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First of all, let's talk bout why we wear shoes.Different shoes provide different support for your feet. Some shoes have higher arches for those who need arch support, others have more support for those who under or over pronate. Shoes also protect your feet from foreign objects. 

This is where it get a bit tricky. If we wear shoes all the time, the muscles on the bottom of the feet start to relax and not respond as they should. Your toes may start to lose the ability to flex and contract with ease.

Should you exercise barefoot?

The answer is a bit more complex than that. 

It is ok to do Yoga and light bearing exercises barefoot. Exercises for plantar fasciitis, ankle mobility and even balance.

You should NOT do deadlifts, squats and other heavy lifting exercises without proper footwear. Shoes are there to absorb most of the impact, hence the weight lifting shoes and they protect your feet from accidents such as dropping a dumbbell or plate on your feet. 

Over time, your feet will flattened and create unnecessary strain on your ankles. Your gait will change, which can also impact your posture. By not wearing shoes during heavy lifting, you could be potentially applying more pressure to one side of the foot more and in subsequence, your ankles, knees, hips, back and neck.

A study came out a few years ago saying that barefoot weight lifting have some real benefits which include the abductor hallucis, which spans the arch of your foot and control your big toe. This part is true, once again keeping in mind that doing exercises such as Yoga and other light weight exercises or just simply walking barefoot at home can be beneficial. 

The problem is when you're adding heavy lifting. 

Another study which was published in Journal Sports on consequently the New York Times, contradicts the previous study by stating that "heavy lifts require dedicated lifting shoes" as you're more prone to rolling your ankles and catching athlete's foot. You should also keep in mind that " For every action, there's an opposite and equal reaction", when you're doing a deadlift and the weight is being pounded onto the ground, your joints will absorb all that energy, and if you don't have proper shoes to absorb some of the impact, you could be doing some serious damage to your entire body.


So when we talk about what the greatest fitness barriers or things that can impact your fitness goals, we usually talk about lack of motivation as being the key. However, those barriers go far beyond lack of motivation. Here are the top 5 fitness barriers:

1- Putting a price tag on your health

It's very easy to say that having a healthy lifestyle is expensive. "Personal training is too expensive", "Organic food is too expensive", "Gym membership is too expensive".

Well, try paying for a weekly visit to a physiotherapist, RMT, Chiropractor, years of medication (diabetes, high blood pressure and pain killers). Not to mention living with pain and having to miss work because your body is wrecked.

It amazes me the amount of people who say having a qualified trainer is too expensive and yet, they can afford Botox, lip fillers and BBL. How you treat your body now will determine how you are later in life. So instead of putting  price tag on your health, think of how you want to be in your 60s, 70s, 80s+. Do you want to stay active later in life and still be able to travel or go hiking? Then think about how you're treat your body now.

2- Not having an actual plan

Wanting something is different than doing something. Make a plan just like you would as if you were about to travel or get married. 

*What is your goal?

*When do you want to achieve it by?

*What steps are you taking to get there?

*What is the best way to get there?

*How are you tracking your progress?

*Are you putting yourself in your calendar as if you were any other appointment?

*What are some of the ways you can sabotage yourself? 

* Do you have time to scroll online? Then you have time to exercise, you just choose not to.

3- Not seeing the bigger picture

When we talk about fitness as lifestyle, we actually mean LIFE style. This is for the rest of your life, not an event. Losing weight to look great in wedding pictures is great but keeping the weight off so that you can continue to stay active, pain free and look great in pictures when your kids or grandkids are getting married, now that's even better! 

4- Lack of motivation

What is your lack of motivation?

We already covered the money excuse, we already covered not having an actual plan and wanting a quick fix. For some people lack of motivation comes from not understanding biomechanics and having a sense of body awareness.

This is where it can get scary because many times people get injured and they end up having a bad experience with fitness, therefore not being motivated enough to do it again. We tend to like things we are good at. If you're not good at exercising, the chances are that you will not stay on track.

5- Following Trends

Trends are not a good way to stay active. They are temporary "fixes". May that be trendy diets or exercises. Influencers are NOT qualified professionals and Netflix documentaries are NOT dieticians. The ugly truth is, plastic surgery can get you a bigger butt, chest, calves and a laser six pack. 

Trends are selling you a dream that is temporary. Over the years, we talked about Yo-yo dieting, thigh gaps, bigger chest, beach body, bigger butts. The truth is, your body type and genetics will determine how your body is structured. Your diet and exercise will strengthen your bones and muscles and perhaps grow or not depending on your body type.

I see people breaking their back by doing extremely heavy hip thrusts to get a butt that perhaps they can never achieve. The same way I see people breaking their shoulders by going extremely heavy on bench presses and not getting the bigger chest they were promised. Stop wishing for quick fixes, listen to your body and do it for the long run.


You probably have heard of kegels before either from your doctor or from a friend, but do you know what they are?

In order to understand how to properly do kegels, we need to understand a little bit more about the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor is made up of a sling of three muscles that connects the pubic bone at the front to the tailbone and the “sitting bones” at the back. This sling serves as a “floor” that supports the pelvis and abdomen which include your bladder, uterus, and bowel.

Many times, people associate doing kegels and strengthening the pelvic floor with pregnancy and postpartum, but the truth is, both men and women can do kegels. Kegels can strengthen the weakened pelvic floor due to incontinence, constipation, improper heavy lifting, excess coughing, uterine prolapse, diastasis recti and menopause amongst other issues.

The Kegel contraction can be analyzed in three parts: Urethral, vaginal and anal contraction. The muscles can work at the same time or separately. The repeated contraction and release in the anal area can help prevent hemorrhoids due to stimulation of blood circulation in the veins and it can also assist with the function of the large intestine.

Kegels are described as contracting the pelvic floor like you want to stop and start the flow of urine or passing gas. 

Different rhythms of Kegels:

Slow Holds

It’s easier to do Kegels from a sitting position, with your legs wide apart. Pretend that you really need to go to the bathroom but you need to hold until you get there. Squeeze the muscles around your front passage (vagina or scrotum) and the back passage (anus) as strongly as possible and hold for about 5-15 seconds. You can do this count of 10 times or for about 30-45 seconds, resting for about 1 minute each set for 1-3 sets depending on how weak your pelvic floor is.


Just like with the slow holds, this time you will hold for about 1-2 seconds


Visualize your midsection as an elevator. Using your pelvic floor muscles, draw upwards to the first floor and hold for 5 seconds. Then again for the second floor and once again holding for 5 seconds

Belly Button Breathing

Using your diaphragm, inhale deeply through your nose and as you exhale deeply through your mouth say HA-HA-HA. Do 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions

Baby Hugs

These are super fun to do but even if you’re not pregnancy you can still do these. Basically, you need to bring your belly button closer to your spine in small increments. Like you want to hug your baby (or food baby) and with each hug, bringing them closer to you. So you hug your baby, bigger hug, biggest hug, then you let go. Inhale, bigger inhale, biggest inhale and exhale deeply. 

The main purpose of these exercises are to concentrate on your breathing and contraction rather than lifting your body up. You can do kegels anywhere (even on the bus) and people can’t tell that you are doing them.

Give them a try!


I have always expressed my passion for health and fitness and I cannot see myself doing anything else! For me, being a Personal Trainer is beyond skin deep. For some people, they are in search of the "perfect body", others just want to be able to do what they used and there are some people who just want someone to talk to them.

This is why I love my job so much. It is extremely important to exercise not just the body but the mind too. As a trainer, I'm not here to yell at you or put you down like you see on certain tv shows. I am here to guide you, be your health friend and listen to you. 

Exercise should be enjoyable, you should be able to look forward to our sessions and leave with a great sense of accomplishment. Because I do mainly injury rehabilitation, I deal with people who have lost their mobility due to car crashes, sometimes age and sometimes due to genetics or other health risks; and most of the time we end up becoming friends outside of work. The social aspect of exercise is crucial for any recovery. Many times people who are suffering from depression and other mental health issues benefit from being around people and exercising will help them with their overall health.

In times of Covid-19, I have realized that the mind and body connection does not have to be lost at the gym. Online fitness training is a great way to not only exercise but also meet other people and exercise the brain. We keep hearing a lot about "social distancing" or "physical distancing" but we need to hear more about mental health and how to keep each other motivated.

While teaching online fitness classes, I realized that what I do can impact many lives from all over the world and yet, there are so many other people who can also benefit from such experience. The benefits of exercising are numerous and they should be more than getting that perfect beach body or better butts. Sometimes what we see on social media or magazines have been edited both digitally and surgically or perhaps the person with the perfect body may have body image disorders.

Exercise is about feeling better about yourself, caring for each other and being healthy. Trying different diets, buying pants that will make your butt bigger or injuring yourself at the gym so that you can post on social media is not what health and fitness is all about. When you effectively and safely exercise, you can reverse a lot of illnesses that in turn will improve your body by healing your brain.


1. Stay Hydrated

No matter which exercise you are doing, it is really important to replenish your electrolytes and to hydrate your body. Just by adding a simple slice of lime, lemon or orange to your water, you are replenishing all the important vitamins and minerals lost during your workout.

2. Exercise Within Your Heart Rate Zone

This is extremely important if you have a heart condition, high blood pressure or if you are pregnant. Exercising within a specific heart rate target will help you improve your cardiovascular endurance without putting too much stress on the heart. Remember: The harder the heart pumps, the more oxygen it needs to send to the other organs and muscles. Too much too soon puts a tremendous amount of stress on the heart, other organs and muscles. 

The most common formulas to find your heart rate zones are:

220 - your age x 50%, 70% or 85%

Borg Scale 1-10 (1 easiest, 10 hardest)

Wearing a heart rate monitor

3. Stretch!

I can't emphasize this enough. Stretching is essential to prevent injuries. An active person should stretch 2x a day everyday, especially after exercising (walking, running, working out, playing sports, biking, rollerblading, etc). You should hold each stretch until you cannot feel too much tension (sometimes 30 seconds is enough, sometimes 60 seconds). All major muscles should be stretched, especially the muscles on the neck and legs (especially calves if you are a runner).

4. Be aware of Your Posture

You should always be aware of your posture regardless if you are exercising, however, when you are exercising this is a major factor in keeping your body injury-free. Remembering to keep your core engaged, your spine in neutral position while keeping your shoulders down and your joints relaxed can be a tough task to handle. This means no slouching when doing cardio, no arching of the back when doing weight training and no locking of the joints when stretching.

5. Rest

Always give your body 1-2 full days of rest and never workout the same muscles everyday. This means, if you are doing an upper body exercise, you should do a lower body exercise the next day (if you are doing a full body workout, skip the next day). The reason for that is, your muscles need time to grow and get stronger. 

Over-training can lead to a number of issues such as irritability, lack of sleep, lack of energy, injuries, plateaus, anxiety, depression, stiffness, increased resting heart rate amongst other symptoms. Exercising for 1 hour most days of the week (no less than 3 no more than 6) will keep you active without going overboard!


Here are my Top 5 Beach Ready Exercises:

1- Lunges 

Nothing says Beach Body like Lunges! They work on your legs, glutes and core like no other exercise. The two main keys with this exercise are: Take a nice big step forward and bend the back leg down while keeping your back tall. This exercise is not about reaching forward as it is reaching down! Keep your knee aligned with you ankle and foot as you inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up. Helloooo Ipanema Beach!

2- Push-ups

This exercise can be done anywhere and it involves all major muscles in the body. Great for the chest,shoulders, arms, core and legs. You can start by going on your knees and then progressing to your toes, keeping in mind of your posture and breathing (inhale on the way down, exhale as you push yourself up)

3- Swimming 

Awesome way to stay in shape while being gentle on the joints. Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise that also helps tone the body.

4- Woodchop 

This exercise can be done on a cable pulley or with a medicine ball. While keeping your arms straight, gently twist from the waist and return to the starting position. This exercise is great for the core and arms as well as balance and mobility.

5- Seated Row/ One Arm Row

You can't have a Beach body without a nice Sexy Back! Our upper back is responsible for posture, so it is no surprise that this exercise made into my list. Sometimes we concentrate on the front or "mirror" muscles and we forget how important the muscles on the other side are. With a Seated Row, extend your arms until they are slightly bent and then bring the handles toward your chest while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Remember to inhale as you are straightening the arms and exhale as you are bringing the handles toward you, keeping your back tall and static.

Don't forget that summer bodies are made in the winter, so get started now!


1 – Get your friends and family on board!

Studies have shown people eat up to 30% more when they are in a group setting than when eating by themselves. We end up sharing a dessert that we did not plan on having, eating bigger meals or even trying someone else’s plate. Child obesity has skyrocketed due to children being less active and eating more junk food. You want to lose weight? Make sure all the people around you are on board and RESPECT the fact that you are trying to lose weight. 

This is especially true when you have a family or live with someone as we have the tendency to change our minds. Kids want pizza for dinner? Leave it for the weekend and make a nice grilled Salmon with Quinoa salad tonight.

2 - Keep a food journal

I tell all my clients to keep a food/drinks journal and look over it once a week. Write down the date and time that you had your breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner as well as the amount of liquids that you had throughout the day (that includes water, juices, pop, alcohol). It may seem like a lot of work but once you look back at how well or how bad you did, you can visually track your progress.

3 - Set Smart Goals, there is no easy way out 

From time to time I might get a new client who wants to lose 20lbs in a month. That is completely unattainable and unsafe! Sorry to burst your bubble but there is no miracle pill, no miracle diets, no miracle exercise and not everything Dr. Oz says is right!

In a healthy setting, you want to lose between 1-2lbs a week or 4-8 pounds a month. Depending on your age, health issues and physical fitness you can lose up to 10 pounds in a month but keep in mind that you have to work for it! Eating healthy and exercising regularly will shed-off those pounds, it all depends on how much work you put into it. 

Aim for 1lb a week and if you lose more you will be even more motivated to continue. If you aim for 5lbs a week, you will be terribly disappointed.

4 – Get a Personal Trainer

This is not a sales pitch. When you pay for personal training sessions, you are committing yourself to your trainer and your goals. If you don’t give your trainer 24hrs notice, you will get charged for your session; this is to make sure you don’t slack off and waste both of your times.

Gym memberships seem to be less expensive, but if you are paying $30-100/month just to go once a week or for one month, you end up paying a lot more than getting a Personal Trainer. You can also run into the same problems when paying for fitness classes because you can still slack off, not to mention that if you don’t know how to exercise properly, you can get injured.

5 – Know your food!

There are too many fad diets out there, too many endorsements by Dr. Oz who seems to contradict every week, “miracle” pills/powders and yet so many people are still trying to lose weight. Here are some things that you should avoid and some things you could try. Stick to organic and fresh produce as much as possible.

AVOID                             TRY

*Bread                             * Kale and Spinach

*Deep Fried                    * Skim Milk/Almond Milk

*Pasta                              * More nuts and fresh fruits

*Juices                                * Ginger

*Pop/Diet                            * Water w/ half a lemon

*Fast Food                       * Pineapple Tea

*Chips                              * Watermelon

*Mayo                              * Smaller portion size

*Butter                             * Homemade Soup (less salt, no cream)

*Soy Sauce/Salt             * Greek Yogurt

*Cookies/Sugar              * Low Calorie Snacks

*Rice                               * More Veggies, fresh or frozen

*Potatoes                         * More fish

*Chinese Food * No batter, no chicken skin, low fat 

*Gravy, Bbq sauce, garlic sauce 


Here are my top 5 At Home Workouts.

1- Skipping (or pretend skipping)

Skipping is great for the core and posture, it's a great way to get your cardio going without having to do a crazy amount of jumping (such as burpees and box jumps). If you don't have a skipping rope or you don't know how to skip, remember that you can always use that invisible rope and go at your own pace. Try skipping to an entire song such as "Roar" by Katy Perry.

2- Push-ups

No matter how much you hate to do them, learn how to love them!! They are great for the chest, arms and core. There are quite a few variations of push-ups: You can do them on your toes (advance), on your knees/thighs(intermediate) or against a wall (beginner). Don't forget to breathe in on the way down and breathe out on the way up. Try doing 3 sets of 10-15 reps

3- Squats

Squats are a great exercise not just to tone the legs and give you a firmer butt, they are great for the core and posture as well. However, doing proper squats can be challenging. Some trainers say: "It's like sitting on a chair" but how often do you pay attention on how you sit on a chair? Stick your bum back while using your heels on the way down, always keeping your knees aligned with your ankles and look straight ahead. Always always always use your heels to take the pressure off the knees. Don't forget to breathe in on the way down and breathe out on the way up. For a more advanced workout, try using a ball against the wall or a bosu with the blue side up. Try doing 3 sets of 10-15 reps

4- Planks

Planks are often called stationary push-ups. They look like push-ups and they are just as hard but with no movement. They are great for the arms, core (trunk) and posture. You can do them on your knees/thighs and forearms (beginner), toes and forearms (intermediate), toes and hands (advance) or on a ball/bosu (more advance). They key is to keep your back straight while continue to breathe. Try doing 3 sets of 30 seconds -1 minute.

5- Seated Rows with a Thera-Band

For those of you who don't know what these bands are, Thera-bands are thin, flat bands that you can get virtually anywhere such as at Winners, London Drugs, Shoppers, Walmart, etc. They tend to come in a pack of 3 (light,medium and hard). 

They are very versatile and easy to store, a must for any fitness level.

Seated Rows work the upper back muscles responsible for posture as well as the biceps. Sit on floor with your legs straight out, place the band (of your desired strength) on the arch of your feet, keep your back straight and steady, squeeze your shoulder blades together as you move your arms inward. Breathe in as you extend your arms, breathe out as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. If the bands are too light, try adding all 3 of them together. Try doing 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

These are 5 simple exercises you can do at home, while travelling or even at the gym. A full body workout doesn't have to be full of gadgets or complicated, it just needs to target all troubled areas. Have fun and workout safe!


1- Call them goals rather than resolutions – 

Resolutions have the connotation of something we say in the beginning of the year and never follow through. Saying goals tend to change our mindsets rather than drag us down. 

2 - Start small to see bigger results – 

This is especially true if your goal is to lose weight. “I want to lose 4 pounds this month” instead of “I want to lose 10 pounds this month”. When you make your goals smaller, it increases the chances of you sticking to your goals and not giving up. Make it a year long plan, don’t expect miracles if you are not putting in the effort! 

3 - Keep a journal

 Keeping a journal is a great way for you to visualize your progress. A food log should contain: Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Dinner + Time of day. An Exercise log should contain: Type of Exercise, Duration of Exercise, Water amount, Time of the day. Do not count calories, they don’t work and you could be setting yourself for failure!

4 - Reward yourself – 

Have a cheat day, stick to food rather than alcohol, that way you can feel full faster and see what you are putting into your body. It’s important to have a cheat day so that you don’t over indulge later.

5 - It’s never too late to start – 

What if you have fallen off the wagon after 2-3 months? Go back to your journals, see how well you were doing before and start again! Never wait until next year; this is how gyms make their money. They expect people to buy memberships in January, give up by March and start again in the New Year. Meanwhile, you are paying for the membership and not going. Make every cent count!

6 - Make it about your HEALTH – 

Diets, fads, trendy workouts, they never work because people are thinking of their looks rather than health. Keep it simple. Walk more, eat better, change your workout every month, check your cholesterol with your doctor, try doing something you haven’t done since you were a kid (skipping, push-ups, hula-hoop, cycle) 

7- Invest in your health rather than excuses – 

I don’t have money. This is the number 1 excuse every trainer hears! If you don’t have money for your health, don’t go to restaurants/bars, don’t go on trips, don’t even go to house parties and don’t smoke or drink. They are all dragging you down. Imagine the amount of money you would save if you didn’t do those things; that’s because you have a choice, make a priority to invest in your health and eat less junk. The results may not be immediately, but they are worth it!

8 - Stick to the plan – 

This all ties up to setting smart goals, small changes over a period of time, keep a journal, take pictures to track your progress, go on the scale once every 2 weeks, have a cheat day and don’t forget what your goals are!

9 - Hire a Personal Trainer to help you keep on track -

 We are here to help you! We have the experience and knowledge to help you achieve your goals in a safe and effective manner. We went to school and passed all the exams to make sure that we can take care of your health and body. Ask us questions! We are teachers, we are here to teach you how to maximize your workouts and minimize injuries! Personal trainers are not just for people who want to lose weight, many of us are certified in active rehabilitation, prenatal fitness and seniors. Many times we work together with physiotherapists, physicians, chiropractors and nutritionists to make sure you are well taken care. Make an investment and get a trainer to teach you how you can exercise safely and yet challenging.

10 - Don’t Obsess, embrace the results!

Rather you are trying to lose more weight or trying to recover faster from an injury, it is crucial that you embrace the results, sometimes the results may take longer, this is a lifestyle change and your body may have limitations due to age or severity of the injury. Embrace the fact that you lost 2 pounds, embrace the fact that your posture is better, and embrace the fact that you have more energy. They may sound minuscule but they add up!