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Weekly Articles

July 15, 2017

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Mindset

This week we are talking mindset. Having a positive or negative mindset can impact the success or failure in any area of your life. Your mindset is creating your ultimate future outcomes. This week, let’s look at few areas related to mindset and how we can switch over to a more positive headspace.

Realize that situations are neutral
Having the realization that all situations are neither positive or negative, it is actually your mindset that determines it is SO empowering. It frees you up to know that you are in complete control of your thinking. Everything that is happening around you is simply a neutral situation. Two individuals could perceive the exact same situation completely differently. Let’s use the example of losing your job. A negative mindset would cause one individual to feel inferior, mad and have low self esteem. A positive mindset would allow another to take on a new challenge and expect something even better to come about. Same situation, two very different mindsets.

Look for positives in every situation
Regardless of what is happening, there is always something positive to be found. For instance, let’s say you have experienced an injury which doesn’t allow you to train the way you want. You can take a negative mindset and throw in the towel, give up working out and have a “why me?” mindset. Or, you can take on a positive mindset and look for positives in the situation. Does this make you feel more grateful for the parts of your body that are functioning well? Can you take this time to try a different type of training while you rehab? Can you seek out help/expertise to assist you in recovery?

Talk it out and seek support
If you feel like you’re in a negative headspace, one of the best things to do is talk to someone you trust. Sometimes just verbalizing how you are feeling can help to switch things over to a more positive headspace. If you have that one person in your life that you can trust and has a positive outlook, spending a few minutes chatting with them can help to turn things around. If you’re comfort level isn’t there with anyone, write it out! Write down a negative thought such as “I can never follow through with my diet” and change it to a positive one like “I have made mistakes in the past but I’ve learned from them and this time I can make it work”.

Your mindset it truly the starting point of all success. Entering into a goal, project or relationship with a positive mindset sets you up for success every time. If you think and truly believe that you will be successful, you will ultimately find a way to make it happen. We are here to help all our members and clients be successful in every aspect of your lives. This week, if you need some positive encouragement or words find one of us! We’d be thrilled to get you there!

July 11, 2017

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Smart Snacking

Snacking is one of those things that can easily throw off our diets, especially when we are extremely hungry. Mindlessly eating out of a bag can accumulate a huge amount of food intake without even realizing. Today, we are going to look at some strategies for smart snacking and how you can make your snacks actually work FOR you.

Include some protein
A great idea when it comes to snacking is to ensure that you are including some protein. Having a balanced snack that is high in protein will leave you feeling full and satisfied. Easy snack ideas are a fruit with some nuts or nut butter. Carrots & celery with hummus and cheese. Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit.

Portion it out
Portion sizes can easily get way out of whack when we are mindlessly eating out of a large bag. It’s a really great idea to portion out your snacks ahead of time so that you can avoid over-doing it. Have some mini pre-portioned zip lock bags ready to go so that when you are hungry you can just grab one and know exactly how much you are consuming.

Plan for them
Plan a few snacks in your day if you know you are going to be hungry before meal time. Having a planned, well balanced snack can help you avoid over eating later in the day. Have you ever had the experience of coming home from work starving and scavenging the cupboards for anything. Having a pre planned, well balanced snack ready to go can help you to avoid those situations which would likely cause over eating.

These are some quick tips to keep your snacking smart. Include a balance of all the macro nutrients, portion it out ahead of time and plan for them! If you follow these quick tips, your snacking will be smart and you’ll continue to make amazing health and fitness gains. For more help with your nutrition check out our nutrition program here or for high protein snack ideas check out Buff Bakery here.

July 07, 2017

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Summer Fitness

Summer is officially here, which can sometimes lead to a more relaxed regimen with your fitness and nutrition. There are many easy ways to keep things in check over the summer months. This week, we are diving into strategies for summer.

Use the BBQ for meal prep
The sun is shinning and it’s the time to be outside! Take advantage of the warmer weather and do your meal prepping outside. It’s so simple to grill your lean protein and veggies. Chicken breast, pork tenderloin, sirloin steak and salmon are all fantastic on the BBQ. Pair it with some foil packed grilled vegetables and you have your meals prepped for the entire week. All the while, catching a few rays!

Get creative when away from home
Summer can often involve more travel or time spent at camp. There are many different things you can do away from home to keep fitness up, especially when the weather is warmer. Take advantage of body weight movements when you are low on equipment. Do an AMRAP of air squats, push-ups, sit-ups and a sprint. You can also do a “for time” workout such as run a mile for time 3x and try to best your time each round. Bike, Swim, Walk, Run, Rollerblade, whatever! Do anything outdoors to increase your activity while the sun is out.

If you want to drink…
Alcohol consumption is usually higher in the summer months. If you want to have a drink, fit it into your daily nutrition program. It might mean not having starchier carbs at dinner or skipping desert. You’ll also want to set a limit to your drinks. Having way too many will create an over consumption that will make it really hard to make up for. Setting a limit to 1 or 2 can easily be adjusted in your daily nutrition. If you want to take your drinks further, add a non-caloric drink to it in order to make it last longer.

These are some quick tips to keep fitness and nutrition in check over the summer months. Staying on top of things during the summer makes fall much nicer! Putting on weight over the summer or loosing your fitness gains never feels great. Stay in your workout routine, add in the few tips we have here and you’ll be at best come September.

November 17, 2016

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THE 80/20 RULE

It’s very easy to get caught up in goal setting, turning over a new leaf and jumping head first into a new diet, workout program or any new habit for that matter. Typically, we try to go from 0 to 100 percent and expect complete perfectionism from ourselves. This usually lasts a few weeks, days or even hours before we are frustrated, give in just a bit and then figure we have blown it so give up completely. This week we are going to look at the 80/20 rule and how it applies to multiple aspects of health and wellness.


Exercise
Here’s a big one. Many set out to create lofty goals for themselves. For instance, someone isn’t active at all and decides they want to start coming to the gym 7 days a week and pushing very hard. That may last for about 7 days but eventually, you’ll get burnt out. There needs to be balance in your week between workouts and recovery. 5 days of intense exercise is great. In between that, you’ll want to have a complete recovery day and perhaps one active recovery day where you might for a light hike, run, walk or do some yoga. Equally important to your exercise program is your recovery program. That’s when you’re muscles will be repairing and positive changes to your body chemistry are happening.


Diet
This area seems to be the one we expect the most of ourselves from. We want perfection. In fact, this is the very thing that sets us up for failure. Expecting to never again indulge in a dessert, piece of bread or glass of wine is not realistic. We need to be able to enjoy life. Food can be very social and cultural and it’s important to still honour those aspects. While we do want to eat for health, energy and vitality, there is nothing wrong with having a planned treat in moderation. The key is to have these indulgences every so often so we don’t feel deprived. For instance, this Christmas plan to have something you love. Maybe it’s eggnog or a gingerbread cookie. You’ll find it much easier to not fall off the deep end (and eat 2 dozen in one sitting) if you know you are “allowing” yourself to have a few.


Sometimes the key to just be gentle with ourselves and realize that we are not designed to be perfect. Having unrealistic expectations will ultimately backfire and leave you feeling frustrated and discouraged with yourself. Plan to have a rest day in your training so that you are energized and ready to it it hard the following day. Plan to indulge in your favourite treat once a week so that you can spend the rest of your time enjoying clean, healthy foods. 20 percent of down time and treats in your diet will not derail your progress and in fact, might even accelerate it. It’s both good for the mind and the body!

Professionalism In the Industry

These days fitness is very much at the forefront of most people’s lives. There are also many options for people apart from the few big box gyms we used to only see. Now there are many smaller businesses, some which specialize in particular types of fitness (such as a sole Yoga, Pilates or CrossFit centres) or some that offer a wide variety of everything. Wherever you get your fitness on, it’s important to do your research and find out what credentials and experience your coaches, instructors and staff have. Here are a few things to look for!

Look for professional credentials
A great leap in the fitness industry over the past few years was the recognition of Kinesiologists as a professional body. All registered Kinesiologists are now held accountable to their regulatory body. What this means is they are upheld to the highest standards. Successful completion of a licensing exam and an undergraduate degree is required in order to call oneself a registered Kinesiologist. Each year, RK’s are required to complete a self-assessment to ensure they are continuing to expand and grow as professionals. Having a registered Kinesiologist on staff ensures you have someone who has in depth knowledge human movement, body mechanics and safety that will give you the best results for the longest period of time.

Look for experience
Experience is certainly a very valuable aspect of one’s professionalism. The difference 5, 10 or 20 years makes is invaluable. Experience can come in a wide variety of forms. Simply putting in the years is one aspect. Another can even stem from your coach’s childhood. Having a coach who was active in competitive sports as a kid still counts as years put in. It becomes a part of who you are. The longer one remains in the industry the more they have to offer, the easier it is to see faults in human movement, offer appropriate corrections and the more comfortable one feels doing what they do.

Look for specialty certifications
Specialty certifications can also be an important aspect of one’s professionalism. Continued education is imperative to stay up to date and cutting edge in this fast paced industry. Seeking coaches who continually better themselves through education shows they want to invest in both themselves and their athletes. The fitness industry moves at an exponentially fast paced and without the refreshers of education one can become stale and stagnant. Check out what specialty certs your coaches have and how recently they were done!

These are just a few things to look at to ensure you are getting the best coaching available. At Synergee, we pride ourselves on continually learning, growing, expanding and offering the most professional services possible. It’s our promise to always be educating and bringing back the latest and greatest evidence based training to you.

January 11, 2016

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GETTING READY FOR 2016

Every year it’s nice to sit back and reflect on the year that has just passed. Think back to the beginning of 2015, what were you doing in your life? What was your fitness level or what your diet look like? Did you make the progress you wanted to? And if not, what got in the way? When making fitness goals it’s important to consider a few key things. Let’s look at what we can do to make sure we reach new heights in 2016.

Make your goal SMART
I’m sure you have all heard the SMART goal analogy before. Specific, measureable, acheiveable, realistic and time specific. You can’t expect to run a marathon in a month or clean and jerk 230 lbs if you haven’t even started. However, setting small goals like running a 10K or maybe increasing your 1 rep max by 10 lbs this month can be done. Then, break it down. So if you want to increase your back squat to double body weight, how are you going to get there? Make a plan or have that discussion with your trainer. Keep track of your progress along the way and make adjustments to your plan as need be.

Assess your readiness for change
Ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 how committed you are to making the change? So if it’s gaining muscle mass or weight loss that is your goal, how committed are you to making this happen? Give yourself a number. Then, ask yourself how confident you are that you can actually achieve your goal? Again, give yourself a number between 1-10. What you are looking for is something around the 7 or 8 mark. If your number is rated less than that, then ask yourself what would it take to make it an 8? So if your goal is to build strength and muscle mass but your confidence is only a 5, ask yourself what it would take to be an 8? Maybe you need more skills or info on how to get there. If so, book a training session or read up. Maybe you need some help at home to get you to class more consistently. Ask your spouse for some help or see if you can re-arrange your day. Make both your confidence and your commitment an 8.

Visualize it
What will it feel like when you achieve your goal? Really. Just stop wherever you are and close your eyes. Picture your goal. What clothes are you wearing, what smells are in the room, what feelings are you feeling? If your goal is weight loss, how do you feel in your clothes, are you more confident, happier, energetic? If your goal is strength building visualize yourself making that lift. From start to finish, see yourself executing it perfectly. The brain cannot distinguish between real life and imagination so when you visualize in extreme detail, your brain will perceive the event as reality and put things into motion to make it happen.

Spend some time thinking about where you’d like to be in 365 days. Write it down, check in monthly and see how things are going. All things are possible if you set your commitment and get your confidence level up! We are here to help you along the way. Let’s make 2016 the best in health and fitness yet!

December 11, 2015

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Your Hormones Part 2 - How they're affecting you


In part one we discussed two important hormones, insulin and thyroid.  Today we are going to examine some of the sex hormones; estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.  Whether you are old or young, man or woman, you definitely want to maintain the proper balance of these hormones.  Let's examine them and what we can do to ensure we keep them in check.
 
Estrogen: One of the biggest problems we see with estrogen today is dominance.  Estrogen dominance occurs when we have too much estrogen in our bodies compared to our progesterone levels.  Today's society contains many things which can mimic estrogen and are termed "xeno-estrogens".  These are things such as herbicides, pesticides and various plastics.  They bind to our estrogen receptor sites and interfere with natural biochemical activity.  Another way that we can get increased estrogen levels is eating meat from animals that have been treated with synthetic hormones.  Many animals are stuffed with estrogen to "fatten" them up.  If the animals are taking it in, you will too.  Soy is another culprit that can increase estrogen levels.  Many problems can arise from estrogen dominance such as breast/uterine/prostate/ovarian cancers, decreased sex drive, mood swings, depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, headaches, osteoporosis, water retention, weight gain, memory loss, thyroid dysfunction, and hair loss.  Just to name a few!  We can help to prevent this syndrome by ensuring we are buying organic produce and meats not treated with synthetic hormones, consuming a high fiber diet of fruits/vegetables and getting in lots of antioxidants.   
 
Progesterone: Progesterone has many beneficial effects.  It's a natural diuretic, sleep aid, anti-anxiety and simulator of metabolism.  It raises body temperature, helps to build bone density, reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol.  When properly balanced with estrogen it protects against cancers such as breast and prostate.  Of course, the amount of progesterone and estrogen produced will vary depending on age and the decline that occurs in women is natural.  The imbalance between the two is more significant when either estrogen is much higher or when progesterone is low during ovulating years.  Progesterone deficiency can come from stress, lack of ovulation, hypothyroidism and other imbalanced hormones.  In order to keep our levels up it is important to ensure that we eat organic fruits and vegetables, keep our stress levels low and sleep soundly.
 
Testosterone: Usually testosterone is thought of as primarily a male hormone however, women also require some and need it for many important functions in the body.   The amount produced will vary by gender, age, eating and sleeping habits, stress and medications.  Testosterone is essential for a few functions.  It preserves muscle mass, facilitates sex drive, regulates mood, builds energy, enhances nutrition and forms masculine traits.  It decreases fat stores and increases bone mass.  Low testosterone levels can lead to sexual dysfunction, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, low energy, mood changes and weak bones.  In order to ensure testosterone levels remain elevated we can do a few of these things.  Eat a good amount of quality fat such as butter, coconut and olive oil.  Eat sufficient amounts of protein.  Exercise frequently, specifically strength train.  Supplement with a quality multi-vitamin and ensure you balance your sleep & stress levels.  Ways to deplete testosterone: alcohol, low fat/low protein diets, too much stress and lack of sleep.

This is just a brief overview of the sex hormones and their affects on our bodies.  There are many great lifestyle choices we can make to ensure we keep a proper balance.  Top priorities; eat well, sleep well and exercise often!  Seems like the cure for so many things these days doesn't it?!  So keep at it, your hormones will thank you.