Health

How sick is too sick to run?

All dressed up and nowhere to run. Had to get all cleaned up for a photo shoot today, hence the make-up and workout gear.

All dressed up and nowhere to run. Had to get all cleaned up for a photo shoot today, hence the make-up and workout gear. This is my sad face right now.

You know that whole neck-rule thing when it comes to sickness and running — if the illness in the neck or above you’re good to run, but if the illness is below the neck you should probably rest?

Well, if you decide to run 24 km while the illness is still located in the safe zone above your neck you might just make it worse like I did last weekend. It’s now in my chest, and I have a 27 km run planned for this weekend.

There’s a really nasty summer cold going around right now, and my boyfriend came down with it just before our camping trip two weeks ago. He’s only JUST feeling back to normal this week, whereas my cold — which I got a few days later — has only gotten worse. It started as a very sore throat, then the worst sinus pressure I think I’ve ever had. I was stuffed up and useless for three days, and have been hacking up digustingness for two weeks now. (more…)

Gym #selfie challenge: Quit posing and show us what hard work really looks like

gymselfie1Confession: I’m sick and tired of your #gymselfies.

I get it. You’re all sweaty and the lighting is awesome, making you look like you have “delts for dayz”. You want to inspire others with your “fitspirational” Instagram photo. You pop your arm back to get that skinny-arm look and flex your abs. You snap a few pics, apply a filter that highlights those muscles even more. You write something like “No excuses, got it done #demgainz #sweatfest #fitness #fitspiration” and hit share. You’re proud of your body, and you should be. I can see you’ve put in a lot of work.

But that’s not what I want to see all the time. And that’s not what we should see all the time.

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Is your FitBit making you gain weight?

Photo(1)According to this article on Today.com, countless FitBit users are taking to online forums and social networks to find out if other users are packing on the pounds instead of losing them, and wondering “what lifestyle changes or electronic tweaks they can make so their wristbands work for them.”

(I can tell you right now why “it’s not working”, but just wait and see where the article goes with this.)

The Today article then goes on to provide a few anecdotes from users who gained weight when using the FitBit, some of whom decided to get one to help them break through a plateau after they’d successfully lost weight. (more…)

Going for the BQ: 2014 goal update and my Boston-bound marathon training plan

IMG_3542It’s been six months since I declared my 2014 personal and fitness-related goals for this year: become a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), get published in a print publication, and qualify for the Boston Marathon.

So how’s that all going, you ask? (more…)

How accurate is a FitBit at estimating calorie burn?

Photo(1)Last month, I did a little experiment with my FitBit Flex to see if being in a 250-calorie-per-day deficit actually does lead to half a pound per week of fat loss (because there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, so 7 days x -250 calories less per day = -1,750 less per week).

I tracked my caloric intake closely using MyFitnessPal in conjunction with my FitBit, and added in any workouts using calories tracked from my heart rate monitor (I burn much less than what my FitBit estimates, so I manually enter in these calories burnt and it recalculates), trying to stay within the range of a 1,750-calorie-per-week deficit. Here are the results:

 

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Recipe: Healthy chocolate peanut butter protein balls

ballsIf there’s anything better than chocolate and peanut butter, I have yet to discover it. (Okay, wine is pretty great, too).

I’ve been tweaking this recipe for about three weeks now, and I think I’ve found the perfect flavour/consistency for these bad boys! If you want to make them really low calorie, you can omit the peanut butter — but really, why would you do that.

I even calculated the calories and macros for all you IIFYM people. It takes less than 10 minutes to prep, and only 12 minutes to bake. Stop wasting your money on those amazingly tasty Quest bars and make these instead! (more…)

Gear Review: FitBit Flex

Photo(2)Like most endurance sport junkies I know who train to improve their personal bests, I’m obsessed with analyzing stats and data: average pace, distance travelled, average stride rate, beats per minute, heart rate, number of reps, calories in, calories out. I don’t know if I could run a race now without my trusty Garmin keeping me on track. And while I love to pore over my Garmin stats after a run or bike and track my training progress, recent health issues prompted me to research other body monitoring devices. I researched a few that are on the market right now (the FitBit One, Jawbone UP, BodyMedia Fit and the Basis) and settled on the FitBit Flex, which only just came out about a month ago. (more…)

Put your best food forward for Nutrition Month

Homemade veggie and coconut prawn pad thai... takes less than 15 minutes and is much more nutritious/healthy than the take-out version! Click here for the recipe.

Homemade veggie and coconut prawn pad thai… takes less than 15 minutes and is much more nutritious/healthy than the take-out version! Click here for the recipe.

Healthy eating starts at the grocery store, which is why this year’s Dietitians of Canada Nutrition Month campaign is dedicated to helping you plan ahead before you hit the aisles, as well as how to navigate the grocery store like a nutritionist and prepare healthy, home-cooked meals your whole family will enjoy.

According to a survey by the Dietitians of Canada, 63 per cent of Canadians struggle when it comes to making healthier choices in the grocery store at least half of the time they shop. And it’s no wonder: we’re faced with a multitude of choices and often stop to grab groceries at times when we’re feeling tired, stressed or hungry, such as on the way home from work or while we’re out running other errands. Instead of filling your cart with frozen pizzas and granola bars on your next grocery run, set yourself up for nutritional success by following these tips based on the Dietitians of Canada Nutrition Month campaign.* (more…)

Nutrition update, and some healthy (and really tasty) gluten-free recipes!

Betcha can't eat just one!

Betcha can’t eat just one!

I’m not doing so great with this whole “cleanse” thing. Turns out I go crazy when I restrict things when I really don’t need to, especially if I want to keep my fitness (and sanity) up at the level where it’s at now. So it’s kind of just turned into this “only have one small cup of coffee in the morning, have a glass of wine with dinner on the weekend if you feel like it, make proper meals instead of eating cereal out of the box for dinner and drink more green tea during the day” kind of cleanse. And I can live with that. I’m saving the program kit for a time when I really need it and maybe don’t want to workout as much as I am now. But I’m on a roll (and paying for a gym membership), and don’t want to stop! To truly benefit from the Reset you do have to follow it properly, and the meals weren’t enough to sustain me through a long day, even if I ate more of them. I followed it closely for about a week then got sick, so now I’m just trying to recover from that and to get my energy back up to get back in the gym. (more…)

How do you train for a 50k trail race?

Me and Kai on the Timberline Trail

Me and Kai on the Timberline Trail

I’d like to know, because I signed up for one taking place in Squamish on August 10!

I’ve been getting out at least once a week lately for a long trail run, usually running for about an hour to an hour and a half on a few hilly trails. On Friday, my friend Debbie and I ended up running for about two hours on the trails without any water or nutrition; we weren’t planning to go that far, but really wanted to see what Joycelin Hill was like in Gowlland Tod Park. It didn’t look like it was that much farther from Squally Reach, which is where we usually run to when we go there. We ended up running about 12 kms, and were both pretty bagged at the end. I just went downhill from then on, thinking I was getting sick (still having tummy troubles… not sure if I’m fighting the flu bug that’s been going around or if was the haggis I tried on the weekend), so I opted not to go for our planned Coast Trail run on Sunday. (more…)

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