Why You Need to Stop Exercising For Weight Loss

“Do this one move to blast belly fat!”

“Build a beach body with these 6 exercises.”

“Get ripped, right now—a 4-week exercise plan!”

There’s a myth that is perpetuated constantly by the media and even by some medical professionals. Nearly everyone believes it. It’s the exercise myth. It goes something like this: “I need to lose weight. I’m going to start exercising. I’ll go to the gym every day after work/start running every evening /break out that old workout DVD.”

Barre class

Exercise- It’s just about the first thing people start thinking about when they decide that they want to lose weight. And while there are 200+ good reasons to exercise, losing weight isn’t one of them. Sure, some people can and do lose weight by exercising more, but more often than not, if your sole means of weight loss is by hitting the gym, you’re more likely to gain weight than to lose it.  There are a lot of reasons why, both physiological and psychological.

It starts with the belief that because you exercised so much, you definitely deserve an extra serving at dinner, and why not dessert, too? The truth is, even an hour of exercise wouldn’t cover the extra calories consumed at dinner, let alone dessert. We tend to vastly overestimate the calories we burn during exercise, but underestimate the calories in the foods we consume.  When we rely on technology to do the counting for us (think of the calories display on any treadmill, elliptical, or stairmaster), the technology does the same—overestimates calories burned through exercise and underestimates the calories in food.

Another reason people tend to gain weight when they start to exercise is usually because they follow the advice “eat less, exercise more” which stimulates the body’s appetite. If you suddenly increase the amount of exercise you do and reduce your energy intake, your body is going to think something is going wrong and you’ll start to feel hungrier all the time. This is a normal body response, but it sure doesn’t help you lose weight.

Something else to consider is you might be having trouble people often compensate for exercising by being more sedentary the rest of the day. Where you might normally be lightly active in the evening, after an exercise session you might feel that you deserve to sit on the couch and watch Netflix instead.

If exercise isn’t going to help with weight loss, what’s a person to do?

Firstly, recognize that a lot of the time the changes in your behaviour are more about your perception of exercise than it is about the exercise itself. In studies where people are told they are exercising, those same people will consume more calories when offered food after the exercise than another group who did the same amount of physical activity but who weren’t told it was “exercise.” This tells us that our perception of how much we enjoy physical activity will change how much we feel we deserve food after the fact. Find some things that you like to do, and do more of those activities because when you have fun you don’t feel the need to reward yourself with food—having fun is reward enough.family walking

Second, make changes to your diet your first priority. Make small changes first, and make sure they’re ingrained habits before you move on to your next new habit. Small consistent new habits will help you to lose more weight than making sweeping changes that you’re only able to sustain for a couple of weeks or months. If you’re not sure where to start, seek out advice from a Registered Dietitian.

various fruits with tape measure - healthy food

Lastly, don’t forget that exercise is still good for you. There are many reasons to be physically active, and while being active won’t necessarily speed weight loss efforts, it can definitely help maintain weight and build the body shape that you want.

Remember: Your body is built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym!

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Sledding Safety

Sleds

So have you had enough snow yet? We’re forecasted to get another winter storm this Sunday, are you planning to snuggle up inside, or get outside with your family? Sledding has always been a huge favourite of kids and adults alike. Like many outdoor activities, there are some precautions that kids should take to ensure a fun and safe day on the hill!

 

Choosing the hill:

  • Select a hill that is not too steep and has a long flat area at the bottom for you to glide to a stop.
  • Avoid hillsides that end near a street or parking lot, near a pond, fences, trees, or other hazards.
  • Make sure the hill is free of obstacles such as jumps, bumps, rocks, poles, or trees before you begin sledding.
  • Choose hills that are snowy rather than icy. An icy slope makes for a hard landing if you fall off your sled.
  • Sled during the daytime, when visibility is better. If you go sledding at night, make sure the hillside is well lit and all potential hazards are visible.

 

Dress for winter:

  • Wear appropriate winter clothing — hats, gloves or mittens, snow pants, winter jacket, snow boots — that is waterproof and warm, and change into something dry if your clothes get wet. Bring extra mittens, as the hands tend to get the coldest and wettest, and mittens tend to be the first thing to get so wet that they become useless.
  • Wear a helmet designed for winter sports. If you don’t have a ski or winter sports helmet, at least wear the helmet you use for biking or skateboarding.

 

The Right Sled:

Try to choose a sled that can be steered and has brakes. Avoid those that can’t be steered, such as tubes, saucers, toboggans, or crazy carpets and never use a sled substitute like a cardboard box. Good sleds are relatively cheap to buy and are well worth the extra money.

 

Follow These Simple Safety Rules

You are dressed warmly, helmet has been adjusted, sled in hand, and you found that perfect hill. You’re ready to go. Here are some more safety tips to ensure a safe experience:

  • Assign an adult to be in charge in case of injury.
  • Always sit face-forward on your sled. Never sled down a hill backwards or while standing, and don’t go down the hill face-first, as this greatly increases the risk of a head injury.
  • Young kids (5 and under) should sled with an adult, and kids younger than 12 should be actively watched at all times.
  • Go down the hill one at a time and with only one person per sled (except for adults with young children).
  • Never build an artificial jump or obstacle on a sledding hill.
  • Keep your arms and legs within the sled at all times, and if you fall off the sled, move out of the way. If you find yourself on a sled that won’t stop, roll off it and get away from it.
  • Walk up the side of the hill and leave the middle open for other sledders.
  • Never ride a sled that is being pulled by a moving vehicle.

We want to hear from you: Where is your favourite sledding hill?

How to Properly Fit Goggles

The holiday season is in the air—are you looking for one more great gift? Or are you looking for one last stocking stuffer?

For the adult who loves to travel south to participate in water sports, consider a mask and snorkel! They can always use those from the resort, but how many peoples’ mouths have been on that snorkel? For the kids, a pair of goggles that don’t cover the nose can make swimming lessons much less of a struggle. A pair of simple goggles is best for kids still taking lessons because it helps them learn proper breathing patterns. A mask that covers the nose disrupts the pattern and makes it harder for kids to get the proper body positioning in the water.

OceanPro Bat mask and snorkel set

Everyone’s facial structure is different; we all have different eye and skull shapes and sizes. They make a ton of different types of goggles, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a properly fitting pair. It takes a bit more time to get a proper fit, but it pays off when you don’t find yourself constantly having to readjust or empty your goggles in the pool. When fitting goggles bring them to the face without putting on the strap. You should be able to press them into your face and let go, and the goggles should not fall off right away. The longer they stay on when you’re not holding them, the less chance there is of them leaking when you get in the pool.

fit goggles

Once you have goggles that fit your face, you need to adjust the straps properly. Adjust the nose strap first. The nose strap should fit fine if you can put the goggles on your face as discussed above. Tighten the strap around the head so that it is firm, but not too tight.

Trouble-shooting your goggles: if your goggles are leaking, or if they are giving you a headache, then they don’t fit properly. Leaky goggles mean that your strap is too loose, the nose strap is too wide or too narrow, or they don’t fit your face shape. Goggles that give you headaches mean that your strap is too tight.

goggles

One more word on goggles: if your child is young and doesn’t mind the water on his or her eyes too much, send them to swimming lessons without their goggles. Too often they spend far too much time fussing with the goggles and not enough time learning to swim. If you child swims with you and doesn’t fuss at all with their goggles, it’s probably fine to go to swimming lessons with the goggles. And by the time kids start doing distances of 4 lengths of the pool or more (100 metres or more), you should think about getting them goggles so that they don’t start swimming into walls.

Fitness Trends in 2015

Have you been thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Is getting fitter or healthier on your list? If you’re looking to start or change your fitness routine, take a look at this list of the top twenty fitness trends for the coming year. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration for a new way to fit fitness into your healthy lifestyle. This list is compiled from the survey done annually by the American College of Sports Medicine.

bodyweight-training

image source

  1. Bodyweight Training: as people are concerned about how much they’re spending on fitness, it’s no surprise that bodyweight training is topping the list this year. Bodyweight training requires little or no equipment, and can be the least expensive way to improve your fitness. Though bodyweight training has been around forever, it has seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to new classes and clever marketing. This is definitely more than just push ups and pull ups!
  2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Possibly last year’s most popular fitness trend, High-Intensity Interval Training is a fast-paced workout that mixes short bursts of high-intensity exercise with short recovery times. HIIT is shown to be highly effective at burning calories and building muscle.
  3. Highly Qualified and Experienced Fitness Professionals: As the number of available fitness professionals increases, interest is high in those professionals who have earned a certification in the field of fitness and have a proven track record of getting results.
  4. Strength Training: Strength training has dropped down from the number two position since the 2013 trends list, but it is still a major trend in the fitness world. Everyone is encouraged to do some strength training, men and women of all ages from the very youngest to the oldest. Strength training can build stronger bones, help control weight and increase energy levels. It can also be worked into any sort of comprehensive fitness routine, regardless of preferred style of training.
  5. Personal training: What works for one person does not work for everyone, and more people are taking note of this. Hiring a personal trainer to develop a custom fitness plan that is tailored to your personal fitness preferences and needs can make a difference in achieving your goals. Having a personal trainer means there is also someone there to cheer you on and keep you accountable, two things that can also make a huge difference.
  6. Exercise and Weight Loss: The trend of emphasizing weight loss with specific exercise programs and diet plans is alive and well. Look for programs that balance sensible exercise with a sensible, sustainable diet plan, and diet plans that don’t restrict calories below what is necessary to fuel your exercise.
  7. Yoga: Not a surprise to see yoga on this trends list, as it continues to be a favourite within the fitness world. Yoga brings benefits to mind as well as body, and can help reduce stress, as well as build strength, flexibility, and balance. There are also many types of yoga to take advantage of, such as the traditional vinyasa or hatha yoga or the newer aerial or hot yoga.
  8. Older Adult Fitness: Though here at the Sportsplex we have been covering the older adult crowd for a long time, it seems more and more people in the 60+ age bracket are looking to get fit. Many places are now catering to those adults who don’t want to be in a class full of 20-somethings.
  9. Functional Fitness: functional fitness is meant to improve balance, coordination, strength and endurance for day-to-day life. This type of fitness is meant to duplicate the movements performed throughout the day, in order to make these activities easier as fitness improves.
  10. Group Personal Training: It has become more popular to hire a personal trainer as a group of 2-4 people. This reduces the cost for each person, but allows for the trainer to still provide individual attention.
  11. Worksite Health Promotion: As the cost of healthcare increases, and the effects of inactivity become more apparent, many employers are looking to reduce costs for sick leave and long-term absences by providing more health and wellness guidance at the workplace.
  12. Outdoor Activities: Spending time outside will never go out of style! Many fitness enthusiasts are spending time in the great outdoors doing such things as hiking, canoeing, kayaking, surfing, skiing, snowboarding or playing games or sports. Best of all, being active in the great outdoors can be done anytime, anywhere, and by yourself or in a group.
  13. Wellness Coaching: Wellness Coaching has seen a large increase since last year, where it was #17 on this list. This incorporates a look at the whole body-mind connection, and integrates behavioural science with promoting health, disease prevention and rehabilitation. Coaches provide support, guidance and encouragement, and focuses on the client’s values, needs, and goals. Wellness coaching is often incorporated into personal training services.
  14. Circuit Training: This style of training is where one performs 6-10 exercises in sequence, one after another. Each exercise is done for a certain number of repetitions or for time before moving on to the next exercise. Circuit training can be similar to HIIT training, but is usually performed at a lower intensity.
  15. Core Training: This training is focused on building strength in the muscles of the core, which includes the abdomen, thorax, and back. This improves the stability of the core, which makes many activities of daily living easier to perform. Equipment commonly used in this type of training includes stability balls, bosu balls, wobble boards or foam rollers.
  16. Sport-Specific Training: This style of training is kind of like functional training for sports. This style of training can be a way to improve performance in a specific sport. This would include improving throwing accuracy and speed for a baseball player on the off-season, or a hockey player doing some speed skating work in the off-season.
  17. Exercise for Children: with the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity, there is a trend towards providing exercise and activity opportunities for youth.
  18. Outcome Measurements: One thing you’ll probably see a lot of is the emphasis on doing measurements before training and after to see definite progress or result. This is largely increased with the prevalence of technology that can track data on exercises completed, heart rates, calories burned, and more.
  19. Worker Incentive Programs: Along with worksite health promotion initiatives, employers are providing incentives for their employees to engage in health-promoting activities. This is geared towards helping employees create healthy sustainable lifestyles.
  20. Boot Camps: this trend seems to be on its way out, but the premise of boot camps is to simulate a military style workout that includes cardio, strength, endurance and flexibility drills. This type of training is great for those who love intense, structured workouts.

What are your thoughts on this list? Is there anything you think it up-and-coming that this list missed? Let us know!