Exercise and a Busy Schedule!


Finding time to exercise can be hard! I work full time, run a non-profit animal rescue, blog, and still want time for myself, my boyfriend, my friends and of course, my cat! With a jam-packed schedule, finding that hour to hit the gym can easily get put on the back burner.

When you’re feeling like exercise is getting the boot, it’s always good to remind yourself that 2/3 of our adult population struggle with being overweight.

Here are a few simple ways of fitting exercise into a busy schedule:

1. Create a Workout Schedule

Are you a calendar type of person? If not, you may want to start. If you have a smartphone or a day planner, making an appointment to get your workout in for the day will hold you accountable and allow you to plan ahead. When you see a 6 AM workout for the next day on your calendar, you’ll know you need to get to sleep early and eat a good breakfast.

Every time you accomplish a workout that was on your calendar keep track of it! The goal is to form a habit. There’s been talk that “21 days” is all you need to form a new habit. Well, that might be the case for some, but many people need more than 3 weeks to form a habit; some say the magic number is 66 days. It could take months to form a habit that becomes a lifestyle, so calendar away, and continue to watch – and feel great about – your progress over the weeks.

1. Find Random Ways to Exercise

There are many random, fun ways to exercise. One of my favourite ways is to turn on whatever Netflix show I’m currently mainlining while I workout. I’ll put on a 50-minute episode and keep my body moving the entire time. You don’t need any fancy equipment either, just clear a space for yourself and rotate through burpees, high knees, push-ups, sit-ups, whatever gets your blood pumping!

Do you get a lunch break at work? Consider taking the first part of it to go outside for a jog. If you get a full hour, take 40 minutes of it to get an outdoor workout in, come back and finish up your lunch.

Find those moments where multitasking is possible and get your workout in for the day!

1. Sign Up for a Membership

Find something you really enjoy; barre, cycle, yoga, pilates, parkour, etc. Whatever it is, make sure it gets you moving!

Signing up for a membership and becoming a part of a community of activity seekers who love the same thing as you can be very motivating.  Being surrounded by other people may serve as that extra little push you needed to make exercise a fun habit.

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Sports Drink Swaps


When sweetener ranks second (after water) on the ingredient list, you know your sports drink may be doing your body more harm than good.

Sure, during a hard workout you’re thirsty and in need of a pick-me-up, but don’t fall for inspiring slogans and appealing colours. Instead, rehydrate and support recovery with natural ingredients that also boost your nutrient intake. Swap out your sports drink for one of these healthier alternatives:


Sounds obvious, but you can’t get more natural than a cold glass of water. Unless you’re sweating excessively for an extended period, sipping on plain water is often enough to stay well hydrated.

Coconut Water

If you’re hankering for a little more than water, this clean label alternative to a sports drink contains 600 mg potassium, 252 mg sodium and 60 mg magnesium per cup [1]. Its gentle concentration of electrolytes is similar to that found in your blood.

DIY Sports Drink

When you’re exercising for more than one hour, experts recommend that you consume both sodium and water to replenish what you lose through sweat [2]. Making your own sports drink is an easy and refreshing way to stay hydrated and rev-up your energy levels throughout your endurance sessions.

Mix the following ingredients in a pitcher until well dissolved and refrigerate until you’re ready to workout:

  • 1000 ml warm liquid (water, green tea, or coconut water)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. honey or agave syrup
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon, lime, or orange juice


Ice Slurry

If exercising in hot weather saps your energy, swap your sports drink for an ice slurry. It will help to cool your core while quenching your thirst.


Protein plays a serious role in recovery. It helps build and repair damaged muscle tissue while supporting your immune system. With 10 g of protein per scoop, *PGX® Satisfast™ Whey Protein Drink Mix provides an effective way to fill your post-workout protein needs.

Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk is also a practical (and delicious) swap for commercial recovery drinks. Its ratio of protein to carbohydrates is ideal for refueling and repairing your muscles.

*Drink additional water (8 Fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX®.


[1] USDA. “National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27.”  Agricultural Research Service. Web. 24 August 2015.

[2] ACSM. “Exercise and Fluid Replacement.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 39.2 (2007): 377-390. Web. 24 August 2015.

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Video: A 20 Minute Tabata Workout


*It is always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before starting a new fitness or exercise program.

If you enjoy getting your heart rate up Tabata training is for you!  This high-intensity interval training lasts a total of 4 minutes per movement. So, when paired with 4 movements, you’re looking at exactly 20 minutes of fierce calorie burning fun!

Kara’s 20 Minute Tabata Workout

About Tabata

Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata discovered this form of exercise after conducting intensive research on two groups of athletes. One group worked out 5 times per week for 1 hour ( at a moderate intensity) while the other worked out 4 times per week for 4 minutes and 20 seconds (at a high intensity).  The testing went on for 6 weeks and guess what the outcome was?  The group that only worked out 4 minutes and 20 seconds utilizing high-intensity interval training came out as the leader, increasing their anaerobic and aerobic systems.

Tabata: How It’s Done

Tabata training is interval training at its finest.  You work out as hard as you can for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.  You complete 8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, to complete the circuit.

Let’s put it all together to make an incredible 20 minute workout!

Kara’s 20 Minute Tabata Workout


  1. Jump Squat
  2. High Knees
  3. Jumping Jack Touch Down
  4. Side to Side Touch

Mix things up by doing each of these exercises consecutively (20 sec on, 10 sec off), so that each set of 4 exercises equals 2 minutes. Do this 10 times.  I set my timer for increments of 20 seconds and go continuously through these 4 moves until I hit 20 minutes.

You can also go through each movement one at a time, taking 5 minutes for each movement.  Tabata is a great way of burning a high amount of calories in a short amount of time. 

*There are always ways of modifying any exercise to make it easier and less intense if you are just getting back into it.  4 movements to try as a modification to this circuit are: jumping jacks, sit-ups, squats, and high knees.

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6 Best Post-Workout Foods


6 Best Post-Workout Foods

Efficient refueling after a workout helps your body build and maintain muscle. Strength training and other types of exercise can cause tiny tears in the muscles which, when repaired, help to make the muscles stronger. However, your body needs a good supply of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats in order to make those repairs.

Research suggests that a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein is an efficient way to replenish muscle energy in the form of glycogen, and to kick start the healing process to build stronger and healthier muscles. This process also requires a good intake of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, including plenty of antioxidants, to stave off damage from the free radicals generated by increased metabolism during exercise.

Post-Workout: The Importance of Protein

When choosing post-workout foods, aim for between 6 and 20 grams of protein, depending on factors such as the intensity of your workout, your body weight, and your weight management goals. This helps feed your muscles without overtaxing digestion or overloading on amino acids that won’t be used.

A smoothie with a scoop of plant-based protein, such as PGX Protein*, is an easy and convenient way to get a good amount of protein, along with beneficial fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

In addition to choosing foods with a good amount of protein, it’s also a good idea to keep your fat intake low immediately after exercise, as fat slows down digestion. However, including a source of omega-3 essential fatty acids can help support your body’s natural inflammatory response.†

6 Post-Workout Foods

Not a fan of smoothies? Not to worry! Keep the following foods on hand for a delicious, beneficial post-workout snack or meal:

1. Nut Butter and Banana Sandwich

PB & J, without the J! Try eating a banana, almond butter sandwich on whole wheat bread for a quick way to refuel after a session at the gym or after a big competition.

The almond butter and bread provide protein, and the almonds are a source of vitamin E, magnesium and calcium, which support healthy muscle function. Bananas contain easily digested carbohydrates to restock glycogen stores, in addition to a range of beneficial antioxidants. They also contain tryptophan, the amino acid that is converted into serotonin, so bananas could be the ideal post-workout snack for anyone who struggles to enjoy exercise!

2. Lentil Soup

A rich source of protein, iron and fiber, lentils are a great choice for any post-workout meal. They have about 2.2 grams of carbohydrates to 1 gram of protein, so adding in kale, spinach or chard to a basic lentil soup is a great way to meet that 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein, all while stocking up on vitamins, minerals and a range of phytonutrients.

Mix in onions, leeks, shallots and/or garlic for additional sulfur compounds that help the body to produce glutathione, a key antioxidant enzyme that helps support muscle health.

3. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a versatile whole food that can be boiled, roasted and salted for a handy post-workout snack. They can also be included in a vegetable stir fry with soba (buckwheat noodles) to round out the protein for a heartier meal, or processed into hummus as a simple, tasty dip to enjoy alongside fresh vegetables or pita bread.

Chickpeas have a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein, barely any fat, and when you combine them with a little lemon juice (rich in vitamin C), they’re a good source of iron.

4. Chia-Tofu Pudding With Blueberries

Chia seeds are a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids required in our diet. They’re also a good source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. When whipped up with some silken tofu, blueberries, and a dash of maple syrup, chia seeds transform into a delicious pudding that is high in antioxidants, protein and fiber.

5. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates, beta-carotene, vitamins C, B2, B6, B5 (pantothenic acid), folic acid, copper and potassium. Team a sweet potato with a good source of protein, like hummus or beans, and you’ll have an excellent antioxidant-rich post-workout meal.

6. Maca

This root vegetable is a rich source of nutrients and is traditionally used to support adrenal gland function, helping the body to cope with stress. Maca may also help keep cortisol levels in check, which can support healthy blood glucose regulation already within the normal range and support a healthy inflammatory response.† Powdered maca can be added to any smoothie, or even to soup for convenience.

Developing Good Post-Workout Eating Habits

It’s important to eat well after exercise so as to not leave yourself vulnerable to injury and to support a healthy immune system.† Exercising without giving your body enough time and the right nutrition to repair muscles can increase the risk of muscle soreness and injury, as well as making you susceptible to fatigue and less than optimal support for your immune system.†

If you find it hard to eat after exercising, try a protein shake or soup. Liquids are easier to consume, digest and assimilate, meaning that you can pack in more good nutrition without expending energy chewing and breaking down the food. Save the serious whole foods for about an hour after exercise so your body has time to ready itself to focus on digestion.

Remember to make your post-workout foods fun! That way, you’ll be more motivated to exercise and won’t be tempted to skip the important window of opportunity to restock those glycogen stores and help your muscles to start healing.†

*Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX®.

†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Improving Core Strength


Improving Core Strength

When talking about core strength, many people’s first thought goes to their abdominal muscles. There’s a lot of mainstream pressure to have a chiseled 6 pack, and many people think that crunches and sit ups are the best way to achieve that. In actuality, the core is incredibly versatile, and working to strengthen it involves a series of exercises targeting different muscles.

The Core Muscle Group

To really understand the core, let’s go over the core muscle group:

  • Transverse and rectus abdominus: your general stomach muscles.
  • Obliques: the muscles positioned on your sides.
  • Lower back, erector spinae, multifidus, and latissimus dorsi: the muscles in your back.
  • Hip flexors, abductors, adductors: the muscles in your hips and the muscles that run down the inside and outside of your thighs.
  • Glutes and hamstrings [1]: the butt muscles and the muscles that run down the back of your thighs.

As you can see, many muscles work together to form our core.

Why Core Strength is Important

Balance and Stability.  When you strengthen your core, it helps stabilize the muscles in your pelvis, abdomen, hips, and lower back and they begin to work in harmony with one another [2].

Helps prevent injuries. A strong and stable core means your muscles are working together, and  muscles that work harmoniously are less prone to injury.

Exercises to Strengthen Your Core

Remember to think of all of the muscles utilized to create your core; upper legs, lower back, glutes, hamstrings, hips, and abdominal muscles.  The best types of core strengthening help not only to strengthen but to stabilize your core as well.

Here is a basic core workout that hits a lot of the general core muscles:

1. Supermans

Start on your stomach, arms straight out in front of you and legs straight behind you.  In one movement, lift both arms and legs straight up towards the ceiling.  Hold for 2-5 seconds then lower back down.


2. Plank

Refer to my previous blog article on how to do a plank with good form.

Good Plank

3. Lying Leg Raise

Start this by putting your hands, palm down, under both glutes. The objective is to position your hands so your lower back is firmly resting on the floor.  Keep your legs as straight as possible and slowly raise them perpendicular to the floor.  Hold at the top for 1 second then slowly lower back down.  If you feel any type of lower back pain with this exercise, stop immediately.


4. Straight Leg Sit Ups

Start lying down, legs straight and arms at your side.  Keep your stomach sucked in (while still breathing).  Slowly, begin to curl and sit up.  First curl your neck up, then slowly start to sit up. The goal is to not let your legs come off of the ground.


5. Glute Bridges

Start on your back, with your legs bent (like a sit up position). Your arms can be at your sides.  Push up with your feet, keeping the weight on your heels only.  Squeeze your glute muscles, hold for 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower  your glutes and push up again with your heels to start your second rep.


Continue to find new ways of strengthening and stabilizing your core muscles, and change up your workouts every 4-6 weeks.


[1] Jensen, Elle. “What Are the Core Muscles of the Body?” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 26 Nov. 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.

[2] “Fitness.” Core Exercises: Why You Should Strengthen Your Core Muscles. Mayo Clinic, 18 July 2014. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.


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Lifting Weights: Tips for Beginners


Lifting Weights: Tips for Beginners

You’ve stuck to your cardio routine and you’ve been on your best behaviour in the junk food aisle, but you’re just not getting the results you need. What’s missing?

Many of us discount the importance of strength training when it comes to achieving our health goals. In fact, it’s common to steer clear entirely for fear of adding unwanted muscle bulk. The truth is, you shouldn’t live in fear of lifting – weight training is actually a crucial part of getting fit! As well as building muscle strength, lifting weights can help increase your body’s resting metabolic rate, which means you’ll burn more calories throughout the day.

If you’re just starting out on the weights, these tips will keep you in top shape – and help prevent injuries:

Warm Up

Whether you take a brisk jog or pop off a few lunges, a quick cardio warm-up will loosen up your muscles, increase your range of motion, and get your blood flowing. Strength training with cold muscles may leave you more susceptible to injury.

Start Out Light

There’s no reason to jump straight to the dumbbells – they might not even be your endgame. You’re better off starting with weights that might feel as if they’re too light. Once you’re on your third set of reps, you’ll thank us for this piece of advice. Besides, if you’re going for the strong and lean look, lighter weights are your ticket to success.

Go Slow

Once you’re ready to add weight (if you’re breezing through a couple dozen reps, you’re ready), increase it slowly. The same goes for reps – don’t speed through them; rather, take the time to move mindfully and with control. By going slow, you’ll get better results, and you’ll be protecting both your muscles and joints.

Learn Proper Technique

While there may be several right ways to lift, there is definitely a wrong way – and figuring it out through trial and error (and perhaps injury) is not the way to go.

Proper technique will keep you safe and ensure you’re working the right muscles while avoiding strain. Even just one training session with a personal trainer will help as they’ll show you how to hold the weights, how to stand, and the basic movements that will set you on the right path.

Don’t Swing

It might feel good to get a little momentum going, but swinging rather than lifting decreases the effectiveness of your workout, and opens you up to injury. It’s also a sign that you’re lifting more than you can handle – for now. Be sure to pause after each lift to ensure your muscles are properly engaged and your form is good.


Once you’ve strengthened, be sure to stretch! Stretching after lifting weights will help reduce muscle soreness the next day.


It’s easy to get carried away with weight lifting, so be sure to give your body time to recover. Many strength trainers rotate which areas of the body they focus on for each workout, but unless you’re working out daily, that might not be necessary. Just be sure you’re giving your body time to integrate each workout before you head back to the gym.

Eat Right

Yes, food is an important part of any exercise program, even weight lifting! A small snack of healthy carbs, such as whole grain toast with jam or a banana, an hour before you exercise, will give your muscles the fuel they need to power through your workout. Eating protein afterwards will help speed your recovery time.

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2 Basic Exercises You’re Probably Doing Wrong


2 Basic Exercises You’re Probably Doing Wrong

Moving your body and staying active is helpful to maintaining your health.  Whether you enjoy leisurely walks around your neighborhood, swimming, hiking, taking aerobic classes or lifting weights, the opportunities are endless to keep your body moving.

As we age, we begin to lose muscle, known as “sarcopenia”.  Around 30 years and older, our bodies start losing muscle mass at 3-5% per decade (sedentary lifestyle) [1].  Exercise becomes critically important to help muscle gain, as it stimulates the release of hormones that help with healthy muscle growth [2].  So, on that note – keep that body moving!

Ensuring that the movements you decide to do are done in the right form is crucial to getting the most out of your workouts.  Here are two basic exercises you may have been doing wrong, and how to execute them correctly:

1. The Squat

The basic squat is one of the most effective movements for sculpting your legs as they mainly target your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.  Did you know that your glutes are one of the biggest muscle groups in your body?

If squatting does not feel natural to you, try holding onto something to stabilize yourself in the beginning to get your body used to the movement.

To execute a squat in good form, start with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart.  Your toes can be pointed forward or slightly out.

Your legs should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart

Good Squat Form


When you crouch into your squat, lean back like you are sitting into a chair. Do not let your knees move forward over your toes or come together (knock knees).  Your chest should be up, and your core should be firm. When you stand up, push up with your heels and squeeze your glutes.

Do not let your knees move forward over your toes or come together. Chest up, core firm.

Good Squat Form 2


Do 3 sets of 10 squats, and if possible, watch yourself in a mirror to make sure you’re really sitting back and getting the most out of the squat.

2. The Plank

Planks are a full body workout.  It’s better to hold a plank for 20 seconds with proper form than for 1 minute with lousy form! Bad form has been known to cause muscle imbalances and injury.

A great plank is all about alignment and full body effort.  Every muscle should be engaged, from your upper traps all the way down to your calves.  When you are in position, you want to make sure your elbows are right under your shoulders; try to push away from the ground with your forearms.  Your stomach should be tight (do not let your back sag) and think about how you would react if someone sucker punched you in the stomach (I’m serious!).  That motion of slightly curling in will make this exercise dominate your abdominal muscles.

Elbows under your shoulders. Stomach should be tight – do not let your back sag!

Good Plank


Start off with increments of 15 seconds at a time to ensure you have good form before going for a full one-minute hold.

There are always modifications to any exercise you do.  If your body is not yet at the level of holding a 15 second plank with proper form, you can start off by planking on your knees instead of your feet.  Continue to work on this until you feel you can start going for 15 seconds, then progress eventually to 1 minute.  The determination and progress you’ll see will make you feel great!


[1]. Cooper, Greg. “At What Age Do You Start to Lose Muscle?”LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 14 Sept. 2015. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.

[2]. “Sarcopenia (Muscle Loss With Aging): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments.” WebMD. WebMD, 3 Aug. 2014. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.


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5 Foods for Endurance


5 Foods for Endurance

Loading up on carbs is standard practice before an endurance event as this is thought to help ensure the muscles are full of glycogen for quick energy, but some athletes have found other great ways to boost stamina and performance.

If you’re gearing up for a race, try smashing your personal best by eating these 5 foods for endurance:

1. Buckwheat

A source of all nine essential amino acids, tryptophan and vitamins E and B, calcium and manganese, buckwheat is a staple for many endurance athletes. Not actually a grain, this seed of the rhubarb family is gluten-free and much more alkaline-forming than glutinous grains, helping the body to maintain a healthy blood pH. The slow-release carbohydrates in buckwheat help sustain energy levels and promote a better performance.

Try adding sprouted buckwheat to a smoothie, or as part of a salad with chickpeas, beans, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

2. Flaxseed

A source of omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed supports healthy fat metabolism, circulation and normal inflammatory response. The easily metabolized fatty acids in flaxseed help to spare muscle glycogen, enhancing endurance. Flaxseed is also a source of potassium, an important electrolyte needed for muscle contractions and lost through sweat.

Try a tablespoon of flaxseed in a smoothie, on yoghurt and fruit, or with granola. Add a scoop of PGX® to help support healthy blood sugar regulation already in the normal range  and keep hunger pangs at bay!*‡

3. Soy

These green beans are perfect for endurance athletes. Steamed edamame are a delicious snack to keep protein intake high, while soy protein is easily digestible and ideal for a recovery drink after a long run to help promote muscle growth.

In one study, researchers at Ohio State University found that soy is just as effective as whey protein for building lean muscle in male athletes (Brown et al., 2004). What’s more, soy actually helps preserve antioxidant function, whereas whey had a potentially negative effect on antioxidant status after workouts!

4. Apples and Onions

Several studies have shown that quercetin, a natural polyphenolic flavonoid found in abundance in apples and onions can help improve endurance when ingested for at least seven days prior to exercise. Quercetin has been seen to have antioxidant activity and to support healthy immune function and healthly  inflammatory response, which could help athletes recover more quickly after training. ‡

In one study, healthy but untrained volunteers who took 500 mg of quercetin twice daily for 7 days had a 13.2% increase in the time it took for fatigue to set in during a bike ride, compared to those taking a placebo for 7 days. Quercetin was also associated with a modest increase (3.9%) in VO2max, a measurement of maximal aerobic capacity (Davis et al., 2010).

An apple a day (around 100g) contains the equivalent antioxidant activity of about 1500 mg of vitamin C, with much of that activity courtesy of quercetin (Eberhardt et al., 2000). Importantly, the quercetin in apples is found exclusively in the peels, with the average amount of quercetin amounting to 13.2 mg/100 g of fruit (Lee et al., 2003).

5. Almonds

Almonds are not only a source of calcium and other minerals, they may also enhance endurance in trained athletes. A study published recently in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that cyclists and triathletes who ate 75 g of almonds per day had an increase of 1.7 km in endurance cycling distance compared to baseline (Yi et al., 2014).

The almonds were also associated with more efficient use of oxygen and carbohydrate, as well as higher vitamin E and total antioxidant capacity, suggesting that including a handful of almonds in your daily diet could help enhance your exercise endurance and support healthy muscle recovery by reducing oxidative damage during exercise.

Brown EC, DiSilvestro RA, Babaknia A, et al. (2004). Soy versus whey protein bars: effects on exercise training impact on lean body mass and antioxidant status. Nutr J, Dec 8;3:22.

Davis JM, Carlstedt CJ, Chen S, et al. (2010). The dietary flavonoid quercetin increases VO(2max) and endurance capacity. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, Feb;20(1):56-62.

Eberhardt M, Lee C, Liu RH. (2000). Antioxidant activity of fresh apples. Nature, 405:903-904.

Lee K, Kim Y, Kim D, et al. (2003). Major phenolics in apple and their contribution to the total antioxidant capacity. J Agric Food Chem, 51:6516-6520.

Yi M, Fu J, Zhou L, et al. (2014). The effect of almond consumption on elements of endurance exercise performance in trained athletes. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, May 11;11:18.

* Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX®
‡ This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to  diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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The Importance of Exercise for a Healthy Heart


The Importance of Exercise for a Healthy Heart

September 29th is World Heart Day – a good reminder for all of us not to take the health of our heart for granted. Clear winning strategies for heart health include staying physically active and eating a heart-healthy diet.

Being physically active doesn’t always have to equate to running marathons or even vigorous workouts – exercise comes in all shapes, sizes and levels! The important thing is to get up and moving every day.

Work Exercise Into Your Daily Routine

It might not be top of our minds most days, but the places we live and work are often built for efficiency rather than health. One look at a typical rapid transit  system (Skytrain, El train, or subway) quickly reveals that not only do most people choose to use escalators and elevators, in some cases there aren’t even stairs available for the general public! These strategies certainly help get large numbers of people moving quickly, but they do nothing for building exercise into our daily routines.

Taking the stairs on your way to and from work offers a simple way to offset some of the risk of being sedentary for the bulk of the working day. Or, even better, skip the car or transit and cycle to work instead. Just 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week (which can be split into small chunks of just ten or so minutes) supports healthy heart function. Aim for 75 minutes of vigorous activity if you’re pushed for time!

I confess, I’ve never had a gym membership in my life, and the idea of running on a treadmill bores me to tears. Still, I rack up at least 15 hours of exercise a week simply by walking my dog, running almost all my errands by foot, hiking with friends and eschewing the use of elevators and escalators wherever possible. None of it feels like exercise, and yet it all helps keep my heart healthy, not to mention happy!

Find A Form of Exercise you Enjoy

If it’s been a while since you’ve been active, it’s understandable that you might feel anxious about starting to exercise more. Rest assured, exercise is great for helping you improve your energy levels, mood and overall health and well being. Some caution is certainly warranted, as is common sense, so if it’s been a few months or years avoid jumping straight into training for a marathon or lifting heavy weights.

Find forms of exercise that you enjoy, such as walking, jogging, playing soccer with the kids, skipping rope, swimming or even playing dodgeball – and go out and have fun! That way, it won’t feel like a chore and you’re more likely to stay motivated to achieve your health goals.

Exercise is a great way to:

  • Support your heart
  • Manage blood pressure already within the normal range
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Support mood and self-esteem
  • Keep everyday stress at bay
  • Promote great sleep!

Be sure to talk to your health care practitioner to work out the best way to build more exercise into your day.

Exercise with Friends

If you’re struggling to find fun ways to exercise, try asking friends how they stay active and ask if you can tag along on a hike, bike ride, freshwater swimming excursion, or if you can borrow their dog a couple of times a week to go for a long leisurely walk. Or, check out your local community center and sign up for salsa, Zumba, Pilates or other class where you can learn new skills, get fit and make new friends.

Let us know in the comments what creative ways you’ve found to meet your weekly exercise goals!

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4 Exercises You Should be Doing Right Now!


4 Exercises you Should be Doing Right Now!

You know that exercise helps you stay fit and maintain good health, but do you know which exercises are the best? If you’re looking to burn calories, get toned, or boost your overall health and fitness, these  4 exercises are top contenders:

1. Intervals

No matter how many calories your regular cardio session burns, you’ll burn more by incorporating intervals. This means working in periods of high intensity followed by periods of low intensity for recovery. Whether you’re running, swimming, rowing, or cycling, try a pattern of three minutes working at 90 %, followed by three minutes at a slow and easy pace. Repeat this pattern for approximately 20 minutes.

2. Yoga

Despite yoga’s gentle reputation, it provides serious toning benefits. When done regularly, following a series of yoga poses, such as Warrior, Plank, and Downward Facing Dog will help you strengthen multiple muscle groups while developing balance and flexibility.

3. Walking

Walking will improve your overall health by burning calories, toning muscles, boosting cardiovascular health, increasing bone density, improving mood, and more. In one hour, a 154 pound person can burn 460 calories walking at a pace of 7.2 km per hour [1].

4. Kegels

Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles through regular sets of kegel exercises can make a big difference in avoiding incontinence as you age – for women and men. Although you won’t see benefits directly, maintaining a strong pelvic floor makes it easier to continue with your other exercises comfortably.
If you have trouble committing to an exercise regime, the best exercises for you are the ones you’ll stick with – that’s how you get results! And when you’re done, refuel with a French Vanilla PGX® Satisfast™ Whey Protein Drink.*

Which exercises give you the best results? Let us know in the comments section below.

*Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX®.


[1] National Institutes of Health (NIH). Your Guide to Physical Activity and Your Heart. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2006. Web. 24 June 2015.

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