Sunday, 21 October 2012

66 days of continuous practice to cement a habit

I’m a pretty disciplined person.

I exercise a few times a week.

Spend less than I earn

And I work from home without ending up on the couch all day.

But for months I’d been trying to add yoga and creative writing to my routine, and it just wasn’t happening. 

I’d have a good run then put it off, forget, or find something “more important” to do.

Days would go by, so I’d start it up again then, sure enough, let it slide.

I was getting more and more annoyed that I wasn’t doing the things I really wanted to do.

I’d think, I’m not lazy, but for some reason I wasn’t able to make those things a habit.

Click here to read more of this article!

NHL Should Be Dream Not Goal For Youth Minor Hockey Talk

Click below to Lisen to Rich Winters Interview On the 'Dream'!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Nutrition - Review on P90X Recovery Drink

Article by Fit Asylum

One of the most heavily marketed supplements by Beachbody is the Results and Recovery Formula.  A lot of people ask, is it worth it?  If you want to maximize your results with any workout program, your post-workout meal is one of the most important things to consider. To the best of my knowledge, and taking into consideration latest trends in sports nutrition, Beachbody has really done their homework with the Recovery formula, and price-wise it is comparable to most other products on the market.

This is not a protein shake!
First off, this product is not to be confused with a whey protein shake.  The truth is, the importance of any recovery formula is in its carbohydrate composition, and secondarily its protein composition.  Therefore, it is especially important to note that this product is not supposed to be consumed throughout the day like a protein shake or meal replacement shake, but ONLY immediately after a workout.

Simple Carbohydrate Blend
The Recovery Formula is made up mostly of dextrose and maltodextrin.  Dextrose is chemically the same as a glucose (blood sugar), and maltodextrin is a corn-derivative polysaccharide (multi-molecule sugar).  Both have a high glycemic index number, which means they will be absorbed by the body very quickly.  The fact that these ingredients are in liquid (powdered) form lead to even faster absorption.  This is key in post workout nutrition as your body is ready to take simple carbs and convert them into glycogen (stored carbs) to replace the stores in your muscles which are depleted after a workout.  If these stores are left depleted, you will eventually replenish them throughout the day, but if they are left "empty" then you will most likely drag through the rest of your day, or worse get urges to eat a ton later on in the day.  Anybody who has ever worked out mid-day and then crashes by mid-afternoon knows this feeling!  High-glycemic foods are bad for you almost every time of day EXCEPT right after a workout; the release of insulin, an anabolic hormone, is actually desired after working out anaerobically (i.e. P90X, Insanity, etc.) to replenish glycogen and promote muscle repair and rebuild.

Compared to other recovery drinks that use fructose or sucrose (table sugar) or worse, High Fructose Corn Syrup as their sugar sources, the Beachbody drink's use of dextrose and maltodextrin is preferred.  Did you know that until this past year Gatorade used a "fructose-glucose syrup" (read: High Fructose Corn Syrup) as its sugar derivative? Powerade still uses HFCS as it's sugar source.

4:1 Carb to Protein ratio
While clearly the carbs play the most important role in recovery, most sports nutrition experts have come to a consensus that having a 4:1 carb to protein ratio in a recovery event is ideal.  Using Whey Protein Concentrate in the Beachbody formula, this ratio is achieved, providing about 40g of simple carbs and 10g of whey protein.  Whey protein is one of the most easily absorbable proteins and has an amino acid spectrum conducive to muscle growth.  The only thing that is not ideal about this formulation is that it comes from "concentrate" instead of "whey protein isolate" which is a denser source of whey protein.  Protein in the diet throughout the day is important to provide the body with amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle, and controlling blood sugar.  Protein in the recovery event may be absorbed for immediate use in muscle repair, and may even help replace the glycogen stores as well.
Vitamin C and l-Glutamine
These two ingredients are known to help reduce cortisol levels post-workout.  Cortisol is the "stress" hormone, that is released by the adrenal glands when the body is physically or emotionally undergoing stress.  While cortisol is an important chemical response in the body, an excess of cortisol post-workout can lead to a catabolic effect (breaking down) of muscle tissue and increase in storage of fat.  I do not know of another recovery drink that includes this much vitamin C (750% daily value) and l-glutamine.  Vitamin C may also help combat soreness (truth be told though, expect to be sore your first week of p90x no matter what!). L-glutamine is also considered a "universal" amino acid which can have multiple uses in the body, as it can act like other essential amino acids.

There is a trace amount of creatine in the formula as well, which many people choose to use as a supplement on its own to help with energy during a workout, and recovery.  An over simplified description of creatine is that it helps create and utilize ATP as an energy source more efficiently during strenuous activity.  When taken before a workout, this can give an energy boost and may help you get more reps, and therefore cause more stress on the muscles.  More reps means you increase the build during muscle repair and recovery.  When taken after a workout, it can also aid in protein synthesis in the muscles.  Creatine may add weight to your body, as your muscles will retain more water (this will also give you a more bulked up look), but the amount in the recovery drink is probably not enough to really affect you in this way. Truth be told, creatine in the recovery event isn't really necessary, but some of the Beachbody trainers encourage you to have a scoop of recovery drink DURING your workout and in that case, having the creatine might be somewhat valuable.

When you check out prices in comparison to other products (here I choose Accelerade), Beachbody's drink is fairly priced, when you take into consideration the serving size.  The Beachbody drink is about $49.95 and has 25 servings (60g per serving, or 2 scoops, or 220 Calories). Accelerade by comparison has 60 servings (31g per serving, or 1 scoop, or 120 Calories) and is $52, a reasonable comparison. Endurox is similarly formulated to the Beachbody drink (l-glutamine, dextrose, and Vitamin C included, but no creatine and also contains fructose) and is $59.99 for 28 servings (75g, or 2 scoops, or 270 calories).  Beachbody recently changed the formulation of the Recovery drink, which is why it is a little more expensive than it was about a year ago.  To learn more about the old vs. new recovery drink, read my blog article.
If taste is a deal breaker for you - you are in luck!  Beachbody's drink tastes great, it is a sort of orange smoothie flavor.  Many people I have met on the p90x discussion boards like it.  The newer formulation does taste a little different than the original formulation, but to my taste buds it isn't worse, just different.

Beachbody's Results and Recovery Formula contains the correct carbohydrate blend, a desirable 4:1 carb to protein ratio, vitamins and supplements to help curb cortisol levels and aid with soreness, and a little bit of creatine to aid in protein synthesis.  It is about as well-formulated as, or better formulated than any other product on the market and is comparable in price.  Smart post-workout nutrition is essential to see results, and to not crash later in the day, so if you are using a Beachbody product or working out regularly, it is highly recommended to use this drink, or a comparable formula. Click Here to order or see Nutritional aspects of the this product!

What Makes A Great Youth Sports Volunteer?

 Jodi Murphy of Out Side the Lines

Volunteers are what make a youth sports program go round. They are your administrators, concession staff, coaches and officials who are responsible for teaching a dozen young athletes how to play baseball, football, soccer, hockey or any other youth sport. They are also the ones that shape the overall experience for your youth athletes, shaping their opinions towards the sport in general. The most successful youth sports programs are supported by great volunteers.

Here are 3 characteristics that make someone a great volunteer for your youth sports organizations:

Knowledgeable of the sport
Enthusiasm goes a long way with youth sports volunteers, but enthusiasm plus knowledge is even better! Obviously you don’t need every volunteer to be a pro athlete or official to do a good job, but knowing the basic rules of the game is critical. Your volunteers are responsible for teaching young athletes the fundamentals of the sport and if they don’t have that knowledge, don’t expect their teams to learn much. If they don’t have any experience playing football, how will they be able to teach the proper way to throw a lateral pass? If they’ve never set foot on a baseball diamond, will they be able to show your players how to turn a double play?
If your youth sports organization is lucky enough to have an influx on volunteers, make sure every team gets at least one volunteer who is familiar with the sport. They can take charge of the other volunteers and make sure everyone (players and volunteers alike) learns something!

Loves to coach
If your volunteers are knowledgeable but don’t like to coach/teach, then their expertise won’t do much for your sports programs. Not everyone is good with kids, no matter how good they are with a hockey puck. It’s not enough to just know; they also have to know how to share their knowledge in a way that young athletes can understand. The best youth sports volunteers enjoy working with young athletes and understand how to break the game down and teach fundamentals step by step.

Believes youth sports are valuable
A common problem that can arise with youth sports programs is that the coaches and volunteers forget they are working with youths.  Youth sports teams are not the place to be worrying about “looking like the pros.” It’s more important that volunteers focus on teaching the fundamentals and making sure all their players are getting the attention and training they need to contribute to the overall success of the team. Youth sports are valuable in their own right.  Every sports great started playing on a youth sports team where a volunteer taught them the right way to throw, catch, skate or pass. Great youth sports volunteers remember that and take pride in it.


Protein Intake Simplified


Many times today we are so concerned with results we buy into the hype of do this not that with our diets and nutrition. The biggest thing that I can share on this journey and the most important thing you can learn in our world of fad diets is that balance is key.

What do I mean by “balance??” If you eat clean and you eat healthy amounts of carbs, protein and fat then you will find success in your journey. Too much of any one of these 3 is not good for any of us and may lead to immediate results. But over time those results will stop and you will be left with the consequences of unhealthy eating.

Today I want to talk about something that I feel people are almost… dare I say… obsessed with! Protein. We will also discuss what is the right amount of protein for each of us according the experts.
According to NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine),for the general population, the amount we should be getting is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. This number goes up to 1.0 gram per kilogram of body weight for a recreational athlete. The max amount of protein is 1.4 grams/kg of body weight. Other sources are inline with these recommendations with ACE (American Council on Exercise) recommending 1.2 grams/kg of body weight for athletes.  The ACE recommends no more than 1.7 grams/kg of body weight.

What does all of that mean for you?? In addition to knowing how many calories you should be consuming it is important to know how much protein you need but even more importantly, how much protein is too much!
How do you calculate these numbers?? Easy!!
  1. Convert your weight to kg: Multiple your weight by .453592
  2. Use either your Beachbody training protein meal plan or the above recommendations to find your grams per kg. I am going to use 1.0 grams/ kg for our example. Multiply your weight in kilograms by 1. This will give you your recommended grams of protein per day.
For someone that weighs 200 pounds:
200 * .453592= 90.17 kg (This is your weight in kilograms. )
90.17 * 1 = 90 grams of protein per day.
Once you have an idea of how much protein you should be getting, you will want to divide this number between your meals throughout the day so your body can digest and utilize the protein.

What if I get too much protein??
A lot of people take in a huge abundance of protein. Your body can handle high protein intake for a short period of time, preparing for a competition or photoshoot, but anything longer than a few weeks is extremely hard on your body. The excess protein will cause:
  • Fat to be stored in the body.
  • Excess calcium to be excreted through our urine causing kidney stones and osteoporosis.
  • High cholesterol depending on the source of protein.
According to Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition diets that are carb restrictive and high in protein put people at “risk for … potential cardiac, renal, bone, and liver abnormalities overall” as well.

Sources of protein:
I am a plant based girl. I get most of my protein from live plants. Contrary to popular belief this is totally possible and will actually lead to a diet lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. With a bit of planning I have even seen people compete in figure competitions on a totally vegan nutrition plan.

Lean meats are also a great source of protein. Lean meats would include chicken, fish, and low fat beef.

Shakes are also a great source of protein. Unless your shakes are adding more than just protein like Shakeology,  then I would prefer to see people try to get their protein intake and caloric needs from real food versus supplements. Unless your needs are crazy high then by all means… Shake it up between meals!!
Protein intake is a bit controversial in the fitness world so I know you may not agree with everything I have said when it comes to your goals. These guidelines are just that—guidelines but be careful when choosing the foods to accomplish your goals. Balance is key! Healthy carbs and fat are just as important to your body’s functions and your results as protein!!

Coach Christina

Christina is a Certified Personal trainer, virtual fitness coach and business coach. She is also a mother of 3 beautiful children. She has used her background to grow a healthy 6 figure income and is helping others do the same! Her greatest desire is to be a great mother, wife and to help others fulfill their goals and dreams! With depression knocking on her door she found a way to pull her own health together and decided it was time to help others live a better life! With the threat of returning to work full time and putting her new baby in day care she began her fitness business with nothing more than a dream. With great business success she now finds helping others from home with their fitness, health and business goals from home!

Monday, 8 October 2012

How to Improve Your Focus


By Daniel Coyle

Focus is the holy grail of modern life. It’s rare. It’s powerful. And it’s tough to find.
Not for lack of trying. To improve focus, most of us use a common-sense method: we actively remind ourselves to do it. Coaches yell it from the sidelines — Come on, focus! Parents instruct their homework-doing kids — Stop texting and just focus! We talk to ourselves — Focus now! 

The problem is, that method usually doesn’t work. Urging focus is sort of like kicking the tires of a car that won’t start. It feels satisfying, but it doesn’t fix the underlying problem, which is that our brains crave the steady-state of comfort, not the effort of focus.
So the real question is, how do you nudge people out of their default setting? How do you design learning environments that tilt people toward focus?

I was thinking about this last weekend when we went to Chicago and rode bikes along the lakefront, that wide, paved stretch that fronts Lake Michigan. It was a beautiful day, so the lakefront was packed with hundreds of bikers, skateboarders, rollerbladers, joggers, and kids, everybody zipping in and out at high speed. Then we noticed something strange: no guardrails.

To finish reading this article, Click Here!

Why the NHL Lockout Is Good For the NCAA


Although many of us are disappointed with the NHL lockout and are awaiting the time everybody gets back to work with hopefully no loss of games, the NCAA should be licking their lips at this potential opportunity!

With the prospect of no hockey to be had in the NHL, the NCAA has to be thinking of ways to capitalize on the opportunity to promote college hockey, a sport that has been largely passed over by the mainstream public in the United States. The reason for this is the incredible lack of television coverage on major sports networks. Sure, states like Minnesota, Michigan, and Massachusetts will have regional coverage of some games, but where is the legitimate attempt to get a national audience?

To read the rest of the article, Click Here!

Friday, 28 September 2012

NCAA Hockey In Canada?

 Please visit The Junior Hockey News for more Hockey related Articles!

While nearly every hockey fan in Canada is talking about the NHL lockout, something different may be brewing in the back rooms of several major Canadian Universities.

A few weeks ago, a little noticed announcement was made in Vancouver. It was announced that Burnaby's Simon Fraser University was approved as the first international school in the NCAA.
While SFU currently does not have a varsity hockey team - it has a sports club which competes in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League, a 6- year-old organization which boasts seven members including, one American team from Eastern Washington University - that hasn't stopped school officials from openly pondering the possibility of the school competing in NCAA Division I hockey sometime in the near future.

SFU's 17 NCAA varsity sports teams compete in NCAA Division II, meaning they would have to petition to be allowed to play in Division I hockey. There is no Division II hockey available and, as per NCAA regulations, they would not be permitted to play in the lower-tier Division III hockey.
NCAA hockeywould almost certainly explode in a market like Vancouver which is not only unwavering in its support of the NHL's Canucks, but also has embraced major junior hockey in the form of the WHL's Giants and Junior "A" hockey with a handful of BCHL teams.

After reading this release, we made several calls to other Canadian Universities, and the thought of joining the NCAA was something everyone was talking about. Many people within organizations voiced that they would like to be able to do this and keep Canadian born players playing in Canada rather than loosing them to the United States. Canadian pride, and having the ability to continue to develop their own players was at the heart of most of these conversations.

While many people cited the challenges they may face in attempting to join the NCAA, many also said they would be willing to take those challenges on. If SFU attempts to take its BCIHL to the NCAA level, they will first need to find a suitable facility. But once that hurdle is overcome, they could be the first of many programs in Canada to change over to the NCAA model.

TJHN will update this story as it develops.
By Joseph Kolodziej

“A Change is Gonna Come”

Sunday, 23 September 2012

How to Begin a New Skill

Of all the key moments in talent development, the most important and mysterious is the first ten seconds. The first few swings, the first notes, the first stumbly tries. It’s a tenuous time, because it’s a psychological fork in the road. Either you get the Good Feeling (“Hey, this is kinda fun!”), or the Bad Feeling (“Awww, I’ll never be any good”). In short, it’s either an on-ramp or a stop sign.

The deeper question here has to do with design. Namely, how do you create an environment that creates more on-ramps and avoids stop signs?

To read the rest of this awesome article - Click Here!

This is what success looks like!

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Nine foods to avoid before a game or practice

Athletes work hard to prepare for games. Practice, condition, rest. But all that can be for naught if they are not putting the right foods into their bodies.
If an athlete is truly serious about his sport, then he needs to avoid foods that will hinder his performance.

Avoid these foods when competing:

1. Energy drinks. They contain caffeine and other stimulants that put stress on the heart, in addition to the stress an athlete puts on his heart during competition. In fact, it is a good idea to avoid caffeine altogether when in season.

2. Fried and fatty foods. The body takes a long time to digest the fats, which could leave an athlete feeling drowsy and feeling stomach-heavy. Avoid fatty meats and foods like creamy sauces, dressings and mayonnaise. They also take a long time to digest.
Nutritionist Kelly Aronica ( adds that athletes should stay away from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
“These primarily man-made oils have been shown to raise risk of heart disease,” Aronica says. “They’re found in many commercially baked goods, fried foods and some margarines. Look for it in the ingredient list.”

To Read about the other 7 foods - Click Here!

Friday, 21 September 2012

CCM U+ Crazy Light Hockey Gloves Review

 More great hockey equipment reviews at Hockey Gear Review!

If you are looking for a new pair gloves, you, may want to consider the new CCM U+ Crazy Light Gloves.  The U+ CL fit in the anatomical fit for gloves, meaning that they dont have that traditional 4-roll look. The design is certainly different but not as radical a design as the Easton RS Stealth Gloves. It still has nice clean lines and a fairly simple look but different than traditional gloves.

 Once you slide your hands into the gloves, you will feel how nice they are. The palm is made of Clarino and that makes for a nice comfortable feel against your palm and will also allow you to feel the stick pretty good. There is a decent lock thumb. Not the best one I’ve seen but it will do the trick. As for the rest of the glove, it is kitted out with plastic inserts everywhere meaning that you will have that added protection on top of the double-decker U Foam construction. The tapered fingers flex well for easy and comfortable mobility and the cuff offers a wide open area for a lot of wrist movement.

- Light weight
- Lots of plastic inserts for added layer of protection
- Mesh gussets for increased breathability
- Decent lock thumb
- Open cuff for greater mobility

- Nylon outer construction reduces weight but also reduces the durability
- Open cuff leaves wrist quite exposed to a slash

Overall the CCM U+ Crazy Light glove is well thought out. It features light weight yet a very protective construction. There is quite a bit of flexibility and mobility in the glove without sacrificing fit and comfort. If you are in the market for high end gloves and not wanting to spend north of $200, then at $139.99, the CCM U+ Cl gloves might be the right one for you.

Hockey Gear Review recommends the CCM U+ Crazy Light Hockey Gloves to intermediate level players and above players.

What NOT to Yell During Hockey Games

Faust hoch

To read more great hockey related articles from Grow The Game, Click Here!

“Number 10 you have to pass!”
“Cram it down their throats!”
“Ref, you’re an idiot!”

What do all these “cheers” have in common? They’re clueless.

My best friend yells “foul!” because she knows no hockey lingo, which is fairly harmless. But another parent gives super-specific advice that is kind of insulting. A player’s uncle doesn’t understand the sportsmanship we try to teach when he advises the team to rack up the score. Many spectators, parents included, forget to respect the officials.

Fortunately for hockey players, they’re wearing helmets and often behind glass. No matter what you yell, they probably can’t hear you. And it’s probably good that they can’t hear you because you might not being saying the same thing as the coaches.

The crowd around you, however, can hear you — and they may be offended by what you and your friends and family have to say. (I’m still holding a grudge against a guy who yelled, “You have to pass in that situation,” to my son, who plays the puck like a hot potato, when he actually worked up the nerve to skate the puck up the ice once. And that was four years ago.) You’re around these people a lot, during the season and over the years, so you’ll want to keep the peace.

Safe to Say

It’s safe to yell anything positive, without swearing or sarcasm.
  • Go! (Your go-to cheer if you know nothing about hockey.)
  • Stop him!
  • Great try!
  • Great pass!
  • Good save, goalie!
  • Nice shot!

The fastest way to make enemies is to criticize or laugh at other kids. You can bemoan your own kid’s play to your heart’s content, but you’ll be sorry if you start harping on others. Parents I’ve talked to admit to being embarrassed about saying — or irritated by hearing — the following:
  • Pass it to [insert number of your kid]!
  • You have to pass!
  • Terrible pass!
  • Not in front of the net!
  • Number [X] you need to…
  • Why didn’t you…?
  • What was that?
  • Hit him!
  • Terrible shot!
  • Puck hog!
  • You suck! (To a player or the other team.)
  • Coach, put in [insert name of you kid]!
  • Ref, you [anything]
  • &$?@ or *+!# or any other four letter word
Go negative enough and you may earn more than a dirty look or snide comment. Officials can toss offensive spectators and hockey associations can take action. If it takes some practice to bite your tongue, hang out by the glass rather than in the stands. In a later article, we’ll talk about ways to encourage positive behavior in your relatives, your friends and other fans.

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Kelly Kordes Anton for this article.