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Motivation

9 Jun

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Motivation

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How to Train Like a Hockey Pro

24 May

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Spring is here, and so too are the Stanley Cup playoffs; an exciting time of the year when fans go through many emotions as their teams taste both the deliciousness of success and the bitterness of defeat.

It is at this time of the year where we can really appreciate the physical condition of NHL players. After a long 82 game season (with the exception of this year), players need to endure another 20-30 games of fast-paced, hard hitting hockey – it is at this time of year, when the best conditioned athletes shine.

But what does it take to train like an NHL superstar? Let’s take a look.

1.       Explosive Speed and a Strong Base 

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Hockey is all about short bursts of speed – whether it’s to get to a loose puck, or catch up to an opposing player, the ability to accelerate is key. This comes by building a powerful core and base. Squats, lunges and deadlifts can help build the power in you muscles, while plyometric drills and speed drills using a fitness ladder can help increase your ability to accelerate quickly.

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Elite players like Sidney Crosby and Martin St. Louis have strong lower bodies, this allows them to fend players off and protect the puck more effectively… I’m sure we all seen Crosby stick out his big butt to keep defensemen from getting to the puck-well because of his strong base he is able to successfully shield the puck from his opponent with this awkward looking move.

2.       Upper Body Strength

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Any time a player competes for a loose puck, their upper body strength is what helps them win the puck battle.  We have all seen the amazing stick handling skills of players like Erik Karlsson. He is able to make it look so easy because their upper body strength which allows him to go through these movements with ease and control. When hockey players skate with the puck they are pushing it out and pulling it in –in order to be able to do this successful you want to train your upper body using these same motions. For example a great push upper body exercise is push ups whereas a great pull exercise is pull ups. Hockey players also get a lot of power from their chests; this is where a lot of their upper body strength originates. Bench pressing is an awesome way to develop strong chest muscles. Again – push and pull.

3.       Core

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Having a strong core means having a stronger foundation to the ice. The stronger a player is on their feet, the harder they are to knock off the puck. If you want to train like a hockey player, you definitely need to do exercises that will help you develop a strong and stable core. Go for moves like the plank (front and side), core circles on a stability ball or leg raises while lying on your back. Don’t forget that your core wraps all the way around you, so you want to also incorporate moves that work your lower back like the superman hold.

4.       Conditioning

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A typical NHL-ler burns thousands of calories during a game and when you think about it the average player is really only playing ____minutes in a 60 minute game. If a player isn’t conditioned well (cough cough… Dany Heatley), their performance will suffer. Because hockey is all about short bursts of energy, interval training is the way to go. We have talked about interval training a bit before as it is also a great method for weight loss. Interval training can be done in many different ways. If you are running, sprint for 30 seconds then recover for 30 seconds (and repeat many times!). If you are on a spin bike, same idea – short quick bursts of speed and power followed by a short recovery. Remember that your recovery doesn’t mean stopping – it means dropping down for 100% to 60-80 % then getting yourself back up to that 100 again. When hockey players are conditioned and can recover quickly they will not fizzle out during a shift– they will be strong the entire time and be able to make good use of their time on the ice.

5.       Flexibility

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We have all seen the crazy ass moves goalies pull out when they are warming up for a game or blocking a shot – as a hockey goalie flexibility is definitely a must have. But flexibility isn’t only important for goalies -when it comes to skate strokes and slap shots, range of motion is very important for players. The more flexible you are, the bigger the range of motion you’ll have. That will allow for a bigger wind up before a shot and longer strides when you’re skating. It also means that if you are knocked down you will be less likely to be injured in the process. If you want to train like a hockey pro – you need to incorporate flexibility training into your training program. Do this by stretching at the end of every workout and holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Another great way to improve your flexibility is through yoga.

So now that you know what it takes to train like a hockey pro. I am sure we can all appreciate how hard these guys have to work both on and off the ice – mind you, if I was making millions of dollars and competing for hockey’s Holy Grail, I would work hard too!

Go Sens Go!

S

Motivating Yourself to Exercise

24 May

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Sometimes not having enough motivation can be the biggest obstacle between you and working out. Everyone knows that regular physical activity is better than no physical activity…there are so many benefits to exercising on a regular basis and I am sure everyone can name at least 3, right? Yet for some reason, there are still so many people who live sedentary lives – one of the things standing in their way is a lack of motivation.

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It can be difficult to find motivation –and everyone’s motivation is going to be slightly different. Finding one thing that will keep you motivated to exercise regularly and eat well for the rest of your life is not very likely – your motivation will likely change over time, and that’s okay! The key is to find your underlying motivation -something specific to you and your life! Your motivation is your why for being healthy, and once you have your why, you can get through the how! It can be anything- for example, if you have grown children maybe your motivation for keeping yourself healthy is that you want to be around to see and play with your grandkids. Or maybe it’s that summer is right around the corner, and you want to be able to wear shortay-shorts with pride and not be self-conscious about your body. Take a minute and try and think of something specific to you that will drive your desire to live a healthy and active life. Once you have it, you have your why J.

So now you have found your why. How do you set yourself up so that you absolutely-positively will follow through with your workouts? Have no fear – we are here to help with that too J. Here are some tips that we came up with!

Find Something YOU Like to Do

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As obnoxious as it may sound for Scott and I, fitness is fun! And I am not just saying that – I swear! We genuinely like exercising and being active. Sure there are some days where we may not be as into it, but for the most part it’s enjoyable. We do however understand that we are the exception and not the rule. Most people don’t enjoy workout out, they do it because they “have” to. A great way to stay motivated is to make fitness fun! And to do that you need to start by find something that you enjoy doing. There are so many great ways to be active and stay fit so you should have no problem finding one, or many that you actually like doing. It can be anything from rock climbing, to dancing, to yoga, to kickboxing. Once you find something you like, it will be that much easier to follow through and stick with it.

Surround Yourself with Fitness Oriented People

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This tip can be really helpful when it comes to staying motivated to exercise and ensuring long term success. We believe that having people around you who value living a healthy and active lifestyle is important. If the people around you are motivated it will make it that much easier for you to stay motivated. But, if you surround yourself with people who like to sit around all day and eat chips, it might be harder for you to get your ass off the couch and go workout. Conflicts may also arise. Believe it or not some people find it hard to understand why others put exercise and eating well so high on their list of priorities. And because they don’t understand, they will not be helpful in motivating you to continue on with it.

Set Mini Fitness Goal

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We have talked about goal setting before (to read that post click here) and it is a great way to keep you motivated. The great thing about goals is that you get to set them for yourself! Your goal may be able to do 20 perfect push-ups in a row, or it may be to complete a half marathon in 2 hours. Giving yourself a specific goal will help you stay motivated because the more workouts you slack on or skip – the longer it will take you to achieve that goal. Just remember to make your goal specific, realistic and to develop a plan of action for attaining it!

Be Vain

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Who said being vain is a bad thing? If being vain will get your ass moving we say have at’er!! Bikini season is quickly approaching so if your motivation to exercise is that you want to look smokin hot in that new bikini – then great! We say, if you look good, you feel good and there aint nothing wrong with that! Another great trick is to take pictures of yourself. If you see your progress and how your body looks when you are active and healthy vs. when you are not -you will most likely want to continue down that path.

Think Long Term

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Keep long term benefits and goals in mind. How will doing this workout today benefit you tomorrow, or a month from now? How about a year from now? Ten years from now? Regular exercise and a healthy diet have so many long term benefits! Being healthy now helps ensure you have a better quality life as you age and hopefully a longer life. Think about how what you do today will help you down the road and hopefully that will serve as a good motivator for you!

Give yourself a 5 Minute Rule

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If all else fails, and you are still not feeling motivated to work out – give yourself a 5 minute rule. Tell yourself that you will work out for a minimum of 5 minutes, after all 5 minutes is way less daunting than 1 hour! If after those 5 minutes you are just not feeling it – then maybe it’s just not your day, and that’s okay it happens (as long as it doesn’t happen every day!). But chances are, after that first 5 minutes, you will be through the warm up (which is sometimes the hardest part to get through right??!), energized and ready to go!

We hope that these tips help you to stay motivated to be active and exercise regularly. It is hard to develop any new habit and exercise is no exception. But the good news is that starting is the biggest obstacle. Once you have worked exercise into your routine it will become easier and easier to motivate yourself to stay on that path and continue to propel yourself forward. So no more excuses, no more delaying – move it!

L

How to Have an Effective Morning Workout

14 Mar

You can still vote for my little sister in the MuchMusic VJ search.

Below is the link to vote! Thanks 🙂

http://www.muchmusic.com/vjsearch/profile/hannah-rose-mckie/343153/

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We workout first thing in the morning – some people think we’re crazy for getting up so early to exercise, but it works for us, and we love starting off our day with a good, hard workout! Not only do we find we have better workouts earlier in the day, when we are done we have lots of energy to get us through the day!

In this post we are going to give you some tips on how to make sure you have a good morning workout.

1.       Have a plan

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Whether you are working out at home or going to a gym, it is important to always know in advance what you are going to be doing. Not only does it mean that you won’t be wasting your workout time trying to figure out what to do next, it means you can balance out your week and make sure you are covering all your bases!

2.       Set up equipment in advance

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Once you know what you are going to be doing for your workout, get all the necessary equipment ready. If you are working out at home like we do, get out the equipment you need the night before-for example, dumbbells, dvd, yoga matt or ladder. If you are going to the gym, pack your gym bag the night before so you can grab it and go. If you are waking up early to exercise, the last thing you want to do is have to get everything ready in the morning. By getting everything ready the night before not only will you save yourself time in the morning, you will also save yourself a pain in the you know what!

3.       Lay out workout clothes the night before

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Pick out your workout clothes the night before as well and lay them out in your room, or hang them in your bathroom. If you have your clothes picked out before going to bed, when you wake up you can roll out of bed and slip them on. It’s one less thing to think about, and once they are on, you are more likely to follow through and workout!

4.       Have breakfast or pre/post-workout snack ready

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Depending on what time you workout in the morning, you will be giving your body some sort of fuel. Because we get up so early, we generally don’t eat before but we always have something ready for right after. Get your pre/post-work out snack, or breakfast ready in advance so you will have quick and easy access to fuel for your body.

5.       Warm up and stretch

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Having a proper warm up and stretch is always important before exercising –but it’s especially important in the morning! You have just been asleep and immobile for hours, so jumping right into your workout is a terrible idea and you will be pretty much inviting an injury to your body. (For more info on why a proper warm up, stretch and cool down are so important click here)

6.       Drink lots of water

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We have talked about the importance of water many times, so you shouldn’t be surprised that it made this list J. Drinking water before, during and after you workout is important for optimizing your exercise results. We suggest always having a water bottle in the fridge ready to go!

7.       Do a workout you enjoy

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This is something we suggest whenever possible. Try and pick ways of exercising that you enjoy –while still ensuring you have a balanced weekly workout plan. If you enjoy what you are doing, chances are you are going to work harder and be more motivated to follow through-especially when you are working out in the morning!

8.       Use your time wisely

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If you are working out first thing in the morning, you probably have a limited amount of time to get through your workout before you have to get to work or school. It is important that you are efficient with your time so that you are getting an effective workout. Take shorter breaks in between exercises, and try and do exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time. The last thing you want is to wake up early, waste your time and not be able to get through your workout!

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In the end, you need to figure out what time works best for you and for your schedule. As we have said before, it is important to make exercising a priority in order to live a healthy life. So having that said, when you scheduling a workout, make sure to schedule it and follow through. Often people plan to workout in the evenings, but something comes up or they are “too tired” to follow through with it so they skip it. You aren’t doing yourself any favors. That’s one of the reasons we enjoy working out first thin the morning, it means that if something comes up after work, or we are feeling sluggish, we don’t have to worry because we have already gotten our daily workout in!

So, pick a time slot that works best for you, block it off, make it a priority and follow through!

S & L

MuchMusic VJ vote!!!

11 Mar

Please Vote TODAY!!

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I talked about my sister in my Music as Motivation post below. I go to her for all my workout music. Let me tell you a little bit about her, because I am going to ask you all for a huge favor soon: Her name is Hannah Rose (I know, awesome name right?!), she is 20 years old and lives in Toronto. She goes to Humber and is studying fashion.

… Like I said earlier, she is way cooler than me, even though I am older – aren’t I supposed to be the cool one?. She is a little fashionista, so not only do I go to her for music; I also go to her for all my fashion advice… now let me get to the favor: She wants to become the next MuchMusic VJ –and she would be awesome at it! Her audition video just went live and they are announcing the top 40 tomorrow so PLEASE GO TO THE LINK BELOW AND VOTE FOR MY SISTER TODAY! You can also comment and rate her video!

Click here to watch the video and vote for my sister!

Thanks everyone!!!
-L

Music as Motivation

11 Mar

Music as Motivation

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You’ve got up, put on your workout gear, gotten yourself to the gym and are on the treadmill, or in the weight room but you can’t seem to give your workout more than a half ass effort. Has this ever happened to you?? Believe it or not, sometimes just getting yourself to the gym is the hardest part of the workout. Once you are there, why not give it 100%? I know, sometimes it is easier said than done.

I myself have had workouts where I feel like I am in a funk and just can’t seem to push myself as hard as I want to. So, what do I do when this happens? I turn to my iPod to get me through and really motivate me. Sometimes music makes all the difference. It is important to find the type of music that motivates you to run faster, jumper higher, lift more weight or hold that uncomfortable yoga pose a few seconds longer. Once you find the right genre for you, fill your iPod with it!  For example, when I am lifting weights I like to listen to rap, when I am running I like fast paced hip hop or pop, and when I am spinning I throw in some techno because I need a really good beat to match my leg speed to. I even organize my playlist and name them according to my different types of workouts. That way I never have to worry about wasting precious workout time flipping through to find the perfect song. You just have to be careful that you don’t lose focus on the task at hand, and that’s your workout!

I rely pretty heavily on music during my workouts; I just find it gives me that little extra sometin’ sometin’ that I need. So you can imagine my horror when the other day I went to turn on my iPod only to learn it went into permanent sleep mode L. I quickly went out and bought myself a new one because I don’t know what I would do without it! Then it came time to reload it with all my favorite workout songs. Now before my old iPod died on me, one night I had it plugged in because I was updating my music (this is key, you don’t want to get bored of the music-sometimes just changing around the order does the trick!), and when I came back to it later that night ALL my songs had been completely wiped off. Now this probably should have been a warning that my iPod was on its death bed, but apparently I am not that smart. Anyways, I needed new music and fast, so I turned to my younger sister. I often go to her for new and hip songs because she is way cooler than me and is always in the know about what’s hot and what’s not. She came to my rescue and sent me a ton of awesome songs that have really been motivating me through my workouts. Here are a few of the songs that she told me to download:

Havana Brown feat. Pitbull – Run the Night

Britney Spears vs Coldplay – Clock it Against Me

LMFAO, David Rush feat. Pitbull-  Party Rock Remix

David Guetta feat. Snoop Dog- Sweat

Calvin Harris feat. Neyo – Let Go

 

-L