous job!
Build up the repetitions as you complete the two sets of exercises.
1 squat, 1 shoulder press.
2 squats, 2 shoulder presses. Then 3 and 3, 4 and 4 until you have completed 10 of each.
1 side lateral leg raise, 1 bicep curl.
Repeat 2 and 2, 3 and 3, 4 and 4 once again until you have completed 10 of each.
It won’t take long before you realize your body temperature rising and you’re breaking a sweat.
This is really great addition to your fitness routine!
Give it a try.
~ By Shelly Giggey
If you’ve finally taken the plunge into the world of fitness, let me start by saying:
Start EASY – One of the biggest setbacks with being new to working out is people doing too much too fast. They’re eager, they start out with a “bang” but soon after the momentum quickly starts to diminish and everything snowballs south then tthey're back where they started.
Start with 3 days a week/every other day.
This way your body has a chance to rest and recover in between. *Break a sweat* but don't start with very heavy weights. Use light weights with high reps (how many times you perform the exercise).
Treadmill/Elliptical/Bicycle/ Indoor and Outdoor Walking – Four great ways to introduce cardiovascular training into your workout.
They are safe, easy to use and you are in control of the intensity and speed. Particularly with equipment.
I would not recommend starting with jogging. It’s perhaps a little too strenuous for someone who has never done any kind of training before. There may be a greater risk for injury, particularly with one who is significantly overweight. It is too hard on the joints. Save it for when the weight starts to come off more and then slowly introduce more intensity.
You can set the machines to “Manual” and just start moving.
Light weights, Bands or Tubing – Start out with using low weight dumbbells, tubing or bands. Throughout your duration when you notice that you can perform the exercises with little or no effort or you don’t get tired, this means that you need to increase the weight load. So increase the weights or shorten the bands to create a higher level or intensity.
What does that mean when you start to increase the workload? It means you’re making progress!
You've seen the "Reality" shows which you see where people are pushed beyond their limits to lose weight? Although they do tend to loose it excessively, this happens under special circumstances where they are isolated, monitored and workout several times and hours a day.
While some do manage to stay in their new bodies, the "rebound effect" unfortunately is high.
So in closing let me just say STICK WITH IT and make no excuses (another setback). Even if you’re not feeling your best one day, do something light. There is nothing wrong with not going to the gym that day but go for a stroll instead.
You'll do great!
~By Shelly Giggey
We’ve all heard that familiar saying from out Parents or Grandparents: “Why when I was your age, I walked 5 miles to and from school uphill both ways in a snowstorm!”
If you look at the facts and pictures from back then (40-100 years ago), you’ll find that there were not many obese people.
What was so different?
They were much more active than those today.
Kids used to play outdoors until dusk or when their mother called them
>They made up their own games along with the traditional games of Tag and Hide and Seek.
> Manual Labour.
> No Video/Computer Games.
> No Processed foods
In today’s society it seems to become quite the opposite.
> Other than the outdoor Basket Ball courts and organized games, you don’t see too many kids playing games. And even more so, their Parents won’t let them play outside alone.
> We have computers and machines doing all the hard work for us.
> Everywhere you look there are advertisements for one type of video or computer game or another.
> The increase in these games has produced a high number of “Couch Potatoes.”
· > The amount of fat and sodium in processed, junk and fast foods is alarming...
Basically, everything had become so easy and convenient that we as a society have become far less active as well as looking for everything to be “easier.”
Click HERE to read an Article from the BBC.
While there are some have jobs that don’t require much activity such as Driving, Desk work, Computer work to name a few, those who have a more active job and lifestyle will be considerably more healthy than the opposite.
Some tips to help such as parking your car furthest from the mall entrance, take the stairs, carrying your bags rather than using a buggy for minimal items, go for a walk, make your own food, watch your sodium and fat intake etc. Mall Walking isn't just for Seniors.. And did you know that you can have use a stair climber without going to the Gym? Yep! Walk up the "downward" escalator!
These are great ways to get you become more active. And in the end, combined with better and healthier nutrition will have a big pay off. You’ll start to feel better and BE HEALTHIER.
Get Creative. Get out and get Moving. Get out and PLAY.
“In stillness all conflict must end.” ~ Phillip Urso
What do you think of when you hear "Yoga?" Pretzel poses? Being put into a trance like state?
Don't shy away from trying a class. As with every type of fitness activity, you do what you can until you build up the stamina, strength and flexibility. And don't let others intimidate you.
Speaking professionally, I know that I've had many participants who are new say to me "I've never done this before. Will I be able to walk in the morning? "
My answer that is there is a difference between workout pain and injury pain.
You'll probably feel muscles that you never knew where there for a day or two but if you really have trouble, you've pushed yourself too far. And for some, it may feel awkward. But everyone has to start somewhere. And you don't start out by standing on your head!
Click here for tips on how you can get started in your Yoga journey.
You can be a person who had exercised most of your life or fairly new to regular exercise or physical activity but like it or not, an injury can happen at any time. Here are a few tips on how you can try and prevent an injury.
1. A proper warmup
Make sure you take the time to really and truly warm up your body BEFORE you jump into your routine. Your heart rate becomes elevated, the synovial fluid becomes activated which "lubricates" the joints to prepare for your workout.
My warm up ritual is a good 15/20 minute power walk on the treadmill which makes me sweat! And then I can hit the weights.
2. Awareness of posture and body alignment
Bend or lift with your knees and keep your tummy tucked in when picking up weights/equipment. This provides proper stability for both the joints and core which is important
3. Proper footwear
Depending on what you are doing, you may need to have specific shoes. For example: if you are training for a marathon or just like to do a lot of running then choose a Running Shoe instead of a Cross Trainer Shoe. The design/mechanism is specific to the movement that you will be doing.
Casual type shoes don’t provide very little if any support.
4. Preventing R.S.I
Prevention of R.S.I (Repetitive Stress Injuries), make changes every so often in your workout or even your daily activities so that you work your muscles in different ways. Sometimes we get used to a comfortable with the routine. You’ve heard of “Tennis Elbow?”
R.S.I tends to happen when the same action is repeated on a daily basis and the joint/muscle gets over used causing pain and inflammation.
5. Make time to Stretch
Very often I’ll have participants come to a class or finish a workout in the gym then leave without stretching. Sometimes people are in a rush. They have appointments to get to etc.
And yes my friends - Fitness Instructors can have this issue. Sometimes they teach multiple classes which can often be from one facility to another as well they are usually walking throughout the room while the participants are the ones doing the stretch and cooldown.
Take the time to work out safely and effectively and you’ll be glad you did!
We've been blessed so far with having some beautiful weather. Yeah, it's hot and humid sometimes but I'm happy. You know why? Because it means less layers to wear. I love my tank tops baby!
There are lots of things you can do to stay active during this short season:
Take a walk either in the morning or early evening when it's a bit cooler. Whether you take a stroll around the block or find a trail in your area, walking is fantastic exercise.
I have a membership at the Toronto Zoo. Now that, is a hell or a workout...! People sometimes complain that it's too spread out. Maybe, but I don't think of it that way. I go for a couple of reasons.
I1) I'm continuing to improve my photography skills so I take my camera with me.
2) I LOVE the animals... Especially the Elephants, Gorillas and my Big Cats <3<3
3) People watching. I like to see the kids and the families handing out. Once I was there when a little boy saw the Gorillas up close for the first time. He thought that it was the coolest thing in the whole world..!
4) I haven't had much of a chance to get so close to a Grizzly Bear. On my last visit, it was fairly quiet which I loved because I could get right up to the glass. This guy kept walking back and forth. He'd come over for a bit then he'd walk away. Then he finally just stayed and let me take pictures of him. Imagine the strength and power that these animals have..!
Get in the water!
Water is also a great way to get fit. You don't have to know how to swim. Just getting in and walking around or doing a light jog is a good way to go. When you move, you create resistance in the water which will help you burn calories.
Using a walking Aid
If you use a walker or crutches or a wheelchair or what have you, don't let that stop you from getting outside. It may take you a bit longer to move or get around but what's the hurry??
DO keep in mind that the Sun can be very strong. Wear your sunscreen, hats or make sure that you have some form of protection e.g covering up or using an umbrella.
I hope you get to have yourself a FUN and safe holiday this Summer. Make sure you take some time out and do something that you want to do!
*Photos taken by Shelly Giggey