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Exercising with your Cat + Yoga

Hello cat lovers in Toronto!

For fun I decided to post these cat / exercise videos I found. While not particularly instructive, they are certainly motivational and fun for anyone out there who wants to exercise and happens to have a cat laying around the house.

You can do a variety of exercises with your cat - including push ups, squats, and even yoga.

Or even weightlifting. Although I admit it really depends on how big your cat is - or whether you have multiple cats. In theory if you had two cat baskets you could lift the cat baskets like you would dumbbells. Note - The Arnold lifting cats GIF is just for amusement! Don't do that with real cats!



7 Exercises for Increasing Flexibility

Flexibility is important - especially as you get older.

Having loose, supple muscles will give you more energy on a day to day basis - and you will experience less pain thanks to your increased flexibility. As your week goes on, many people accumulate their stress and muscle fatigue in the shoulders, neck and back. Athletes commonly carry muscular stress in the hips, hamstrings, and calves - proof that anyone can get pain from muscle fatigue if they don't spend ample time keeping their muscles flexible.

Muscular tightness will drag you down, ruin your posture over time, cause you to feel clumsy and slow, and increase the risk of injury when you push yourself too hard.

Thus stretching to increase your flexibility is a critical part of any cardio or weight training regimen. Muscles fully develop with contracting (lifting) and lengthening (stretching). Unless you want short, stocky muscles, then you will need to stretch!

8 Exercises for Increasing Flexibility

1. When your muscles are warm it is time to stretch!

Stretch whenever you can. If you ran up a few flights of stairs at work, stretch your legs while sitting back at the desk. Of course, stretch thoroughly after every single workout, and be sure to include the whole body, regardless of what muscle group was worked that day.

2. Get up to stretch after every hour of sitting!

Sitting causes spinal compression, hunched shoulders, and tight legs. After every hour of sitting down, stand up to stretch for at least 1-2 minutes. Reach up, bend down, stretch forward, back and side to side.

3. Practice static stretching!

Hold stretches with no rocking or bouncing for 15-30 seconds and repeat each two to three times. Breath deeply through the nose and on every exhalation, try to lengthen the stretch a little more.

4. Take a yoga class for fun!

You can't do much better than yoga in terms of a long, deep stretching session. Plus get the benefit of a full body strength and balance workout.

5. Learn to do the splits!

Ever wanted to do the splits? Anyone can learn how to do the splits. It is actually a lot easier to learn than most people think. Men, overweight people, even the elderly can easily learn to do the splits.

6. Bufferfly stretches are fun and easy!

You probably already know how to do these. They're very easy to learn so why not do them regularly?

Daily butterfly stretches increase flexibility in your inner and outer thighs, making the splits easier.

To perform a butterfly split, sit with your knees bent and tilted out so that each knee forms a "V" to the side. Touch your feet together and place your hands on your feet to remain balanced. Pull your feet in toward your groin and hold the stretch. To deepen the stretch, extend your knees toward the ground slowly and hold the stretch for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times daily. As the exercise becomes easier, pull your feet in closer to your groin. Your back should remain straight during this stretch.

7. Keep trying new things and keep at it!
While I must stress that you avoid any activities that might injure yourself, trying new stretches will also boost your flexibility progress over time. Use your common sense to determine which stretches work for you and which ones you would rather not do because you know you are not ready yet.

When it comes to trying new stretches you will not notice physical results quickly - stretching results always takes a lot of time - but you will feel amazing over time and that will be the biggest reward when you don't feel as much pain in your muscles and joints as you used to! It's common to think that stretching is boring but once you get into a routine you will wonder how you lived before feeling limber, with a skip in your step every day.

Realistic Exercise and Diet Resolutions for 2014

Ever made a New Years Resolution you did not keep because it was not realistic?

Here are some handy tips for keeping your diet and exercise New Years Resolutions!

#1. Make a schedule, write it down, place it somewhere you will see daily and stick to it.

#2. Make a list of realistic resolutions like the following:

Go for a walk every day for 1 hour.

Stop buying sugary drinks.

Drink green tea every day.

Take the dog for a walk twice per day.

Clean the house every Sunday morning. (Cleaning counts as exercise.)

Go to the swimming pool every Saturday as a family.

#3. The more resolutions you make, and the more realistic those resolutions are, the more likely you are to make real changes in your life. For that reason it is best to make a long list of resolutions and put the most effort into the most realistic resolutions first.

#4. Read lists of New Years Resolutions and see which ones you can do that would be realistic.

Below are some older articles about making resolutions from Cardio Trek to read:

12 Exercise New Years Resolutions

12 New Years Resolutions for the Health Conscious!

New Years Resolutions for 2013

13 Diet and Exercise Resolutions for 2013

13 New Years Resolutions for a Beach Perfect Body

Fitness Trends for 2013

Have you given up on your New Years Resolutions yet?

12 Valentines Resolutions

#5. Recognize how to determine which resolutions are unrealistic. eg. "I will exercise for an hour every day." is unrealistic because you aren't scheduling a specific time and you will probably forget easily, get distracted easily and then not do it.

#6. Remember there is no time like the present. Start exercising today. Right now is even better.

#7. Reward yourself with healthy food that is delicious.

#8. Take up sports that require very little equipment investment - buy the equipment and then schedule the time to do it. eg. Boxing Lessons, Archery Lessons, Swimming Lessons, Ice Skating Lessons.

#9. Don't let your age effect your choices of which sports you want to do. Let your physical health condition be the deciding factor. So if your doctor says you should not be doing hard cardio activities like marathon running then that should be the deciding factor. Don't make your age an excuse. Consult your doctor instead and find a realistic sport you can physically do.

#10. Pick activities and alternative activities you can do regardless of the weather. For example that way if you cannot do archery because it is raining outside then you can spend the day at an indoor tennis court and practice your backswing instead.

#11. Involve your loved ones. Take the husband, the wife, the kids, your siblings, your parents with you to do physical activities. If other people are part of your exercise schedule then they will remind you "Hey it is Sunday, time to go swimming!" A weekly family trip to the swimming pool or similar place will be fun and exercise for the whole family.

#12. Hire a personal trainer (like me!) to help get you started on the right foot.


January Weight Loss Motivational Quotes

Oprah Winfrey is a weight loss icon for millions of women in North America. For 25 years her weight loss journey was the talk of significant media buzz - especially when it came to regaining weight on her sometimes roller coaster ups and downs.

This is a problem many people (not just women) deal with. What it makes you realize over time is that fad diets are temporary and that it requires a lifestyle change to make permanent changes that stay with you. You can do it! You might lose battles, but it doesn't mean you lost the war. Never give up and you will succeed by making changes in your lifestyle.

"I finally realized that being grateful to my body was key to giving more love to myself." - Oprah Winfrey.

"The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work." - Oprah Winfrey.

"If you neglect to recharge a battery, it dies. And if you run full speed ahead without stopping for water, you lose momentum to finish the race." - Oprah Winfrey.

"Getting my lifelong weight struggle under control has come from a process of treating myself as well as I treat others in every way." - Oprah Winfrey.

"There is no easy way out. If there were, I would have bought it. And believe me, it would be one of my favorite things!" - Oprah Winfrey.

"It is confidence in our bodies, minds and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures, new directions to grow in, and lessons to learn -- which is what life is all about." - Oprah Winfrey.

"In every aspect of our lives we are always asking ourselves, "How am I of value? What is my worth?" Yet, I believe that worthiness is our birthright." - Oprah Winfrey.

"Partake in some of life's sweet pleasures. And yes, get comfortable with yourself." - Oprah Winfrey.

"With every experience you alone are painting your own canvas -- thought by thought, choice by choice." - Oprah Winfrey.

"Use what you have to run towards your best; that's how I now live my life." - Oprah Winfrey.

"Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you're going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal and by maintaining focus." - Oprah Winfrey.


Hello Toronto! Happy New Year!

All the best in 2014 from Cardio Trek!

Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing and lets talk fitness!


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