Fitness Junkie

Ardha Kurmasana
May 23, 2008, 6:29 am
Filed under: Yoga Fix | Tags: , , ,


On this day, 6 years ago, I was in a car accident.  Hit by a drunk driver, I ended up with soft tissue injury in my neck and my back.  Bikram yoga has helped me to recover from the many ailments I continue to experience until now.  “Yoga Fix” will introduce some of the postures used in the 26 posture series.  To find out more about my accident and how Bikram’s yoga has helped me, check the testimonials section (under Neck, Shoulder & Back Pain)  here.
Also known as the “half tortoise pose“, the Ardha Kurmasana is the 21st posture of Bikram’s yoga series and is also a posture that can be done independent of the series.  Meant to relieve, relax and rejuvinate the mind and body, this pose helps bring blood back to the brain.  Whenever you feel tired or restless, kneel down Japanese-style, sitting on your heels; knees and feet together.  Raise your arms over your head making a steeple with your hand, crossing your thumbs.  Stretch your arms upward as you take a deep breath in and bend slowly forward.  Keep your back as straight as possible ( this means belly in and shoulders back as you slowly move down).  When your hands have reached the floor, maximize the stretch by pushing your arms forward without letting your bum off your heels.  Keep your eyes open and your nose touching the floor.  You can stay in this position for as long as you like.  When you’re ready, inhale as you come up exactly as you went coming down.  Keep hips touching your heels and come back straight.  Exhale as you lower you hands.

This pose works magic for my neck and shoulders.  The great thing is, is that this posture can be done at any time.  When your restless, can’t sleep, stiff and/or sore in the neck, shoulders and lower back.  Other benefits noted include: 
  • Assists in relieving digestion problems
  • Stretches the lower part of the lungs, increasing lung capacity
  • Excellent for respiratory conditions
  • Increases circulation to the brain
  • Firms the abdomen and thighs
  • Increases flexibility of hip joints
  • Improves mobility of shoulder girdle and associated muscles (scapula, deltoids, triceps, latissimus dorsi)
  • Relieves stress and migraines
  • Helps with insomnia
  • Increases flexibility in hips 

Balance is Key
May 18, 2008, 7:31 pm
Filed under: Daily Hit | Tags: ,


“I need to be successful in my career to feel fulfilled, be surrounded by people I care about to share it with, and have my health to be able to do the things I love to do!” — Kiana Tom, television fitness instructor/host of “Flex Appeal”

Judgment Day
May 18, 2008, 10:13 am
Filed under: Stay'n on Track

It’s the May long weekend, the sun is out and that means bathing suit season is fast approaching.  It also reminds me that I need to get back into tip top shape.  What do you do to stay on track?

Some use a date of departure for a vacation, others use a wedding date or a social event… whatever it is, make a date to keep you motivated to help you continue to evaluate where you are going.  By taking small steps each day, you will find that it gets easier for you to keep progressing in a positive direction.  For example, my fellow junkie friend aka the “afrikanbeauty“,  has taken on the FitnessLicious Summer Body Challenge.  In preparation for a photo shoot this August, she is recording her progress through this blogspot. 

I know … it’s just not that easy.  With invitations to attend bbq’s, weddings, travel to vacation spots like Vegas or Mexico, why torture yourself and eat clean and drink “responsibly”?  I struggle to find a convincing answer to that myself…  but Imma sound like my mom when I say this but “in moderation”.  Have the drink, pick up and eat that bbq steak, but don’t go crazy.  Sip the drink.  Cut up the steak into smaller pieces.  Take the time to enjoy and savour the taste so that when you eliminate it from your diet, you don’t feel “jipped”.

So I’m back to contemplating about preparing for another fitness modelling competition.  Options out there include:

  • September 6 FAME West in Vancouver, BC
  • October 25th FAME World Tour in Manila, Philippines
  • November 1 Fitness Canada in Toronto, ON

The Libra in me makes it impossible for me to make a decision…  so, I’m going to sit near the beach, have a tall glass of wine, and order a steak as I mull it over… 


Motivation = Success
May 15, 2008, 9:08 pm
Filed under: Daily Hit | Tags: ,

You read constantly in the newspapers, magazine articles and self help books about ways to eat right and get fit.  But why is it so hard to get to the gym or go outside for a walk?  Why is it not easy to eat the food we know is good for us?  Why is it so hard to keep your workout plan?  You may know the answers to these questions already or you may still be struggling at finding the reasons why.  But there is only one reason:  Motivation.


Jim Loehr, a sports psychologist and CEO of LGE Performance Systems in Orlando, FL states that those who succeed in achieving a healthy lifestyle create a habit that is seductive enough so their behaviour pulls on them rather than having to push it.  Motivation is driven by intrinsic (ie.  your motivation to play outdoor soccer is because you love it) and extrinsic values (i.e. you are motivated to work because of the financial rewards).  So to success, Loehr recommended the following to get you started on your road to success in achieving positive health outcomes.

Plan Your Work.  Know what you want.  Be passionate.  Find reasons you want to achieve success.  In other words, what motivates you?  To create the habits of success, by finding reasons, you explore your deeper values.  Maybe you want more energy at the end of the day to spend quality time with loved ones or maybe you want more confidence so that you can better enjoy your work, your relationships and life in general.  Take the time to write down your reasons to succeed right  now and jot them down. 

Make success your priority.  Put health on your “to do” list.  Its often difficult to change a long standing daily habit of going to work, eating, watching television.  But review your reasons why you want to change your habits into a healthy ones.  Some keep this list nearby along with motivational quotes to keep you going.  Mentally prepare yourself by becoming aware of your detrimental daily vices.  Lying on the couch watching your favorite soap?  Get up and reach your arms in the air.  Get into the habit of stretching often.  Going to meet the girls for a drink after work?  Suggest that you meet in the park (or even the mall) to go for a walk.  Consider ways in your day where you can put fitness/exercise in for this week without changing you routine entirely.  This is when your creativity and motivation play heavily here. 

Set Deadlines.  This is the difference between a dreamer and one who lives their dreams.  By setting a deadline, you force yourself to do what needs to get done.  By writing down what you need to do, you also form a “blueprint” for success and a visual reminder of your progress. 

Work Your Plan.  Be precise.  Stay disciplined.  Keep a log book that you can use to report your progress.  Did you walk for 40 minutes and reach your target heart rate level 3x this wk?  What have you eaten in the last week?  Did you meet your nutitional guidelines of recommended servings each day?  By reviewing this log book regularly, you can monitor your success and discover ways to improve and fine tune your fitness success plan.  Do something every day that moves you forward. 

Visualize Your Success.  Picture yourself going for more millimetres into that yoga posture.  Imagine the week when you are able to run 5km under 45min.  Think about a night where you have the energy to do that “one more round” of basketball with your child.   Review your plan regularly and visualize yourself always implementing you plan.  By visualizing your success, you move towards the directions of your dreams. 

SoloStrength FUSE
May 15, 2008, 1:20 pm
Filed under: Fitness Fix | Tags: ,

Yesterday, you had a great workout at the gym.  Today, you reached over your trunk to take out the grocery and you pulled a muscle.  What happened?  You probably paid little attention to functional training…. I’m with you.  I suck at functional training.  Pull ups, push ups and squats are the very basic movements of everyday life and yet I can probably do up to (maximum) 20 push ups, 45 squats and 0 (yes, zero!!) pull ups in a minute.  Shameful, I know.  But ask me to do a chest press, hack squat or lat pull down and I’m there ready to go!! 

Functional training is purposeful training – training in congruence with how the body functions.  The key to functional exercise is that you train all the muscles to work together rather than isolating them.  And that’s where SoloStrength comes in.  I’ve been utilizing the SoloStrength FUSE and let me tell you, it’s not just a bar.  Just looking at it makes you want to try out various exercises and by adjusting the level, you can complete a full body workout in under 25 minutes!! 


President of SoloStrength Lifestyle Products Corp., Michael Bulva claims that without a doubt, this is the only bodyweight functional training system that has it all in one.  “In less space than most treadmills and ellipticals require, everyone at home or the gym can use this station.  No matter what your fitness level – whether you’re terribly uncoordinated, have injuries, weight problems that can be restricting, or require elite level conditioning and training – this system will adapt to your needs”.

Thoughtfully designed and prototyped locally, SoloStrength takes away the complicated machinery, weights and accessories and developed an “exertaining” way to trim fat and build muscle simply by utilizing the basics of functional training:  building a body capable of doing real life activities in real life positions.  Daniel Webster, a North Vancouver personal trainer and owner of Titanium Fitness has been using SoloStrength with 70 year old clients with physical limitations as well as clients in their 20s preparing for athletic events.  “To compare the SoloStrength FUSE to a standard chin-up bar is like comparing a Ferrari to a little red wagon.  Sure, the Ferrari and wagon are both red with four wheels, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same.  Yes, you can do chin ups on the SoloStrength FUSE or a standard chin-up bar, but the fact that you can do endless variations of hundreds of exercises on the FUSE makes it obvious it’s not just a chin-up bar.


It’s the art of simplified fitness.  No gadgets, no gimmicks.  All you need is one bar, one body and one mind.  And SoloStrength FUSE does just that.  From dynamic balance training to core strengthening for functional stabilization to high end explosive training, the SoloStrength FUSE is the all in one solution.  SoloStrength FUSE is currently available for purchase at any Fitness Town location or online through the company website @

Think Like an Action Heroine
May 15, 2008, 11:32 am
Filed under: Daily Hit | Tags: , , , , ,

Access all your resources. 
Superwoman.  Whether it’s her super strength, ability to fly high or even her heat vision, she is known to access every resource she had to overcome her obstacles.  Always remember what positive skills, knowledge and abilities you have and use them. 

Go for what you want. 
Catwoman was known as the full time thief and sexual predator who went after what she wanted.  Using her smooth feline moves to capture Batman and climbing buildings to steal unique jewellry, she went after what she wanted with no fear.  If you want to live a healthy life, know what you need to do to get there and then do it.


Brand your look.  
Where would Superwoman be without her cape?  Catwoman without her whip ?  Lara Croft without her lethal weapons?  Identify what makes you who you are and radiate that in everything you do. 


Face your fears. 
Like the Invisible Woman, able to generate invisible force fields, she attacked her fears head on.  Challenging situations, relationship problems, personal hardships are never easy, but by facing your fears, you develop a force field of knowledge, wisdom and courage to help you keep moving forward in life.

Know that you matter. 
All action heroines fight for what they believe in.  Always remember that you are resourceful, focused, unique and persistent.  When you believe that you make a difference in this world and that you matter, you become goal oriented and even more determined to keep on keeping on …


Just Do It
May 14, 2008, 10:16 am
Filed under: Daily Hit | Tags: , ,

  ” I adamantly refuse to be someone that looks back and says, ‘if only I’ “
Maggie Diubaldo, turned FAME Fitness Model Pro in 1st year of competing
–photography by John Stutz

Taking the First Step
May 13, 2008, 3:38 am
Filed under: Stay'n on Track | Tags: , ,

“I admit I am powerless over my addiction.  My name is May Blaiz and I am a fitness junkie. ” 

Sound familiar?  This is a common statement used among addiction support groups across the country as part of the 12 Step  program to recovery.  The first step is admitting I am powerless over my addiction.  It’s just that in this case, it’s not an addiction to alcohol, drugs or food that I have.  It’s an addiction to fitness.  I have an insatiable interest and devotion which therefore makes me a junkie… yup, a fitness junkie.

I can admit it.  I seek information constantly on how to Stay on Track with fitness.  Newspapers.  Health magazines.  Online sources.  Friends.  Family.  There’s never the right amount of information I need to achieve a higher level.  It’s like the more I know, the more I realize I don’t know and then I go out and seek out more information.

Not only that, I need my Fitness Fix.  Whether it be going to the gym for a blast of cardio or a hardcore strength training session or heading over to the studio for a Bikram’s Yoga session, I need my Fix … yet oftentimes life gets in the way.  Work, family, friends, travel and oftentimes (okay, all the time) , my own sorry excuses keep me from getting the Fix I know I need. 

So it is here that I take the first step in ensuring I get my Daily Hit.  Motivation, inspiration and that extra kick in my junkie ass to keep going in this crazy journey.  And like the 12th Step states …

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, I will carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all my affairs “…