Thank You!!



Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey and for your thoughtful comments.  Thank you to those of you who also sent me an email in addition to or in lieu of the survey.  This has helped me with planning and understanding where all of you are at after 3 months of being away from the gym.  

I also want to thank those who came out to class the last few days as we ventured back to training in person.  The weather was great and the rain held off for our morning sessions.  The shade at the NSA kept us all cool and it was sooooo wonderful to see some of your faces after so long apart.

I am technically on “Holiday” until July 5 and will be spending time with my family.  I will be sending out some information on how we will be moving forward with class Sign-In and updating the schedule for July at the end of next week.  Keep an eye on your inboxes next week!



I don’t know about you, but all this time away from the gym has increased my desire for my daily walk.  I have always been a big believer in the value of movement and especially a daily walk and now more so than ever!  It certainly has been one of my strategies for getting to see other people, even if it was just to give a friendly smile and say “Hi” as we passed (6 feet apart).  One of the reasons I love having dogs in my life is because they don’t let you skip this activity each day!

Here is a great article on the value of walking … so many great reasons to keep this as part of your daily routine!

Walking Is the Best Thing You Can Do for Your Health

Back to Training in Person? Take the Survey!

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Well this has definitely been an interesting few months and I hope this finds all of you well.  I want you all to know how much I miss seeing all of your faces each day in the gym and I can’t wait to get back to doing what I love, which is helping all of you stay Strong and Healthy!

As you know, I have been closely following all the announcements Premier Ford makes each week on the “Re-opening” of the Ontario economy.  It is a slow process and one that must be weighed and measured carefully each week.  The province is in the process of working through “Phase 2” and the re-opening of gym’s will fall somewhere into “Phase 3” which could optimistically happen sometime in July.

The good news is that as of Friday June 12, Personal Trainers may work with clients privately or in groups outside of gyms and must follow COVID-19 protocols.

What that means is group outdoor training can take place and Personal Trainers may also come to your home (inside or outside).  Group training must be fewer than 10 participants and physical distancing must be maintained.

I understand that not everyone will be comfortable training with other people yet and some people may not yet be ready to have someone in their home.  Everyone will have varying comfort levels and just because we can now train with other people doesn’t mean you have to or should, everyone must decide what is right for them.

So in effort to provide the best services to meet you where you are at right now I am asking for your input on possible training options that I could provide as we progress through the stages of re-opening.

Please click here to answer a very short survey, it will only take a few minutes of your time:

Survey link

Keep in mind that for any training that takes place in person, we will follow COVID-19 protocols very carefully.

We all must meet the following criteria at each session:

In the last 24 hours we all and anyone in our households must be free of the following symptoms:

– no fever
– no shortness of breath
– no coughing/allergy symptoms

– no exposure to anyone with confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days

– no travel outside the country in the last 14 days

We will all have to disinfect our hands at the start and end of each session (I will have hand sanitizer available).

I will be wearing a mask, you do not have to.

We will have to use the minimum 6 foot physical distancing rule.

There will be no sharing of equipment.

All equipment used will be thoroughly sanitized before and after each use, with time (15 minutes minimum) between each training session to allow for complete sanitization of all equipment.

These are just some of the protocols we will be following for any in person training regardless of the number of participants and the location.

Outdoor training locations may include the parking lot and lawn area of the National Ski Academy (all with great shade options) or your own home outdoor space.

So please be patient as we work through this process and your help identifying what your current needs are will greatly help me determine what I will offer as we progress through this next stage.

I thank you in advance for taking the time to complete this survey and I look forward to your responses and seeing you all again soon!

Here is the link again and it will only take a few minutes of your time.

Survey Link

Stay Active, Stay well, and Stay Strong!!


What a Dietitian Knows, that Others Don’t

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Here is some great nutrition information for everyone from Jennnifer Broxterman.  Jennifer is a Registered Dietitian from London Ontario.

Here she offers healthy eating and lifestyle advice to strengthen your immune system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whole food ideas, supplement guidelines, and evidenced-based nutrition and self-care advice to help you stay healthy.

Click Here to watch and listen to her nutritional advice for everyone:


Here are the links to the free PDF’s that she discusses in the video above:

Eat a Rainbow of Colours (PDF Download)

Whole Food Nutrition Guide (PDF Download)


  1. Shift your mindset to actions that you have TOTAL CONTROL over (vs. some or no control)
  2. Whole foods = preventative medicine
  3. Plan ahead (batch cook, but don’t panic buy or hoard food)
  4. Nutrients of focus: protein, vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc
  5. Stay hydrated (hot liquids help break up the mucus in the lungs)
  6. Hand hygiene & frequently clean high touch surfaces
  7. Parasympathetic recovery (support your rest, digest, and recovery pathways)
  8. Sunlight & fresh air are natural germicidal agents
  9. Practice gratitude & stoicism
  10. Take action NOW and be proactive on what you have direct control over. Don’t panic, but be prepared.


Jennifer Broxterman, MSc, RD
Registered Dietitian, NutritionRx

Nutrition, Immunity and COVID-19

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ISIN Position Statement on Nutrition, Immunity and COVID-19

There is lack of acquired immunity in populations across the world to COVID-19, no vaccine, uncertainty about the true infection rate within countries and, the elderly are a vulnerable group (particularly those in care homes and similar institutions).

Nutritional advice is therefore, considered appropriate at this time. There is much evidence from animal and human studies that antioxidant nutrition and related nutrients support the immune system to function properly.

The general advice is to eat a diverse and well-balanced diet rich in coloured fruit and vegetables (to increase the intake of antioxidant and associated nutrients) to support immune function.

Specific advice in relation to the elderly is to increase the intake of Vitamin E (134 mg – 800 mg/day), Zinc (30 mg – 220 mg/day), Vitamin C (200 mg – 2 g/day) and particularly for those people with low serum vitamin D status, Vitamin D (10 μg – 100 μg/day). These nutrients have been shown to enhance T cell and B cell (antibody) immunity in human studies including in the elderly.

There is no specific evidence these nutritional measures can help protect against, or even lessen the effects, of, COVID-19 infection. However, it does make pragmatic sense to support nutritionally both normal health and the immune system (with doses unlikely to be harmful) before, during and after COVID-19 infection.


International Society for Immunonutrition (ISIN), Board members (March 2020). Laurence Harbige, Philip Calder, Ascensión Marcos, Mireille Dardenne, Gabriela Perdigón, Francisco Perez-Cano, Wilson Savino, Nora Slobodianik, Liseti Solano, Roxana Valdes.

How Poor Diet Contributes to Coronavirus Risk

As our scientists and researchers learn more about Covid-19, they’re discovering that poor metabolic health has made far too many people vulnerable to the disease.

“Clearly, when this pandemic subsides, a lot more attention to the American diet will be needed to ward off future medical, economic and social calamities from whatever pathogen next comes down the pike,” Jane E. Brody wrote in The New York Times.

Could this be the wakeup call people need to improve their health?  This article takes a brief look at the diet issues that contribute to Metabolic Syndrome, and beyond age, this is the biggest risk factor for illness and death from Covid-19.


Nutrition and Exercise are Medicine


“Stay at home, stay fit. We Cannot control the virus but we can control our fitness.” 
                                                  – A. Schwarzenegger

So far we have been physically distant and socially isolating ourselves for close to 6o days.  Our focus and goal has been to “Flatten the Curve” so that our medical system does not get overwhelmed.  We seem to be progressing well and our daily infections rates of Corona virus seem to be coming down ever so slightly.

At first we watched the news and the numbers in shock and disbelief that this was happening – we were locked down, everything was closed and we have been told to STAY HOME.

As the weeks passed, we have adjusted and found new routines for our new “normal.”

Last week we saw the provincial government start to loosen up some of its restrictions and allow some business to start opening back up with some very strict guidelines.  We are all hopeful that in the coming weeks and months we will see this increase and we can see our friends and families again.

Before we get too excited, we still have work to do of our own.  Now is the time for all of us to do our part to take care of ourselves beyond just physically distancing ourselves, wearing a mask and gloves and washing our hands.

In the coming days and weeks I plan to share with you the best advice, information and research that I have curated on how to take control and action of our own health as we consider moving back out into the world to live with the Corona virus.

Exercise and nutrition are medicine and they offer some of the best prevention and protective tools that we have available to us.

So if you aren’t walking 30 minutes/day – start today!!!  I know many of you are already walking close to an hour/day – keep it up!!   Walk EVERY day – your life depends on it.

Many of you are following the workout videos I have been putting together for you – keep it up!!  We need those muscles now more than ever!

Here is the link again to my YouTube channel where you can access all the workouts:

Click here to subscribe.

Here is some inspiration from Arnold Schwarzenegger – I think you all know who he is.  His recent video  inspiring people trying to stay strong and sane during this pandemic: “Just as long as you do something every day, that is the important thing.”




The Year for Gardening? More people are trying to be Green Thumbs


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Some of you may have met Christina Prevett when you joined me and signed up for the McMaster University Research project we conducted a few years ago.   She nows owns her own gym and physiotherapy clinic in Kingston Ontario.  Here is a timely Blog post from Christina for all of you who love to garden and maybe some inspiration for those of you who don’t, but need to do something to keep you active during this pandemic!

Original Blog Post by Christina Prevett, April 27, 2020

Is gardening the new hobby of choice for many?!

When the COVID-19 closures started, we thought it might be for a couple of weeks. We are now going into week 7 and realizing how wrong we were. I started to realize that I needed a hobby that wasn’t related to work in any way. Even as a weightlifter, it sort of relates to my business as a gym owner. Introduce… gardening!

With more of us having to spend our time at home, many people have turned to gardening as a way to spend more time outside, reduce stress and do something productive. So much so that the garden centres are having a hard time keeping up!

Blogs and YouTube channels that are talking about gardening for beginners are also seeing a surge in views which is a great indication of more people trying to be active outside.

Gardening can be so good for you in so many ways. A paper that was just published talked about some of the benefits to our mental and physical health. I’ve outlined them for you here.

What are some of the perks of gardening?

1. Gardening eases stress and anxiety.

There is a term we use when we are in nature. That term is nature bathing. It refers to the sense of relief and release we feel when we’re in a natural environment. This usually is when we are talking about being in a forest but many people describe this washing away of stress when they’re in their gardens too. Taking care of weeds and working the soil brings a sense of calm.

2. Having a garden promotes positive self esteem

For many people who spend a lot of time in their gardens, they can be something that gives a person a sense of pride. Their gardens are a reflection of their hard work. It is something they can show off. Those feelings can translate into a little ego boost or a boost to the self-esteem.

3. For older folks, research lets us feel like we’re taking care of something with all of the kids grown up

A research paper that I linked to below just came out talking about how for many people, gardening can be an outlet for our nurturing side. Gardening gives us something to care for. Like a dog that doesn’t bark or not come back when it’s called (haha).

4. It’s FUN

Many people can consider gardening a necessary work that they must do as a home-owner. For many others though, that is not the case. It is a favourite pastime. It is something that people look forward to doing. Learning something new, experimenting with different types of flowers can be really enjoyable. Maybe you can give it another try?

5. It can be a social thing (when we can go back to community gardens!)

Right now with physical distancing this isn’t a social activity but when the community gardens open it can be! Especially if you’re in a very urban setting with little outdoor space of your own, having a community plot can be a GREAT way to meet new people and get out and have some fun outside.

6. It makes us sit less!

We spend too much time sitting! Gardening is an excuse for us to move around a bit more! As a physiotherapist, I don’t know if I would categorize it as exercise (you have tobe breathing a bit heavy for that) but it definitely is physical activity and movement. Breaking up our long sitting stretches by gardening is a great way for us to stay healthy!

Want to get into gardening but have NO idea where to start? Here are some resources I’ve found around the internet

The Impatient Gardener: Here is her blog and YouTube channel. She is super down to earth and her gardens are GORGEOUS

Planterina: I went down the Youtube rabbit hole for HOURS. Her plants are gorgeous and I’m obsessed. Check it out here.


Scott T, Masser BM & Pachana NA. Positive aging benefits of home and community gardening activities: older adults report enhanced self-esteem, productive endeavours, social engagement and exercise. SAGE Open Medicine. 2020.8:1-13.

Warming up for the Garden

Last Spring I was invited to do a presentation for the Collingwood Garden Club.  As part of the presentation I introduced a basic Gardeners Warm-up.  Given that Spring is here and many of you are heading out to your gardens, I thought this would be a good time to share it again.  Here is the post from last Spring:



Many of you are avid gardeners and some of you do it because it is part of your household chores.  Either way it is a good idea to start to practice a basic warm-up before you start lifting, digging and bending over.

Here is a basic warm-up series I presented to the Collingwood Gardening Club last month.  I hope you find it helpful and can start to add it to your gardening practice.

The purpose of the warm-up prior to doing any gardening is to increase blood flow to the muscles you are about to use and to prime or prep them for the necessary movements involved in your upcoming tasks.  You will want to spend about 5-10 minutes warming up.

  • March in place – do about 20 marching steps, with big high knees and swing your arms.

  • Walk laps around your yard/garden, continue to march if you like.

  • Make…

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