Keep it Simple, Keep Moving! Crucial Tips for an Active Summer
With summer just around the corner (technically it is summer), we thought that it was about time to tune up our fitness facts.
He is a beast in the gym and has an alphabet soup of health related certifications behind his name and is the perfect guy to help you bench press your fitness knowledge. We sit down with Marc Faktor, MSc., CSEP CEP, the Owner & Chief Exercise Officer (CEO) of MDF Wellness Inc. to discuss fitness and health. Marc also plays a key role, as Manager of Health Promotion & Resource Development, in the provinces primary physical activity counseling service: The Physical Activity Line (PAL, sponsored by Healthy Families BC). Health promotion is his passion and, in his own words, “Move your Body, Move your Life!”
VanCity Buzz (VCB): Summer is almost here, what are some destructive and unhealthy trends that you see people engaging in as “quick fixes” to rapidly lose weight?
Marc: There are thousands of rapid weight loss programs and diets out there and it all makes me cringe. Any program that boasts of its ability to help individuals lose copious amounts of weight (e.g. 10-20 lbs) in the first couple weeks is not healthy, nor is it sustainable. Most people who lose weight in this quick fix fashion will end up compromising the function of their metabolic system which in turn makes it even easier to gain the lost weight back plus more in the months to come.
This being said, there is NO quick fix to achieving and or maintaining a healthy weight. The evidence clearly shows that eating a well balanced diet in line with canada’s food guide incorporating a small amount of caloric restriction (200-500 cals/day) paired with a routine exercise program incorporating aerobics at a moderate to vigorous intensity (most days of the week), and strength training (2-3 x/per week) will provide good results. The guidelines suggest that people looking to lose weight should aim to lose no more than 1-2 pounds per week to ensure it’s safe and sustainable.
VCB: Tell us about the Physical Activity Line, how can we make the most of it?
Marc: It is a FREE service designed to help individuals increase and or optimize their physical activity participation. PAL provides the general public access to Canada’s most qualified exercise professionals, CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologists ®, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. People can also email any physical activity related questions to [email protected] 24/7.
The overarching goals of PAL are to motivate, educate, and facilitate positive and healthy lifestyle choices that function to improve our users health, wellbeing, and overall quality of life! Don’t let such an amazing FREE service like this pass you by, use it and KEEP MOVING!
VCB: Follow us on twitter (@teamPAL) or Facebook (The Physical Activity Line) to keep up to date and motivated.
Marc: In this day and age where it is so easy to access health, fitness & motivational content on the internet, what are the benefits of having a personal trainer?
My clients always tell me that I am a huge motivation for them. They mention that the quality of their workouts is lacking without me there. As a motivational individual looking out for the best in others it is NOT my goal to have my clients need me! I think trainers are amazing for “setting the stage” and providing a safe and effective medium to get clients moving properly and develop healthy habits. I tell all of my clients at the start that I don’t want to have you as a billable for the rest of your life. It is my goal to provide you with ammunition of tools and resources designed to empower you to help yourself.
VCB: What is your personal biggest achievement at the gym?
Marc: My ability to bring intensity to every workout I set out to do is one of my biggest accomplishments. I’ve also turned a few heads hammer curling the 115 pounders…
VCB: Is there a secret to getting the best abs?
Marc: No huge secret! Do not count on spot reduction alone, use full body movements incorporating the largest muscle groups in the body, do lots of high intensity intervals and aerobics, know your limits, and keep at it!
VCB: Are any exercises or diets that were recently endorsed in the last few decades that we should now avoid?
Marc: Outdated exercises and risky injury related movements are very common. I sometimes get the urge to interrupt people and provide guidance when I see a risky movement (e.g. not maintaining a neutral spine or knees extending way beyond one’s toes during a loaded squat). Aside from form, here are just a couple exercises to consider avoiding and why:
1. Lat pull-downs, behind the head: This exercise is generally done in a sitting position while reaching for the bar and pulling it behind your head. This causes way too much stress on the shoulder joint, neck, and spine. This is known to result in impingement syndrome (increases pressure on local nerves) which can be debilitating and cause pain.
2. Upright row. When you grip a barbell with two hands and pull the weight to your chin, you are once again increasing your risk for impingement syndrome.
Follow Paul Curran @thepaulcurran