Take a Step Back For the Good of Your Health!

Running Backwards

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Moving forward, looking to the future, not looking back and so on and so on…it seems that we are always focusing on moving frontward but a recent trend shows that taking a few steps back might be the direction to go.

I came upon an article in the Chatelaine October issue called Back up! And it intrigued me; I’m always looking for ways to spice up the calorie burning process and I’m not a gym person or an exercise video kind of girl. I much more prefer to throw on a pair of running shoes (or soccer cleats) and run my butt off, or try to at least.


No, I’m not suggesting that you start listening to 80`s tunes while exercising; retro movement is the reverse action of any normal movement. In this case the normal movement is running forwards and the retro movement is running backwards.

Athletes like football players, soccer players and other sportspeople have been running backward, sideways and crisscrossed for decades but average calories burners usually focus on moving forward.


You might be wondering why you should try this. I mean if you’re going to sacrifice your reputation by looking “silly” running backwards (when everyone else is moving forward) you’re going to want to make it worth it right?

The benefits of running (or walking) in reverse are aplenty. Any runner can tell you that the long-time popular cardio exercise is hard on the body, mainly the knees. Running backwards helps this problem because it changes the impact spots on the body. In backward motion, you land on a different part of your foot than when in the forward motion and this places pressure on different parts of your body.

Other benefits of retro running include:

  • Strengthens core muscles
  • Improves posture
  • Burns roughly 30% more calories than running forward. It is estimated that taking 100 steps backward is equal to taking 1,000 steps forward!
  • Allows injured runners to continue to run without worrying of further injury
  • Strengthens new muscles since we are using different groups than in the forward motion


Of course, after learning of this new idea, I had to try it myself. When the weather is nice, I pick up Little S from school and we hit the park across the street from her school. With time management in mind, I try to fit in a few minutes of cardio-burning activity while she plays, and at our park, there are perfectly sized hills that allow for the biggest bang for my buck cardio-wise.

On this day, I walked up the hill backwards and ran down forwards and repeated this about ten times. It is suggested that when starting this new exercise that you begin with a walk instead of a run and that you do this on level ground until you get the feel for it.

I noticed the difference on the very first try. Walking up the hill in reverse really activated “new” muscles and when I got to the top of the hill, I found I was more out of breath than when running up frontwards. Overall it was obvious that I participated in a more vigorous workout and in the same amount of time that I usually spend.

So, the next time you lace up your running shoes, consider taking a few steps backwards. You can gradually workup to a 40/60 percentage in your workouts (40 backward and 60 forwards). This will really rev up your workout routine and if you’re doing it anyway, why not get more out of it!

What is your favourite workout routine? How do you beat fitness boredom and incorporate new techniques?

City Mom

Getting in Shape with Power Stroller

Power Stroller

As you may know, my daughter will be 7 weeks old on Saturday and I just received the go ahead from my doctor to resume my physical activity.  I couldn’t wait to get back at it, but it is definitely more challenging now having a little one to think about as well; I can’t just get up and go to the gym like I used to.

Power Stroller

Luckily there is a class that allows me to combine my physical activity with spending time with my child so I don’t have to find childcare every time I want to workout.

City Mom has featured Bernice Robinson, Personal Trainer on her blog over the last couple of years and now Bernice has started a new company called Power Stroller.

Power Stroller is a progressive fitness training program; meaning, that as your level of fitness progresses, so does the level of training.  This enables you to maximize your strength, endurance, and cardiovascular performance while enjoying time with your baby and forming new friendships with other mothers.

With classes running everyday of the week at various locations around London and St. Thomas, it was easy for me to find one that fit into my schedule.


I would like to firm up my muscles since I have lost a lot of toning over the pregnancy.  Bernice mentioned in our first class that muscles go through atrophy during pregnancy and we lose a lot of muscle tone.

I would also like to shed some of the baby weight I gained, which is about 15 pounds.


I will be participating in the 8-week program with Bernice.  It runs 2 days a week, Wednesdays and Fridays at Springbank Park and I will be sharing my results as I go so stay tuned!

This first week we discussed protein, clean eating and whole foods.  I learned that you should switch up your protein shakes each time you buy a new one.  So if you used Whey protein over a few weeks, the next time you should buy soy based protein powder for example.  There are also recipes listed on the website when you are a client of the program so I look forward to trying some of those as well.  It was really nice meeting all the other new moms in the group.

So far my first week has been very encouraging and I look forward to the coming weeks and the progress I will make.  If you would like more information on these programs, check out the power stroller site at

What were your fitness goals after pregnancy and how do you combine fitness with spending time with your children?

Village Mom

Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy: Ten-Minute Trainer {#Giveaway}

City Mom's Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy

As it nears the end of November, the holiday stress is starting to set-in for some. The traffic is getting heavier, the stores busier and the lineups longer.

If you’re like me, one of the first things you neglect in times of stress is your fitness routine. With less time to cook, healthy meals get a little unhealthier and your workout routines get shorter and shorter until they’re nonexistent.

Luckily there’s a remedy for that and that is Tony Horton’s Ten-Minute Trainer by Beachbody. Whether this is what you need to make it through the holidays or the perfect gift for someone special, you’ll be impressed with this product.

Ten-Minute Trainer


Beachbody’s Ten-Minute Trainer is a home workout program that guarantees results with just ten minutes a day. I was lucky to receive a Ten-Minute Trainer DVD fitness program to test out.

The Ten-Minute Trainer includes five different workouts:

  • Total Body
  • Cardio
  • Lower Body
  • Yoga Flex
  • Abs Routine

It also includes everything else you’ll need to conduct a full fitness regime:

  • Resistance Band Kit with Cardio Belt
  • Tony Horton’s 10-Minute Meals
  • Customized workout calendar
  • Rapid Results Guidebook
  • On-the-Go Workout Cards
  • 10-Day Lean Jean Plan
  • Bonus measuring tape


The holidays are one of the busiest times of year for bloggers like me. The holiday season starts well before November and December as we plan our holiday features. My fitness regime has gone out the window but when I received the Ten-Minute Trainer I started back up in small doses.

I love the 10-Day Lean Jean Plan. It’s a ten-day plan to help you kick-start your commitment. Sometimes I get frustrated when I don’t see the results I expect right away. This plan is a great way to drop a size to give you that motivation you need to keep going.

The meals aren’t complicated and don’t require you to find all sorts of ingredients and spend hours in the kitchen. This whole program seems to be designed for people like me and probably you.

Here’s an example of one day’s menu (This is just a ten-day plan and not intended to continue for longer):


  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • ½ cup sliced peach
  • 1 slice whole-grain bread


  • 1 cup fresh fruit


  • Tuna Sandwich with mayonnaise


  • Roast turkey breast
  • 1 cup spinach


  • 1 baked apple, sliced
  • 1 tsp sugar & cinnamon

The Customized workout calendar directs you on what workout programs to do and when. And it’s set up for all types of people. For example, it shows you what workout to do if you’ve really only got ten minutes. But if you have twenty minutes it tells you what other workout to do and so on.

The calendar is set up for an entire month of workouts and by combining them with the healthy 10-minute meal suggestions and Michi’s Ladder, you’ll see significant results. I have not been about to complete a full four weeks yet because I wanted to get this out in time for Christmas) but I am excited to do so and report back.

I also found the DVDs easy to follow and easy to understand with clear instruction and demonstrations.


I watch late night TV. I know there are a lot of products out there that promise to shed weight in no time flat and I admit I’ve tried some of them. Sadly, the truth is that you need to burn more than you take in. The Ten-Minute Trainer is just that! And it’s all packaged up in a way that makes it impossible to come up with excuses as to why you can’t lose weight and stay fit.

If you’re looking for a fitness and nutrition plan that is realistic and easy to follow then I recommend this program. And not just for the busy holiday season but for always as a way to stay fit. I also recommend this as a good Christmas gift  for someone in your life that has a busy schedule, travels a lot, has young children or is just looking to keep fit in the comforts of their own home.


I’m just one person so you should see what others are saying too. Like any fitness and diet routine, results and experiences vary with each person and how they are using it.


The Ten-Minute Trainer retails for $89.99 and can be found at Shopper’s Drug Mart, London Drugs, Sears and Target.


One City Mom reader will win a Ten-Minute Trainer package as described in this post. Please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 City Mom

This Week on City Mom: Fit Mama

This is a fun week on City Mom (well they’re all fun actually) as we meet up with Bernice Robinson, Certified Personal Trainer & BSc Kin, from Bernice Robinson Personal Training Studio. Bernice discusses fitness for pre and postnatal moms as well as the fun classes and personal training services she offers.

This episode was particularly unique for me to film. I am not a fitness pro by any means, but before the filming I had been working with Bernice for a number of months so I had an idea of what we’d be demonstrating on camera. What I didn’t expect was to truly work up a sweat and to have my balance and coordination tested for all to see! It turned out to be a really fun day!


Bernice believes in the philosophy of healthy body, healthy mind. Being a mother of two active, healthy children she also understands that exercise and proper nutrition are extremely important. She extends this to all of her clients and expects them to follow the same mandate.

Bernice is not only effective in her guidance and instruction but she’s a lot of fun to work with. Whether it’s a one-on-one session or a group class, you feel like you’re hanging out with a good friend (who’s going to whip your butt into shape!).

Bernice offers different types of personal training like the one-on-one sessions, couples training and group training. She also provides fun classes that not only increase your fitness level and strength, but make you feel like you’re having fun while doing it.


I’ve written a few times on City Mom about playing soccer. I consider myself to be in pretty decent cardiovascular shape because of my soccer training so when it came time to tape the Stroller Bootcamp class, I was confident that I’d be able to keep up.

Well let me tell you these moms on camera are AMAZING! They are in super shape and they left me in the dust! I was super proud to have them on camera to be a part of my show because what better light to cast on the life of a mom than these fit, healthy and strong mamas!

The boot camp classes are led by Bernice Robinson who started London’s first “stroller fitness” classes almost seven yrs ago.

Stroller Boot camp is for everyone. It is a mix of traditional “Stroller Fitness”- keeping strollers in motion, while mama’s work all their major muscle groups and their cardiovascular system, stopping occasionally to focus on certain areas.

And what I love most about it is that you get to include your children in your exercise routine. This is excellent for bonding time but also allows you flexibility in your time. It means you don’t need to find a babysitter to make ‘you’ time!


180° is a unique group class that is packed with 60 minutes of nonstop cardio combined with resistance band training, mixed with core stability training. It’s a complete workout which increases strength, cardiovascular endurance, and improves core stability; while decreasing body fat and building lean muscle mass.



Twitter: @bernicetraining


Youtube: Lessons in Vanity


This week in City Mom’s Kitchen, Bernice joins us to share one of her delicious and clean recipes from her nutrition plan. We also check out the fitness world’s latest trend called Kangoo Jumps that runs here in London at Gold’s Gym.


Tune into City Mom on Rogers TV next Tuesday at 7:00 pm where we check out some fun and educational things to do with your children around London.

Thanks for watching!

Looking Back. Moving Forward.

Booty Camp Fitness
Booty Camp Fitness
Images From

Yesterday marked the last day of my Booty Camp Fitness sessions until the spring and my Mexican vacation! 

I’ve loved my group exercise experience to date.  There’s something about a bunch of women working towards a common goal that really keeps me motivated.  I also love, love the instructor, Jacquie Hardy.  She’s a good motivator and truly cares about our progress.  She’s always changing things up so we don’t get bored mentally or physically and she’s truly committed to physical fitness.

Jacquie Hardy

Booty Camp Fitness has locations all over Canada, but here in London there are lots of different options to suit your unique needs.  There are classes from Monday to Thursday at varying times and places throughout the city.  Check out the schedule and locations here.


I am proud to announce that since starting my healthy eating plan in December and implementing my workouts with Booty Camp, I have seen results.

I have lost a total of 15 lbs and 15 inches.  I have also decreased my body fat percentage by 11.6.  To my surprise my body fat percentage is now in the ‘Fitness’ level.  Me, fit?  Fantastic!

Here’s a breakdown of my inches lost:

Upper Arm:   1 in (each arm)

Chest:  3 in

Waist:  3.5 in

Hips: 3 in

Buttocks:  1.5 in

Upper Thigh: 1.5 in (each thigh)


I feel better, obviously.  My old clothes are starting to fit again, I have a renewed confidence and I am in better shape overall.  I still have about 10 lbs to go, but with my eating and exercise routine well underway I am confident that I can reach my goal.

Next on my to do list is to sign up for my April session of Booty Camp Fitness and do some spring clothing shopping!  And start packing for Me-Hee-Co!

City Mom

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