It’s hard to afford to take care of ourselves.  There are a lot of obstacles. I get it. It’s more expensive to eat organic food, it’s expensive to hire a personal trainer, hell – we can’t even get a gym membership without spending money. I hear to tell you that there is another way.

Here are my best three recommendations to inspire a little more activity in your life, on a budget of course:

  1. Get outside and walk around in nature. It’s therapeutic, it’s free and you might even learn something or meet another human that’s outside in the big wonderful world too. Crazy, thought. But seriously, get up right now and go for a walk around the block.
  2. YouTube Yoga videos. Sure, a classroom costs $20 to drop in and that’s rich for 45-90 minutes of movement, and as great as it is for you… it’s not sustainable for most of us. You know what is? YouTube – check out some videos. Here’s a favourite to get you started —> https://youtu.be/u-gzRwDbDSg
  3. Wake up and commit to performing 100 squats that day. Start with ten right then… Then just keep track of the rest through out the day. Easy peasy.

But really, motivation is the hardest part for most of us. Sometimes if we don’t have a date with the barbell or the treadmill, we just don’t get there. If that sounds like your excuse, no matter what your definition of fitness is, I can help you get moving. And I can get you moving for less money than a cup of coffee. Now, imagine that…

I’ve listed some of the ways I’ve made my services more accessible for everyone to afford to get fit. Whether it’s in your own home, the park, the gym, learning a new sport like weightlifting speed skating or hockey, I’ve got you covered. Awesome.

And you can still afford a home. Double awesome.

Become a Patron: Perks!

  • Workout Inspired Mixtape Playlist – I’ve got an inside lane on some great new music being in the role I am in the industry, so I build playlists showcasing these talents.
  • Exercise Program – tailored to your ability, health goals and schedule. Online support and tracking and progress  Monthly reassessment via Skype.
  • Nutrition Program – eat right for your body, no diets, no hocus pocus, daily lessons and habits to slowly change your behaviours. Change the way you feel, the way you look and the way you perform with my professional nutrition coaching and learn what foods your body really wants.
  • Lifestyle Package – Without the proper fuel, the fire won’t burn. So ensure you’re getting the right food and movement for what your life calls for. I’ll build you a customized and easy to use exercise program complete with videos and everything.

 

I have a Patreon Page I’ve set up with some neat options like these ones so you can easily and affordably get fit while supporting this movement. Every patron helps to educate one more musician on mental and physical wellbeing and if we keep it up, we’ll extend the careers of millions. Let’s keep building this thing! Check it out!

Please support my cause here patreon.com/musicfit

 

Thanks for sharing!

Stay fit, whatever that means to you.

xo

I am trying to hear you, but your actions are deafening

 

 

 

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So, ironically enough I’m on my phone at 10:51 pm talking to you about how to sleep better… 😝🙄

Here are a few sleep aide supplements for those of you who would like a little more help alongside the sleep ritual. Always contact your trusted health practitioner first before taking any of these and of course use only as directed. Don’t take these with depressants or if you’re on meds or anything… please use common sense. These are meant for sleep deprived humans that are still struggling with sleep rituals. Stay on track and pay attention to week and weekend sleep patterns. You’ll do amazing things with proper zzzs. Just wanna give a big thanks to precision nutrition for the graphic and wisdom.

Sleep tight!

I get this one a lot.

Alike many nutrition questions, not to sound cliche… but it really depends.

First off, we gotta get some more context. What are your goals? Are you trying to lose weight, add muscle or increase your sport performance?

Here are a few quick tips for each of these cases:

Losing Weight

Well, timing is important otherwise you start to devour everything in sight when you finally do eat. You may have been there before. Smaller more frequent meals are commonly taught, but I generally coach the “eat when you’re hungry” approach. The biggest keys are to eat slowly (20-30 minutes) and away from distractions (no TV, texting, Facebook etc…) and only until you’re 80% full. That way your body hits satiety (AKA the feeling of fullness). If you eat too fast, your body doesn’t have time to trigger the “stop eating” button and you’ll tend to overeat.

Gaining Muscle

Eat. Eat often, and when you’re not hungry eat a sandwich. Seriously, timing of large meals is critical when you want to add muscle to your frame. Eating large amounts of food quickly is the takeaway here. Quality protein is most important. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or eating animal protein (which are scientifically proven to be more complete) you must ensure all essential amino acids are being taken into account to maximize the growth of muscle fibres.

Sport Performance

When you’re a performance athlete and need to consider nutrients and calories and performing well, you need to ensure you’re getting the appropriate number of nutrients in your body before every lift. Many meals throughout out the day is the gold standard, while pre and post training nutrition plays a huge role in your success too. Eat good whole food and sleep well to ensure you’re body is ready for the next competition.

Hope this helps get the ball rolling for you. Be sure to reach out if you need some answers! Ciao!

M

xo

The relationship we have with our lifestyle is a learned skill. That means it can be changed. In order to foster and develop a healthy environment, one of the first things we must do is provide accessible education. By empowering individuals to make lifestyle choices for themselves, we will create a culture people will gravitate towards. That’s super rad.

Xo

M

Holy cow. This dairy debate is still going on. Amazingly. I’ve conducted the research and found supporting evidence for both sides. That’s right. Scholarly research has proven both sides right… and wrong. So with that, my article here could be the shortest summary ever with some sort of headline like this: “EVERYONE WINS, THERE ARE NO LOSERS. RAINBOWS. UNICORNS. DAFFODILS! YAY.”

It’s totally not like that though, so check it out. Here are a few facts that should help you make the call. And disclaimer, I’m all for babies drinking mama’s milk. That makes sense. That’s how we’ve done it since the dawn of time. But after that… well… let’s take a peek:

Top 3 Arguments For Milk As A Part of a Well-Balanced Human Diet

  • Milk contains important fatty acids important

Sort of true. Dairy does. Including some milk products. But it really depends on the process. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which arises as a metabolic by-product of rumen hydrogenation and which is found in foods of animal origin, has been proposed to possess potent health promoting properties, but much of this research has been conducted in experimental animals, not humans. [Read the full article here]

  • Milk is the best source of calcium

This is why mom made us drink calcium, right? Well, again, it’s sort of true. Stats show that calcium absorption from milk isn’t superior or inferior to any other source of calcium. [Get the full scoop and the abstract here]

  • Chocolate Milk is a great post-workout drink

Again, depends on who you talk to. Studies do show us that chocolate milk has resulted in higher mixed muscle postexercise muscle protein fractional synthetic rate with lower whole-body proteolysis and synthesis. In other words, yes, the human body can technically recover faster when  chocolate milk is used as a post-workout beverage as opposed to other drinks. [Get the insider on the chocolate milk study here]

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Top 3 Arguments Against Milk As A Part of a Well-Balanced Human Diet

  • Milk will make you fat

True. Mostly, anyway. There’s a much higher ratio of protein enzymes in cows milk and studies show in early childhood a link between feeding cow milk formula and childhood obesity. Makes sense though, a baby cow grows 4x it’s birth size in the first year. [Read the article here]

  • Milk will make you sick

Again, mostly true. Known as one of Paul Chek’s 4 “White Devils” (Sugar, flour and table salt are the other three for those keeping score at home…) cows milk has an enzyme that isn’t broken down well by a lot of human’s digestive system. It has a lot to do with where you grow up though. If you’re exposed to dairy at a young age, your body will tend to build up an enzyme that can process the lactose. That’s why North Americans have a bit more tolerance to dairy than other populations that aren’t exposed to it right away. Here’s a good explanation of this theory – Check it!

There was an interesting study of oriental subjects and milk digestion in the 60s where the results may or may not shock you… [Check the study out here]

  • Milk will kill you. Or at least cause cancer, heart disease and diabetes and is responsible for a host of other terrible things like cheering for the Oilers or the Leafs. Okay, I’m joking about that last one…well, kinda. 

Well. Sadly, this is a legit concern. Milk has been linked to some of the Here are some of the studies:

Milk & bladder cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer

Milk and diabetes

Milk and heart disease

To sum it up, there’s some evidence that some forms of cancer, diabetes and heart disease are linked to milk consumption. There’s no conclusive evidence it’ll make you loco enough to start cheering for the leafs or the Oilers though…

In conclusion…

Both sides make fairly mild statements about whether or not you should keep dairy in th ediet or not. So, I’m going to take a stance. I like to think of it from a very practical standpoint.

We already discussed how milk is important to growth and development. We touched on the lifecycle of a cow. We haven’t mentioned the fact that humans are the only species in the animal kingdom that drink the growth nectar (milk) of another species well into adulthood, but that says it all right there.

The enzymes in cows milk are suitable for a cow, not a human. Babies should drink their mother’s milk, but after the initial year or so I truly don’t believe that it’s a necessary part of that child’s development. Humans should drink more water. The sugar that is packed in milk is dangerous. Lifestyle concerns have to be addressed when obesity is at such a peak…

So in case you haven’t guessed my stance yet.. no, I don’t believe humans should drink milk. There are plenty of alternatives that won’t promote sickness or worse out there and it’s of my opinion that we happened to let an industry bully us into thinking that we needed something for good strong bones. How about broccoli? Calcium all over. Vitamin D? Well, eat a nice balanced diet of fresh fruits, protein, vegetables and a host of whole foods and we’ve got it made. Milk is unnecessary.

Mooooo-ve on over dairy, we don’t need you any longer.

Thanks for takin’ a rip through this with me.

Ciao,

M

Xo

I feel as though I’m echoing a post I did a year or more ago about how pivotal rest and recovery is to a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.

Let’s face it, if we don’t sleep well our recovery suffers – both physically and physiologically. Here are some of the things I have found to be helpful in getting (and staying!) asleep.

Pick up magnesium gel and apply it to your neck and legs and any other sore spots before bed 

This stuff is nectar of the Gods. Magnesium is still touted as one of the highest deficiencies (next to Vitamin D) in the average North American diet. This is largely due to our unbelievable abundance and availability of processed food as opposed to raw foods, where the stuff comes from naturally. Apply it directly to the skin to have a higher absorption rate and immediate results. Ever had an Epson salt bath? Magnesium for the soul. Set a few alarms, you’re going be out like a light.

Take a hot shower

Heat increases the body’s ability to naturally produce melatonin, a secret sleepy drug that can help regulate your sleep/wake cycle. A nice hot show right before the sheets leaves me squeaky clean, refreshed and ready for the zzz’s.

Shut down ALL electronics 2 hours prior to your planned bedtime

This allows your body to wind down. White light from screens, tablets and phones, TVs and those super annoying fluorescent lights all trick your body into thinking its go-time. Nicht gut, for mein freunden that are now celebrated “Night Owls” (side note, aren’t most owls nocturnal…? making them all creatures of the night… seems redundant..)

Shut er’ down, read a book or write a poem or something to relax the mind.

ps. Fun Fact! They have done some studies on white light’s response on the body vs. the eye, as some people argued that only if your eyes notice it. However, have you ever randomly woken up when the sunlight cracks through your blinds? Bingo, body sense light, welcome to the circadian rhythm. We’re tuned with the sun. When the moon is out, your lights should be too. Here’s an article that supports this wild claim. 

There we go. Hopefully you fine folks sleep easy and get some rest now. It’s very much a part of the program!

Til next time, sleep tight… I mean, stay sweet!

Peace!

xo

M

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As the Canadian Music Week approaches this spring, I’ve been fielding a few common questions about how to go about getting into fitness. So we are going to get into the most important part: finding professional help. Get a coach. Seriously. I’ve worked with dozens over the years and I’m a fully certified coach myself. I want to be the best at what I do and I want to get results. Coaches do that!

But, not all coaches are equal. Here are 3 pointers to help you make a quality decision:

1. Look for your Specialist

Be leery of any trainers or coaches that cite that they can train anyone for anything with excellence. Here’s a thought. If it takes 10,000 hours to excel at one thing, and let’s pretend said coach has three years of experience and two strength training certifications (actually a pretty good resume on the outside…), how on earth can said coach be an expert with weight loss, bodybuilding, figure, sports performance and rehabilitation? The numbers just don’t add up.

To paraphrase the legend, Paul Chek  – if you want to climb a mountain and you hire someone who has only made it half way up, once you get past halfway, you’re now paying someone to get lost with you. 

Whatever your goals, whatever your timeline, whatever your obstacles and challenges, the right coach will have the right team behind them to help you where they fall short on expertise. Keep that in mind when you’re interviewing your candidates (yes, I would recommend meeting a few different professionals to get the vibe and the right fit). Ask around in your personal network to see if they have any recommendations. They know you will advise you better than Kijiji or Craigslist (hopefully!) and they will shortlist the potential winners down for you. Think about it. It’s a huge investment. You want the best of the best, right?

A few signs that you’re with the right coach will stem right from the get go, even before you meet the coach. Watch for the following:

  • comprehensive interview process for new clients focused on YOU, not them
  • intake forms, waivers, etc… you know, the boring, but important stuff typically in a file folder system (you’re basically looking for an air tight administrative process)
  • client testimonials and social proof
  • documentation of all certifications, trade name and insurance when applicable

2. Look beyond the credentials. Who are you working with and what are their motives the motives to get up each day?

In my experience, people new to or returning to fitness, wellness and a healthy lifestyle  are generally pumped on getting back at it. Until they’re not. It’s at that pivotal time that I’ve found the true value in keeping movement and the exercise programming fun and encouraging and, as weird as it sounds, not like working out. One question you could pose to your prospective coach would be “what will you do when I just don’t want to be here?” Depending on how they respond, you’ll know if that is a fit for your personality and the reasons you want to get into a healthy lifestyle. Remember, it’s about you, not the coaches ego.

We as coaches are here to help you get to your goals. Which brings me to another good point – the most successful coaches are those that are flexible in modality and teaching, open to new approaches and practices and not too proud to admit when they may be ill-prepared for a situation or inexperienced with what you are throwing at them. It’s simple. If you are engaging in business with a professional, you have to trust that they are serving your best interests. So keep that in mind when you are speaking with them. Again, a few keys that’ll give you a lot of insight to how that person operates:

3. Invest in the phrase, “you get what you pay for”

You better believe it. Take a peek on average rates for coaches and trainers and health pros. Here is my personal take, and I say this to anyone I’m sitting down with right off the get go, “It’s my belief that they’re two types of coaches. One, the most affordable and two, the best. I’m here to tell you that I’m not the most affordable.

Seriously though, It kiiiiiilllllls me to have a conversation with someone new to me and the first question that comes up is something like “how much do you cost per hour?” Like, I get it… money is an important byproduct of hard work. I want you to make a good decision with your coin. But for those that are serious – the folks I want to work with – prepare to pay for the life that they want to lead.

Working with the right coach is much more than the hour you spend per day you’re with them. Countless hours go into my athletes exercise programming, follow up, planning, reacting and the tap into the knowledge of over 12 years of practical experience and exercise theory education. It’s a premium service. It’s a valuable service. That comes at a cost. But the amount you get out of it is priceless.

Check the reviews – Facebook.com/usetheschwartzy or see what some are saying here… Schwartzy’s Success Stories – Matt Murphy

To close, if you want to fix your cars engine, tune up or fluid change, you take it to a shop, right? If you want to keep yourself well-maintained, a coach is the right way to go. Find the professional that has their ducks in a row, some one you can vibe with to keep motivated through the tough days, and expect to pay for the best. Don’t discount yourself, it’s your health.

You’re the only one that has to live with yourself your entire life.

 

That’s it, that’s all. You know where to find me – shoot me an email or comment below if you think we’d be a good fit. 😉

Namaste sweet, y’all!

xo
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