Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Guide to Common Exercise Pain

I found this great article and thought I'd share. It talks about what hurts, why it hurts and how to help make it feel better. It also outlines what workout strategies to use until it feels better!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Water, Water, Everywhere....

I don't know about you, but where I'm from (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada), this has been a hot, steamy summer. I headed out for a long run a couple of weeks ago early on Saturday morning, to try to beat the heat. But I made a big mistake (yes, even trainers do that from time to time!). I didn't bring any water. Unlike a race, nobody sets up hydration stations for my training runs. I'm going to have to work on that. Because I needed water that morning. By the end of my run, I was looking longingly at roadside puddles, thinking "gosh, that one doesn't look like it has too much car exhaust by-product in it!". I managed to make it home without dropping to my knees to lap at the filthy water, and I made sure I drank plenty of water then and throughout the day. But I still felt the effects. And it wasn't pleasant, let me tell you. If you've ever experienced dehydration, you know that it's NOT a party.

Water is just about the MOST essential ingredient for a healthy life. It works hard, doing things like aiding digestion, transporting nutrients and helping to eliminate waste, lubricating joints and helping regulate your body temperature through sweating. Water is especially important during exercise. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue, and in extreme cases, heat stroke and heat exhaustion. The amount of water you need to drink before, during and after exercise is based on a lot of factors, but as a general rule, you should be drinking a cup or two of water about half an hour before exercise, half a cup or so about every twenty minutes during your workout, and 1-2 cups after your workout for every pound you sweat off.

What about those sports drinks? Well, unless you're exercising for longer than 60 minutes at a fairly high intensity, it's not necessary to down a big bottle of Gatorade. Water is sufficient. If you're running marathons or competing in triathalons, you will need to add a complex sports drink with electrolytes.

And I really don't recommend drinking from those roadside puddles!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Form, Function and Balance

We’ve all seen them. Those guys at the gym or on the beach who have obviously logged thousands of hours lifting weights. Their arms are enormous, often too big to hang comfortably by their sides. Now sure, their muscles are pumped and they don’t have an ounce of body fat. But how functional are those muscles? They can bench press a small car, but strangely, that doesn’t usually come in handy in everyday life!

There’s a huge buzz about “functional fitness” these days, and for good reason. But what is it, exactly? Well, regular weight training focuses on working each muscle group separately, but functional fitness instead focuses on working the muscles groups together, which is how we use them in the real world. When you’re lifting your baby seat out of the car, or lugging a suitcase through the airport, or even hefting grocery bags up 3 flights of stairs, you’re not just using one muscle in isolation. All your muscles are working together, some doing the actual work and others balancing and even more are stabilizing the movement.

To get started with a functional fitness routine, you may want to hold off on picking up any weight at all! “Pardon?” I hear you saying…. Well, most of us have a hard enough time controlling our own body weight, much less tossing a 20 lb dumbbell into the equation (and by the way, don’t ever try to toss a 20 lb dumbbell). Try doing a one-legged squat with no weight at all, just your body weight. See? It’s not so easy, is it? Eventually, you can work your way up to adding a dumbbell to that one-legged squat, and even doing it on a wobble board.

So does this mean you should abandon traditional weight training? Not at all. You need to balance the two to make sure that strong muscles aren’t getting stronger to the detriment of weaker muscles. Traditional weight training isolates the muscles and makes them equally strong, and functional fitness teaches those strong muscles to work together.

Another thing to remember with functional fitness is that, unlike traditional resistance training, working to failure can net you an injury. Work until you are no longer able to perform the exercise with perfect form.

One of the best things about functional fitness is that it’s fun! And you can so easily see how performing the exercises will translate into helping you carry out your daily activities of life, and that right there is one of the best reasons to make exercise a part of your life!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Starting an exercise program can be a huge challenge. There is an overwhelming amount of information out there, and much of it is conflicting. Lift heavy weights, lift light weights, do lots of cardio, cut back on cardio…. It just makes you want to throw your hands in the air and say “Forget it! I'm heading back to the couch!”.

First things first. Before you even START to exercise, you have to commit to making exercise a priority in your life. And remember, exercise doesn’t have to mean logging countless hours at the gym doing endless bicep curls and running on a treadmill. All sorts of activities can help you achieve your goals, and finding the things you love to do will help it become an everyday part of your life.

Old habits die hard, and changing them requires a committed effort. It takes time to develop new habits, and a positive attitude is key! You will not become an athlete overnight, but slow, small changes will help ensure that fitness becomes an integral part of your daily life.

It’s important to check with your doctor to get the green light to exercise without restrictions. Surround yourself with supportive people and role models. Having a support system is one of the most crucial pieces in the healthy lifestyle puzzle. Having someone to be accountable to, and someone who can motivate you when you JUST DON’T FEEL LIKE IT is important for everyone, no matter their level of fitness.

Working with a qualified personal trainer will help you learn how to set and reach achievable goals. This is especially important for new exercisers. You have to remember that there are endless options out there to help you get fit and stay fit, and a professional can help you sift through all the available information and figure out what’s best for you!

Physical health often falls by the wayside when you’re trying to balance the demands of your daily life. But physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle will help you find more energy and enthusiasm for everything else in your life!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Welcome to Jump! Personalized Fitness, where you'll find your own unique key to a new, healthier you.

I'm Shelley Arnold, owner of Jump! As your personal trainer, I'll work one-on-one with you to help you meet your fitness and health goals on your terms. But before we get started, I want to tell you one thing: Fitness isn't all work – it's a lot of fun, too! And I think you'll discover that as long as you're having fun, you'll get great results.

Are you ready?