Great News!

Hypothermic Half Winner

Second Overall and First Female

 

We’ve got two quick, exciting updates for you.

1. Becky raced the Hypothermic Half last week and crushed it!  She came second overall, only 5 minutes behind the guy who won.

2. Jenna is officially a Registered Massage Therapist with the Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba.  That means your massage can be covered by Blue Cross!   Contact Jenna to set up your appointment.

New Face

I’d like to introduce you to a new face in the gym. Mine!

my face

my face

After a few years away, I am delighted to return to MORFIT! I’ll be training clients, teaching classes, manning the desk, and doing all kinds of things in front of and behind the scenes that you may or may not notice. I spend a lot of time at the computer for someone who works at a gym!

behind the scenes

behind the scenes

in front of the scenes

in front of the scenes

It’s been a lot of fun so far.   In January, we had a booth at the Wonderful Wedding Show and hosted our first ever MORFIT Wellness Expo.   We learned a lot at both that will make our Wellness Expo even better next year.

20160124_135014

hard to believe we didn’t win prettiest booth at the Wonderful Wedding Show…

February has been more about working on MORFIT the gym. We got some new spin bikes in—and Becky’s Tuesday Spin class is STILL filling up!—and I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out what we need to order to restore our fleet of cardio equipment to it’s rightful glory. Getting closer! I’m hoping we’ll be ready to place an order next week that will have parts for the spin bikes, exercise bikes, stepmill, rower, and treadmills on it. Yessss!

Then I’ll find other things to work on that get me out from behind the computer. Stop and say hi next time you’re in the gym. Tell me what you like about MORFIT and what you want us to work on to make it even better.

Be well, do well.

-Tom

5 Summer Must-Haves

As we head into what I hope is the usual beautiful warm summers we get here in Manitoba, all of us here at MORfit want to make sure you’re prepared to make this your best summer yet. Whether you have big plans to be out and about as much as humanly possible during the next few months, or just want to take it as it comes and laze in the sun- here is a list of must-haves to keep you motoring, healthy, and happy for the 2014 season!

 

  • A re-usable water bottle (or two)
    Staying hydrated is always a good thing to do- especially in the summer months. Your body is constantly using water to maintain homeostasis, so replacing it regularly throughout the day is good practice. Staying adequately hydrated can improve energy levels (for those afternoons at work when you’d much rather be out in the sun), help with aches and pains, headaches, and keep you feeling cool in whatever situation you find yourself in this summer. Having a re-usable bottle, or a few (if you’re like me and notorious for leaving them places) also helps the environment out. The less plastic used the better! Grab something that you like the look of, is easy to take with you, and can be refilled throughout the day. Drinking water instead of sugary drinks will also lower your calorie count and keep every part of you happy.
    If you find the taste of water boring or can’t get motivated to keep drinking it throughout the day try adding frozen fruit, mint, or a slice of lemon to it. This creates a fresh taste similar to juice or pop, without the added sugar!

    matt-damon-water-bottle_0

    Matt Damon approves your hydration choices.

  • A Foam Roller
    If you haven’t already discovered these awesome little pieces of foam and rubber- trust me when I say you should look into them! Summer should be your prime time to be outdoors and moving- whether of not your an elite athlete, a recreational go-getter, or just the average active Winnipegger, a foam roller can keep you busting those sick moves (or doing other things) all summer long. A form of myofascial release, the results you can expect to get from your savvy roller are similar to that of massage and stretching techniques used by athletic and physical therapists all over the place (without the cost!). They average around $30, and come in different sizes and densities. If you’ve never used one before, I recommend starting with a lighter density and moving up. Google a “rumble roller” for a glimpse into the ultimate roller experience… Excellent for helping release tight and sore muscles all over your body, they can also be integrated into your normal exercise/stretching routine with little hassle (but tonnes of benefit).
    Where can you get this handy dandy tool your body will love you for? Running room, Walmart, Diamond Athletics, Innovative Medical Supplies, or anywhere on the internet that has the best deal! We even have some for your use here at MORfit. If you aren’t already sold on the thing– come try one out and get one of our knowledgable staff to walk you through the details of how a foam roller can be used to keep you moving and grooving towards your goals this summer!

    FR3Y1_-_PVC_Foam_Roller_1_WYN233513267458054f1488cdcd333

    Don’t worry- you too can look this cool!

  • A Good Pair of Shoes
    Another thing you might want more then one of. Whether you walk, run, bike, hike, or casually stroll to and fro.. a pair of shoes that makes your feet happy will go a long way. There are many voices out there to tell you which is the best brand or what is the newest fad- but what it really comes down to when picking the pair for you is what works with your body mechanics the best- and what you feel comfortable in. If you’re an avid activity pursuer, having more then one pair is not a bad idea. Shoes do wear out, after all, and the more they wear the more stress they can place on your body. If you’re using shoes frequently, a new pair every 6 months or so isn’t out of line. Having a couple pairs to rotate between can lengthen the life of those sneakers, and keep you on track.
    cartoon597

A Sick Pair of Sunnies (and all the other sun gear)

Not only will you look super cool, your eyes will be safer from our friend the sun. Combine those good looks with some sun screen slathered everywhere and anywhere, and maybe even a stylin’ hat- you’ll be ready to take on the Winnipeg summer without any worries!

 

 

Portrait of male with bad sunburn

Safe to say this guy didn’t see this post in time…

 

Last but not least, a gym membership for those rainy days…

We know they’ll happen, and we know you want to stay active. As much as being outdoors as much as possible is what we Winnipeggers like to do, having a back-up plan (or even an add-on option to your already outdoorsy style) is never a bad plan. Staying fit and active, no matter what mother nature throws our way, will make all those awesome plans you have for summer so much more awesome. Try out a new fitness class, lift things up and put them down, ellipticise, or go for a spin on the spin bikes- all these options (and more) make for some good rainy day sweat. Your body will thank you for it, and doing what you do is much more satisfying when you have your body on your side.

There you have it, a brief toolbox of things to keep you on track to be your best this summer. As always, here at MORfit we like to see you being the best version of you- in and out of the gym. For more tips and tricks to keep healthy this summer- stop by and chat to our staff, or shoot us an email. We love to talk to all of you- and are full of ideas and summery thoughts!

 

Until next time…

Kat

Are you listening?

How often have you been told to take more time for yourself, or that you do too much?

There are many topics that can and will be discussed on the MORfit blog, but I’d like to start off with a post about doing what’s right for you in relation to stress and time management. This concept is not always taken to heart in our culture, as we constantly strive to make others happy and get things done. The to-do lists never end. While making others happy does bring back a certain amount of happiness, being true to what we need as individuals is the core behind everything we do in the health industry.

Personally, I am one to overschedule and rush from place to place- in an effort to keep my life both interesting and moving towards my own personal goals. What I’ve learned from this lifestyle is how important time management, and including time for recuperation is in order to maintain sanity. One way I’ve learned how to do this, when I‘m feeling overwhelmed, is to make a list. A list to prioritize my time into sections: what I really need/want to focus on, then things that will help me achieve my goals, and finally things that I don’t necessarily need in my schedule.

Okay, if I’m being honest, the middle section I added in because I didn’t want to give up some things. But still. I’ve never been a list-y type of person, but this actually helped me put things into perspective- and helped me incorporate a little more relaxation time into my schedule.

I have a friend who when I ask for help making a decision (big or small)- always says, “follow your bliss”. What he means by that is that by doing what makes you truly happy, in the end, will always be the right choice. Of course there will be times where maybe neither choice will make you “happy”, but quite often our gut instinct will pull us one way or the other- and trusting your gut is a piece of wisdom in itself. Quite often when I feel overwhelmed, it’s because I have not allowed myself the time to take a step back and acknowledge what my gut is suggesting I do. Have you ever noticed that slightly anxious feeling when you’re particularly stressed out about any number of things in your life? That may be your instinct talking to you. Give it a second of your time, it has good advice for you.

Sometimes that advice may be trying to sway you towards one side of a decision. Sometimes it may be telling you to take some time for you, some time where you can allow yourself to not think about the to-do lists, work, etc etc. Taking a break, in whatever form suits you, it something we all need to do a little more of. Taking a break and not feeling guilty about it is a good thing for your mind, body, and soul. No matter who you are, or what you do- there is always time for you to just do you. Another good friend of mine once used the phrase “we tend to be more of human doings, rather then human beings.”.

 

Doing too much isn’t going to kill you- but doing too much all the time will have deleterious effects to your health, and your enjoyment of life. Finding a balance that suits you as an individual can make all the stresses of life much more manageable. There is so much joy in everyday life, but often it is clouded by “need to do-s”, emails, decisions, calls, tasks, and ongoing stress. Giving yourself a little slack, just a little everyday- listening to what your body is telling you, might enable you to take a step back… and taking a step back always makes the mountain look smaller.

How can you tell when you’re doing too much, and what are some ways you take time for yourself?

– Kathlyn

Keep The Momentum Going!

Today is March 1st. Exactly two months ago; every single gym across the world experienced the “New Year’s Resolution Rush” to some degree. MORFIT was no exception. It was the first time that we started to see all our treadmills in use at one time. The Zumba mob prompted me to double our shoe rack capacity. Many former members renewed for the 2013 season; and many new faces signed up for the first time.

That was two months ago. Expectedly, some of those resolutions didn’t make it this far. Some gyms count on and look forward to this happening. Mais pas ici! This is MORFIT’s official “Keep The Momentum Going!” campaign. I will do what I can to make it a successful one:
1) Link you to a wonderfully thought out video called “23 1/2 hours”
2) Start you off with a Motivational Poster every day throughout March
3) Continue to provide for you a beautiful gym with supportive staff to provide for you the best gym experience we can
4) Offer a “Keep The Momentum Going!” promotion for those looking to renew their membership

That’s about all that I can do. The rest is up to you my friends. The warmer weather will be upon us shortly. So whether you do it here at MORFIT, or out in the beautiful streets of Winnipeg… Keep the Momentum Going!!!

– Stuart

Shoeless Army

It was a cold winter’s night, which I was looking forward to retiring with a movie and a friend after a long Saturday’s work. My friend and I had stopped by a grocery store to pick up food for dinner leaving only with a large bag of discounted brown bananas. We pull into the parking lot to the gym, which I had just locked up twenty minutes earlier. A quick bathroom stop would be our last one before heading home to make dinner (of banana bread and shakes apparently).

We walk up the familiar staircase passing the bowling lanes as I’ve done probably thousands of times over the past year. As I unlock and walk through MORFIT’s red door, something is amiss… The floor by the entrance is not barren as it should be, as I had left it twenty minutes ago. Instead, the carpet has completely disappeared under an army of empty shoes and boots. Before I could figure out who had broken into the gym and respectfully obeyed the “No outdoor shoes past this point” sign; I turn my head to see the shoeless army standing in the dark of the gym, waiting for me. At that moment, in perfect unison and a beautifully harmonic key of C,  they all exclaim…”Happy one year anniversary MORFIT!”

We officially passed 365 days on December 10th, 2012! MORFIT has been a wild roller coaster ride since the start. Deciding to open a fitness facility from scratch with no business experience was very ambitious.  But I had a vision in mind. If you would like to see what that vision is; stop by 255 Tache Avenue someday. You’ll see the beautiful gym that we built from four brick walls and you’ll meet some of our amazing members, many of whom were out that cold winter’s night to celebrate the first of many years together.

~ Stuart

 

Finish Strong

“I’m proud of you, I love you, you finished strong”

I’ve received a lot of positive feedback on the last MORFIT Blog, “More Than A Healthy Body”. I wanted to take this momentum and write a follow-up article. Today we are going to talk about increasing your fantasticness so that you can finish strong in life.

We all have or have had people in our lives that stay close to our hearts and are responsible for making us want to be a better person. This may be a friend, parent, teacher, stranger, co-worker, or sometimes someone we never even get the chance to meet. Regardless of who they are, they’ve left an impression on us, and we will never forget them. If you made a Fantastic People List of people that have truly inspired you over the years, how many names would you be able to write down? This is my first challenge to you today.

More important than how many names are on your list; how many lists do you think your name would be on? How many people think of you as an inspiration in their life? One? Five? Twenty-five? Hundreds? We already know from the last blog the amazing potential of inspiring and being inspired by others. How satisfying would it be to improve yourself as a person, increase your fantasticness, and start getting your name on more peoples’ lists?

My second challenge to you today is to fill out the ‘Fantastic Lifestyle Questionnaire‘ which can be downloaded from the following link:  Fantastic Lifestyle Checklist

This questionnaire will give you a score out of 100. Regardless of what you score; you should be proud of your strengths, and excited to start working on the weaknesses. It doesn’t matter what part of your life you decide to work on first; as long as you pick something that will require some effort and be realistic. Increasing your fantasticness is not limited to the lifestyle choices listed in the questionnaire. Below are just a few of the MORFIT challenges that I and some friends have been working on over the past couple months:
– Chip-free till 2013 (eating no chips until January 1st, 2013)
– Eating vegan once per week
– Stop biting nails
– Calling a different person every day for a month to tell them how much their friendship means to you
– Drinking only one cup of coffee per day

Some challenges only last one month; while others are permanent improvements on our fantasticness. Even the short term ones help to re-affirm how strong we can be, and give us confidence to tackle yet another challenge.  Should you decide to take action after reading this article, and you continue to improve yourself as an individual, it won’t be long before you start setting challenges that aren’t focused on you, but on the people around you. When these people can see that you are taking steps in life to become a better person and improve the lives of those that surround you; you will start to inspire more and more of them. And that is how you will get your name on more Fantastic People Lists.

These challenges have even further reaching benefits. As you succeed in accomplishing them, you may find that you start to set more challenging goals for yourself. You’ll start to surprise yourself at how strong your will and determination can be when you set your mind to it. Over time, other tasks and problems in life will be easier to overcome and manage because you have been training your body and mind to overcome adversity.

Every day we are faced with decisions to make. Some of them are easier than others; most of them do not have a pivotal effect on our lives longterm. But now and then, we come to a crossroads that will forever change the landscape of our lives. It is common for these big decisions to be a bit of a paradox. Many times the path that is quicker and easy to navigate doesn’t get us to where we want to be. The path that leads to our happiness is longer and requires much more work to get through. We all have the will and determination to work towards our happiness, we just need to believe that the arduous trek to get there is worth the challenge. Perhaps getting to that point starts with a simple challenge that you start today…

I started this article with a quote that I heard from someone who has inspired me tremendously for over ten years. She heard the quote from someone who greatly inspires her. He heard it from someone who greatly inspires him, who in turn heard it from someone of great inspiration as well. Every single one of these individuals has failed at different times in their life. They are no different than me or you. Yet they continue to inspire those around them because they don’t always take the easy path; and they are always challenging themselves to be a better person for themselves and the people in their lives.

If you’re not sure what to do for your first challenge; I encourage you to try this one:
Live and love your life, so that if today was your last, those that you leave behind will say to you; “I’m proud of you, I love you, you finished strong”.

Beyond a Healthy Body

Our previous articles have provided useful tools that can be applied in the gym. Today, it is my goal to keep you out of the gym.

Maintaining a strong physical body is only part of living a healthy life. Cultivating the social and mental aspects of your life are just as important for your well-being. As far as I know, there is no step-by-step guide to a chiseled inner-self. We are all strong in some areas socially/mentally; and we all have areas that could use improving.

(Disclaimer: The remainder of this article is not founded from my education, but from human experiences that often surpass the limited depths of education).

The potential influence of a single interaction is staggering. You never know when a simple act of kindness, a lesson learned, a phone conversation, or simply a smile will forever imprint itself in your mind. Typically, we aren’t aware of how these interactions help cultivate the way we live, but sometimes certain interactions stick out in our minds. Most of you may be able to think back to an event or conversation that happened in your youth;,which has carried forward and influenced the way you live your life today.

When I was 18 and living in Southern Alberta, a friend that I had only known for a couple months lent me his  car to drive in to work (standard transmission + Stuart at that time = bad idea). I made it three streets before I broke his car. I don’t know much about vehicles other than they’re not supposed to smoke. I was expecting an appropriate reaction of anger from my friend. Instead, he smiled, told me not to worry about it, and drove me to work on the back of his motorcycle. I couldn’t believe that this 17 year-old who I’d known for two months, with just as much money to his name as I did (not enough to repair the car), would react with such kindness and forgiveness.

I think back to this experience often, and have no doubt that it has shaped both the way I treat others and the way I try not to value material things too much. It’s nice to be on the receiving side of these positive experiences, but it’s always more satisfying to be the one that gives. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with amazing people every day, positively influencing them through our friendships and exercise. As a result, I have the satisfaction of seeing them become healthier and happier, which makes me feel proud of their hard work and my small contribution.

A good friend of mine is an elementary years school teacher. Her heart was perfectly created to do her job. Many of the children she works with are less fortunate than other kids in the city. Where many teachers would be disheartened or unsympathetic working with these children, my friend turns every moment into a positive interaction. She has the wonderful opportunity to not only brighten her own day, but to shine on the lives of all her students.

Not everyone will have the opportunity to work at a job where his or her social/mental well-being will be adequately nourished. This is where it becomes important to find an activity, group of friends, or some type of outlet that will expose you to these interactions. Throughout different stages of our lives, these outlets will change. You may find that your old group of friends is not as supportive of your healthier lifestyle habits as you would have hoped. When your weekly night out no longer consists of going out for drinks, but going to a park for a bike ride, you may find yourself looking for someone aligned with the same interests. Having a family, discovering religion, picking up dancing, or joining a boot camp are all examples of ways that some people might strengthen their inner selves.

If you feel as though you do not currently have such an outlet, I strongly encourage you to do some personal reflection. Determine what type of human interaction will help develop your mental health and positively affect others around you at the same time. Your physical body might be the temple; but it’s the people around you that fill the temple with meaning and love.

-Stuart

Building Muscle – Don’t Worry About the Speeding Ticket

We’ve been focusing our recent articles on weight management; specifically from the fat loss perspective. We will continue with weight management this week; but from a muscle building angle. If you’ve ever wondered just how quickly your body can realistically put on muscle mass; then the following article is for you. I decided not to re-invent the Mona Lisa this week by referring you to a wonderful article researched and written by Christian Finn, a personal trainer who holds a master’s degree in exercise science.

He does a great job at dispelling myths on muscle building, while providing well researched explanations of the different factors that contribute to how fast or slow our bodies put on muscle mass. There is also a neat little video that you should watch if you’ve ever been tempted to buy a product based on the advertisement’s Before & After pictures….

Christian Finn’s, How Fast Can You Build Muscle… Really?

 

-Stuart

Metabolism & Diet, with a Pinch of Exercise, pt. 3

Time for our third instalment of Metabolism & Diet, with a Pinch of Exercise. In our first two articles, we explored energy output, where I used myself as an example for some tangible numbers. Today’s article will address the opposite side of the equation; energy in. Let’s get right at it!

We previously determined that I expend around 3,291 calories every day. Now let’s explore how I can manage my weight by adjusting the amount of calories I consume.

Thermo-wha?
From our current understanding of thermodynamics; if we consume more energy (calories) than we expend, the extra energy is stored in our bodies. Any additional energy stores will result in more body weight. If we take in less energy than we expend, our body needs to pull the deficit from stored energy, and the net loss results in weight loss. If I were to make sure I ate 3,291 calories every day, I would maintain my body weight. If I consistently ate over that amount, then I would gain weight. If I ate under that amount, I would lose weight over time.

A fairly typical weight-loss goal is losing one pound of fat every week. This is a healthy rate to lose fat, and with the right dedication and guidance, an achievable goal. There are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat. This translates into a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day. You could either achieve this through diet modification, exercise modification, or, ideally a combination of both.

Let’s Get Practical
Back to my example. If I wanted to lose one pound every week, I would have to eat 500 calories under my daily output; which would mean I would need to eat an average of 2,791 calories every day. There are many great online resources these days that will track how many calories you’ve eaten (calorieking, fitday). Tracking everything you eat every day gives a fairly reliable indication of how much you’ve eaten. If you’re determined to meet your weight-loss goals, you will find this to be a valuable process. For those of you not prepared to count calories, you can start working towards your goal by making modifications to your diet. I won’t go into specific strategies here, as I have touched on this topic in a couple other articles (Goal Setting, Portion Control Strategies). Once you’ve determined how you plan on managing your intake, you’re ready to get started on your weight-loss lifestyle!

FINE PRINT!  
Please re-read the following fine print as many times as it takes to fully appreciate it’s contents. Everything we have just talked about regarding energy in and out (thermodynamics) is true. However, the human body is very complex; and many things that we have not talked about play a part in how our bodies process and adapt to energy surpluses and deficits. Everything from hydration, to hormones, to fidgeting, to efficiency of food digestion will add clutter to our very clean energy balance equation. This is important to consider in case you’re finding that the weight loss is not happening as quickly (or more quickly) than you anticipated. To get a nicely written rundown on the factors that will affect your hard efforts , I will refer you to Lyle McDonald’s article, The Energy Balance Equation.

Homework of the Week
I challenge everyone in the next couple days to write down everything they eat for one typical meal. Then go to an online site and determine approximately how many calories were consumed. Try not to pick that dinner where all you had time for was a salad and glass of milk.  After you’ve determined your calories for that meal, relate it back to your numbers from all the articles.
A little food for thought…. A typical fast food meal (loaded burger, large fries, drink) can easily put you over 1,000 calories; up to 2,000 calories. If you’re female, chances are your total caloric output was around 2,200-2,500 calories. One fast food meal and your day is almost done! And if you think homemade burgers on the grill is any better…. do a little research, and watch the calories climb as you start to add the chips, cheese, and beers to that extra-lean beef burger….

Hurray for BBQ season!

-Stuart