Category

Healthy Living

Meet Our Members: Savoy Williams

By | Healthy Living

Why did you choose canfitpro?

It’s simple – canfitpro provides opportunities to learn and grow as an individual and collectively as people moving our bodies. That’s how we live – life is created through movement. So, now to be able to say I CAN help people move their bodies, in ways that foster healthy and active living… I feel incredible.

What is your WHY?

I want to empower gender and sexually diverse students through healthy eating and an active lifestyle, to develop (or continue!) a positive relationship with their body. To support students of diverse genders and sexual orientations in feeling confident in themselves, to me, is to forge greater possibilities of leadership and community in the future. By creating positive relationships with healthy eating and exercise in students at my school, The University of British Columbia, my hope is that other queer and trans graduate students will continue on to live healthy lifestyles for the rest of their lives and empower others to do the same.

What gets you excited to go to work each day?

It’s knowing that both myself, and the person I am working with, are furthering our own well-being through our working together. There becomes this opportunity to reimagine what an active space looks like, who can be in it, and how bodies are to be moving while in it. It’s pretty gratifying to engage in a career that benefits me as much as it does the person I am training, and also creates possibilities for active spaces to become accessible for everybody!

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I remember a time when I dreamed I could be myself whole heartedly and find a career that supported me throughout my life’s journey. So, now to sit comfortably, knowing I am growing into the person I always dreamed of becoming, by remaining dedicated to healing, growing and receiving the support to do so, how could I not want to give it my all, in supporting people doing the same.

The Savvy Trainer

In this short video, Savoy shares his passion for transforming active spaces!

Created and Directed by Love Intersections.

Member FAQs – COVID-19

By | Healthy Living

Updated on March 25, 2020

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In Canada, the public health risk associated with COVID-19 is low; however, it is imperative that as health and fitness leaders, we work towards protecting Canadian Fitness Professionals. It’s important as fitness professionals that we lead by example through maintaining our exercise regimes and healthy nutrition practices. We know this helps to support the immune system. Together, let’s encourage people to continue to work out and to pursue personal and professional fitness endeavors, while ensuring they are provided with correct information on how to protect themselves.

Because canfitpro’s number one priority is the safety and security of every canfitpro Member, Delegate, Participant, Associate, and Volunteer, we are working with all our partners to closely monitor the unfolding situation with COVID-19 and are following all available public health guidance to assure healthy and safety. To address questions that you may have or be asked about, we have prepared this “Frequently Asked Questions” with responses to provide all our Members with the most accurate information possible. When, and as circumstances change, additional guidance and direction will be offered via postings on our websites, social media outlets and other public releases.

My Course / Exam / CPR course was re-scheduled due to COVID-19, what do I do?

For new certification courses, you can re-book your course with us later in the year, free of charge. canfitpro will be immediately granting 60 day extensions to certification renewals that are due in March and April. With regards to exams, please note that theory and practical exams can be re-booked later in the year free of charge. 

Immediate extensions have been granted to complete certification courses and CPR courses can be re-booked, free of charge.  Your certification will not be affected if your CPR is delayed.

For course or exam re-bookings, kindly contact us April 1st or afterwards.

Will my upcoming course or exam be re-scheduled as a result of COVID 19?

All courses, exams and CPR courses that were scheduled to take place prior to May 17th, 2020 are being re-scheduled.  We will provide further updates on re-scheduled courses as they come available.  Please see below on what happens if your course or exam has been re-scheduled. 

Are there any resources to help continue my (and my clients') fitness education? Are these free? Or discounted?

Right now, you can take advantage of some of the free education and resources that canfitpro offers:

  • Review the canfitpro magazine – back issues are in your canfitpro member portal
  • Use Trainers+ to get ideas and create workouts for yourself and/or clients in our canfitpro member portal – canfitpro members receive a 40% discount
  • Watch webinars, interviews, and workouts on the canfitpro YouTube channel, where topics range from How to Run a Successful Personal Training Business to The Science of Yin Yoga

During this week canfitpro is offering a FREE CEC Quiz to our members; completion of this quiz will provide you with 1 CEC towards your certification(s) – use “quizcode1” to redeem for:

  • Cultivating Resilience (ID: 100024)
  • Cultiver la Résilience (ID: 100058)

 Start thinking of new ways to support clients virtually – here are credible and reliable fitness sources to share with your people!

 

Stress Resiliency

The global pandemic is causing unprecedented levels of stress across all groups of people.   

The canfitpro Stress Resiliency Course teaches how to ease stress and anxiety for yourself, and give you tools to help the people around you. Packed full of…

  • hours of guided meditations and activity recordings
  • journaling prompts
  • practical relaxation tools

All within a self-guided online learning platform. 4.0 CECs earned for PTS, FIS, and HWL upon completion.

Engage in professional development that will help you, your clients, and participants, emerge from COVID-19 with resiliency.

To support canfitpro members in accessing this course we are offering it for 50% off (regularly up to $129 +tax). Register through your canfitpro member portal using code: “STRESS” to receive your discount.

 

canfitpro Partners and PRO TRAINERS

Looking for best-in-class online workouts? Check out the canfitpro curated list of at-home exercise to help you, and your network, stay healthy:

 

Reach out to your clients and share value on social media. canfitpro endorses the following expert resources as the most reliable and credible fitness education.  Some of our partners are also offering education, at a discount, during this time.  We know that more are working to provide information soon to help you stay current.  

canfitpro is here for you. Keep watching canfitpro’s social media channels, and your inbox, for additional updates, information, and resources as we navigate the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.

What does canfitpro recommend fitness gyms, clubs, boutiques do to curb the spread of COVID-19?

This has been a very challenging time for everyone, especially those of us in the fitness industry who passionately serve Canadians.  Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been closely tracking its progression and following the advice of Canada’s health authorities.

As the virus continues to spread in communities across Canada, especially over the past 48 hours, we are seeing the need for further and more aggressive action to try and reduce the transmission of this virus.  

GoodLife Fitness and Fit4Less Clubs across Canada have made the difficult but important and necessary decision to close all their clubs across Canada, effective today, March 16, 2020.

As the leading global provider of fitness and wellness education, canfitpro empowers people to lead passionate and fulfilling lives through safe, fun and effective physical activity.  There is no moment in our history where that purpose is more important than today.  We encourage all clubs, studios and facilities within the country to follow the lead set by GoodLife and Fit4Less. It is an unfortunate but necessary thing to do.  canfitpro will continue to closely monitor the situation as it relates to our regional events and will provide updates relating to those events as they become available.  

For 27 years canfitpro has been a leading authority in the fitness industry and we would anticipate and hope the industry follow responsibly, the lead of GoodLife in closing fitness clubs, studios and facilities. 

We fully appreciate the financial difficulty that this poses to the industry however these same difficulties are imposed on the employees and all efforts should be made wherever possible to minimize the detrimental financial effects felt by those that are least able to deal with them.  We know that GoodLife has made the decision to continue to pay Associates for a period of time and while we cannot say what’s viable for your individual club(s), we hope that you take the well-being of your staff into consideration. 

We appreciate that this places a burden on all of our businesses as we deal with the situation with which we are presented. There’s no better time to work together as a community to create a positive and safe environment for you, your family, and your members’ and clients’ families.

Why is canfitpro East cancelled? 

Due to recent developments surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and based on the latest guidance and official announcements made by the Canadian government, it is with a heavy heart that canfitpro has made the necessary and difficult decision to cancel canfitpro East 2020, originally scheduled to take place on May 23 – May 24, 2020. 

At canfitpro, the health, safety, and well-being of Associates, Members, Delegates, Exhibitors, Sponsors, and Partners is our highest priority. Mindful of our duty of care, we want to act on what is in the best interest of our community. Although this is a disappointment, we look forward to hosting and celebrating future canfitpro East conferences and events with you, and we hope to see you at canfitpro Toronto 2020 this August! 

For those delegates who require continuing education credits (CECs) to maintain your certifications, canfitpro offers a variety of online courses that can be accessed through your member portal.   You will be offered a special extension if your certification expires as a result of not attending canfitpro East. Please stay tuned for additional options to obtain continuing education credits. 

We thank you for understanding the extreme difficulty of our position. It is your passion for health and fitness that helps make canfitpro events a success every year. And it is that same passion that will drive us into the future. 

Next Steps:  
Please remember to cancel any personal arrangements you’ve made, such as travel, restaurant, and housing reservations. You do not need to contact anyone at canfitpro to cancel your registrations and full refunds will be provided. Please note that canfitpro East 2020 will not be rescheduled. However, we hope to see you at canfitpro East 2021! 

Why is canfitpro Winnipeg cancelled?

Due to recent developments surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and based on the latest guidance and official announcements made by the Canadian government, it is with a heavy heart that canfitpro has made the necessary and difficult decision to cancel canfitpro Winnipeg 2020, originally scheduled to take place on April 4, 2020.

At canfitpro, the health, safety, and well-being of Associates, Members, Delegates, Exhibitors, Sponsors, and Partners is our highest priority. Mindful of our duty of care, we want to act on what is in the best interest of our community. Although this is a disappointment, we look forward to hosting and celebrating future canfitpro Winnipeg conferences and events with you, and we hope to see you at canfitpro Toronto 2020  this August!

 
For those delegates who require continuing education credits (CECs) to maintain your certifications, canfitpro offers a variety of online courses that can be accessed through your  member portal.   You will be offered a special extension if your certification expires as a result of not attending canfitpro Winnipeg. Please stay tuned for additional options to obtain continuing education credits.
 
We thank you for understanding the extreme difficulty of our position. It is your passion for health and fitness that helps make canfitpro events a success every year. And it is that same passion that will drive us into the future.
 
Next Steps: 
Please remember to cancel any personal arrangements you’ve made, such as travel, restaurant, and housing reservations. You do not need to contact anyone at canfitpro to cancel your registrations and full refunds will be provided. Please note that canfitpro Winnipeg 2020 will not be rescheduled. However, we hope to see you at canfitpro Winnipeg 2021!

Why is canfitpro Montreal cancelled?

Due to recent developments in the province of Quebec and based on the latest guidance and official announcements of Quebec’s Premier Francois Legault, it is with heavy heart that canfitpro has made the necessary and difficult decision to cancel canfitpro Montreal 2020, originally scheduled to take place March 27-29, 2020 in Montréal, QC, Canada.

At canfitpro, the health, safety and well-being of Associates, Members, Delegates, Exhibitors, Sponsors and Partners is our highest priority. Mindful of our duty of care, we want to act on what is in the best interest of our community. Although this is a disappointment, we look forward to hosting and celebrating future canfitpro Montreal conferences and events with you.

For those delegates who require continuing education credits (CECs) to main your certifications, canfitpro will follow up with options for online courses and will grant a special extension for members who certification might expire as a result of not attending canfitpro Montreal.

We thank you for understanding the extreme difficulty of our position. It is your passion for health and fitness that helps make canfitpro Montreal a success every year. And it is that same passion that will drive us into the future.

Next Steps

Please remember to cancel any personal arrangements you’ve made, such as travel, restaurant, and housing reservations. You do not need to contact anyone at canfitpro to cancel your registrations and full refunds will be provided. Please note that canfitpro Montreal 2020 will not be rescheduled. However, we hope to see you at canfitpro Montreal 2021!

Is the canfitpro head office open? How can I contact canfitpro?

Ensuring the safety of our associates and members is our top priority. We want to maintain our service as best as possible during this time. The canfitpro Home Office located at 110-225 Select Ave., Toronto, ON, M1X 0B5 is closed to the public due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) until further notice. Our phones will be closed until April 3, 2020. Our new member portal has been set up to help you manage your canfitpro account, including sending inquiries. You can still contact us by submitting a New Request through the “My Requests” section in the member portal or send an inquiry to info@canfitpro.com. We appreciate your continued patience while we diligently work to support all our members, PRO TRAINERs and customers. Please visit the canfitpro contact page for more information.

What is canfitpro doing in the wake of COVID-19?

canfitpro is following the recommendation of every major public health agency, including the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), to encourage all canfitpro Members, Delegates, Participants, Associates, PRO-TRAINERS, and Volunteers to regularly wash their hands using water and soap which is available at all of our events, workshops, classes, and in-person courses. This is the most effective way to reduce the spread of all communicable illnesses including COVID-19.

We are reminding canfitpro Members, Delegates, Participants, Associates, PRO-TRAINERS, and Volunteers to stay healthy and prevent the spread of infections by doing the following:

  • wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as per the PHAC’s recommended method of proper hand hygiene
  • avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • coughing or sneezing into their sleeve or tissues and not hands
  • staying home if sick to avoid spreading illness to others
  • maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing

What is canfitpro’s plan if a canfitpro Member, Delegate, Participant, Associate, PRO TRAINER or Volunteer is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Public Health Agencies have procedures in place to trace potential contact should an individual be diagnosed with COVID-19. If canfitpro is informed by these Agencies that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19, canfitpro will immediately and closely follow the direction given by the Agencies. This could include temporarily rescheduling courses or workshops.

What preventative measures is canfitpro taking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

canfitpro is following the recommendation of every major public health agency, including the Public Health Agency of Canada, to encourage canfitpro Members, Delegates, Participants, Associates, PRO-TRAINERS and Volunteers to regularly wash their hands using water and soap which is available at all of our venues. This is the most effective way to reduce the spread of all communicable illnesses including COVID-19. We are increasing education and awareness through signage, digital and verbal communications to further promote the PHAC’s hand hygiene guidelines.

During Events and In-Person Courses, we are advising limited physical contact:

  • When checking-in, your belongings will not be handled (e.g. key tags, lanyards, etc.)
  • Verbal direction and encouragement will be provided instead of physical contact during courses and workshops
  • At least 1 metre (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing, or sneezing will be maintained
  • Shaking hands will be avoided

canfitpro is closely monitoring information and recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada. We are sending out ongoing communication to keep our sanitization procedures as thorough as possible and to provide best practices in hand washing and respiratory hygiene. Should new information be shared by public health experts, we will re-evaluate and update our procedures, if needed.

I have just returned to Canada from a trip, do I need to self-quarantine?

canfitpro is following the travel guidelines of the Public Health Agency of Canada which can be located here. If any questions about your health while travelling or upon returning from a trip please immediately contact your health care professional (e.g. your doctor or local Public Health Authority) to seek advice. If you become sick while travelling, call ahead to a health professional to explain your symptoms. If you become sick upon your return, call your local Public Health Authority. They will provide advice on what you should do.

Should a canfitpro Member, Delegate, Participant, Associate, PRO TRAINER or Volunteer with flu-like symptoms attend Class or Event?

As usual, those with flu-like symptoms, who have not travelled internationally to an affected region, should stay at home. 

Those who have travelled to an affected region, or have had close contact with a person ill with COVID-19, should limit their contact with others for a total of 14 days from the date that they left the affected region or were in contact with a person ill with COVID-19. This means self-isolate and staying at home. In addition, they should contact their local public health authority within 24 hours of arriving in Canada. Travellers returning from other affected areas should monitor for symptoms. Those who develop symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) or any other symptoms within 14 days after returning to Canada, are advised to contact your health-care provider, or local health authority. Inform them about your symptoms and travel history. If you are not already isolated, self-quarantine yourself in your home.

Travellers returning from other affected areas should monitor for symptoms. Those who develop symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) or any other symptoms within 14 days after returning to Canada, are advised to contact Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000), your health-care provider, or local health authority. Inform them about your symptoms and travel history. If you are not already isolated, self-quarantine yourself in your home.

Will canfitpro’s Events, Conferences, and In-Person Courses still occur?

Yes, canfitpro is still planning for safe and successful Events, Conferences and Courses. There is a low risk of community transmission of COVID-19 in Canada. What we do know is that personal hygiene is of critical importance and we strongly encourage that people follow and implement the recommendations of public health agencies and continue to participate in the activities that make our world connected. The Toronto Medical Officer of Health is not recommending postponement of events or limiting places where people gather in large numbers. Should the situation change, we will provide advice on this website.

Will Delegates at canfitpro Conferences be screened for fever or other health symptoms?

There are no plans to screen individual delegates. Every delegate is encouraged to be diligent and proactive as to their own physical wellness as well as follow healthy habits to prevent passing the cold/flu to others.

Is there a GO / NO GO date for when canfitpro will decide to cancel a canfitpro Conference?

canfitpro is monitoring the situation daily and will make its decisions based upon the best available information and direction provided by government, public health and other decisional authorities.

What would it take to cancel a canfitpro Conference?

The safety and security of every canfitpro attendee, delegate, exhibitor, and associate and volunteer is priority number one for canfitpro, and all partners. We work to assure that priority is fulfilled and canfitpro will always make decisions that ensure the safety, security and success of everyone involved.

If a canfitpro Event and/or Conference is cancelled due to COVID-19, will canfitpro refund registrations?

Yes, canfitpro will issue a full refund in the amount paid should any event be cancelled by canfitpro. As long as canfitpro is moving forward with the Conference, those who choose to not attend will not receive a refund. A doctor’s note will be required if you want to get a refund if you are sick and unable to attend a canfitpro Event and/or Conference.

Top 4 Strategies for Fitness Professionals During COVID-19

By | Healthy Living

As Fitness Professionals, we know how important achieving and maintaining a healthy physical regime is, and we also understand how critically important mental and emotional health is. The COVID-19 global pandemic is causing unprecedented levels of stress across all groups of people and canfitpro is committed to supporting you and your clients.

Here are the four strategies to help you through these tough times.

1) MANAGE STRESS AND ANXIETY

Stress and anxiety over COVID-19 can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions for fear of an uncertain future. It’s okay to feel more anxious than usual. What’s important is to take time for yourself and to manage your mental well-being.

Some strategies to cope with COVID-19 include taking breaks from watching or listening to news stories; meditating and taking deep breaths; and eating healthy, well-balanced meals. Make time to unwind and talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling or simply to reach out and check-in with your loved ones.

canfitpro’s online Stress Resiliency Course is an added option as it teaches how to ease stress and anxiety for yourself, and give you tools to help the people around you. Included in this course are hours of guided meditations and activity recordings, journaling prompts, and practical relaxation tools. Upon completion of this course, 4.0 CECs will be earned for PTS, FIS, and HWL certifications.

To support canfitpro members during this time, we are offering 50% off this course (regularly up to $129+tax). Register through your canfitpro Member Portal using code “STRESS” to receive your discount.

2) CONTINUE YOUR FITNESS EDUCATION WITH FREE canfitpro ONLINE RESOURCES

Your role as a fitness professional is important now more than ever. canfitpro is committed to supporting your mission and purpose to educate and motivate your clients and members with the following free education and resources:

  • canfitpro magazine – back issues are in your canfitpro Member Portal
  • Watch webinars, interviews, and workouts on the canfitpro YouTube channel, where topics range from How to Run a Successful Personal Training Business to The Science of Yin Yoga

Until March 31, canfitpro is offering a FREE CEC Quiz to our members. Use discount code “quizcode1”.

  • Cultivating Resilience (ID: 100024)
  • Cultiver la Résilience (ID: 100058)

Upon successful completion of the quiz, you will receive one (1) CEC towards your certification(s).

3) USE DIGITAL TOOLS TO CONTINUE TO SERVE YOUR CLIENTS AND MEMBERS

For those with personal training clients and members, there are also digital options where one can build, deliver, and share a customized workout plan. Our favourite is TRAINER PLUS since it offers the first two workout plans for free. canfitpro members take 40% off the subscription price automatically when you log into your member portal.

4) SOCIAL DISTANCING DOESN’T HAVE TO MEAN SOCIAL ISOLATION

There are several digital solutions you have at our fingertips that can bring us together virtually. Hold your own virtual classes on Facebook, Instagram or a private platform such as Zoom or GO-TO meetings. This is a great way to keep you connected with your clients to help them stay healthy and active while at home. Just be careful when posting classes on social platforms that you’re abiding by the rules around the use of music. If in doubt, it’s best to leave music out so that you’re being compliant.

If you’re looking for best-in-class online workouts, check out the canfitpro curated list of at-home exercises to help you and your network stay healthy:

Build Better Workouts Using Positive Language With Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas

By | Healthy Living

Your clients are doing everything “right” and somehow, you know that when your back is turned, they jeopardize their success. 8 times International No.1 Bestselling Author Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas discusses the main problem that fitness professionals face with their clients as well as one technique you can use to help them achieve their goals.

In This Episode

1:00 – How Nathalie got started in the fitness industry and how this transitioned to neuro science

6:30 - The main problem that fitness professionals face with their clients

9:00 - What causes the problem of limiting beliefs

20:00 - The kind of language trainers should use with their clients

21:00 - One technique fitness professionals can use right away with their clients

24:00 – Nathalie discusses her thrilling sessions at canfitpro Montreal

Catch Nathalie at canfitpro Montreal with her sessions Transform Social Media Fans Into Paying Clients, Why Do Your Clients Self-Sabotage, Transform Into A Kick-Ass Version Of You and Don’t Be Just Be A Trainer. Be a Coach.

About Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas

Nathalie is the EXPERT with a PROVEN SYSTEM to get you transformational results. She is international No.1 Bestselling Author of fifteen books on success, communication, wellness and empowerment. She is the Founder and CEO of the THINK Yourself® ACADEMY, offering leading-edge courses, training and events.

Along the past 30 years, she has inspired over 100,000 audience members and empowered thousands of clients internationally to get rid of their negative self-talk. She combines over 10 years of experience in human resources, 25 years of experience in sales and over 30 years in the fitness industry. In 2007, she was "Fitness Instructor of the Year" for Canada.

Visit her website, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Heart Attack and Exercise

By | Healthy Living

By Igor Klibanov

Your client or someone you know had a heart attack. It’s now behind them and they want to get back to their daily life as fast as possible, and prevent that from ever happening again. The good news: they’re alive. The bad news: if they don’t change something about their life, the future isn’t bright.

  • They’ll be tired all the time, which could affect the amount of things they’re able to get done in their day.
  • A heart attack could change their heart’s rhythm, requiring regular trips to the cardiologist
  • They have a chance of suffering another heart attack in five years or less.

That’s if they don’t change something about their life. But, if they take their heart attack for what it is (a warning sign), and make some necessary changes, they can live a long and healthy life afterwards.

In this article, we’re going to cover:

  • Interesting statistics about heart disease in Canada
  • What happens to the body after a heart attack
  • The three factors that predict both the quality and quantity of life after a heart attack
  • How soon they should start exercising after a heart attack
  • How they should exercise differently if they’ve had a heart attack
  • One warning sign during exercise that tells you to stop the workout, and see a doctor immediately

Heart Disease in Canada

  • About one in 12 Canadians lives with heart disease. Chances are you either currently have, or at one point will have a client with heart disease.
  • Every five minutes, one Canadian with heart disease will die. This is where we shine as fitness professionals because much of heart. disease is preventable with a combination of exercise, proper nutrition, and sleep.
  • Of the people who are at risk for heart disease, 49% are at what’s considered to be “high risk” – the vast majority of those are over 40.

Fortunately, as fitness professionals, we can help prevent heart attacks with exercise and lifestyle modifications.

The Body after a Heart Attack

You live your life, humming along, your ticker is ticking and you never really think about how it works. Then, you have a heart attack. Your ticker stops ticking.

  • Part of the heart muscle dies, so that part can’t contract. If it can’t contract, it can’t deliver as much oxygen to the rest of the body. Cardiac output decreases by 30-50%.
  • The ejection fraction also decreases. Ideally, it’s 60%. After a heart attack, it can drop as low as 35% (so the heart pumps only 35% of the blood that it contains).
  • The part of the heart that was “attacked” (in medical terms, “infracted”) gets thinner and longer, so it can’t contract as hard.
  • Scar tissue develops in the heart. Scar tissue is strong, but it doesn’t allow for full expansion of the muscle. The heart, essentially, becomes stiffer.

As a result of this, quality of life certainly declines:

  • If your client was an active person before the heart attack, and liked to play tennis, hike, etc., their capacity to carry out those activities will be limited.
  • They’ll also have constant anxiety about another heart attack – not fun.
  • Any time they get chest pain, they might think another heart attack is coming on (and you, as the trainer will too).
  • They might get dizzy and sweat without much effort.
  • They might get pain or swelling in their legs.

…and other undesirable symptoms.

Fortunately, the more serious and aggressive they are about their recovery, the better their quality of life will be afterwards. It’s not inconceivable that with the proper approach, their life post heart attack may actually be better than their life before the heart attack.

Quality and Quantity of Life after a Heart Attack

After a heart attack, what people often want to know is, “how much do I have left to live?” and “what will my quality of life be like afterwards?” Valid questions.

Three factors that help answer those questions:

  1. Ejection fraction. As mentioned in the previous section, this is how much blood your heart pumps out with each beat. It should pump out 62% of its blood with each beat. The lower it is, the higher the probability of an early death, as well as poor quality of life.
  2. Degree of adequacy of blood supply to the heart (this is called “myocardial ischemia”). The less blood you get to the heart, the more likely you are to suffer an early death.
  3. The single best predictor of both quality and quantity of life after a heart attack: your cardiovascular fitness. In the cardiovascular research, they use a unit called METs – metabolic equivalents. If fitness is tested to be below four METs, the likelihood of early death is very high. I know that using METs is not helpful outside of a laboratory, so how does it convert to “real life?” If someone can’t walk at a pace of approximately four miles per hour (that’s a fast walk) for a prolonged period of time, well… that’s not good. Fortunately, improving endurance is where we, as fitness professionals, really shine.

While it’s still controversial whether exercise and nutrition has any effect on ejection fraction, what’s clear (and obvious) is that exercise and proper nutrition certainly help improve blood supply to the heart, and exercise is pretty much the only thing that can improve cardiovascular fitness, making it a first-line treatment post-heart attack.

Exercising after a Heart Attack

You know those old school recommendations of “oh, you had a heart attack – you should take it easy.” Better to do the opposite – get on the bike and start pedaling.

How long after a heart attack should someone start exercising? That’s what the researchers in this meta analysis wanted to find out. They accumulated studies that began exercise at four different time periods:

  • Evolving: under six hours after a heart attack
  • Acute phase: six hours-seven days after a heart attack
  • Healing phase: seven-28 days after
  • Healed phase: 29 or more days after

What the researchers found was that if exercise was initiated in the six hour-seven day period, people recovered much better than if they began after seven days.

According to the previous meta analysis, if exercise is begun six hours – seven days after a heart attack, the undesirable changes (weakening and stiffening of the heart) don’t occur to the same extent. Whereas, if someone waits for a month or more, some irreversible changes will have occurred by then, like the deposition of excess connective tissue on the heart, making it stiffer than before the heart attack.

The immediate question is “doesn’t exercise so soon after a heart attack increase the risk of another heart attack?” Fortunately, the researchers did not find that to be the case.

In the “clinical implications” of that meta-analysis, the researchers state that;

Most rehabilitation post-myocardial infarction [that’s medical terminology for heart attack] programs start at least four to six weeks after hospital discharge… early exercise training could attenuate left ventricular remodelling and improve cardiopulmonary capacity in patients with myocardial infarction after hospital discharge (around one week).

So, there you have it – you should be training clients within one week of having a heart attack (after getting the doctor’s clearance, of course).

How to Train after a Heart Attack

Now we know that you shouldn’t wait for a long time after a heart attack before exercising. But should you be taking it easy with your clients? Should you use a lower intensity?

The answer quite clearly is “no.” A higher intensity is actually required to have the beneficial effects on the heart. Translation: just going for a leisurely walk is not good enough (unless the walk makes your client huff and puff).

One study compared two exercise intensities: moderate intensity (65-85% of maximal heart rate), and high intensity (over 85% of maximal heart rate). What they found was that high intensity improved their cardiovascular fitness more than moderate intensity. But, this was more than one week after a heart attack.

In the initial period after a heart attack (up to one week), it’s better to do low to moderate intensity exercise and over time raise the intensity.

What about strength training? That’s what this study wanted to find out – should you just do cardio after a heart attack, or should you also do strength training? To answer that question, researchers divided participants into two groups:

  • Group 1: only cardio, at 65-85% of maximal heart rate
  • Group 2: cardio (same as above) plus strength training

The results: the group that did cardio AND strength training had improved ejection fractions. The group that did only cardio did not improve ejection fraction.

What should the duration of exercise be each time? Ideally, the answer comes from numerous studies that have done head-to-head comparisons of different exercise durations, like 30 minutes vs. 60, or 20 vs. 40, etc. Unfortunately, such a study has not yet been done (at least to my knowledge). But, the studies that do show improvements in cardiovascular health after a heart attack had people exercising for 20-60 minutes.

The frequency recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is at least times per week.

In summary, exercise prescription after a heart attack is as follows:

  • Type: cardio and strength training
  • Intensity:
    • For cardio: over 65% of your maximal heart rate
    • For strength training: 30-70% of your maximum
  • Duration: 20-60 minutes
  • Frequency: Four times per week

Perhaps, as more research becomes available, these recommendations will change, but as it stands right now, this is the gold standard.

A Word of Warning

Your client is now on their way to better heart health, so they’re exercising on a regular basis, using the guidelines put forth in this article. But, there is one thing to be very cautious about: their blood pressure (BP).

BP should rise during exercise. That’s normal, and in fact, desirable. It should not shoot through the roof, but it should rise (the degree of the rise will depend on the intensity). The problem happens if it actually fails to rise, or even falls. If this happens, you should stop the workout, and have your client go to see a doctor immediately.

If you’d like to learn specifically how to exercise if your client has high blood pressure (including one little-known exercise that drops blood pressure 15/7 mmHg with just eight minutes per day, three days a week), and heart-healthy foods, you can download the special report here.

About Igor Klibanov

Igor Klibanov is the author of five books on fitness and nutrition, as well as the CEO of one of Toronto’s premier personal training companies, Fitness Solutions Plus. He was selected as one of the top five personal trainers in Toronto by the Metro News newspaper, and has performed approximately 400 speaking engagements, many of which have been to some of Canada’s largest corporations (including RBC, IBM, Intact Insurance, and others).

Additionally, he has multiple programs for personal trainers to enhance their skills and is a regular speaker at various personal training conferences, including can

Exercise Can Help Prevent Dementia

By | Healthy Living

By Holly Klamer

There is no known cure or prevention yet for Alzheimer’s disease and other cases of dementia. As it happens, it’s quite difficult to know these aspects when the sources and causes have remained unknown. But, based on research, there are ways that one can lower the risks of developing dementia as time passes by.

Introduction to Dementia

Dementia, by definition as per Alzheimer’s Association, is basically an overall term for diseases or conditions that involve the apparent decline of one’s brain functions. These may include language, memory, skills, and other things that may affect the ability to perform day-to-day activities. With this at hand, Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common causes of dementia.

About 60 to 80 percent of cases of dementia are related to memory loss, as suggested by the same organization. But, even so, there are still other causes that can be accounted for dementia.

According to the World Health Organization, about 50 million individuals of today’s population are living with dementia. It is also projected for the number to increase by three times in the next few decades. This is why awareness and comprehension of the condition are largely emphasized in recent times, both inside and outside dementia care homes for seniors. In other words, dementia is a “public health priority.”

Cure and Prevention

While science and technology have been improving and advancing as time passes by, there is no known cure yet for dementia. As per NHS, it is “unlikely” that there will be a single cure for the condition. This is because the causes are either unknown or too many to regard.

Whatever the case, though, experts continue to seek for answers toward finding the cure. There are several studies today that are actually making huge improvements, as attested by the same platform. But, among all of the studies, it has been found that there are practical ways to lower and decrease the risks of having dementia.

These ways normally involve lifestyle habits, health care, and holistic care for self-improvement. And above all of the aspects, exercise became the most significant practice to decrease the risk of dementia.

Exercise Helps Prevent Dementia

It is worth noting that there is a huge difference between ‘exercising that prevents dementia’ and ‘exercising that helps to stay physically fit’. Although many are looking forward to learning more about the former, case studies and research today are more inclined toward the latter.

Apparently, several studies have concluded that exercises and physical activities can help prevent dementia.

Exercising Affects Brain Metabolism

In a study conducted at Goethe University Frankfurt, researchers concluded that exercising affects brain metabolism. It is found that regular physical activities “prevented” the increase of choline.

As established, choline is a metabolite that normally shows an increase in concentration, especially when the patient has Alzheimer’s disease. This is because the rise in the concentration of choline is a result of an increase in the loss of nerve cells.

The study has proven that exercising daily “led” to a more stable choline concentration. As a result, cells are protected, which only goes to show that exercising impacts brain metabolism.

Exercising Increases Blood and Oxygen Flow

Dementia Care Central recently released a series of notes on how to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related conditions. The most apparent point on the list is physical activity and exercise.

Based on the platform’s assertions, having a healthy brain makes it much harder for Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia to happen. The reason being is that regular exercise increases the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the brain and the body.

As a result, abnormal brain changes and cognitive impairment are less likely to happen, the same way the physical body can protect itself from diseases through exercise. This is why many assisted living facilities always include physical activities and exercises in their daily schedules.

Exercising Prevents Brain Aging

As people age, the risks of having dementia increases. While it is not deemed normal for dementia to happen to seniors, the trend shows that dementia is more rampant to older individuals.

The most probable reason behind this is due to the fact that, as you age, the brain also ages. This means that impairment and decline are much more apparent.

But, in the study titled Physical Exercise As A Preventive or Disease-Modifying Treatment of Dementia and Brain Aging, it has been concluded that regular exercise can naturally slow down brain aging. It is also contended that people who have dementia, but regularly exercise, had significantly reduced the rate of mortality.

Best Exercises to Help Prevent Dementia

There are several exercises and physical activities that one can do to help prevent dementia. But, among all, here are the best ones:

  •         Restorative Yoga
  •         Walking
  •         Functional Training
  •         Aquatic Exercise
  •         Gardening
  •         Tai Chui

It is also noted by many experts that doing these activities two to three times per week can already offer significant results.

Final Thoughts

All in all, dementia, along with all the other diseases that fall under the umbrella condition, is truly challenging and even daunting. Thankfully, experts of today are eager to solve the never-ending problem of this condition. As a result, preventive measures and possible beneficial practices to decrease the risk are now being discovered.

About Holly Klamer

This post was written by Holly Klamer. She loves to write on issues related to memory care facilities  for seniors, assisted and senior living  and retirement, and is a frequent contributor on many blogs and online publications.

Meet our Members: Richard Bent, CPT

By | Healthy Living

Chemo made me feel very fatigued. Radiation caused pain and inflammation making it hard some days to just move. Cancer, at any stage, can wreak havoc on the body and mind. It’s very easy for a patient to stay in bed or on the couch all day, but cancer has become my reason to train.

My name is Richard Bent, CPT and soon to be certified Cancer Exercise Trainer (CET) in Toronto.

I have always had an interest in weight training from an early age. I used to go to the gym and didn’t really know what I was doing, but I would do it anyway. My diet was horrible. I loved fast food and junk food, so I was always the biggest kid in class. I was overweight for most of my youth into adulthood which affected my self confidence and caused some anxiety.

In 2015, I began noticing some blood in my stool and I was having a weird feeling in my stomach that would come and go. I went to a doctor to get checked and he turned me away. I didn’t fit the “profile” of someone with a problem he said, so I left it alone. I eventually cleaned up my lifestyle, nutrition, and began training smarter. I lost over 60 pounds and I was in the leanest shape of my life. I developed a passion for fitness and would also become a certified PT.

In the summer of 2017, I began to feel a “bump”. I didn’t think anything of it at first as the feeling would come and go. That gradually turned into a recurring pattern of diarrhea followed by constipation. By late 2017, I knew something was definitely wrong, so I insisted on having a colonoscopy. When I woke up from the anaesthesia the doctor asked to see me in his office. He showed my wife and I an image of the tumour he found. We were both stunned and speechless at first. As we left the building, I lit a cigarette. I took three drags, each time the image of the tumour would flash in my mind, and I threw it away. Just like that, after 24 years, I would never have a craving for nicotine again. I quit smoking that day, about 10 minutes after a colorectal tumour was confirmed.

My oncologist estimates that the tumour could have began developing up to 10 years earlier, with no genetic association. Ten years prior my lifestyle involved alcohol and cigarettes daily, sometimes with no food. When I did eat, it was processed foods and high amounts of sugar that caused obesity and bouts of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. I would lose weight and gain weight quickly, and I suffered with migraines. In short, for many decades, I had abused my body and neglected my health. In hindsight, it should not have been a surprise that my extreme lifestyle would somehow catch up with me.

Chemo and radiation didn’t bother me right away. I would go to the gym after my treatments and I was feeling pretty good. After about half of my treatments were complete, I noticed the fatigue and inflammation start to set in. Training became harder and more of a struggle each time toward the end. Regardless, I kept working out and made my way through therapy with minimal side effects and no extra medications.

In 2018 I would have surgery to remove my rectum and all of the cancer. I developed an infection at the surgical site which left me literally bed ridden for three months. During that time, I lost about 20 pounds of muscle and gained about the same in fat. I also had an ostomy bag. I hated the bag! But, more than anything, I hated the timing. At 44, I was too young, too active, and too healthy otherwise to live as someone who is sick or old. I was angry. Socially, I shut down and lost some relationships and damaged others.

My ostomy was reversed a year later. My recovery is going well thanks to the support of my amazing wife, family, and friends who all encourage me to go after my fitness goals. My recent scans have all come back negative. Physically, I am still working to return to that lean person I was just before my diagnosis. I currently train with cancer patients and survivors along with their support groups for better health.

Fitness is a journey. There will be set backs, but we keep moving forward. When we are feeling depressed and we feel like we have no goals or ambition, we keep moving forward. When we feel that life has dealt us a bad hand, whatever the situation may be, we keep moving forward. Get after it every single day! I gain inspiration and motivation from seeing others step up to face their challenges head on. I’m hoping that my story raises awareness of the symptoms of colon cancer and inspires others to live their strongest life.

COPD and Fitness

By | Healthy Living

By Becky Zucco, RCEP

COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It is a slowly progressive respiratory disorder that causes the airways of the lungs to be inflamed and become “obstructed” or blocked.

COPD is estimated to affect 2.6 million Canadians. Primarily caused by cigarette smoke, COPD ‘lung attacks’ are the number one cause of hospital admissions in Canada, costing the Canadian healthcare system 1.5 billion annually. (Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists, 2019)

Common symptoms include:

  • Activity related shortness of breath, which is the main symptom
  • Persistent cough
  • Phlegm production
  • Frequent colds and respiratory tract infections

COPD is a preventable and treatable disease. However, less than 1% of Canadians with COPD have access to formal Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs due to barriers faced by patients or within the healthcare system.

WE CAN HELP!

As exercise professionals we need to be more aware of COPD and know how we can help. Individuals with mild to moderate COPD adapt to their breathlessness by becoming less active, however it is vital they maintain an active lifestyle to prevent their health declining, and reduce clinic visits.

Training a client with COPD

The goals are to motivate self-efficacy in a continued active lifestyle, improve quality of life, and reduce risk of an exacerbation (lung attack) or injury through falling due to muscle dysfunction or instability.

  • Be aware of increased breathlessness on exertion
  • Clients with COPD need supervision, their oxygen saturation may be lower than a healthy client
  • Functional movements and exercises are the most important to enable clients to continue carrying out everyday tasks unassisted
  • The Pursed Lip breathing technique should always be used during exercise (see below)
  • Exhaling is always done on exertion

As always, you MUST use your judgement to decide if an exercise is right for an individual. Realize a person’s balance, stability, strength, endurance, disease severity, comorbidities, environment, and equipment will all have to be taken into consideration when designing a program.

Note: always ensure your client has medical clearance for exercise.

Do not underestimate how important your motivation and advice on lifestyle and behaviour change is to a successful program and improving the lives of those living with COPD.

To learn more about working with those with COPD visit www.expandcourses.com

About Becky Zucco

Becky Zucco is a clinical exercise physiologist specializing in COPD and cancer, with over 25 years in her field. She has written and developed education courses on chronic disease prevention and created Project Move for primary schools. She understands the powerful effect of movement on the body and mind, and how human behaviour can be influenced to achieve significant improvement in health.

Live Your Passion in 2020 – Here’s How

By | Healthy Living

When you hear the word “passion” what comes over you?

When I hear the word passion I don t have so much a thought as I do an emotional reaction; it’s what gets me up in the morning and drives me to do what I do.  Passion is much more than just a feeling.  It is an energy that gives you the power to act as a result of focusing on what excites you and gives you a reason to keep learning, and working towards your goals. To live your passion you must find a way to live in alignment with what achieves your purpose.   Purpose is the ability to lead with your unique strengths, to serve the world in a way that makes you have been alive matter and your life making a difference in the world. All leaders will say that everyone needs a guiding direction.  If this direction is the result of a true passion that can translate into worthwhile action seeking to bring about change for the better, then you are living your purpose.  Whatever way (passion or purpose) leads you in your life, leaders need to gain awareness, build belief and exercise creativity in order to continually fuel their passion and strengthen their purpose.  Here’s how—Step 1: Gaining Awareness.

Gaining Awareness: Is knowing and understanding what is working both for and against you in each area of your life—body (health and fitness), mind and emotions (beliefs), relationships, family, social (friends, fun), spirituality (religion, meditation), money/finances and business/career.  This starts with a self-inventory of your life and while this may sound like a daunting task to undertake I would recommend that you keep it simple.   Choose two to three areas in the seven areas (above) that you wish to focus on and that will make the biggest positive impact in your life this year.  To gain ‘2020 vision’ (clarity of vision), look at what is directly in front of you—the good, the bad and the ugly. Then ask yourself what you need to do to manage or even change what is not working and how to leverage what is working so that you have more space and energy for more of the good in your life.  Think of this the same way you would purging your pantry to remove all of the unhealthy foods so to make space for healthy foods you choose to replace the bad with.  A simple way to get this exercise started is with a contrast list.  You will need one piece of paper that you can physically work with.  To start draw a vertical line down the center of the page.  On the left side write down all the things that you no longer like, want or need in your life.  Complete this side of the page first.  Move to the right side of the page and for each item on the left, write down a ‘contrasting’ need or want to replace it with. Work down the list filling the page with everything that you want, like or need to focus on for 2020.  Complete this contrasting exercise focusing on the two to three areas you have chosen to focus on for this year.  You may wish to complete one page for each area or combine all areas on one page.  Once you have completed this exercise cut the page in half (along the vertical line your drew on the page) and toss the left side away ‘letting it go’ from your mind. Take the right side of the page and move to step 2: Building Belief.

Building Belief: Belief is an acceptance that a statement is true.  It is also defined as trust, faith or confidence in someone or something.  In order to seize the year and advance to the next level in your life, you must believe— not in what you want, but why you deserve what it is that you seeking —those things that you wrote down on the right side of your page in the contrasting exercise in step 1 above.  It is critical that you focus intently on the things you want, envisioning with ’2020 vision’ how this success will look, be and feel when you achieve it.  In order for your belief to be high, your passion must be higher and the only way to have massive amounts of passion is through seeking out experiences.  Think back to your last successful experience or that moment you achieved something that you were striving for.  What was it? How did it make you feel?  What was your energy like?  On a level of 1 to 10, what was your belief level?  If you are able to recall this moment of success easily then I’m confident that your belief was high (8 to 9 out of 10).  Reflect back on the journey that got you to that success.  What did it take for you to achieve this?  What did you have to change, overcome and focus intently on to get you there?    I am quite certain that within this reflection you admitted it required you to find ways around obstacles by seeing them as opportunities instead of roadblocks and approaching them from all angles for better problem-solving.  This leads us to step 3: Exercise Creativity.

Exercising Creativity:  Creativity makes life infinitely more interesting and fulfilling.  Often we think of creativity as making something, when in fact, its far more about living life in a way that celebrates originality and uniqueness.  It’s also about finding new and different ways around obstacles by seeing them as opportunities, not roadblocks and approaching them with optimism and excitement.  Engaging in the creative process is also a great confidence builder because we discover that failure is part of the process.  By seeing that failure is survival-able, we become better able to release fear and try new things without worrying so much about the outcome.  Creativity is a skill that needs development with practice.  Go back to step 1 above and review the list of things that you wrote down that you would like, want and achieve more of in 2020.  Further, expand on this list with your new skill of creativity understanding that as you develop this skill you will expand your mind and feel your passion soar.

LIVE Your Passion 2020 is canfitpro’s theme for this year and I invite you to adopt this theme as your own personal vision and take the necessary steps to gain awareness, build belief and exercise creativity, so as to ensure you achieve your goals and soar in your success.  All the best!

Self-Talk: Coach Yourself to Better Exercise Habits

By | Healthy Living

By Leah Staff

Check in to see if your internal conversations frame exercise as a chore, or even a punishment.

About Leah Staff

Leah Staff is a communications consultant, wellness expert, and 25 year veteran of the wellness industry whose corporate programs have achieved national award-winning success. As an educator, presenter and coach, Leah helps people talk with people.

Website: www.staffcommunications.ca
Twitter@StaffLeah
LinkedIn: www.linkedin/leahstaff