Category Archives: Exercise

I’m too tired to exercise

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips.

Do you know what the number one way to infuse your body with energy and boost your mood is? It will help you lose weight and decrease your risk of disease and costs as little as zero dollars! It’s a miracle drug that 80% of North Americans don’t take; even in it’s lowest dosage.  If you’re not one of the 20 percent who are doing it now, it’s time you do a dose of exercise!

We do not need another study to show that a sedentary lifestyle contributes greatly to fatigue.  When you think about your energy, think of it like a muscle. You got to use it or you’ll lose it!

Oxygen is your friend. When you engage in regular aerobic activity such as running, walking, tennis, biking, yard work or sports you will feel more alert once your blood gets pumping. If you’re feeling exhausted and just too tired to exercise, commit to a minimum of 30 minutes of movement and before you know it you’ll feel the energizing effects of the oxygenated blood getting to your heart, lungs, brain and muscles.

If 30 minutes of activity feels too daunting or your crazy busy schedule has you feeling overwhelmed, break it up into two 15-minute sessions or three intervals of 10 minutes throughout the day. The positive after effects of a brisk 10 minute walk, run or stair climb can last up to two hours. And when your daily 10 minute bursts continue for three weeks, your overall energy levels and mood will be lifted.

Enjoyment is the key to long-term commitment; do what you love and schedule the exact time you will do it everyday.  If for whatever reason you are just not motivated to work out, because perhaps you’re feeling lazy, it hurts or you just don’t like it, understand that there will be days when you just don’t fee like exercising but, those are the days that getting yourself out of bed or off the coach will reward you the most! Those are the days that new health habits transform into a long last healthy lifestyle.

To shift yourself into a motivated mindset and make the time for exercise, you might need to play silly games with yourself. For example, allow yourself to watch your favorite TV show, or listen to your iPod only when you’re working out. If I want to watch television or a movie, I make it rule that I must be on the step mill, treadmill or bike and every commercial break I power out a higher intensity burst. Before I know it an hour has passed, I’m drenched with sweat, feel fantastic and come bedtime you will sleep like a champ!

For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email PURICA Ambassador Melissa Tucker at melissa@melissatucker.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness

*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.

How to Fit Exercise into Your Busy Day

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips.

There is a paradox going on, the busier people get with work, travel, kids and life the more they struggle to find time to work out. Yes, it’s great to be busy and successful, but you can’t afford to not exercise because it is integral to sustained success. I believe it is possible for even the busiest person keep in fit and prioritize their health.

Here are 5 ways to fit exercise into your daily routine—no matter how busy you are! Continue reading

Walk and run to keep it fun

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips.

With the warmer weather and longer days, many people feel inspired to start running outdoors. The health benefits of breaking a sweat include busting stress, boosting energy and improved mood with the endorphin release; aka runners high. Running can help keep your heart healthy, boost your immune system and help accelerate weight loss. Depending on your personal goals and starting point, going full speed isn’t the most effective route to good health. Like any program, you want to start off slow and allow your body to get stronger with each session rather than full throttle till you hit the wall and quit. I recommend adding a run three days per week into a cross training program that includes, stair climbing, walking and biking to prevent increased risk of injuries like runner’s knee, hamstring strains, and shin splits which plague even the most consistent runners.

Regular cardio, at any speed, is part of a healthy lifestyle. Whether you choose a walking or running program, both will reduce risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and improved better cardiovascular health. Running isn’t for everyone, and going full-speed might increase injury risk. Runners are a frequently injured group. Some statistics put runners’ annual injury rate as high as 66 percent! Adding a simple 20 min strength-training program to your running routine two days per week will help improve your structural fitness, which is the ability of your bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles to support you and stay healthy while running.

Adding a weight vest or hitting some hills to a power walk is a great way to increase the intensity of a walking program while maintaining a slower pace with less impact on hips, knees and joints that may be sensitive.

The bottom line is, listen to your body. Push it to a safe limit and reward it with adequate rest to recover. Your body is a result of the choices you make, running slowly isn’t weakness, quitting is. So mix it up, walk and run to keep it fun!

For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email PURICA Ambassador Melissa Tucker at melissa@melissatucker.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness

*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.

The 5 Best Barbell Exercises to Build Muscle and Burn Fat

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s thoughts on the efficiency of the barbell, which allows for strength training with just one piece of equipment.

When you’re traveling or have limited equipment to train with, it’s tempting to default to bodyweight exercies, cardio or to skip your workout all together!

That’s not the compromise you want to make if you want to truly reach your strength potential. To do so, you must use free weights.

To help you reach your personal goals, let me simplify strength training so that all you need is one simple piece of equipment: a barbell. Continue reading

5 Tips on How to Stick With Your Fitness Plan

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s tips on how to stick with your fitness plan.

We all want to be healthy, fit and happy…but it can be challenging to achieve with our hectic lives. Here are five tips to help you start and stick with your fitness plan:

Take Personal Responsibility for your health and fitness. I encourage you to build a support team of good friends around you to help motivate, assist and support you along your journey. Continue reading

Five FAQs on Health & Fitness

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are some of Melissa’s answers to frequently asked health and fitness questions.

  1. When is the best time to work out?

There’s no right time to exercise. It depends on the individual. You need to listen to your body. Some people feel rough in the morning, whereas others can hop out of bed and do a 10 mile run. I will say if you are new to fitness, you are 80% more likely to build a lasting habit if you workout at the beginning of your day rather than after work when you’re bagged from your day. Continue reading

Rookie mistakes – how to avoid making them

Adam O'Meara - PURICA Ambassador
Adam O’Meara
PURICA Ambassador

Adam O’Meara, a Victoria-based professional triathlete, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors who are committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Adam shares some valuable preparation tips based on his own personal experience.

I’ve completed over 15 Ironman triathlons, have been a student of endurance sport for half of my life and usually prepare well for my races.  But on May 2nd, I ate an entire humble pie and came out of my first race of the season with a sub-par and disappointing result.  Even as a veteran, in my preparation for this event, I made some classic rookie mistakes. Continue reading

Nutrition tips for endurance athletes

Adam O'Meara - PURICA Ambassador
Adam O’Meara
PURICA Ambassador

Adam O’Meara, a Victoria-based professional triathlete, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors who are committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are some valuable suggestions from Adam on nutrition tips for endurance athletes.

You don’t need to be running a half marathon or cycling a Gran Fondo in order to be classified as an endurance athlete.  If you are training for a 5k running event or doing group fitness classes such as jazzercise that are pretty much continuous movement done with an elevated heart rate then you are doing endurance athletics.

I will offer some nutrition related suggestions for people engaging in endurance sport training.  These suggestions are based off my experience and self education over the past decade.  In the near future, upon completion of a program through the Cory Holy Institute, I will be able to provide advice as a Certified Sports Nutrition Advisor (CSNA).

Below I offer solutions for three common nutrition mistakes that people make when they engage in regular endurance training.

#1

Mistake: People don’t consume enough calories in the 60-90 minutes after their exercise session.
Problem: The body is starving for nutrition and in particular protein and carbohydrates post exercise as it is trying to replenish muscle glycogen and repair damaged muscles.
Solution: This is the time in the day that your body is best able to process and utilize all three macronutrients and if not enough food is consumed then your body will struggle on various levels including hormonal health.

#2

Mistake: People consume too many sugary carbohydrates during exercise.
Problem: Sports science has proven time and time again that when carbohydrates are taken during prolonged endurance exercise they increase performance.  But our body’s don’t need to be stuffed full of them each and every session, especially not sessions lasting shorter than ~75 minutes.
Solution: Find a brand that uses high quality ingredients for their products and then consume 20-60g / hour depending on session intensity and duration as well as personal needs.  Whole foods may be used if the intensity is low to moderate and your GI tract can handle the more complex carbohydrates and / or fibrous options.

#3

Mistake: People often eat too many refined foods because they feel that regular exercise warrants it.
Problem: Refined foods do not have the same nutrient density as whole foods, and in particular vegetables (and fruits).  When people start to eat fewer vegetables they are compromising their long-term health.
Solution: Eat a plethora of vegetables! Remember the calorie content is much lower in a cup of steamed broccoli than a cup of cookie dough, and therefore active people need to make sure they eat LOTS of vegetables!

Final Note: Remember your long-term health should be a priority and nutrition is paramount to your health.  One reason I want to stay healthy is so I can be running up the mountain with my son when I’m 75 years old!

For more information, check out www.adamomeara.com or email PURICA Ambassador Adam O’Meara at adamomeara@gmail.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness

*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.

Structuring your race week

Adam O'Meara - PURICA Ambassador
Adam O’Meara
PURICA Ambassador

Adam O’Meara, a Victoria-based professional triathlete, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors who are committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are some valuable suggestions from Adam on how to structure your training the week leading up to your race.

January saw many people joining running clinics or starting up their running routine again with the goal of completing a road running race. As some who has completed many running and triathlon events, I can tell you that structuring your training in the seven days prior to the event is very important.

Let’s assume your event is a 10k, your goal time is 1 hour and it takes place on a Sunday. Here’s the way I’d go in your final week of preparation:

Sunday (one week out):

  • 50:00-70:00 Total workout time
  • Perform a good warm up of at least 15 minutes, with 20-25 being ideal;
  • The intensity of the warm up should start off very easy. By the 15 minute mark, it is time to start to increase your effort and perhaps perform some strides;
  • The Workout: 3-5 rounds of 400m slightly faster than goal race pace/effort. Your recovery interval is twice as long as the duration of the 400m effort.  Then, if you are feeling good, you could insert 10 minutes right at your goal race pace;
  • If at anytime in the second half of the workout you feel sore and tired, then back off the intensity and complete the duration of the run at a relaxed pace.

Monday:

  • 20:00-25:00 Total workout time
  • All easy;
  • Just to get the blood flowing and speed recovery.

Tuesday:

  • Day off

Wednesday:

  • Day off or Easy 20:00-30:00
  • Include 6 x 15-20 second strides in the second half;
  • This workout does not impact the result on Sunday, it can be done if there is the desire and the time to do it;

Thursday:

  • 35:00-50:00 Total workout time
  • Perform a good warm up of 15 minutes;
  • The Workout: 3-5 rounds of 200m slightly faster than goal race pace/effort. Recovery interval is twice as long as the duration of the 200m effort.  Then, if you are feeling good you could insert 5 minutes right at your goal race pace;
  • If at anytime in the second half of the workout you feel sore and tired then back off the intensity and complete the duration of the run at a relaxed pace.

Friday:

  • Day off

Saturday:

  • 20:00-35:00 Total workout time
  • Start relaxed;
  • Build the effort as you feel is appropriate;
  • Insert 5 minutes right at your goal race pace / effort.

These suggested guidelines will work for most people, but if you have found a routine that works well for you, then stick with it.  The most important thing to remember is that race week is not the time to gain fitness…it is the time to rest up and sharpen up.  Doing nothing will leave you flat and in a position to underperform, keep your weekly workout frequency to where it usually is and make sure you break a sweat when it is appropriate!

Have a great race!

For more information, check out www.adamomeara.com or email PURICA Ambassador Adam O’Meara at adamomeara@gmail.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness

*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.

Staying Fit While Travelling

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s tips on how to keep fit even when you are travelling.

Jetting off somewhere? It’s never easy to keep the jet power in your workouts while you are on the road, but here’s how I’ve managed to do it over the years.

If you’re flight delayed, take a brisk walk around the airport. There will be plenty of time to sit once you board your airplane.

Once you get on the plane and it is safe to move around the flight, go to the back of the plane and stretch out for a few minutes. Don’t be shy! Touch your toes for thirty seconds and then get into a full squat for thirty seconds. Stand up and do some neck stretches. Rotate your neck forward and backward 10 times. Then bend your neck from side to side 10 times.

After that, raise your shoulders as high as you can and then let the drop 10 times. The stress from traveling is generally held in the neck, shoulders, and lower back. Taking a few minutes to stretch on the plane will have you more refreshed when you get to your destination.

Take another brisk walk around the airport before making your way to the baggage claim if you have checked luggage, you know you’ll have some time and it’s much more enjoyable than standing in anticipation for the baggage claim belt to shoot out your luggage.

If you only have a carry-on, be sure to get in a walk or cardio run in when you get settled. It doesn’t have to be a major workout…just enough to get the blood moving and to loosen up your body.

After a long trip, your muscles tend to be tighter than ever. You can ward off lower-back soreness with a forward fold: Bend at the hips and fall forward, hugging your knees and rocking side to side. Follow up with these two yoga moves:

Child’s Pose

This go-to rest pose opens hips and relieves low back tightness.

  1. Kneel on the floor with big toes touching and knees about hip-width apart. Sit on your heels.
  2. Lay your torso between the thighs and bring your forehead to the mat. Extend arms straight in front of you, palms on the floor. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Stay here for at least one minute.

Downward Facing Dog

Down-Dog stretches your spine, hamstrings, glutes, calves; strengthens deltoids, triceps making it a top-notch upper body-strengthener. And because your hips are higher than your heart, it increases circulation.

  1. Start on all fours with your feet and knees hip-width apart. Position hands about shoulder-width apart and spread your fingers wide.
  2. Pressing firmly through your hands, lift knees off the floor and straighten your legs. (If you have tight hamstrings, a gentle bend in the knees is fine).
  3. Walk your hands forward a few inches and walk your feet back a few inches to lengthen the pose. Squeeze thighs as you press them toward the back wall. Press your heels back and down toward the floor.
  4. Relax the head and neck and let your shoulder blades slide down your back toward your feet. Breathe deeply. Hold for at least one minute.

Namaste!

For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email PURICA Ambassador Melissa Tucker at melissa@melissatucker.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness

*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.

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