Fitness & Wellness

Nutrition And Performance Work Together

Nutrition And Performance Work Together

At 180 Fitness in Gloucester, ON, we focus a lot on healthy eating, particularly for those who want to lose weight. The saying that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet is true. Good nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and definitely necessary for weight loss. However, healthy eating is also important to maximize your performance both in the gym and at work. It boosts both your mental and physical abilities. There are important reasons why nutrition and performance are so closely linked.

You’ll improve your athletic performance with the right type of nutrition.

If you’re an athlete or trying to build muscle, you need a diet that provides enough nutrition and energy to get you through training. It should have a variety of food with ample fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein/meat, to build and repair muscle tissue and repair cells. The diet should include enough fluid to replace the fluid lost during exercise and aid in the recovery process. Athletes need an adequate amount of calories to come from carbs and provide the energy the body needs for a success workout. They also need enough protein to repair muscle tissue. The recommended balance is that 55% of calories be in the form of carbohydrates, 15% in the form of protein and the balance from fat.

Poor nutrition can lead to multiple problems for athletes.

If you’re an athlete, you’re constantly challenging your body. What you eat affects the strength you have whether you’re performing, training or recovering from an event. It’s more than just what you eat that makes a difference, it’s the timing of food intake, too. The meals prior to a performance and after it are the most important to monitor.

Diet can affect your performance at work or school.

There are a lot of links to diet and mental health and mental acuity. If you’re short on vitamin B12, you’ll be fatigued with poor memory and sometimes depression. A diet high in vegetables and olive oil, such as the Mediterranean diet, provides protection against anxiety and depression. High sugar intake is linked to ADHD or hyperactivity and the inability to focus. Sugar highs and lows can take away from productivity, whether you’re a student or adult. Eating healthy can provide all the nutrients you need to keep your brain healthy and your mind sharp.

  • A snack high in carbs, low in fat and moderate in protein should be eaten one to three hours before an event. A snack right after a performance should have three parts of the calories from carbs to one part protein.
  • Athletes that want to recover faster are encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables that are anti-inflammatory. These include turmeric, fish oil and tart cherry juice.
  • Drinking plenty of water is extremely important for both mental and physical acuity. Even mild dehydration can cause poor performance on the athletic field and for seniors, create confusion that is similar to dementia.
  • Food that is good for both the body and the mind and will boost the performance of both include blueberries, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and nuts. A cup of coffee before working out can also improve the quality of your workout.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness


Best "At Home" Exercises

Best “At Home” Exercises

The recent isolation and potential of another has made everyone that takes fitness seriously that you need a collection of “at home” exercises. We tried to keep you posted throughout the days of lockdown, even developing an alliance with a chef for delivery of healthy meals. Here are a few of the exercises you can do, whether you’re stuck at home for personal reasons or due to a situation that’s completely out of your control.

Start with a scheduled time for your workout and create a HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout.

What is a HIIT workout? It’s more of a style of working out rather than specific exercises. It involves adjusting the intensity throughout the workout. You do an exercise at the highest intensity, pushing hard and raising your heart rate for a few minutes or a few seconds. Then you slow the pace, with a recovery workout, for the same amount of time or longer. You’ll get more benefit in a shorter amount of time. You can use any type of exercise, bodyweight exercises, running or even walking fast.

Do bodyweight exercises for strength.

One of the oldest forms of exercise, before all the fancy machines existed, was bodyweight exercises. Some examples of these are push-ups, pull-ups, squats and lunges. When you learn these four basic exercises and want to embellish the workout, you can modify each of them to work different areas, make the workout tougher and work muscles on different planes. For instance, just adjusting the width of your feet when you do squats is one way to change the way it works your body. There are forward lunges, reverse lunges, goblet forward lunges, split squat lunges and skater lunges to name just a few. These are extremely versatile exercises.

Make your own equipment if you want to workout with weights.

Nobody says you have to buy weights. They’re just convenient and let you know exactly how much you’re lifting. However, you can create your own weights at home. Soup cans can be weights, just like water bottles can. In fact, with water bottles, you can adjust the weight by filling it with water or sand and adjusting the amount you use. Plastic laundry detergent jugs or milk jugs make a good off center weight much like kettlebells.

  • If you have a jump rope at home, you’re ready for a great cardio workout and also have the equipment for a warm-up. It not only works your heart, it’s great for the whole body and burns tons of calories.
  • You’ll get the most bang for your exercise time when you do compound exercises that engage more than one muscle or muscle group. Mountain climbers, thrusters, jumping lunges, single-arm swings and jump lunges are examples.
  • Don’t do strength training two days in a row. Give your muscles a day or two of rest between sessions. If you’re breaking up your workout to upper and lower body, work upper body one day and lower body the next. Don’t do the same half of your body two days in a row.
  • You can break your workout into ten minute sessions. If you’re at the computer for extended periods, take a break every fifty minutes and do a ten minute session.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness


No-Equipment Workouts

No-Equipment Workouts

Most people are more aware than ever how having a wealth of no-equipment workouts can help you stay fit at home. We do plenty of them at 180 Fitness, because they work. Bodyweight exercises are great strength builders. What you’re lifting is the weight of your body, and you have that with you at all times. You can begin immediately with squats, push-ups and planks. There is a lot of variety with each of these. If you’re out of shape, you may want to start with a knee bent push-up until you get stronger. For planks, there are also wide variety of ways to do them, but as you get stronger, hold the plank longer.

You need more than strength training. Flexibility training is also important.

If you aren’t doing exercises for flexibility, you’ll have a smaller range of motion and a bigger potential for injury. When you think of flexibility, you probably immediately think of stretches and you’d be right. A standing hamstrings stretch is an example. However, some tried and true exercises, like lunges and squats, both of which can build strength in the lower body and core strength. Side bends are also good for flexibility.

Combine all three types of workouts into one training session.

Creating a list of exercises and break each up into three minute segments to get cardio, flexibility and strength training. Move quickly from one exercise to another with minimal breaks in between to create your own circuit training that gives a good cardio workout, plus strength and flexibility training, based on the exercises you do. Taking a brisk walk, riding a bike and even running up and down stairs builds cardio strength.

No matter what exercise you do, make sure your form is good.

The key to successfully working out without equipment is making sure your form is right. No matter what exercise you do, start out doing it slowly and doing fewer to make sure your form is correct. Each time you use a modified form of an exercise, such as front planks, side planks and bridges, follow the same rule, focusing on form first before number of reps or intensity.

  • Always warm up first. Run in place, jog or walk around the room, for example. If you have a jump rope available, use it as a warm up or do a few jumping jacks.
  • You might not have equipment at home, but if there’s a park nearby, you’ll be surprised at how much equipment there is. Monkey bars and jungle gyms are great for pull ups and building upper body strength.
  • Who says you need weights when you have furniture? If you want to do heavy lifting, cleaning can be great. Lifting the couch to vacuum, rearranging furniture and even doing outside chores like leaf raking can build strength. Move fast and lift correctly.
  • If you want a great workout, burpees will definitely wear you out. Start in squat position, put your hands to the floor between your feet. With your weight on your hands, kick your feet backward to push-up position. Do a push-up then jump to bring your feet back to the position before you kicked back. Stand with your arms overhead.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness


Are You Keto-Curious?

Are You Keto-Curious?

Many clients come to Gloucester, ON, to lose weight. Some have heard of the benefits of several different kinds of diets and many are keto-curious. I’m a proponent of healthy eating, which helps you shed extra pounds without actual dieting. The key to a standard keto diet is lowering the amount of calories from carbohydrates to 5%, increasing the amount of calories from fat to 70% and eating a moderate amount of calories, 25%, from protein. There are other versions that increase protein intake, cycling a keto diet with a high carb diet and blending a keto diet with your workout.

No matter which you choose, the type of carbs you eat is important.

Keeping your carbs low is hard, unless those carbs come from vegetables, nuts and dairy. Limiting food that contains refined carbohydrates, such as bread, refined sugar products, pasta, and pastry should be part of any healthy diet, not just a keto diet. It should be the first step toward healthy diet. Just cutting out sugary products and those made with refined flour could help you shed weight and be healthier without any other changes.

What is a typical keto diet food list?

Fatty fish, eggs, meat, butter, nuts, seeds and low carb vegetables are part of the keto diet. The problem is achieving the high intake of fat that is necessary to boost the fat intake and whether that’s a good habit to form. Grains, sugar, fruit and even tubers are on the do not eat list for a keto diet and some of those foods are good for you. Foods that are suggested are leafy greens, vegetables that are above ground, meat, full fat dairy, low glycemic impact berries and avocados, nuts and seeds, low carb sweeteners, meats and all types of fat except for trans fats. These are all healthy foods.

There are some dangers that occur on a keto diet.

People who take medication for diabetes should talk with their doctor first, before making any radical change to their diet. You need to also make sure you know which fats are heart healthy and avoid too much saturated fat. Keto diets have been known to trigger low blood pressure, constipation, kidney stones, increased risk of heart disease and nutritional deficiencies. People with conditions that involve the liver, thyroid, gallbladder or pancreas should also avoid keto diets, as it is not safe for them.

  • If you’re just starting a keto diet, you might find you have a “keto flu” It starts with an upset stomach, may include dizziness, lower energy and even mood swings until your body adjusts to the change in diet.
  • Sticking with a strict keto diet is tough and makes it difficult to eat anywhere except your own home, where you control the ingredients. It also restricts food that promote health, like fruit and may deter actual long term weight loss.
  • Keto diets can provide some immediate weight loss and may lower blood sugar, which is important to monitor for diabetics taking medication. It can help lower blood pressure, increase energy and even help control epilepsy.
  • At 180 Fitness, you can get real help with an eating plan that was designed for you. We also offer safe outdoor workouts and online exercises you can do safely at home.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness


Is Your Workout Causing You To Gain Weight?

Is Your Workout Causing You To Gain Weight?

One of the complaints I sometimes hear when people first workout is that they’ve gained weight, not lost it. There are a few reasons your workout causing you to gain weight. A few of those reasons are healthy ones and indicate you’re getting stronger and fitter. However, there are also reasons that simply means you’re putting on extra pounds and not in a good way. Let’s start with the good news, it might be that you’re gaining muscle tissue.

Perhaps the weight gain occurred because of increased muscle tissue.

We provide a well rounded program of workouts to improve your flexibility, strength, endurance and balance. When you do strength training, you’re bound to build more muscle tissue. Now consider that muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue is, so one cubic inch of muscle tissue weighs more than one inch of fat tissue. As you decrease the amount of body fat and build more muscle, you may gain a pound or two, while still losing inches. That trend won’t continue since the more muscle tissue you have, the easier it is to lose weight. Muscle tissue burns more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does.

Water retention could be part of the problem.

The amount you sweat affects your weight and so does the amount of water you retain. If you’ve just soaked a your workout shirt with sweat and then weigh yourself. Do get jubilant about that weight loss. You’ll probably regain it as soon you rehydrate. Water retention can also have an effect on your weight. When you consider that your body is over 65% water, up to 90 % for some people, you can see how both retention and fluid loss can have a big effect on your weight.

What you eat when you’re working out is one of the biggest causes of weight gain.

If you just workout, without considering your diet, you may find that permanent pounds are added. Why does that happen? It occurs because you’re eating more or eating quick energy foods, like high calorie candy bars or junk food. It’s easy to do, since working out often makes people hungry. However, the solution is also easy. Prepare for that hunger by having healthy snacks and working with our nutritionist on a healthy meal plan to avoid the weight gain.

  • If you’re trying to get fitter, don’t worry about the scales initially. You’re changing your body’s fat/muscle composition, so you may even gain a pound or two. If you want to lose weight, include healthy eating with your workout program.
  • Weight loss via sweating and dehydration isn’t a sustainable way to keep pounds off. Make sure you hydrate adequately. Good hydration can help boost your metabolism. Carry a bottle of water with you and sip frequently.
  • Make sure you have alternative ways of measuring your progress. Check the number of inches you lost or take pictures wearing the same clothing and using the same angle and distance from the camera.
  • At 180 Fitness, we’ll help you with both your nutritional program and workout program. Our personal trainers can help you get into shape faster and healthier, while also helping you lose weight.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness


Stay In Touch With Your Fitness Community During These Times

Stay In Touch With Your Fitness Community During These Times

One of the biggest problems that came from the lockdown is the quarantine 15. Those extra pounds gained from boredom and easy access to the refrigerator. With gyms being closed and most active pastimes discouraged or limited, it’s hard not to eat your way through this time of crisis. That’s why it’s important to stay in touch with your fitness community and find ways to share workout options and encouragement online. You can also do it with social distancing.

Do you worry about being exposed to the virus, but still want to workout?

Never fear, there are some easy resolutions to this problem. The first is to take your workout outside and stick with your habit. We offer outside classes for those who like the personal touch and love seeing old friends they made at the gym. Those outside classes have been very popular. It brings a bit of normalcy back into people’s lives, plus keeps you with the habit of working out regularly. If you haven’t joined us at one of the pandemic proof boot camps, please do, you’re going to love it.

Get help online and let the family join in your workout.

We also offer online workouts. In fact, you’ll see some of these on the website. There’s an opportunity to interact with the coaches, too. These are safe, since you workout at home and there’s no contact. They’re perfect during a quarantine. Get the kids involved, and/or your spouse. Your whole family can benefit from the workout. You’ll all feel better when you finish and you’ll be helping your body look and feel better.

Staying in touch, sharing stories and encouraging one another is important.

You miss a lot when you don’t keep up with us on Social media. For instance, did you realize we just had our 13 year celebration and had some great bargains for present and past clients? We’re back from quarantine and going strong, but some of you still need to take extra precautions. For you, we provide great feedback and online training. We’re all about your safety and health. That’s what being a great trainer means.

  • When you sign up for our online program, you get the benefit of 137 live streaming workouts per week. Check out Ryan’s lower body, upper body and full body workout available that’s on our website now.
  • If you noticed your body expanding during quarantine, don’t worry. We can help you get back into shape quickly with our nutrition and workout programs. We also other programs, like physiotherapy to help assess your readiness or prepare you for a workout.
  • Choosing a workout partner to meet with for our boot camp programs is another good way to help motivation. When you know you’re going to meet someone, you’re more likely to attend.
  • We offer a wide variety of programs to help meet your fitness needs. Not everyone will need the Biggest Loser program or want personal training, which is why our boot camp is so popular.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness


Add Some Yoga To Your Routine

Add Some Yoga To Your Routine

At 180 fitness, we want everyone to be healthy. Two of the most important things you can do is to stay active and exercise and eat healthy. No matter what type of fitness program you undertake, just do it. If you want a break from calisthenics, there’s nothing wrong with adding yoga. Varying workouts to prevent boredom and plateauing that can occur is important. You can vary your workout by switching the types of bodyweight exercises you do at home or mixing it with other types of workouts, such as running, walking or yoga.

Plateauing can be a problem if you want to lose weight.

If you started working out and lost weight, but your weight loss suddenly slowed or stopped, you probably plateaued. Plateauing occurs when your body becomes more efficient at doing an exercise, so it burns fewer calories. You have to change the way you challenge your body, by doing different exercises in a bodyweight workout, cranking up the difficulty of the one you’re doing or switching the actual type of exercise you do, such as doing bodyweight workouts one day and yoga or running another. You’ll see better progress when you do.

Doing the same type of workout can cause overuse injuries.

People who only run develop stress injuries, runner’s knee and shin splints, just to name a few. These are overuse injuries. To avoid specific injuries from overuse, find alternate ways of working out and mix it up, letting certain muscle groups, joints and ligaments recover properly. You can do that by adding yoga or swimming to your normal workout session. You’ll also build new muscle groups when you mix it up and work muscles on different planes.

You’ll boost your brain power learning new exercise techniques.

While your body is getting fit, it’s also helping your brain. Exercise helps prevent memory loss and boosts new learning skills. Not only does it increase circulation, which helps the brain as well, it also increases your brain power by making it work as you learn these new techniques, rather than going on autopilot with old workouts. Learning new exercises stimulates the growth of new neuron connections between cells by stimulating the production of growth factor that increases brain plasticity.

  • If you want to lower your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and high cholesterol, combine an active lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, and a healthy diet. We can help you with both.
  • We offer both online group workouts and outside boot camps to ensure you’ll be safe when you exercise. The outside workout might be just the boost you need to make new friends and interact safely.
  • Switching to different workouts throughout the week can help you avoid boredom and put the energy back into your workout that can be lost when you do the same thing repeatedly.
  • At 180 Fitness, we want you to be healthy and fit. While we believe our program is varied, there’s nothing wrong to adding to it and opting for yoga, walking, swimming or other form on alternate days. In fact, we encourage you to do just that.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness!


Find Your Favorite Healthy Meal

Find Your Favorite Healthy Meal

What you eat makes a huge difference in how healthy you remain. In fact, recent studies show that people who are obese face more complications from the virus, than those that aren’t. The increased risk is linked to the increased risk of suffering from other serious conditions, such as diabetes. We make it easy for you to eat healthier and lose weight by making it easier to identify your favorite healthy meal or meals and learn how to not only eat healthy but enjoy every minute of it.

Do you love to cook?

Some people love the adventure of preparing new dishes in the kitchen but aren’t sure how to create healthy meals that taste delicious. Our nutritionist can help create menus for you that are easy to follow and varied, but also perfect for your dietary requirements and taste. In fact, you can make many of these dishes and freeze them, so you have meals ready to heat and eat on those busy days or days when the family must fend for themselves. These meals are so varied, you’ll probably find several you love.

If you hate to cook and even burn hard boiled eggs, we also can help you.

What if you could have healthy foods delivered to your home and all you do is heat and eat them? It would be like dining out every night in a fancy restaurant, but without the need to dress up or drive. We help you by working with a local catering company that prepares meals you’ll love and so will your body. They’re healthy and lower in calories if you’re trying to shed weight, but served up fresh, just waiting for you to heat and enjoy. Finding your favorite meal can be a real treat and you’ll probably find you love more than one option.

Why is it important to find a meal or more that you love?

It only makes sense that if you enjoy eating something, you’ll do it more often. There’s no reason to eat cardboard tasting food or celery and rice cakes when you can have a full meal that fills you up, but not out and provides all the nutrients your body needs. You may be surprised at how good spaghetti squash tastes or some of the combination like a healthy taco pasta or zucchini boat enchiladas.

  • It’s more important than ever to build your immune system and get healthy. While exercise helps boost your immune system, what you eat makes the biggest difference. We provide recipes for healthy snacks to get you through those mid-morning and mid-afternoon munchies.
  • If you turn to comfort food in tough times, finding your favorite healthy meal is important. In fact, you can even make extra, so you just have to heat and serve on those days when your plans went south.
  • As you learn more healthy meal plans and recipes, you’ll be learning how to create your own. Adding more vegetables until half the plate is veggies, lean meat and only healthy fat is a start.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness!

Our nutritionist can also help you modify your favorite meals by making changes to create a healthier option. Contact us at 180 Fitness for a free consultation.


Try A Bodyweight Workout

Try A Bodyweight Workout

A bodyweight workout focuses on strength training. It uses the person’s own body to provide the resistance that you’d get from weights, lifting it instead of dumbbells or barbells. The movements used are pushing, squatting, pulling, twisting, balancing and bending, so all muscles are worked. Those actions also enhance flexibility and can increase endurance and balance, based on what the exercises are and how you do them. You can do bodyweight exercises at home, on the road or come into the gym and get a program specifically designed for you.

There are so many bodyweight exercises, you could vary your workout for years.

Lower body workouts should include exercises like the squat or lunge. It’s always best to learn the basics for these two exercises and then modify them as you become more proficient. You can start with an assisted squat, that uses a table or chair to steady you and work to a pistol squat that pushes one leg to the front as you squat using only the other leg to support your weight. All of these lower bodyweight workouts build on your progress, with the variations becoming more and more difficult.

Upper body movements include push and pull movements.

You may not be able to do a push-up or chin yourself immediately, but there are versatile bodyweight exercises to help you get to that point. Knee push-ups can become a regular push-up and move to a decline push-up. There are many types of pull exercises, such as an inverted bodyweight row, which can be your beginning workout until you can do a pull-up.

How you do your combination of bodyweight exercises makes a difference.

You can get more from your workout by making it a HIIT workout—-high intensity interval training. That means you vary your speed and intensity, making your heart rate high for a short time and then moving more slowly with a recovery period of equal time. Much like circuit training, you do a variety of exercises, one after another. Each exercise is done for twenty seconds at high intensity, with a ten second rest and then move on to the next. You could start with twenty seconds of Side kicks, rest ten seconds, 20 more seconds of the exercise and rest another ten seconds. Repeating up to eight times and moving on to the next, such as a skater jump. HIIT bodyweight exercises give you better results in a fraction of the time.

  • Crunches, planks and jumping jacks work your core muscles in a variety of ways to build flexibility, strength and endurance.
  • The fact that you can modify a bodyweight workout to work muscles differently and account for different levels of fitness, makes it perfect for creating a personalized workout based on your fitness level.
  • If you’re doing bodyweight exercises, it’s all about form. Don’t try to get too difficult if it causes your form to suffer. Start with an easy workout and ensure your form is right, then move to the more difficult.
  • At 180 Fitness, your safety is our top priority. We offer virtual group classes led by top instructors and outside boot camps that help you stay fit with social distancing in mind.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness!