The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - ERNIE SCHRAMAYR

Last Christ­mas, I was gifted a book that is at times ed­u­ca­tional and in­spir­ing and serves as a “how to” for liv­ing a suc­cess­ful, mean­ing­ful, abun­dant life. “Tools of Ti­tans” by Tim Fer­ris is bro­ken down into easy-to-read chap­ters that fea­ture suc­cess­ful peo­ple from all fields and walks of life, in­clud­ing Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger, Jamie Foxx and War­ren Buf­fett.

The au­thor “de­con­structs” the tips, tricks, habits and daily rit­u­als of world-class per­form­ers and then presents them for the reader to con­sider us­ing in their daily life.

It made me think of the peo­ple who I’ve in­ter­acted with as a health and fit­ness pro­fes­sional and the tools they’ve used to main­tain great health, good nu­tri­tion habits and less stress. I could have come up with a list of 100, but, here are 10 that stand out.

1. Headspace. A smart­phone app that pro­vides daily, guided med­i­ta­tion for a va­ri­ety of things like fo­cus, bal­ance, re­cov­ery and per­for­mance. It is a game changer for any­one who has tried to med­i­tate on their own and failed.

2. My Fit­ness Pal. An­other great smart­phone app that is free, yet very pow­er­ful. It is a daily food tracker that gives you a calo­rie break­down as well as a break­down of pro­tein, car­bo­hy­drates and fat in your diet. A great fea­ture of this app is a bar code scan­ner that en­ters foods for you au­to­mat­i­cally.

3. Per­sonal smoothie blender. A client of mine who was a chronic “break­fast skip­per” now starts ev­ery morn­ing with a nu­tri­tious, high pro­tein smoothie. The unique de­sign means al­most zero cleanup since the blender cup dou­bles as a take-along drink tum­bler.

4. Walker. For some­one who en­coun­ters mo­bil­ity is­sues midlife, a walker can be a life­line. Whether from stroke, MS or in­jury, an in­abil­ity to get around se­ri­ously lim­its op­por­tu­ni­ties for fit­ness, op­ti­mal nu­tri­tion and even so­cial in­ter­ac­tion. If one is able to move past the psy­cho­log­i­cal hur­dle of “need­ing a walker,” the world opens up as a re­turn to the gym, the gro­cery store and the com­mu­nity at large is pos­si­ble again.

5. Re­sis­tance band and door at­tach­ment. Most of my clients travel and love stay­ing in shape on the road. Bring­ing a rub­ber re­sis­tance band with han­dles, along with a door at­tach­ment, means that they can turn any room into a “gym” and never have to lose mo­men­tum while away.

6. Ki­ne­si­ol­ogy tape. Used by ath­letes re­cov­er­ing from in­jury, I have a se­nior client with arthritic knees who swears by the sup­port the tape pro­vides as he goes about his day with less pain and more sta­bil­ity.

7. Foam roller. Sev­eral of my clients swear by the re­lief they get from “rolling” away the knots and mus­cle spasms they have in their backs and/or legs. Foam rolling is a way to self-mas­sage tight mus­cles or trig­ger points and can be used for re­cov­ery be­tween work­outs or as a part of a warmup be­fore a ses­sion.

8. Snack bag­gies. Some­times the sim­ple things are the most pow­er­ful! Keep­ing a sup­ply of plas­tic snack bags on hand means that you don’t have to be at the mercy of vend­ing ma­chines or con­ve­nience stores when you need to fuel up dur­ing the day.

Por­tion equal amounts of nuts, dried fruit and whole grain ce­real or cut up fruits, veg­eta­bles and cheese for nu­tri­tious snacks on the go.

9. Gro­cery shop­ping plan­ner. You’ve likely seen the “All Out Of …” pads hang­ing on some­one’s fridge. With a check­list for ev­ery food cat­e­gory, these pads make shop­ping for nu­tri­tious foods sim­ple.

If you plan your din­ners for the week, then check off the in­gre­di­ents as you go, you’ll eat bet­ter, waste less and save money in the process.

10. Fit­bit. A wear­able fit­ness tracker that counts the num­ber of steps you take daily. If you are mostly seden­tary, it can pro­vide feed­back and mo­ti­va­tion as you at­tempt to be­come more ac­tive.

Med­i­cal ex­er­cise spe­cial­ist Ernie Schramayr, CPT, helps his clients man­age med­i­cal con­di­tions with ex­er­cise. You can fol­low him at ernies­fit­ness­ 905-741-7532 or ernies­fit­ness­

Fit­bit or an­other type of fit­ness tracker can help mo­ti­vate you to meet daily step goals.

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