Tuesday, December 21, 2010


With the holiday season, it’s easy to over indulge in all the delicious food.

Here’s some smart eating tips:

Aim for 5 or 6 evenly spaced meals a day. This isn’t just for the holidays. Not only is this the best way to burn fat but helps to maintain muscle.

Eat a good portion of vegetables and stay away from the processed foods, white bread & pasta.

Limit the booze. Alcohol intake can quickly add hundreds of calories. Try and cut back on those special drinks and sodas (regular or diet). You’d have to do 2,100 Jumping jacks just to burn off one 8 oz glass of eggnog – that’s 35 minutes worth!

Drink water. Drinking a glass just before the big meal will help to curb your appetite. Besides, water optimizes kidney function and maintains skin and heart health.

Wait a good 20 minutes before going for a second helping. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to realize that the stomach is full.

Remember – all things in MODERATION. If your Aunt keeps hounding you to grab seconds – politely decline. Offer to take a goody bag home instead.

Eating is contagious so hang out with talkers rather than eaters. You'd have to jog for 5 miles to burn off one quiche or fried pork dumpling!

Weight loss doesn’t come in a bottle so don’t rely on over-the-counter weight-loss supplements – they do NOT work. Your wallet/purse is already drained so don’t waste your money!

Stick with your exercise program. Don’t fall into a rut. This is a good time to take a bit of time off so you don’t overtrain. If you been procrastinating, it’s time to start a fitness plan.

The point of holiday gatherings is to celebrate good food and memorable times. Mingle with friends and loved ones instead of pigging out. If you do overdo it, don’t stress. Try and catch up on your sleep, go get a massage, go for a skate or ski.

This is a special time of the year. Enjoy it with your friends and family.

Wishing you all the best this Holiday Season!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thanks for attending MDJJ Bowling Nite!

Thanks to everyone who attended Minh Duc Jiu Jitsu's Bowling Nite on Saturday December 4th.
It was a blast!

A special thank-you to Special Agents #1 and #2 for all their help!

fyi: Monday Jiu Jitsu classes starts at 6:30pm at the Chinese Cultural Centre.
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lest We Forget - Remembrance Day

Take the time this November 11th to join in a Remembrance Day ceremony. Many young men & women died so that you and your family could live in freedom. The least we could do is brave the weather for an hour to commemorate the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month for those who made the ultimate sacrifice. In honor of Remembrance Day, there will be no Bootcamp that day.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Your Brain and Exercise

With a new school year upon us, homework, school activities, computer and alone time seem to take precedent. With 16% of school children now classified as overweight, regular exercise is more important than ever. It’s surprising that current guidelines recommend that children engage in at least 1 hour of physical activity daily but only 6% to 8% of primary and secondary schools provide daily physical education (PE).

Did you know that;

- Fewer than one in four students gets at least 30 minutes of daily exercise?

- School-age kids and teens spend an average of 4.8 hours per day on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games?

Yikes! I’d like to share with you an interesting article that the CBC news (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) put out about a High School in Saskatoon that put treadmills and exercise bikes into a math classroom. Students did 20 minutes of cardio before class.

An interesting point is that this school is for those with learning difficulties, with over half the students having ADHD. They couldn't sit still, many had behavioral problems, and couldn't learn. With the cardio equipment in the classroom, most of the kids had jumped a full grade in reading, writing and math in one semester. Plus their attention span increased from 10 minutes to 3 hours!

The exercise altered their brain chemistry enough to make learning possible, AND it greatly improved their behavior. Exercise is food for the brain,” says Dr. John Ratey of Harvard University. Studies show that exercise builds new brain cells in the part of the brain that helps with memory and learning, he added.

If you want to hear more about the CBC report on exercise and the Saskatoon school’s pilot project click here Brain gains.

As a teenager, many students are overworked at school and overstressed at home. They engross their spare time on facebook, television and video games. Encouraging exercise helps to overcome the stress of growing up and adds energy, confidence and makes you feel good.

Exercise is just one part of maintaining a healthy body weight and a fit mind. Nutrition plays an important part. Did you know that certain foods help your grey matter? Eating fish helps prevent stroke. Eating steak helps to reduce brain shrinkage. Blueberries helps shield your brain from stress. And kids of all ages should stay away from diet soda – the aspartame is linked to headaches – which may increase migraines and have no nutritional value.

The best results come from a long-term strategy involving a permanent change in both eating and activity habits. It is important to make physical activity a priority for both you and you children. The more active the exercise the better. The human body was meant to move and physical activity should be part of your life.

Strive for an overall plan to increase your health, fitness, well-being and quality of life. Creating an exercise habit starts with you!

8th Annual Dougy Golf Tourney Thank you!

I’d like to thank everyone who helped support the 8th Annual Dougy Golf Tournament for the ALS Society of Manitoba on Saturday.

Winning team: Brian, Wayne, Dylan, Chad.
Closest to pin hole#3: Rod
Longest Drive hole #4: Tara
Putting Contest: Steve
50/50 draw winner: Wayne

A special thanks to the prize sponsors: BDO Chartered Accountants, Canada Post, RCS Insurance, Horizon Leipsic Insurance, Instabox, MediVan, Oreck Canada, Ceva Logistics, Purolator Courier, Sameday Courier, and Royal Bank of Canada,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

8th Annual Dougy Golf Tournament

8th Annual DougY Golf Tournament
September 18, 2008 (Saturday)
2695 Inkster Avenue
start time: 4:00 pm
Cost $30 per person
Includes 9 holes of Golf - Texas Scramble (best ball)
** Prizes **
BBQ & PARTY (right after the Golf)

Charity Sponsored: ALS Society of Manitoba
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease is a fatal neuromuscular disease.

Everyone is welcomed – however space is limited. Advance payment required. *
Contact: Doug at 837-6767 or 771-0061
or email at dynabody@gmail.com

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stay Hydrated – Water is critical for Body Health

Water is the critical component to overall body health. Failing to keep hydrated will have a negative impact on almost every function of your entire body. Your body is made up of about 75% water. 85 % of our brains are made up of water. Lean muscle tissue is 70% water. 
 Water does not contain a single calorie – yet it is the most important nutrient. Water is necessary for your survival. Water keeps all the cells in your body nourished. Water also conducts electricity – which is the main element to keep your heart pumping. You can survive for a long time without food, but without water you would die in a few days. Water is essential for muscle building. In addition, intense training can put unwanted stress on your joints and connective tissue. 
Water is important to physical performance. A 4% drop in your hydration can lead to a 20% decrease in muscle contractions. Not only will water increase your strength, but it helps to prevent injuries during exercise. Water helps to lubricate the synovial fluid in the joints and forms a protective “cushion” around them. Want some more reasons to drink water? In a University of Washington study, One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term Memory. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%., and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer. 
 Dehydration – occurs when the body’s water level drops below that required for adequate circulation and normal body function. Symptoms of dehydration include: face flushes, you stop sweating, skin turns cold, you become weak, dizzy and tired, your muscles cramp and head hurts. 
 Dehydration is the # 1 reason for day time fatigue. Plus, as you age you tend to dry out. 75% of North Americans are chronically dehydrated. Many of those mistake dehydration for hunger. If dehydrated, your body will selectively take water from areas that are less important for survival – such as your joints, spinal disks and gums. Dehydration thickens the blood, making it concentrated and results in excess strain on the heart. Not drinking enough liquid reduces blood flow to the digestive system – inducing nausea and discomfort. 
 Do you complain about low-back pain? The disks in your lumbar spine uses water volume as hydraulic support for the weight of the upper body. Dehydrated disks flatten and causes the vertebrae to become in-stable and results in low-back pain. It is important that you do not drink too much water. Although rare, Hyponatremia or Water Intoxication happens when you drink excessive amounts of water which dilutes the salt content in your blood. 
The human body needs about two litres of water per day. A general rule to calculate the amount of water to drink is to divide your weight by 2 which equals the number of ounces of water to drink per day. While exercising, take three to four sips of water every 10 minutes if possible, or five to six swallows every 15 minutes. 
One pet peave I have is the complaints about tap water and the over abundant waste from bottled water. People are being seduced that bottled water is the key to health and well being. Bottled water is not necessarily cleaner or safer than most tap water in North America. The very high-quality water coming out of our taps is easy on the environment and our pocket books. Canada’s drinking water is strictly regulated for quality. 
 Tap water is disinfected with chlorine to kill bacteria and viruses that can cause serious illness and death. The chlorination of drinking water has virtually eliminated typhoid fever, cholera, and many other waterborne diseases from the western world. Tap water may sometimes look or taste differently, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t safe. I keep a jug of tap water in the fridge and refill water bottles regularly. By keeping the bottle in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours any chlorine taste will dissipate. "20/20" took five bottles of national brands of bottled water and a sample of tap water from a drinking fountain in the middle of New York City and sent them to the University of New Hampshire to test for bacteria, There was no difference between the New York City tap water and the bottled waters evaluated. And in a blind taste test bottled water was not superior than tap water. 
 In The US, tap water is regulated US Environmental Protection Agency, where as bottled water is regulated by the Food & Drug Administration. Tap water must be filtered and /or disinfected whereas no requirements are necessary for bottled water. Tap water is tested by certified labs whereas such testing is not required for bottlers. There are strict reporting requirements of test results for tap water – none for bottlers. Disinfectant is not present in bottled water, whereas chlorine is used in tap water to kill bacteria. 
 Did you know it takes 3 litres of fresh water to produce 1 litre of bottled water? Bottled water is a huge cost in wasted resources. The energy cost of producing a plastic bottles from by-products of crude oil, transporting the water and then disposing of the containers in landfill sites make bottled water one of the most wasteful luxuries. 
 It doesn’t matter if you prefer bottled water or tap water, during the hot summer months it is even more important to drink enough water. Before drinking your morning cup of coffee, drink a glass of water to help keep you hydrated. 
 If you haven’t been drinking enough water here’s some benefits you may notice: In 24 hours Energy levels increase by 8 % In 72 hours Blue moods left and sleep improves In one week chronic back pain ends In 2 weeks Joint Pain eases In 3 weeks Peptic ulcers heal. *First Magazine Aug.20, 2007. In the light of the increased hype of 'special' water preparations, it is important to take notice that there are definite and proven health benefits from simply drinking more water. Changing your fluid intake from coffee, tea, sport drinks and alcohol to mineral or tap water will help keep your body running at it peak performance through out the day.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


It is with a heavy heart that I announce the peaceful passing of long-time friend Brian Cava on June 2nd, 2010 after a short but courageous battle with ALS. Brian was diagnosed with ALS - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) last year and became a patient of the Brummitt Feasby ALS on his birthday – January 15th.

The ALS Society of Manitoba will be having it’s annual Walk for ALS Saturday, June 12, at 10:00 a.m. at Assiniboine Park. Money raised in the Walk for ALS not only goes towards research to find a cure for ALS, it also helps to provide support services to families affected by ALS.

Winnipeg's walk is a family and pet (on leash) friendly event that includes clowns, face painters and much, much more. Don't miss your chance to support this very worthy cause while having a great time of family fun. For more information check out the ALS Website: Walk for ALS

Sunday, March 7, 2010


It’s quite surprising the number of people who do exercises that are considered high risk or “No-No’s” for the average individual. If your doctor gave you wrong or outdated information it would be considered malpractice. In the gym, it seems to be standard operating procedure.

It’s bad enough I see people walk in to the gym ignore the cardio equipment and go right into a cold set of heavy weight bench presses. On any given day I can count the number of people that (1) Use incorrect exercise form (2) use inappropriate exercise selection (3) do ineffective Exercise Programs and (4) Some Stupid things that really don’t make much sense.

Contraindicated Exercises are those that pose a high-risk to joint structure, soft tissue injury, or other risks (heart attack, stroke, etc) and should be considered off-limits. Exercise technique has to do with safety and a results oriented program based on the training goal, the individual, joint mechanics and human anatomy.

There is no such thing as one size fits all. You have to realize that just because someone does an exercise doesn’t make it right. There are a number of exercises that are not appropriate while others can be slightly modified to lower risk of injury.

Here are some Controversial Resistant Training Exercises:

Performing chest presses or flyes too deep decreases the ability of the pectoralis major to produce muscular force. The muscle cannot generate enough force and is held together by weaker shoulder muscles & ligaments. Hyperextension of the shoulder causes shoulder joint injury. This mechanical disadvantage of going beyond the midpoint of your body contributes to rotator cuff injury & anterior shoulder instability

A common exercise, the Upright Row has a high-risk to benefit ratio. Poor alignment of the wrists, elbows, shoulders and upper trapezius muscles are poorly aligned against the force of weight being lifted. Drawing weight to the chin causes the elbow flexors to be extremely inward rotated, plus the weight is too heavy for the shoulder’s external rotators.

Alternative: Shrugs for scapular elevation and Dumbbell Press Overhead for upward scapular rotation.

Behind the Neck Cable Pull Downs excessively flexes the neck & forces the shoulder into extreme shoulder external rotation & hyper-extension. Not only does this put strain on the rotator cuffs, paving the way for inflammation but can crack the spinous processes (little nubs on tope of the vertebrae).

Both Cable Pull Downs behind the Neck and Barbell Press Overhead behind the Neck
lock your hands behind your head which can torque your cervical vertebrae and result in neck pain.

Alternative: Anterior Lat Cable Pull Downs: Pulling the bar to your chest while maintaining proper posture is easier on your neck and shoulders and flexes the lats through a greater range of motion, accelerating muscle growth.

Leg extensions are an isolated exercise that can cause uneven compression between the kneecap and thighbone, inflaming the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone. In addition, if fully extended this puts heavy load on the ankle.

Alternative: Squats: Done properly this is one of the best exercises not only for your glutes, hips and legs but core as well. To squat safely, place the bar across your shoulders (not your neck) or use a Manta Ray accessory. With your back straight, bending slightly at the hips through the squatting motion, push up with your heels but don’t lock out the knees. Don’t lean forward - focus on keeping your ears in line with your ankles. Knee angle should be between 60 and 90 degrees.

Sit-ups is an in-effective abdominal exercise. It actually strengthens the hip flexors more so than the abdominal muscles. There is a risk of back strain due to sheer force on the spinal discs and possible neck injury. When your feet are fixed, a powerful leverage advantage is created and the use of the hip flexors take over from any abdominal tension. Twisting (right elbow to left knee and vice versa) at the top of the sit-up movement is not only useless but risky. Twisting places tremendous rotational stress on the lower back that can lead to injury.

Alternative: A Crunch or Curl-Up is a safe alternative. If you prefer to do a Sit-up focus on the following cues: Fully flex the spine prior to full sit-up. After curling the spine the hip flexors can take over when the torso moves towards upright full sitting position. Allow your feet to be free so that the trunk can flex and remain neutral. Do not use a straight-leg as this arches the back and creates overextension and strain.

Straight Bar Curls are stressful on both the elbow joints and on the wrists.
You will notice that when you let your arms hang loosely by your sides, you'll notice that your palms face inward. When you face your palms forward your hands will vary on the witdth from your side. With a Barbell, the arms will lock into an unnatural palms-up position, which can lead to tendonitis.

Alternative: E-Z Bar Curls or Dumbbells. An E-Z bar is angled so that your thumbs are higher than your pinkies (pronated) and is not only easier on the wrist but puts your elbows in a more natural neutral position. Dumbbells allow your hands to return to their natural position.


Not all of the exercises I’ve mentioned are necessarily “wrong”. The idea is to train smarter.
The idea is to reduce pain and injury while getting the most out of your exercise session.
Hey, if you want to do dumbbell presses on a Swiss ball go right ahead. Just realize that substituting a ball for a bench will greatly reduce the focus on your chest and shoulders.
If you want to do sit ups or leg raises, just realize that the prime movers are your hip flexors and not your abdominal muscles. Done wrong it’s a waste of time and even harmful. Care must be taken to maintain a neutral lumbar spine and include the modifications explained above.

A good rule to follow is “Keep your hands where you can see them”. If you are using your hands during an exercise and lose sight of them you are at a mechanical disadvantage. At the extreme end of the range of motion your joints are vulnerable to heavy loads and destabilizing forces stretch ligaments, strain muscles and inflame bursa (synovial sac around joints).

With leg exercises it is important to maintain a neutral spine. Any type of standing hip extension exercise strongly challenges the low back muscles as stabilizers. The depth of the exercise is dependent on hamstring flexibility and the ability of the back musculature to stabilize lumbar neutral.


- Always warm-up before starting a training session
- Don’t lock out the knees or elbows during an exercise. Keep tension on the muscle at all times.
- Keep you heels on the floor to generate power.
- Do not use momentum during your rep cycle.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together to help stabilize your core.
- Train smart – set goals, have a plan and write it down.

After a workout session you should feel refreshed and rejuvenated, not tired and sore. You have your whole life ahead of you so stay positive and have fun !

Sunday, February 7, 2010


The majority of people just don’t get it. High blood pressure, overweight, diabetes, vertebrae deterioration, high cholesterol back pain, etc. Most people sluff this off as “getting old”.

According to Wikipedia Nearly one in two Americans (133 million) has a chronic medical condition of one kind or another, and chronic illnesses cause about 70% of deaths in the United States and make up about 75% of the Health Care costs each year.

You don’t have to have a sudden traumatic experience to affect your body forever. Years of small abuses in the form of poor posture, failure to maintain adequate strength and flexibility and inactivity topped with poor eating habits adds up.

Most of these chronic conditions are preventable.
Four modifiable health risk behaviors—lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption—are responsible for much of the illness, suffering, and early death related to chronic diseases.

Do you fall into one of these behaviour categories?
Do you have any of the above mentioned conditions?
Are you asking yourself– why me?

The reality is – WHY NOT ME?

I have been blessed with a large and close family. It’s even more difficult when you see someone dear to you have increasing physical problems.

You think that having a personal trainer in the family that they have easy access to any health and fitness concerns. Anyone in the fitness industry will tell you that family members are the hardest to “sell” or promote a healthy lifestyle. Fitness Leaders will tell you that discussing health and fitness to family is nearly impossible – especially if they aren’t interested – call it na├»ve – but if you’re an adult I’d call it stubbornness. I’m sure you all can relate.

My favorite saying is “USE IT OR LOSE IT”

Here we are in the middle of a recession and 85% of men would rather be in the best physical shape of their life than the best fiscal shape of their lives. BUT what have these men done to be in that best shape? Only about 3% of the population knows what it takes to live a lifestyle that yields the energy, time and space needed for that health and high performance edge. Do you walk the talk?

Years of abuse or of a sedentary lifestyle can’t be fixed over night.

As you age your cells divide and a bit of your DNA is lost. Physical aging occurs as more and more cells reach the end of its dividing cycle (called telomeres) and dies. As the process accelerates, your muscles get weaker, organs fail, wrinkles appear, and eyesight fades. You cannot stop the process but you can dramatically slow it down with exercise. Those who exercise regularly literally have “younger” DNA in their cells.

A study in Germany found that those who did three hours of exercise a week had telomeres that were about a decade younger than their sedentary counterparts.

Now going to the store is NOT considered exercise. Constant sitting – at home, in the car, at work plus lying on a couch in a unnatural position to watch a movie will slowly deteriorate your spine. Disc Health are dependant on good posture & sound exercise mechanics.

In my fitness classes I emphasize proper posture all the time. Nourishing the Intervertebral discs is important for spinal health. Intervertebral discs can compress (resulting in movements such as flexion, extension, lateral flexion & rotation of the spine) but also act as shock absorbers. Disc Nutrition or Imbibition occurs from the alternating compression & relaxation of the disc. This is done by various functional movements of the trunk or core. Flexibility exercises alternating from a cat to cow (or camel) stretch is a great way to nourish the spine.

Everyday activities such as walking the dog, gardening, cleaning the house, and mowing the lawn are good ways of adding to your overall activity level. However, don’t kid yourself, this is great if you have been inactive, but the reality is AS YOU GET OLDER THE MORE YOU NEED TO EXERCISE – not less.

For those that think that a once a week workout is all you need it’s time to face reality.

Here is the guidelines set by the number one health and exercise science organization in the world – The American College of Sports Medicine;

Do moderately intense physical activity 30 minutes a day, five days a week

Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease.

It’s never too late. A 2007 study revealed that those who started exercising after 40 reduce their risk of heart disease by more than half compared to those who remain inactive.

Exercise is the best medicine. Regular physical activity prevents high blood pressure, maintain body composition, improves posture, increased energy, reduce risk of heart disease, decrease in osteoporosis, reduces stress, keeps your mind sharp and promotes well being.

Age can be just a number …So what are you waiting for?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Diets do NOT work!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Did you know that the most popular New Year’s resolutions is starting to exercise? This is followed by eating better. Losing weight and getting in shape has always been at the forefront of resolutions. If you were one of the majority that gained weight during the holidays, well it’s time to take action. But before you spend your valuable time, energy and money on the latest diet fad, let me tell you that Diets do NOT work.

Diets have almost a 100% failure rate.

A July 2007 UCLA study concluded that most efforts at calorie restriction result in only very short-term weight loss, and, could even ultimately lead to weight gain.

Diets are dangerous to your health.

Diets put a strain on your body. Cutting calories results in depression and low energy levels.

Diets slows down your Metabolism.

By cutting calories and skipping meals, your body can’t differentiate between deciding not to eat and real famine. Your body believes it is starving and slows down in order to maintain every critical calorie it has.

Diets create fat.

When your metabolism slows down, it is more like to store fat. Then, when you do eat, your body realizes it is now getting the food it needs to survive and stores it as fat.

Diets lead to eating disorders.

It is very easy to binge or overeat when you are on a diet. Most dieters become part of the chronic or Yo-Yo dieters. Others become obsessed with controlling what they choose to eat.

Diets are Negative thoughts.

People dieting are more critical of themselves and become more miserable eroding confidence and self-respect.

Diets result in muscle shrinkage.

Muscle helps burn fat. Diets creates water and muscle loss.

Any person that loses weight rapidly (faster than 1-2 pounds a week) is mainly due to water loss.

Diets are synonymous with Weight Loss.

Focus on FAT LOSS rather than weight loss. Rather than thinking of your weight, focus on your body composition. Your body fat percentage and hip to waist ratio are two of the best indicators of your lean body mass.

Losing fat is not easy. Your body wants to stay the way it is and requires hard work and willpower to succeed in a person’s quest to become leaner. There are no magic pills or fads that are effective in the long run. Models and Movie stars that endorse products are there to make money. Don’t waste your hard-earned money.

It is important to realize that weight is meaningless as an index of fitness or health. It is best to focus on FAT LOSS rather than weight loss.

Rather than Dieting do the following:

Focus on Calories in vs Calories out.

Exercise - Burning off the fat is much healthier and effective than starving the fat.

Nutrition - Proper nutrition is 60% of the effort in building a healthy strong body. Follow a properly balanced eating schedule. Eat 5 or 6 meals of fruits, vegetables and lean cuts of meat per day. Stay away from processed and fast foods.

If you’ve made losing weight your New Year’s resolution do NOT diet. Remember, the reason why we are so fat is because we eat improperly and exercise too little! Your ultimate goal should be to improve your energy levels, be free from illness, and achieve your personally desired body composition. ie: Body Fat (lean body mass) and Body Fat distribution (waist circumference). So stop focusing on “losing weight”. Scales belong on a fish!

I hope you do not fall in the Diet Trap and become part of the yo-yo phenomenon. Besides, you can’t stay on a diet forever. It is important to find a lifestyle that works for you. The best results come from a long-term strategy involving permanent change in both eating and activity habits.