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Archive for September, 2009

Protect Your Lower Back

September 15th, 2009 No comments

After a number of unsuccessful wakeboarding attempts at a cottage a few weeks ago I came home with a bit of a bruised ego, not to mention a sore lower back. Maybe it's because I wrenched it trying to turn the board sideways and glide it up over the water (I'm told the board does this on it's own if you "let it" but I think one of my more successful friends was just rubbing it in). Maybe it's because I wanted to stand up so bad I held onto the rope as the boat wrenched me through the waves.

Either way, I ended up at work the next week with pain that made it difficult to sit for any length of time. The pain made my Pilates and yoga classes even more difficult. After some rest and stretching I've gotten back to my usual routine, but it got me thinking. I consider myself to have a pretty strong core. I do Pilates several times a week and never neglect the less popular core muscles (transverse abdominis, erector spinae) in favor of working my six pack muscles. I make sure my movements are slow and controlled, with deep breathing and a focus on quality over quantity.

You may take this to mean that it doesn't matter what you do or how good of shape you are in, you can still get injured. I guess that's true, but I look at it as a sign that what I've been doing has paid off. It took a lot of abuse before my back let me know it wasn't happy. Imagine I'd strained it lifting a heavy box or that it simply hurt due to lack of muscle strength. After the strain I got back on my feet pretty quickly. Because of my experience with strength and flexibility training I knew what I could and could not do and worked my way up to being pain-free. I feel sorry for people who haven't experienced how healing strength training and can be.

Finding Inspiration at a Fitness Conference

September 7th, 2009 No comments

As a pesonal trainer certified through Can-Fit Pro the best way to stay relevent and up-to-date is by attending the conferences that happen several times a year. You get continuing education credits, meet people working in the industry and learn from the best master trainers, teachers and presenters in the business.

It was my first visit to the Toronto conference this year and I'm glad I took the opportunity. The summer has been so blah I've actually been gaining weight over the last few months. (Usually by the end of a summer full of trips to the beach, hiking, biking, runnning and playing sports I end up a few pounds lighter.) Not so this year. I haven't even built up half the store of sun I'll need to get me through the winter.

For the majority of last few weeks months I've been busy working and staying indoors out of the rainy, cold weather and because of that my energy forkeeping active had been waning. I'll worry about my own workouts in the fall I'd tell myself. Recently Ibegan worrying that by the time I got back into my usual routine I'd find my body had a much different proportion of muscle to fat than I was used to.

But the Can-Fit Conference changed everything. After three days full of lectures, classes and workshops I came home with my head full of exciting new ideas I couldn't wait to try out. It's been a few weeks and I still haven't worked through it all. Cycling, Pilates, yoga... I took as many different workshops as I could and learned something new in each one.

I want to stress that fitness conferences aren't just for professionals working in the industry. The Consumer Fitness and Wellness Show was great, but if you like group fitness classes, learning about how to take care of your bodyand stay motivated or you just being in an electric atmosphere, there's nothing wrong with checking out the same courses instructors do. And since you don't have any obligations to take certain classes or earn CECs you can pretty much do whatever you want.

I say take inspiration wherever you can find it. And for me courses are where I find it most. Being surrounded by so many people, the excitement and energy can't help but rub off on you.