It seems fitting to start the New Year with one final look back at the old year. In today’s column, we have Part 2 of my Yearly Top 10 list of the most popular Fitness Solutions columns of 2022. To say that it makes me proud to look back at the people and topics that I’ve covered over the last 12 months would be an understatement. I hope that you enjoy taking one final look back at the year that was along with me.
1- Gabe’s goals. Readers fell in love with Gabriel Nunes; a newcomer to Canada from Brazil who did not speak English and found himself drawn to weightlifting during the pandemic.
“Weight training provided me with a huge mental lift during lockdowns. I wasn’t in school and daily life was disrupted. Being devoted to something meaningful that I was passionate about gave me some structure and ‘something’ to do. I arranged to train alone in a commercial gym that was closed and then bought some basic equipment for my home and converted the basement into a powerlifting studio. When there wasn’t much to look forward to, I was always excited to workout and share my experience online with others. As a result, training with weights has completely changed my life. I was always a skinny kid with no confidence who felt intimidated around bigger guys, so I learned how to eat better and was able to gain significant weight. I experimented with weight machines and dumbbells and eventually I discovered barbell training and powerlifting which has become my sport of choice.
“Currently, I am enrolled in the Health, Wellness and Fitness program at Mohawk College and I’m hoping to attend McMaster University to study Kinesiology. I would love to coach and help others change their lives like I was able to do.”
2- Answer the call workout. In this column, I outlined the 6 pieces of a fitness plan that are most significant for a mature adult to focus on to be able to “answer the call” when it comes to taking part in a sport or recreational activity. They were; cardiovascular exercise, high intensity anaerobic training, leg power and strength, core stabilization, upper body pushing and pulling moves and rotational exercise.
3- Too fit to fracture. In November, I had the opportunity to attend a training program for health and fitness professionals who work with clients at risk of developing osteoporosis or who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia. The program was called Bone Fit; a comprehensive and practical workshop covering safe exercise prescription and adaptation. The exercise component of the Bone Fit program is called “Too Fit to Fracture” (TFTF). In the program, there are a number of exercise components that are emphasized; strength training, balance exercise, postural awareness, spinal strengthening and spine sparing exercise and aerobic training. The program emphasizes a holistic approach towards maintaining bone health while adapting the activities of daily living to make them safer and more manageable.
The therapeutic goal of the Bone Fit program, therefore, is to slow down the loss of bone once it has begun and to enhance strength, balance and agility in an effort to decrease the risk of falls and fractures.
4- Reading is a workout for the brain. Going beyond the physical aspects of health and fitness, I presented a reading list made up of my favourite books that I’ve read over the past couple of years. While some were educational, some were fun and some were thrilling, they were all thought provoking. One book, however, checked every box and was my favourite;
“The Body: A Guide for Occupants” by Bill Bryson: This might be the most fascinating book that I have ever read. Bryson acts as a tour guide making his way through the various systems of the body while delving into medical history and providing descriptions of various medical procedures and surgical techniques from the past; the details of which are more terrifying than anything Stephen King could dream up. I could not recommend it more highly.
5- Sneaky ways to get in more exercise. As a personal trainer, I work with a wide range of clients. Some are extremely fit and looking for help to achieve specific goals. More often, however, I work with people who are out of shape and just don’t know how to get started. They may not even like exercise, but, appreciate that they would benefit from moving a little bit more. For those people, here are 7 simple ways to sneak exercise and activity into their daily lives without too much effort:
1-Count your steps, 2-Indulge in fitness snacks throughout the day, 3-Get active while watching TV, 4-Walk after eating, 5- Sit up straighter, 6-Upgrade your walks with strength training, 7-Make life inconvenient, on purpose.