Fitness For Freedom Tips

Fitness For Freedom Tips

Canada

Fitness For Freedom Tips is a new type of fitness and health show. We deliver fitness tips that you can apply to your life right away in 10 minutes or less. Lets face it you’re busy and life pulls you in all directions. You want to be healthier, but living a healthier lifestyle is hard. It requires you to change and there is a lot of misinformation out there. We work hard to syphon through it to give you the most sound advice possible and set you up for the greatest chance of success. Jonathan Chant has been working with people to live healthier lives for 10 years now and he’s seen it all. That’s why he founded Fitness For Freedom, your complete online fitness training and lifestyle design community. He pulls out all the stops to help you make the changes yourself. No transformation challenges, no extreme changes just solid strategies to help you make changes that will stick for the rest of your life. Change is constant and you’re going to have lots of questions as you go along that’s why we keep our episodes short so they don’t ‘eat in’ to your already ‘stretched’ lives (puns intended). We try to have some fun with it too! Exercise doesn’t have to be boring? So what are you waiting for? If you’re still reading this you’re definitely interested in the show, so give it a listen.

Episodes

Episode 301:  What To Do When You Don't Feel Like Exercising  

A couple weeks ago when I was away on holidays I woke up one morning with every intent of going for a run and doing a quick strength workout, but when I woke up that morning I still felt tired, I didn't have very much energy, I was reeling from a cold that even today I haven't fully recovered from and instead going for a run I negotiated with myself, through my rules for these types of circumstances,

Am I just being lazy or am I legitimately tired and unable to run?...

 

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300: Is Swimming Any Good for Burning Calories and Losing Weight?  

Danica - What kind of training do I have to do to be able to make more distance while swimming and hold my breath for longer times under water? I want to be able to swim longer and stronger.

 

Too Extreme - When I go to the cottage with my family we like to take the boat out and go wakeboarding, tubing, and generally have fun on the water. It tends to burn for a few days afterward so we’re definitely getting some good arm exercise - but how much is too much? It’s a lot of fun but I’m worried about accidentally injuring myself in the process. When do I know to stop?

 

Born to Swim - Is swimming any good for burning calories and losing weight, or is it better for getting stronger muscles? I really love swimming but I want to know if it’s enough for me to lose weight on its own or if I should look elsewhere.

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299: The Most Effective Strategy To Build Muscle Without Weight  

I just got back from a ‘vacation’ in beautiful British Columbia, I have to put vacation in air quotes because for the most part it didn’t feel that way. We were there for a whole week, but social activities, family get together’s and a wedding right in the middle of the trip left us crammed end to end with very little in the way of free time to relax let alone workout or formally exercise, this meant I had to be creative in doing my exercises with the cramped schedule and no equipment. Like we’ve talked about in previous episodes I followed a few different strategies to make sure I got at least something in, I scheduled it in first thing in the morning, I had the program pre-built so I knew exactly what I was doing, I kept it really short as well, because I knew I would be prone to getting interrupted and I used this strategy which is the topic of today’s episode, I did everything really slowly, I mean really, really slowly, I did split squats for 6 to 8 seconds down and 6 to 8 back up, I did push-ups and pull-ups following the same tempo, I tried to do it with hanging leg raises, but it was just too hard, I had to settle for 2 to 3 seconds down and up because that was the slowest I could handle and my muscles were sore the days after I worked out despite the brevity and the fact I was only using my bodyweight.

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298: How can I Apply A Reward System to Exercise?  

Reaping Rewards Rob - When it comes to everyday life and motivating myself to push to get something done, I like the idea of using a reward system - where I treat myself to something I like when I succeed, as it works to make me want to get that thing done. Is there a way I can apply something like that to weight loss? It just feels counter-productive to treat myself to something if that’s going to add more calories.

 

Long Walks on the Beach - I just came back from vacation and found that exercise was a lot harder than when I took time off. I was fairly active while I was away, I took walks on the beach a lot and did a lot of walking around in general, but obviously that wasn’t enough. What are some other ways I can fit exercise into vacation without necessarily having to take time away from enjoying the vacation itself?

 

Sporty Suzie - My friends and I are basic level sports players, as a group we play volleyball, badminton and similar moving around sports just for fun but no one is really any good at it. We mostly just play for fun, but I’d love to actually get better - what should I be focusing on to get better at volleyball?

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297: The Ridiculous Notion of Moderation  

Have you ever heard this expression, ‘Everything in moderation, except moderation.’ I’ve heard this expression several times and I don’t know where it comes from or who started it, but the first time I heard it I agreed with it and thought - you know everything should be done in moderation, but then I heard it again in a slightly different context and decided I didn’t like it as much and now I’ve been thinking about it for several years (I know I’m a bit weird like that, but sometimes little things bother me for a really long time and it takes me some time to figure out why they bother me so much and I just need to reflect on them), anyways now that I’ve reflected on it, I’ve decided I don’t really like it at all and I just want to dig into why, let’s start with the definition.   

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296: what are some beginner pulling exercises?  

Master Chef - What are some good foods I can make from scratch at home? We want to eat healthier and I only have so much time to cook, are there any quick meals that can be made easy that are also good for you?

Amanda - I’m trying to learn proper movements for exercises, but don’t really have anyone who can tell me if I’m doing it right. Will practising in front of a mirror by myself help me improve? Assuming I have a general idea what the exercise should look like.

Flimsy Arms - I have watched a lot of your videos, you put a lot of emphasis on pulling exercises. For someone like me who has poor upper body strength, they can be very hard - what are some beginner pulling exercises?

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Steps to a Pull-Up

Shoulder Mobility

295: The Lost Strategy That Will Help You Lose Weight  

Last week I made this huge giant salad. I used spinach as the base, with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers from our garden and then I put some olives cashews, hemp and chia seeds to top it all off with some balsamic vinaigrette. Of course, what I intended to be a modest lunch salad quickly turned into a giant beast of a salad, but I felt up to the challenge and started eating it with the intent of finishing the whole thing, but halfway through my son Cooper started to cry and I had to take an intermission from my salad to change his not so clean diaper, which took somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes. But here's the interesting thing that happened, when I sat down to finish my salad I was no longer hungry and instead of finishing it off like I would have in the past I put it in a container and ate it a couple of hours later when I was hungry again.

I don’t know if something like this has ever happened to you before where you’re famished at the start of a meal and get interrupted part way through only to realize when you come back to it that you’re not actually hungry anymore and you don’t need to finish all the food you prepared yourself. But it got me thinking about something, how often does the opposite happen, where you’re hungry, so you ram a bunch of food into you as fast as you can only to feel not only full, but stuffed 20 minutes or so after you finish your meal, I think for most people this secondary scenario is much more common. I know when I was a teenager I fell into this category, because when I came home from school almost everyday I would devour an entire box of crackers as a snack, but then be so full after I would unable to move or do anything productive, until dinner time when I would eat again.

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294: How long does it take for weight loss to show?  

Mandy - I’ve been losing weight doing exercise, and I know I have because I’ve been weighing myself every day, but I can’t really see the difference. I feel better, but I want to look better as well. How long does it take for weight loss to show?

 

Sleepy Sally - I work long shifts on my feet all day. I want to exercise but when I get home I’m just so tired. I also don’t have much time in the morning unless I want to wake up really early. What should I do?

 

Down with Doritos - I live with people who really like to eat junk. I’m working on my weight but sometimes it’s hard to resist when they have a bag of chips out watching a movie. They can have junk if they want to, but I want to build up my ability to say no - how can I do that?

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293:  The Shocking Difference in  Protein  Vegetables vs Meat  

Protein, Protein, Protein - Protein is incredibly important, your body uses it to synthesize or build muscle, your cells use it to duplicate themselves and to grow, as well as many other functions, in fact you could call protein the building block or foundation to which every function in your body is built and if we get outside your body for just a second, foods that are high in protein also tend to taste really good and keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.   

The average person usually needs somewhere between 50 and 100g of protein or about 1g per kg of body weight in a day. This is enough to maintain all your bodily functions as well as grow some muscle, if you’re into that sort of thing. If you're incredibly athletic, do a lot of strength training, powerlifting or bodybuilding and you want to build a lot of muscle, you may want to push your protein uptake to 100 to 200g of protein a day or 1 to 2g per kg of body weight, but keep in mind that for most people that’s around the top end of what your body can absorb for muscle building and that’s only if you’re consistently doing strength training. Once you go much beyond that the protein is more likely going to be used as energy, this means used as glucose or stored as fat for a later date.

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Episode 118

292: What’s the Deal with Eating According to Your Macros?  

Jeannine - For the last 3-5 years it seems like eating according to your macros is all the rage. What I don’t understand is what ratio is best for me, and why does it matter for optimal body function and weight loss? I eat 1400 calories, but I noticed it’s mostly of fats. I love avocados, nuts, and good quality cheese. Could this be a reason why I am stagnate with my body composition?

 

Jeannine - I feel like exercise has a lot to do with mental toughness. It is the ability to manage some discomfort for a trade-off of stronger muscles etc. I find my mind gives up before I do. I am curious as to what your mental process is with regards to pushing yourself?

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291: The End of Diabetes a Must Read Episode  

If you’re new to the show welcome, if you’ve been listening for a while thanks for coming back we appreciate that you’ve taken time out of your busy day to listen and hope that in return you get some valuable information and some things that you can apply into your everyday life to be the healthiest and most active version of yourself.

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve done a must read episode and that’s simply because I haven’t read a book that I felt was compelling enough to feature, until now. I got ahold of this book and have been recommending it to many of our clients because it’s that good - The End of Diabetes by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

 

I know, diabetes is scary, lots of people have it, lots of people are susceptible to it and most people think the only thing you can do about it is take lots of medication. Of course the way things are set up in the medical system doesn’t help, because that’s how most doctors manage it with their patients, they prescribe drugs like metformin and insulin, which in most cases does help someone with Type 2 Diabetes control their blood sugar, but what makes matters worse is this gives someone with diabetes the false sense that everything is okay, because the numbers on their glucometer say everything is okay, but the reality is it’s only a bandaid solution that in the long run makes the situation much, much worse and if you’re a Type 2 diabetic that requires insulin it’s the beginning of the end for you and that’s a harsh reality that most people aren’t willing to face. If you have Type 2 diabetes you’re at an increased risk of having a heart attack and  getting kidney disease, both of which have the negative side effect of death. There’s also the less deadly, but still severe increased risk of nerve damage which will make it harder to walk and hold things in your hands, as well, amputations and vision loss are also more likely to happen if you have diabetes.  That’s how the book starts, well it’s a summary of how it starts, but I think you get the gist of it.

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290: are there certain types of exercises I should avoid doing for a full body workout?  

Leg Laments - I have bowed legs, are there certain types of exercises I should avoid doing for a full body workout?

Can’t Stay Still - I find exercises like the plank or wall sit - where I’m just standing still - pretty boring and hard to maintain because I get so bored. Are there more active alternatives?

Andrew - How soon after a broken foot injury should I be getting back into exercise? I play soccer and while I definitely won’t be playing this summer I don’t want to lose my ability over time.

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Ways to Make the Plank more Interesting

289: How Do You Start an Exercise Program During Cancer Treatments?  

If you’ve been listening for a while we appreciate your continued support and if you’re new to the show, welcome and thanks for stopping by. When most people think about fitness they think of the specific exercises they need to do and they think about having the right equipment to get the most effective workout, but rarely do people take a step back to look at the mental components and the behaviours around fitness that not only help you get faster, stronger or more mobile, but also keep you consistent and motivated. That’s what this show’s all about,  we hope you get some valuable information that is both useful and insightful, that will help you be the healthiest and most active version of yourself. Let’s get on it.

 

A few years ago I started running the fitness fundamentals course at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation where I work with people that have either gone through some form of cancer treatment or have recently completed their cancer treatments and they want to either start exercising or get back into exercising again. When going through cancer treatments almost everyone experiences unfavourable reactions to chemotherapy or intense radiation, it’s not uncommon to have surgeries that permanently affect your body and the lack of energy or sleepiness can be overwhelming, not to mention all the different psychological effects it can have on you. All this to be said once a person has dealt with these changes their goals and abilities are going to be different, which means most likely their exercises will have to be different or at least modified, today we’re answering this question, how do you start an exercise program when your physical abilities have become different or restricted?

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288: How to Get Out of Your Exercise Funk  

Now-What-Sheri - A few years ago I trained for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. I was 49 and successful! A big bucket list check mark. Since then my exercise habits have gone downhill, become sporadic and sometimes nonexistent. I just can’t seem to find that motivation. I expected it for a few months after achieving my goal, but it’s now going on for a few years. Any suggestions for getting out of this exercise funk?

Starting my Journey - Right now I’m definitely not in shape to be doing much exercise - I was wondering if yoga is a good starting point for me. Does yoga have any other benefit for you than your flexibility? Should I look elsewhere to start getting fit?

Sean - There was a period of time where I was really sick so I stopped exercising and I lost some of my progress. I think I’ve more or less got back to where I was, but was it a mistake to completely stop exercising while I was ill?

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287:  When is Far, Far Enough?  

I know a lot of you listening right now are unemotionally and objectively stepping back and thinking, who is this crazy guy and why on earth would he want to do so much running, but we all have our ‘running’ activities. For some people it might be an unhealthy obsession with getting a heavier and heavier bench press or deadlift to the point of chronic ‘on-again off-again’ injuries. For some people it might be an overly aggressive calculation of calories in and calories out, I think we’ve all witnessed and possibly been this person that meticulously measures their food, tracks very specifically the amount of calories they burn and weighs themselves every day, possibly multiple times a day. To stretch this a little bit further what about the person who works for 10,12 and possibly 14 or more hours a day on a consistent basis, because there are always things to get done, or what about the person who obsessively watches, just one more episode of a T.V show, 3 or 4 times an evening and sometimes over entire weekends where it consumes their entire lives.

As I go through these examples, it’s probably easy for you to unemotionally and objectively step back and say people that fall into one of those categories are imbalanced, until I got to the example that in some way applied to you and even if none of those examples did, there’s a good chance you spend more time than you should doing a single activity.

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286: Is There a Way to Prevent Back Pain?  

Soda Blues - I’m trying to cut back on pop but water just doesn’t taste very good. I’ve even tries flavoured water and it’s pretty bland. I want to get better but the options don’t seem to taste as good. What should I do?

 

Inconsistent and Annoyed - My exercise habits are terrible. I’ll have lots of motivation for a little while and then I’ll lose it again, so I never make any real progress. I need a more manageable way to exercise that will also make me WANT to exercise.

 

Ow My Back - I very easily get low back pain, it seems to happen a lot. Is there a way that I can prevent - not reduce - back pain?

 

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285: Using Fitness to Build Mental Toughness  

I recently returned from the Perform Better Summit in Providence Rhode Island. There were lots of great speakers there and I now have several new tools to put in my tool belt. My best guess is the next 3 or 4 Monday episodes I will devote an entire show to one or two main concepts that I think will be the most relevant for you, starting with this one about mental toughness presented by John Brookfield.

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The Hand Plank for Mental Toughness

The Crab Walk

284: What should you NOT eat before or after an exercise?  

Comparative - I have a habit of comparing myself to other people in the gym which tends to make me feel bad, because I’m not as good as them. How do I get myself in the mindset that I don’t need to pay attention to them, if that’s all I can see when I go in?

 

Mental Mystery - How does exercise make you feel better? I’ve heard it helps with depression, how does that work?

 

Snack Fitness - What should you NOT eat before or after an exercise? I feel like I need to eat something before working out but I don’t want to eat the wrong thing.

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283: How to Become a Problem Solver  

A few years ago one of my clients asked me to join her facebook group. It was a group of people from all over the world that either had some sort of medical condition or had overcome some sort of adversity in their lives and they were trying to navigate their new lives now that things were different for them. She asked me if I could design some exercise programs that some of the people in the group could do, she thought the exercises might be helpful for many of them, I agreed because consistent exercise is the one thing that can help almost any medical condition, even fix or cure the condition directly, it can still help people become more functional and help them mentally as well. So I wrote a few very basic and short exercise programs that didn’t require any equipment, with relatively easy exercises like arm circles, wall push-ups and practicing standing up out of a chair, things that were probably closer to activities of daily living more so than what most people would consider exercise. I posted them in the group forum and went on with my day. The next day when I checked in to see if anyone had any questions or needed guidance there were about 30 comments that were all some form of this:

 

I can’t do this exercise routine, because I can’t do this one exercise   This exercise hurts my shoulder, hip, foot, fingers or some other body part    Are there any easier exercises than this, these are too hard?

 

I understand exercise can be challenging and that this group of people would need something especially gentle, so I gave them a program, that was short, basic and basically the same as a program I would give and have given clients in their 80’s and 90’s.

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282: Can I Exercise During My 2 Hour Commute?  

Magically Nutritious - I was just wondering about nutritional labels, you’ve done some videos on them and mention a lot of minerals and vitamins - what are the most important ones to be looking out for?

 

JR - I spend about 1.5 to 2 hours a day driving for my daily commute. Do you have any suggestions, besides listening to your podcast, to use this time productively towards fitness goals? Maybe some exercises or stretches that can be safely done while driving or some common ergonomic problems that I should try to avoid?

 

Ready for Greatness - I’m preparing to run my first 10K. Is there anything I should keep in mind, certain ways I should train, anything I should avoid doing?

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