This week's super food combats cholesterol, heart disease and cancer all at once. Artichokes have high choleretic activity meaning they promote bile secretion. Bile binds cholesterol, decreasing the formation of arterial plaque, in turn decreasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. The heart of an artichoke also provides a group of flavonoids called silymarin which are potent anti-inflammatories that help to ward off cancer. Artichokes are also rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid that are essential for optimum cellular metabolic functions, essential to good overall physical health. Click here for a delicious artichoke recipe. Show your membership card at Green Soul Organics for a discount...that ain't no choke!
This week's super food is filled with vitamins A and C, potassium and copper. Vitamin A and C are anti-oxidants which reduce the incidence of free radical damage, heart disease and tumorous cancer growths. Apples also contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, which promote heart and digestive health. The skin of an apple also contains a special flavonoid called quercetin, which reduces the risk of cancer. Stop by Green Soul Organics today and get a discount with your gym membership card...how you like them apples!
Amaranth is a great grain for physically active individuals as it boasts 5 grams of high quality protein in only half a cup. Amaranth is also high in iron and vitamin C which helps oxygenate the muscles to fuel your cardiovascular workouts and reduce fatigue. Amaranth is rich in magnesium, which helps to relax blood flow and aid in post-workout recovery. This grain also contains zinc, calcium, potassium and phosphorous to support a strong immune system, healthy blood pressure and strong bones. Lastly, Amaranth is gluten-free and a great choice for those with celiac disease or a wheat allergy. Recipe: Add honey, cinnamon, and coconut or soy milk for a healthy breakfast alternative. Stop by Green Soul Organics and show your gym card for a discount!
Every week we'll post a brief description of a Super Food and how they can benefit you, starting with the letter A. This week it is Almonds. They are a nutrition packed nut; high in fibre, monounsaturated fats and antioxidants like vitamin E. Almonds contain high amounts of magnesium important for circulation of oxygen in the blood, which is crucial to optimum cardiovascular performance. They are also high in potassium, which is important for heart function to increase endurance, as well as for muscle contraction, to promote strength and assist in a speedy recovery. Swing by Green Soul Organics and pick some up today! Show your Tofino Fitness membership card and get a discount.
As you have probably noticed, there is no leg curl machine at Tofino Fitness. Not to fret, you can work your hamstrings, glutes and lower back with the TRX hamstring curl above or better yet you can do deadlifts, technique below.
TRX Hamstring Curls
This is a super functional exercise that is also scalable from beginner to advanced. Leave your tailbone on the ground for beginners, palms facing down. Plank position for intermediate exercisers with hands on your chest. Lead with your hips for a more advanced workout, hands on your chest or pointing up directly above your shoulders.
Deadlift's are one of the most functionally practical exercises you can do. We perform this movement on a day-to-day basis when bending over to pick things up. Position your feet so that the the bar is dividing them in half lengthwise. You don’t want the bar too close to your shins, nor too far. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart or closer, and toes slightly pointed outwards.
If you’re using 45 lb plates the height of the bar is perfect. If you’re using anything lower than put some weights flat on the floor and place your barbell on top of them to elevate it to proper height.
Reach down and grab the bar with a double overhand grip, hands just on the outside of your legs. Without lifting the bar, stick your chest out, butt up, and look forward.
Inhale, contract your abs, tighten your back and by pushing through your heels raise the bar. Raise the bar by first straightening the legs. Let the bar smoothly follow the vertical line of your leg but don’t drag it on your shins. When the bar reaches the knees, straighten the torso and the legs simultaneously (without rounding your back) to reach the fully erect, standing position. Throughout the lift, maintain a neutral spine (natural, proper alignment of the spine; no excessive curving).
This is a great exercise for both men and women. Try the stiff-legged version also as shown in the video below:
By now you have probably noticed the set of straps attached to the ceiling in the stretching area of the cardio room at Tofino Fitness. This is a TRX Supension Training System. One of the reasons why its such a great piece of equipment is because of its virtual unlimited scalability. Meaning that almost anyone can use the TRX Suspension Trainer, regardless of his or her level of fitness, because the principles governing Suspension Training are simple, easy to adjust and vary greatly, depending on your body position.
In the video above, TRX Senior Instructor Arthur Hsu demonstrates the three principles of progression you can use to modify the intensity of your workouts. They are:
Using these three principle of progression you can vary the difficulty of the TRX Suspension Training workout posted on the wall beside the piece of equipment. In the coming weeks, Tofino Fitness will be posting more workouts and instructions for the TRX Trainer. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the TRX or need some training tips on how to incorporate it into your workout routine.