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8 Benefits of Jumping Rope

Jumping rope for 6 minutes is a great cardio activity that you can do every day and you can see some dramatic health benefits.
  • Fantastic cardiovascular workout that boosts weight loss dramatically.
  • Tones lower body, especially calves
  • Improves co-ordination
  • Improves agility
  • Increases heart and lung capacity
  • Increases endurance
  • Improves heart rate recovery time
  • Great for fat burning programs
The trick about jumping rope is to pace yourself if you haven't done it for a long time.

Start off doing it for 6 minutes every day.

Then work your way up to 20 minutes every day.

After several months of 20 minutes every day then work your way up to 40 minutes per day.

Jumping rope for a minute is roughly 120 jumps. That makes it a pretty tough exercise to do because it requires so much more energy and coordination.

Calories Burned

A 170 lb person burns 539.78 calories during 40 minutes of moderate jumping rope.

A 200 lb person burns 635.03 calories during 40 minutes of moderate jumping rope.

A 240 lb person burns 762.03 calories during 40 minutes of moderate jumping rope.

Note, because skipping rope is such a big cardio exercise it can also trigger the Afterburn Effect, which will cause you to burn even more calories than you thought. Thus 20 to 40 minutes of vigorous jumping rope every day can burn approx. 1 to 2 pounds of fat (or more) per week thanks to the Afterburn Effect.

A 170 lb person burns 323.87 calories during 20 minutes of vigorous jumping rope.

X 7 is 2267 calories per week, which you can then (conservatively) multiply by 1.5 because of the Afterburn Effect = 3401 calories. 3500 calories equals 1 lb of fat.

Thus anyone who weighs 170 lbs or more, doing 20 minutes of skipping rope every day, can see dramatic differences in just 1 week. So how big is 1 lb of fat? See the photo below.

Now imagine all the health benefits if you started off at say 240 lbs and wanted to lose 80 lbs, down to 160 lbs? They would be plentiful health benefits, but lets do the math to see how this could be accomplished.

Assuming an average weight of 200 lbs during this weight loss period, we use that as the number when inputting into a calorie calculator.

A 200 lb person burns 381.02 calories during 20 minutes of vigorous jumping rope.

x 720 days = 274,334.4 calories burned. That is 78.38 lbs of fat in less than two years... and that is NOT counting the Afterburn Effect, that is not counting additional exercises the person might also try / start doing in addition to skipping rope, and that is not counting dietary changes if they start eating healthier.

For best results, I recommend a healthy balanced diet with lots of veggies, lean meat, and a moderately low amount of carbs. To stay motivated I recommend listening to fast adrenaline filled music while doing your rope jumping.

For fun combine rope jumping / skipping rope with other body weight activities like squats, crunches, sit ups, push ups, chin ups, etc for an all over approach to fitness.


For even more fun try to get friends and family involved too.

Carbs Reducing Strategies for Weight Loss

There are many different fad diets on the market that restrict food groups, or eliminate them altogether! While this is not an ideal way to lose weight, cutting back on certain foods, like carbs can help you to lose weight.

However cutting out carbs entirely is not going to help you either.

Why? Well let us first ask what are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are different kinds of sugars and when they are not burned by doing exercise activities they are stored as fat. If you don't use your carbs, then you end up storing them.

Thus many low carb and no carb diets focus on the idea of eliminating sugars entirely. The plan goes that if you reduce your intake of carbs / sugar, you will burn your fat stores instead.

Which is true, you do burn your fat stores - and your muscle - and your brain matter - and damages your internal organs. But what this plan doesn't account for is "carb crashing", wherein your blood sugar levels drop so low that your body starts to run low on energy and it cannot drain from your fat stores quickly enough, so instead you feel sluggish, tired and slow. And dumber.

If you've ever been on a low carb / no carb diet, then you know what I am talking about. Your body is basically shutting down and trying to use as little energy as possible, and to get energy it starts draining resources from muscle tissue, organs, fat stores, everything!

However there are ways to around this.

#1. Eat lots of vegetables.

#2. Combine your veggies with lean meat.

#3. Reduce grain products - rice, bread, etc. This doesn't mean you avoid such foods entirely. Simply that you reduce how much you are eating so you are not reliant upon sugars for all of your energy.

Your end goal here is to make sure you are consuming lots of nutrients and protein (veggies and meat), while simultaneously reducing how much carbs you are eating.

The end result is that you will lose weight gradually and healthily over a period of time.

As opposed to carb crashing, feeling physically horrible as your body cannibalizes itself, and making yourself slower, dumber and weaker.

So why do people complain about carbs so much?

Carbohydrates are very common, and often inadvertently overeaten because bread, rice, pasta and similar foods are considered to be staples in our modern culture. They are easy to store, easy to make, and cheap. Healthy foods - veggies and meat - always cost way more than a loaf of bread.

The concept of smaller portions of carbs, lots of veggies and a serving of lean meat just doesn't sound as appetizing to people who have been raised on mashed potatoes, gravy and fatty meats - which tastes amazing, but it would be a lot healthier if the meat was lean, the gravy was low fat, and the potatoes had other veggies (eg. peas) mixed in with it.

Here are 5 tips for reducing carbs in your diet.

#1. Make burritos but instead of wrapping in tortilla, wrap in a big piece of lettuce. This is similar to the Korean dish samgyopsal, which is BBQ pork wrapped in lettuce.

#2. Dip veggies into hummus or yogurt instead of bread.

#3. Reduce pasta portion by half, serve with lean, skinless meat or tofu, and vegetables.

#4. Have an open faced sandwich with one slice of bread. This leaves room for a side such as cottage cheese, salad or hard boiled eggs.

#5. When snacking, opt for carrot sticks, apple slices, or even a salad instead of reaching for the bag of chips.

If you have trouble dropping weight feel free to contact me for an in-person nutritional consultation.

Almond Butter and its Health Benefits


If you try almond butter you might just fall in love!

Almond butter has the look and consistency of peanut butter but is a little darker (it looks like chocolate), and of course, it is made from almonds!

Almond butter is absolutely delicious and can be used in sandwiches with fruit, jelly, or just on its own. It can also be mixed into oatmeal, granola, flax meal, and even stir fry / stews.

In addition to the taste of almond butter, you may notice some interesting health benefits. eg. Like your nails became thicker, stronger and shinier. This is because almond butter is very high in vitamin E.

Here are the other benefits of natural almond butter and its vitamin E:

#1. Lowers cholesterol and prevents diabetes

#2. Contains heart healthy monounsaturated fats

#3. It makes a great "workout snack" for energy and protein.

#4. Contains good amounts of calcium, fiber, magnesium, folic acid and potassium

#5. Alleviates symptoms of BPH (enlarged prostate) in men.

#6. It makes you feel full for hours.

Plus it makes a great alternative to peanut butter when you need to pack a lunch (for your children) in a peanut-allergy conscientious environment. Many Toronto schools have banned peanut butter, so almond butter makes a great and healthy alternative.

However I want to point out that almond butter is not necessarily healthier than peanut butter. It simply has the health benefits of almonds, while peanut butter has all the health benefits of peanuts. They are both good for different reasons.

I recommend purchasing natural peanut and almond butters in order to avoid the hydrogenated oils many companies add to prevent the oil from separating. It just means you need to mix your butter with a knife and then stick it in the fridge, but once that is done it is no longer an issue.

Archery season back in full swing and more popular than ever

Archery is more popular than ever.

Or at least for the last 100 years. To be fair archery will never be as popular again as it was many centuries ago when archery was a prevalent part of tribal hunting and warfare. With the rise of agriculture, civilization, crossbows, firearms, pre-packaged foods, factory farms, etc the need to hunt for our food has been reduced significantly.

But with respect to the last 100 years archery has seen only 2 periods where it was a fad. The 1950s, when a variety of movies - including many different renditions of Robin Hood - had archery as a major part of the action sequences. Such movies were Westerns, sword and sandal action flicks, and a variety of Robin Hood ripoffs like "The Flame and the Arrow" starring a very young Burt Lancaster.

But the 1950s was a hiccup compared to the height of popularity archery has achieved now. And movies like "The Flame and the Arrow" now feel poorly made, as even during their time they were low-budget flicks designed to capitalize on the archery fad of the times. By today's standards such films would be B movies at best - and certainly wouldn't have star power like Burt Lancaster in a B movie role.

But how do I know that archery is more popular now than it was in the 1950s?

It is a combination of factors. Facetime on mass media, equipment sales records, the sheer number of people at the archery range - which is 15 times what it used to be 4 - 5 years ago.

The 1950s had school archery clubs in a rare few schools. By a few, I mean a rare few. While some schools did hop on the archery bandwagon during the 1940s, 1950s and even 1960s it was not a popular thing to do at the time.

Now? Thanks to a school archery program that began in Alabama over a decade ago that program has spread to hundreds and then thousands of schools across the USA. Canadian schools have begun to create their own similar programs, but it is more rare as Canada doesn't have the obesity rate the USA does and the program was started primarily for the reason of fighting obesity amongst Alabama schools.

The National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) was started in 2001 and has since had some small headway in Canada - mostly in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Prince Edward Island.

It isn't that archery isn't in its own fad stage here in Canada too, the problem is Canadian schools have not been signing on for a Canadian version of the NASP program at the same speed as American schools.

So if you are a parent and have kids who want to do archery, my advice is that you visit the NASP website ( and see if you can encourage your local school board to add archery as an after-school program for kids.

You might wonder why I am promoting this. Well, I am not getting paid by NASP if that is what you think. The truth is I am contacted daily by Toronto parents looking for archery lessons for their kids after school and on weekends - and my schedule is so full with my personal training sessions, boxing lessons, archery lessons, etc - to say nothing of having a social life - that I know right now that I am going to be turning people away for archery lessons because my schedule on some days is so full.

Thus it makes sense for me to promote alternative ways for parents to get archery lessons for their kids. For example, in addition to promoting NASP in Toronto schools, parents could also send their kids to one of the many day camps or summer camps in Ontario that offer archery. You can see a list of archery camps near Toronto by visiting

However a bit of advice regarding summer camps, a lot of them get booked full months in advance. So if you want to send your kids to a summer camp that has archery, you will need to do this NOW rather than later. Some summer camps book up full in February and cannot accept any more.

And if you cannot get a spot at a summer camp, if your kid's school doesn't offer archery, if people like myself are too busy, well then your next best option is to buy your own archery equipment, buy a book like "Precision Archery" by Steve Ruis and Claudia Stevenson, and then learn as best as you can using the book. If you opt for this then I recommend that the parent ALSO learn archery so that their kid is learning from you, instead of just fumbling the process and achieving horrible results.

Another option, often ignored, is to enroll your kids in Boy Scouts / Girl Guides. Boy Scouts is how I first tried archery in 1989. Find a group that has archery listed amongst their activities, ask the organizers how often archery is done in the group (not as much as you like, but still often enough) and then enroll little Samuel or Samantha in scouts / guides.

When archery became vogue during the 1950s it stayed pretty popular until the early 1970s. I fully expect the current rise in archery's popularity to last until 2030 at least. Or maybe we will see a resurgence in the sport the likes we have never seen before, effecting generations to come. That would be welcome too.

April 2014 Exercise Quotes

"If you’re not eating the right foods in the right amounts, all the exercise in the world won’t combat the caloric intake." - Jennifer Hudson.

"If you cannot take responsibility for your own well-being, you will never take control over it." - Jennifer Hudson.

"I started thinking about little kids putting a cylindrical peg through a circular hole, and how they do it over and over again for months when they figure it out, and how basketball was basically just a slightly more aerobic version of that same exercise." - John Green.

"Exercise is medicine. Literally. Just like a pill, it reliably changes brain function by altering the activity of key brain chemicals and hormones."
- Stephen S. Ilardi PhD.

"Medication isn’t the only way to correct brain abnormalities in depression. Physical exercise also brings about profound changes in the brain - changes that rival those seen with the most potent antidepressant medications." - Stephen S. Ilardi PhD.

"Let each man exercise the art he knows." - Aristophanes (450 BC - 388 BC).

"Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind." - Plato (427 BC - 347 BC).

"Just as animal research tells us that gluttony and sloth are side effects of a drive to accumulate body fat, it also says that eating in moderation and being physically active (literally, having the energy to exercise) are not evidence of moral rectitude. Rather, they're the metabolic benefits of a body that's programmed to remain lean."
- Gary Taubes.

"When we exercise self-control on a given occasion, we win for ourselves a little credibility we can rely on the next time around. Pretty soon we develop a reputation to ourselves that we want badly to uphold. With each test that we meet, our resolve gains momentum, fueled by the fear that we may succumb and establish a damaging precedent for our own weakness." - Daniel Akst.

"A good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help another up." - Anonymous.

"Too many people confine their exercise to jumping to conclusions, running up bills, stretching the truth, bending over backward, lying down on the job, sidestepping responsibility and pushing their luck." - Anonymous.
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