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Health and wellness in the New Year


Karen Nixon-Carroll | Interrobang | Lifestyles | January 10th, 2020




Where do you see yourself in the next six months, two years, 10 years or even 20 years?

Close your eyes and picture yourself, working the job your want, fostering the relationships you want, travelling and or owning a home, looking good and feeling fabulous! Of course there is more to this story in your future, but one thing is certain, none of us picture ourselves with aches and pains, on multiple medications, too heavy to walk up a set of stairs, using up all our sick days at work midway through the year, or having a major health scare before you turn 40.

As it is the New Year, it’s a great time to reflect on the past and now look at the future you. Don’t dwell on making New Year’s resolutions, but if that ignites the fire, then go for it. Try thinking that this is your new life from now on and it includes taking care of yourself, even in the busiest of times, the darkest of times, and the most stressful of times. You deserve a life of health and wealth.

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On this page, some of us from the Student Wellness Centre would like to give you some tips to getting active and maintaining physical activity as an everyday part of your lifestyle. Come and see us if you have any questions!

Karen Nixon-Carroll is the Program Manager at the Student Wellness Centre.

Pre & post workout nutrition

By: Karen Nixon-Carroll, Fitness & Wellness Program Manager

There are so many factors when it comes to pre and post workout nutrition: workout time of day, workout intensity, timing of food, portions, balance of macronutrients, body size and type. It’s not realistic to give a one-sized-fitsall recommendation. That being said, there are some basic rules to follow when it comes to making sure you are fueling your body for movement as well as repairing and replenishing what is lost during the workout:

1. For best results, you should be eating healthy, whole foods 90 to 95 per cent of the time.

2. Supplements should only be used in the absence of available food or to enhance and supplement and already health diet (i.e., your pre-workout means nothing if you also eat MacDonald’s later that day).

3. Eat something small (your palm size) one to two hours before a workout. Working out on an empty stomach may have benefits first thing in the morning, but it takes time to train to get to this level.

4. Make sure your snacks and meals have a good balance of nutrient-dense and fibre-rich carbohydrates, healthy plant-based fats and high quality protein. A snack fits in one hand and a meal fit in your two hands, relative to your stomach size.

5. Try your best to time your workout before a meal. A loaded smoothie is sufficient for some, but consider the calories before deciding if it is a post-workout snack or meal.

6. Try to remain consistent by eating at roughly the same times and exercising at the same times each day. This will help to train your body to tell you when it’s hungry and when you are in need of some movement.

Email me your nutrition questions: karen.carroll@nullfanshawec.ca


Tips to becoming a better climber

By: Anique Daley, Rock Wall Coordinator

For a beginner climber, your bass, your points of contact, and your power are three things you should keep in mind.

Bass meaning your stance, the closer your feet are together the less stable you are. The same concept applies when you are rock climbing. You want to maintain a strong bass whenever possible.

The three points of contact rule means three hands or feet must be touching at all times. This will help you stay in control and keeping you upright on a wall. Also moving in this manner will ensure you are using all your limbs which reduces fatigue and allows for a more rhythmic style of climbing.

Power: Often new climbers will focus only on their arms while getting frustrated and tired. Just think how much easier it is to stand up vs. doing a pull-up. Your legs are the strongest muscles in your body. So don’t forget to look down and focus more PUSHING-UP (using legs as pistons) versus look up and pull-up (using arms as fulcrum point).


Tips for being active in the winter

By: Ashlee Wilhelm, Wellness Manager

With increases in technology and the comforts human beings are spending more time inside than ever before. During the cold winter months activity levels often drop off, but there are benefits of getting outside during the winter. There are many winter activities that you can take part in including skating, cross country or downhill skiing, sledding and more.

Spending time outside in the winter time means there is no heat or humidity to deal with and activity can help boost your immune system during the cold and flu season. Outdoor sunlight exposure can also help with seasonal affective disorder, improve moods and gives you a dose of vitamin D.

When spending time outdoors in the winter months be sure to dress in layers, always cover your head and ears, protect your hands with gloves, cover your face, and do your best to keep yourself dry (waterproof jackets/snow pants). The winter months can be a fun and unique time to spend outside, get some friends together and get outside today.


All member free fitness

By: Katherine Ricica, Full Time Fitness Consultant

At the Student Wellness Centre, we are here for you! No matter if you are an experienced exerciser or a total beginner, we want to help you take steps towards a positive direction. We offer many services to our members at no cost.

InBody Assessment: Our In- Body machine is a body composition analysis tool that can measure body fat percentage, muscle mass, fat mass, basal metabolic rate, water weight and much more. It’s a non-invasive testing method that just takes a few minutes. Book your 15-minute appointment on our app! Up to one free appointment per month.

Fit Start Orientation: Our orientations are for everyone. Start with an InBody Assessment, you and your trainer will build a main goal, along with two to three action items for you to start working towards, receive a facility tour, demonstration of cardio equipment and a basic weight training plan to get you started. We cater to all ability levels. Follow up appointments are available to enhance success. Sign up on our app.

Individual Program Design: Once a member has completed the orientation process, feels more confident with exercise, and is building positive habits, we can advance them into a program designed specifically for their goals, show them how to build workouts, and incorporate more advanced exercises. Schedule this appointment with a trainer.


The tailored approach

By: Josh Mullan, Fitness & Wellness Coordinator

Are online workout programs worth the price tag?

With the many fitness websites and exercise apps available it is easy to get drawn into paying for programs that are generic and non-tailored. Many of these programs will guarantee great results, showing before and after photos and give supporting testimonials. What they don’t show is how many people buy these expensive generic programs without completing them, never getting the results they desire.

This is where the problem truly lies, these programs require a high level of intrinsic motivation that is hard even for the most experienced to maintain. These programs are rigid, they don’t know your schedule, how busy you are or the amount of time you have available. If there is a nutrition element included the meals often require the most expensive ingredients and an abundance of time to cook.

So should you buy into one of these programs? Here’s our opinion: you are more likely to get results working with a program that’s built for you, with your schedule, budget and availability in mind. An experienced personal trainer can build you a tailored program, motivate you, keep you accountable and get you the results you set out for.


Top four reasons to choose group fitness

By: Avi Verma, Group Fitness and Wellness Coordinator

1. Group exercise classes give you more motivation

High beat music, motivating instructors and some friendly competition tend to motivate participants to work harder in a fun environment. That’s because people tend to stick more with group workouts rather than solo workouts.

2. Group exercise classes provide certified instructors

For a beginner it can be very intimidating going into the gym for the first time and trying to workout alone. At the Student Wellness Centre we have certified group fitness instructors leading classes which makes our group classes safe and effective. All our workouts are designed to provide results.

3. Group exercise classes give you a rush

Working out with others in an upbeat environment can help promote release of endorphins that can reduce pain and give you a rushlike feeling. This rush might give you enough motivation to keep coming back for more.

4. Group exercise classes provide a social platform

Most important reason why you should participate in group fitness is that it provides a social platform where people can meet others with similar goals. You can get a workout in and make new friends at the same time!

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