Make that treat your bitch!

The secret to making any diet or healthy living plan successful is longevity. It has to be something that you can maintain. With Halloween having just passed us by, leaving a trail of candy wrappers in its wake, I feel that it’s important to have a strategy in place to allow yourself to enjoy this time of year without feeling guilty. It’s also a great dry run for Christmas; a time of year where food is the focus of many events that you’ll attend. If you love a sweet treat now and again, but feel like you’ve just committed a capital offence by eating it then you are not allowing yourself to enjoy everything that a holiday has to offer and are setting yourself up for failure. Sweets are good, and I would argue that they are good for your mental well being….in moderation. But they are only good for you if you saver every second while eating them. If you’re just chucking them in your mouth with no mindfulness, you are abusing them.

One of the best strategies I’ve heard for allowing yourself to enjoy the odd treat at festive times of the year is to actually ENJOY them. If you’re having a mini chocolate bar, A) make sure that it’s your favourite and 2) see how long you can make it last. Saver every second each little bit is in your mouth. Make it a special occasion all of its own. I put a question out to my Facebook followers (King Cobra Fit) asking what their favourite Halloween candy is and one of my clients said she loves the mini coffee crisps and she loves to eat them layer by layer. That is a great way to eat them. Find a way to enjoy your treat. Own the decision to eat it. Make that treat, whatever it may be, the best treat you’ve ever had. This will maximize your enjoyment and will help stave off your craving for it. I know it sounds weird but it’s true. If you absolutely enjoy your treat you will feel satisfied and it will be easier to say “no thank you” to another one. Just be sure that your serving size is not ridiculous, not a whole cake, just a small slice, and enjoy every morsel of it. Remember, OWN the decision to eat it, its your choice, you don’t have to eat it, so make it worth it.

Thanks for reading

Matt

(King Cobra Fit)

Don’t be a fair weather exercsier

Well, its that time of year again. It’s rainy, it’s snowy, and it’s cold. What are going to do to keep fit and healthy? Bad weather is no excuse to sit on the couch and remember the good ol’ days when we could do whatever we liked. Just like vegetables, fall has its fair share of seasonal Physical Activities. This is by far not an exhaustive list, just a few ideas, please feel free to add more in the comments section.

Running is always an option, now I’m not a runner, that I will fully admit. However, I have enjoyed running now and again and the cooler temperatures mean you could be slightly more comfortable while keeping your pace up there. A few things to keep in mind; just because you may not sweat the way you did when it was 25 degrees out, you still need to hydrate, keep that water coming in; also, layers make all the difference, base/wicking layer, warm layer and water proof layer, but make sure you are breathable; lastly, mind your footing, the ground could be slippery, make sure you have good shoes.

If you’re like me and dislike running (hate is a strong word), don’t fret, there are plenty of options. Spin classes are a great way to challenge your cardio while being in a group atmosphere. Remember, stay within your comfort level, it’s your workout, don’t’ feel pressured to crank the tension up because everyone around you is. However, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself a bit too. If it’s your first spin class, show up a bit early and let the instructor know, ask them to help you get set up on the bike and take a few minutes to play with the tension knob and get comfortable on the bike. Don’t worry, the seat is only a pain in the butt for the first few classes, it gets more comfortable the more you go, I promise.

What’s that? You don’t want to be in a room with a bunch of people, you prefer to be outside. How about kayaking? If you live here on the coast, you’re going to get wet anyway, why not have fun doing it? You can rent kayaks right down by the water for reasonable prices. One tip, rent or buy a wet suit, this will help you stay a little warmer and keep you focused on the scenery around you. Oh yeah and the ocean life! Seals, whales, fish, birds, prepare to see nature like you’ve never seen it before. All distracting you from the crazy sweat you’re working up.

Cross country skiing is another great option. Some of the highest VO2 Max records are held by cross country skiers. With-in 5 minutes of doing it you’ll understand why. There are so many trails and Nordic centers around that you’ll never get bored. Again, you can rent all the necessary equipment from the Nordic lodge and if you like it, there are plenty of people looking to get rid of their gently used equipments as they have purchased new stuff. Also, just like running, layering is the way to go to stay warm and dry.

These are just a few options that there are to keep active in the fall/winter months. Hit the weight room; go for a swim; squash/racquet ball, just to name a few more. Get out and try something new. Remember, just cause its crappy outside, doesn’t give you a free pass to blow all that hard work you did when it was nice out. Keep at it and have fun!

Thanks for reading

Matt Kingstone (King Cobra Fit)

Bahh Bahh Black sheep, why are you so injured?

As a professional Certified Personal Trainer and a Fitness Instructor my goal is to help people become their best. I know that people come to my classes or sessions expecting a fun, challenging and safe workout. I don’t get asked “why am I doing this exercise” very often, but when I do, I always have an answer. There is a reason behind all of the exercises that I choose. The problem with the fitness industry is not enough people ask “why am I doing this exercise ”. Many people take what their trainer is telling them to do and do it blindly. Now to be clear, I’m not telling you to question everything your trainer is telling you to do. If they are experienced, educated and passionate 9 times out of 10 you will be fine. But if an exercise makes you stop and think “whoa, this seems unsafe”, ask the question.

This has to be one of my biggest concerns with the fitness industry today. Too many people are more interested in “looking hard as fuck” doing an exercise, than being interested in understanding where in their daily lives this movement will help them. The handstand pushup is a prime example of this. To perform a handstand pushup you get in to the handstand position, most likely against a wall, and then you bend your arms, lowering your head toward the floor and press back up to straight arms. Impressive to watch, yes, but why the hell are people doing high repetition of this ridiculous movement? What happened to the risk/benefits analysis? When you are choosing an exercise you have to ask yourself two questions. 1) Is there a better way to train this movement pattern or muscle group and 2) Is there a safer way to train this movement pattern or muscle group. If you answer yes to either one of those questions, you need to rethink your exercise choice. To the handstand pushup the answer to both of those questions is yes. How about a standing, seated, half kneel or high kneeling shoulder press; don’t have any weights but have a partner? Try a partner shoulder press. I chose to pick on the handstand pushup because I feel that it is a perfect example of the need for the “why am I doing this exercise” question in fitness. The ability to do a handstand is very impressive; I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from practising and becoming proficient at doing a handstand. However, not everyone has the shoulder stability, balance and strength to do a handstand pushup, therefore not everyone should do them, I would argue that there are very few people who should be doing them.

The point of training and exercising is to enhance your quality of life, be more efficient doing your ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) and have a little fun in the process; it is not to look like a “Boss” doing a movement or spend months rehabbing an injury that was totally avoidable by stepping out of the herd of sheep and asking WHY!

Thanks for reading

Matt Kingstone

King Cobra Fit

A thank you

Every now and again I’m so humbled and grateful for those around me. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to accomplish something and look back at the help you received, little or big and know that without that help it would have been much more difficult or impossible. This is my way of saying thank you.

Today was my first attempt at a “Flash Mob”. But not just any Flash Mob, a Bootcamp Flash Mob. Now, what does every Flash Mob need? That’s right, people.  When most people hear Flash Mob they think “Sweet, sign me up”. However, when those same people hear Bootcamp Flash Mob, they say “sounds like fun. Let me know how it goes”. Without people a Flash Mob is all but useless.

My Bootcamp Flash Mob today was anything but useless. From my Girl Friend that stayed up till 2 Am helping me make T-Shirt to the buddy who made some phone calls and rallied a few more troops, then shows up wearing an afro wig and bright orange knee high socks (it was priceless); From The late additions that felt every foot step in their hung over heads, to the supportive mom who was right there with all the “youngling”, showing that there is no age limit on fitness; A borrowed Iron from a friend there in spirit and who could forget the roommate that’s, down for pretty much whatever.

We ran, we sweated, we cheered and yeah there were a few dirty looks, but what bootcamp is complete without a few of those. Everyone put on a smile, had a good time and helped promote a friends or acquaintances budding small business, because I asked for a “small” favor. A thousand times, thank you

It’s easy to get caught up in your own world and what you are trying to accomplish, but if you don’t stop and acknowledge those that helped you along the way big or small, before you know it you’re doing it alone and that’s really no fun.

Thank you for reading

Matt Kingstone – King Cobra Fit