Whether you’re grasping a dumbbell or your coffee cup, every muscle in the chain matters. From your shoulder right down to your fingertips [well, except perhaps your palmaris longus, but that’s another story.]
So, why wouldn’t you stretch and strengthen every single muscle? Rhetorical question, my friends. Full-body rebalancing, that’s what we do in Essentrics. Because…every muscle matters.
Spring is in the air!! There are only 2 weeks left in the current block of Essentrics with Amanda classes. And classes are filling up for the spring classes.
The spring session will run 11 weeks, but there's a catch. With holidays and facility maintenance, there are a few breaks in the schedule.
Start date: March 19th; end date: June 19th
Classes: Mondays, 6:00 pm, Glebe Parents' Daycare (our new location!). Monday mornings at the University of Ottawa are fully booked.
Fridays, 9:30 am, University of Ottawa Minto Centre
Mondays: Mar 19, 26; Apr 9, 16, 30; May 7, 14, 28; Jun 4, 11, 18
Fridays: Mar 23; Apr 6, 13, 20; May 4, 11, 18, 25; Jun 1, 8, 15
Check out the website for payment details.
Research shows that exercise is a vital component for people living with Parkinson Disease - allowing them to maintain balance, mobility and activities of daily living, as well as improving PD symptoms. That’s why I’ve donated a silent auction item to the Ottawa chapter’s upcoming comedy night. The gift of fitness - $100 towards any service offered by Amanda Sterczyk Fitness and The Move More Institute. Because movement is medicine.
For those of you who occasionally attend my Monday night class at Glebe Fitness: they closed their doors permanently yesterday. It was a shock to all of us - I found out 30 minutes before the class.
But I'm actively searching for a new space.
The website and this page will be updated once I've secured a new location. Stay tuned!
I had an email request last night about my classes, and this is part of the response. Sometimes, people take Essentrics with me and are disappointed with what it’s not. I try to be clear that there’s a reason I teach Essentrics - it’s not HIIT and you don’t need to sweat to use your muscles. But it’s an amazing head-to-toe workout that leaves you feeling taller and stronger. What’s not to love about that?! 🙆🏽♀️❤️
What’s YOUR movement factor? How can we work together to improve your physical fitness and well-being?
1. The Move More Institute™
- Are you mostly sedentary?
- In need of guidance and motivation to get moving?
- Don’t want to join a gym or group class, but know you need to get your muscles moving?
- You want to sign up for online movement coaching, learn how to add more movement at work, or host a movement workshop
- You’ve read Miranda Esmonde-White's “Forever Painless” or “Aging Backwards”
- You’ve tried Classical Stretch and/or Essentrics TV workouts
- You want to join an Essentrics class, have a private session, or host a corporate class
3. Personal Training
- You’re looking to improve your balance, posture, flexibility and/or strength
- You don’t want to join a gym
- You want one-on-one personal training in your home or office, but maybe don't live in Ottawa
- You want a fitness house call or online training
Home-based workouts for all ages! You don’t need a lot of space to move your body. And who says you need special equipment? Not me! I teach you how to incorporate snacks of movement into your daily life. So of course I film in my own home. Remember: move more and you will feel better.
One of the reasons I love teaching Essentrics is that it’s a workout for all ages. And I’ve taught all ages - from 3 to 93. This morning, I get to spend time with my amazing Friday morning crew and it’s a full house! But you can always join a Monday class. Class sizes are kept small, so you’ll never feel crowded out. 🙆🏽♀️👣💪🏽😀
Wednesdays in the Artist's Studio
Do you want to work out but don't want to go to the gym? Do you live or work in central Ottawa? Are you free on a Wednesday? We can meet for a workout at the artist's studio! Conveniently located in central Ottawa, the artist's studio is easily accessible from Highway 417 (east and west). The building boasts free parking and lots of natural light.
Private session options include flexibility training with Essentrics®, strength training using bodyweight exercises, an equipment-free cardio workout, or movement coaching.
The World Health Organization defines physical activity as "any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure." I don't see anything in that definition that mentions: sweating, special clothing, 'feeling the burn', gym membership, etc. What is does tell us is that movement - any movement - is physical activity. You need to move your muscles, or you will lose them. It’s not rocket science, people!
One more Essentrics class in 2017! The Winter 2018 classes are almost full. Hop on over to the website to book your spot before it's too late. Class size is capped, so you'll never have to worry about overcrowding.
Happy Friday! Hope you’re staying warm - this early blast of winter was definitely a shock to the system. But it’s okay - shivering is good for you, it gets your body moving.
I just finished back to back @essentrics classes, including my favourite one - at the amazing @voicefound. Now, I’m headed to a one-hour fitness house call. Then it’s back home to edit my videos.
How’s your day going?
Fitness compromise: we each get the same 24 hours; how you use those hours is up to you, and the people in your life. I get the time crunch: I’m raising a family and running a business. Even though I’m in the business of fitness, it doesn’t always mean I get to do my workout.
Yesterday, I had wanted to do a 40-minute strength session. I have a great circuit that I do at home when I’m not teaching or out on fitness house calls. But, I also had to schedule some calls, drive my kids to work and dance, make meals, catch up on paperwork, etc… You know the drill.🤔 Time was marching on and I still hadn’t completed my 40-minute workout. So, I struck a fitness compromise: exercise and non-exercise activity. Seven minutes of farmer’s walk, deadlifts, and squats, followed by a much needed pass with the vacuum. My heart was beating fast after those squats, so the vacuuming felt extra energetic! 👍🏻 And, yes that’s 23 pounds - my teenage son’s hack for not having heavy weights at home…💪🏽 Later in the day, I managed to squeeze in some backwards walking and banded sideways walking. Plus another circuit of squats, deadlifts, and upright row.
That’s my fitness compromise for the day. What about you?
Baby steps - you know, a few tentative steps, a fall, and right back at it. Babies don’t know that it’s hard work learning a new behaviour. They just keep getting up and trying. First it’s a few steps with a fall, then it’s walking, then running. A long process that begins with one step. I know that may sound corny, but it’s a great analogy for behaviour change. Start small and keep at it.
Take these stairs, for example. I sometimes see a client who lives on the 20th floor. The elevator in her building is V-E-R-Y slow - as in, once I timed it and it was 10 minutes from when I pushed the button until it arrived in the lobby. So I started taking the stairs down after these fitness house calls. I figured I’d get a mini workout in whilst on the job.
A few weeks ago, I decided that maybe I should try to climb the stairs too. But halfway up, I realized I’d be completely out of breath for the session. So I caught the elevator on the 10th floor. A compromise that resulted in a mini-mini workout.
It doesn’t always have to be all or nothing. Baby steps. If you want to add more movement to your life - be it exercise or non-exercise activity - start small to get the ball rolling. Because something is better than nothing and you’ll be starting a journey that will benefit your entire body.
What’s on the books for you today? I’m off to the #MMMEvent , hosted by the incredible @lisalarter. It’s time to take Amanda Sterczyk Fitness and The Move More Institute™ to the next level. Have a great day, whatever you have planned. And don’t forget to move 🚶🏻🕺👍🏻❤️
What’s wrong with sitting for too long, i.e., not moving enough throughout the day?
The position of sitting is problematic for many parts of the body, and changes the load path of our natural alignment:
* shortened hamstrings (affects back & ability to stand up straight)
* reduced circulation to lower limbs (causes fluids to pool - swollen ankles, varicose veins, blood clots)
* elongated, inactive & weak glutes (negatively impact stability, ability to push off & maintain a powerful stride) * reduced hip flexion/tight hips (limits ROM & stride length, leads to falls in the elderly)
* shortened pectoral muscles (inability to stretch them to sit up straight)
* shoulders internally rotated (sore shoulders)
* elongated, inactive & week upper back muscles with T spine curvature (sore back)
* forward head posture in cervical spine (causes strained neck)
* foggy brain (not enough blood & oxygen pumping because muscles aren’t moving)
* inflexible spine & disk damage (more susceptible to damage, because vertebral disks are compacted)
* body weight resting on sitting bones (ischeal tuberosity) instead of being distributed along the arch of the spine
* iPosture (impact on mood, self-esteem & behaviour)
* mushy abs combined with tight back muscles (wreak havoc on your posture)
* soft bones (no weight-bearing so bones weaken)
* compressing your internal organs (impacts breathing, digestion, reflux, etc)
* too much sitting has been linked to Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer (colon, breast & endometrial).
How do you feel when you sit too long?
The World Health Organization defines physical activity as "any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure." I don't see anything in that definition that mentions: sweating, special clothing, 'feeling the burn', gym membership, etc. What it does tell us is that movement - any movement - is physical activity. You need to move your muscles, or you will lose them. It’s not rocket science, people!
That’s why I created The Move More Institute™ and movement coaching - to help people add more movement to their daily lives. Under-moving is like under-breathing or under-eating - would you stop breathing or eating and expect a positive outcome? You don't need less movement to survive, you need more.
I’m so excited to be launching movement coaching in 2018! Helping sedentary individuals with behaviour change to add more movement to their daily lives.
Do your happy dance! It’s Tuesday and you’re rocking it this week 👍🏻
Be proud of what you’ve accomplished and show it off to the world.
Here’s why I’m dancing: I’m excited about my business evolution and I can’t wait to launch it. Movement coaching to help people change their behaviour and add more non-exercise activity to their daily lives. It’s going to be epic!
Sing with me, people: 🎶Do you know what it’s like, to fall on the floor🎵
🎶Cry your guts out, till you got no more🎵
🎶Hey man, now you’re really living🎵
Every playlist needs some Eels!
It’s on my current playlist, “Rockin’ music for running” and let me tell you, it keeps me going. I don’t always listen to music when I run, but lately, I’ve needed the added boost of my Rockin’ playlist: Free Bird, Back in Black, Sugar, Bohemian Rhapsody, If It Feels Good Do It, Hey Man, Settle, Crazy Train. The list goes on for 3 hours. Though I never actually run that long - anymore.
I did the half-marathon/marathon circuit in my 20s - back when you didn’t have to qualify for bigger races. But these days, my body and brain are happier with a 20-30 minute excursion to stretch the legs and get the heart going.
Just as you and I have different interests with exercise, your preference for a regular workout can change over time. But a walk is always great, no matter what your age. And it’s a sweat-free activity that doesn’t require special equipment or clothing.
So get out there and walk! Even though I already put in a run, I’m still going to take several walks today. Why? Move more, feel better.
Best part of @canada150 was @mosaicanada150. We spent a beautiful fall morning walking through with my visiting MIL, followed by lunch at the @canmushistory last month.
Our wonderful fall weather continues this weekend, so get outside and enjoy it!
When I’m passionate about something, I talk with my hands. A LOT. Here are some great shots from a movement coaching workshop I ran with office workers at Retire-at-Home Ottawa. ➡️ If you spend more than half of your day sitting, you need to more more! And please don’t tell me you got a standing desk to combat the sitting. Sitting is not the problem, it’s the lack of movement that’s the problem. ➡️ Most people with standing desks are stationary whilst standing - they’re not really moving more than their seated counterparts. ➡️ Want to learn how to add more movement to your day? Need help with changing your behaviour so you’ll be more active? I can help! ➡️ Movement coaching by The Move More Institute™ is launching next year, and space will be limited. Hop on over to my website, visit the Sign Up! page and pre-register to get on the list. 🚶🏻👍🏻🏃🏻😃
Let's face it - everyone is too sedentary these days. It's as if we've reversed the evolution of man. You know you need to move more, but how? Do you spend more than half of your waking hours sitting without much movement? Want to learn how to add more movement and physical activity to your daily life? Not sure how to eliminate the “convenience setup” at your desk? Then join The Move More Institute™! Movement coaching assesses your current movement factor and home or office setup, as well as your current behaviour patterns. Proven behaviour change models will help you turn your desired behaviours into lifelong daily habits.
Sign up to learn more about this unique service. Spaces will be limited. Visit the website to register.
It’s @essentrics day! Three classes on tap. There’s still room in the 5:00 🕔 class - come experience the best full-body rebalancing workout.
Visit the classes page b my website for registration and payment details.
Whether the sky is cloudy and grey or bright and sunny, it’s still important to get some outdoor activity. Dress for the weather and get outside! If we waited for “perfect weather”, we might be waiting for a while.
Essentrics with Amanda classes are taking a break for the Thanksgiving weekend. You can join us when we resume next week! The Monday evening classes at Glebe Fitness (5:00 pm & 6:00 pm) still have a few spots available. Come try this unique full-body rebalancing workout that will leave you feeling taller and stronger after just one class.
Do you need a fitness house call? I can help you work on flexibility, balance, posture, strength, cardio - you name it, I can help. What’s your fitness goal? Want a private Essentrics session? I can help. Want to strengthen your core with traditional bodyweight training? I can help. Looking for a great cardio workout that doesn’t require special equipment? I can help. Want to improve your balance and prevent a fall? I can help.
I ran! It may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is to me. It’s been just over 2 months since I broke my toe, and my recovery has been an exercise in patience. The past few days, I can honestly say have been pain-free when walking. So I decided to give running a try. * * * *
Interestingly - but no surprise to me - it wasn’t my toe/foot that bothered me during the run. It was my other leg. No surprise because I spent two months favouring my injury and overloading the other side of my body. I know how to rebalance my body, and that’s exactly what I did at the end of my run. * * * *
@essentrics, in case you’re wondering. I removed my runners and did a mini Essentrics full-body stretch. And I feel great! A run and Essentrics - what a great way to start the long weekend. * * * *
Sometimes, people express surprise that as a fitness professional, I get injured. We fit pros are not bullet-proof - s*@t happens. But we do know how to modify our workouts when injured, which allows us to recover better and faster than the average person. Let’s face it, accidents happen and you inevitably recover. But do you experience nagging pain in the area of your injury? An experienced fit pro can help you during your recovery. * * * *
After walking, climbing stairs is the next best non-exercise activity to expend energy. When you climb A LOT of stairs, it can also be a great workout. Take the stairs behind Parliament Hill, for example. Tourists and gym rats alike tackle these stairs with fervour.
Our bodies are incredibly brilliant machines! Are you using yours correctly and to its fullest potential? Have you lost your user guide? I can help you! Let’s get that brain and body reconnected and functioning optimally.
Contest time! You still have time to enter the Fall Contest and win a 1-hour customized training session with me. If you win, we can work on flexibility with an Essentrics session, personal training to target strength, cardio, or flexibility, or movement coaching to help you be less sedentary. I am a mobile and online coach and trainer, so I will come to you - in central Ottawa or via Skype.
Visit my website and click on the “Fall Contest” tab, then follow the instructions to enter your name. The contest closes at midnight on Monday, October 9th. Draw takes place live on Facebook on Tuesday, October 10th.
Contest time! You still have time to enter the Fall Contest and win a 1-hour customized training session with me. If you win, we can work on flexibility with an Essentrics session, personal training to target strength, cardio, or flexibility, or movement coaching to help you be less sedentary. I am a mobile and online coach and train, so I will come to you - in central Ottawa or via Skype.
Visit my website and click on the “Fall Contest” tab, then follow the instructions to enter your name. The contest closes at midnight on Monday, October 9th. Draw takes place live on Facebook on Tuesday, October 10th.
“Thank you Amanda - you helped me get back into exercising.” I love getting testimonials from happy clients! And I’ll tell you what I tell them: “Thank you! Would you please tell two other people?” Because if you tell two friends, they’ll tell two friends, and so on, and so on. Sound familiar? It’s from a 1980s commercial featuring Heather Locklear for Fabergé shampoo. Even back then, savvy marketers knew that people are more likely to make buying decisions based on recommendations from friends and family over any other source.
So, share your positive assessment with two friend, and they’ll tell friends, and so on, and so on.
Movement Coach At Home: How do I change my behaviour?
You're retired and you've being told that you need to sit less and move more. But how to change a behaviour? I can help! The first step is to assess your current movement factor and home setup, as well as your current behaviour patterns. To change a behaviour, we work together to identify new cues and rewards. One-on-one assistance in your environment will help you turn your newfound knowledge into daily habits.
Movement Coach At Work: How do I change my workspace?
You've been to a workshop, you know you need to move more, but you're stuck. How do you change your space to enhance movement? How do you remember to get up and move around throughout your day? Not to worry, personalized movement coaching is just a click away! One-on-one assistance in your environment will help you turn your newfound knowledge into daily habits.
If one of these descriptions speaks to you, you need to speak to me!
You’ve heard me say before that Essentrics is for everyone. I’m looking forward to collaborating with Voice Found on “Essentrics for Survivors” - a class for survivors of sex trafficking in the Ottawa area. Classes are limited to clients of Voice Found or by referral from collaborating partners.
I’m so excited about how my business is evolving! And it meant it was time for new business cards. I’m still offering Essentrics through group classes, private sessions, corporate classes. Hey, if you need a coffee break stretch, give me a call!
My business is now called Amanda Sterczyk Fitness, to incorporate Essentrics, personal training and The Move More Institute™, an initiative to promote healthy active living by adding more movement to individuals' daily lives.
Peoples’ lives are busy and they don’t take time for themselves. When things pile up, fitness is often the first thing that disappears from the daily routine. Amanda Sterczyk Fitness offers in-home/in-office personal training in central Ottawa, and online training via Skype/FaceTime. Private session options include flexibility training with Essentrics® private sessions, strength training using your own equipment, or a combination of both.
Corporate Essentrics classes are a great way to work out when you’re crunched for time - you can do a 45-minute workout and be back at your desk in 50 minutes.
The Move More Institute™ includes one-on-one movement coaching as well as group workshops. My motto is: Move More, Feel Better. Our bodies were designed as perpetual motion machines, so embrace your body’s notion for motion!
There’s one thing we all have in common: every day, we’re getting a little older. Although our bodies are aging, we don’t have to look older. But many of us do. What’s the culprit? Lack of physical activity is prematurely aging our society.
Joints become stiff from lack of lubrication - aka, lack of movement. When you’re stiff, you move more slowly. And when you don’t have a spring in your step, you look and act ‘old’.
We can’t turn back the clock, but we can look and feel younger with @essentrics. After just one Essentrics Workout, your posture will be better; you’ll look taller and feel stronger. Rebalance your body in a non-impact workout, increase range of motion, improve your posture, add a spring to your step. Essentrics is for you if you want to:
- Strengthen your body
- Improve your posture
- Reduce joint pain
- Gain flexibility
- Rebalance your body
- Improve balance
- Increase body awareness
- Prevent injuries
Are you ready to feel better and look younger? I’m ready to help you!
Well, my broken toe is still limiting my activity. But that's okay, because it inspired me to create a "mostly floor" Essentrics workout. Typically, the bulk of a one-hour workout takes place standing, then we head to the floor for the final 15-20 minutes. This new workout will have only 15 minutes of standing sequences, then we'll be getting horizontal to work our bodies. It's a tough one, but I promise you'll feel great!
Life is busy; I get it. And when it comes to exercise, your good intentions may not be enough to fit in that workout. Well, I can help you with that. I offer in-home/in-office personal training and group Essentrics classes in Central Ottawa.
How, exactly, do I define Central Ottawa? I’m glad you asked! You live or work in one of the following neighbourhoods:
- Rocklife Park, - Vanier, - Overbrook, - Eastway Gardens,
- Riverview, - Alta Vista, - Riverside Park, - Mooney’s Bay, - Rideau View, - Fisher Heights, - Carlington,
- Hintonburg, - Lebreton Flats, - Centretown, - Downtown, - Byward Market, - Lowertown, - Sandy Hill,
- Old Ottawa East, - Golden Triangle
- Glebe, - Old Ottawa South
It’s Testimonial Tuesday! This is a fantastic testimonial from Mary-Lynn, a regular participant in Essentrics with Amanda classes, and a weekly private training client too. Thank you, Mary-Lynn! I’m thrilled that all of your hard work is paying off. "I have been taking group Essentrics classes with Amanda since June 2014. Her classes are small, allowing her to observe her students’ movements and make corrections, and also to provide modifications for particular physical limitations. This summer I decided to book some private training with her so she could help me work on my form and some physical issues in a one-on-one format. In particular, I am working on regaining strength, mobility and range of motion following hip replacement surgery in November 2015 and also have some nagging shoulder issues.
Proper positioning and form are very important with Essentrics in order to gain maximum benefit from the exercises and avoid injury. Amanda arrived at our first session with a list of areas she thought we should work on, based on observing me in class and her awareness of my specific concerns. She arrives at our sessions with a plan, is very focussed and professional and provides lots of direction and feedback. When I do Essentrics on my own at home, I can hear Amanda’s gentle but firm reminders and corrections and I am much more aware of what I need to do to improve my technique.
This is proving to be an invaluable investment in my health and fitness. Money well spent!" -Mary-Lynn
#TBT - way back to 2011. When I first started teaching @Essentrics in 2010, Classical Stretch was a household term in Ottawa. I could walk into a room of 20 individuals, and at least 2 had seen the show, or at least heard of it. Not so much anymore. But that’s another story.
Over 2 years (2011-2012), I spent a lot of time in my then school-aged kids’ realm. I was teaching “Classroom Stretch” to 6 classes, JK to grade 3. Ms. B's grade 2-3 all-boys class loved it the most, and they were the best behaved students I had the pleasure of teaching. One day, one of the boys lamented that, a) he was going to miss the next 2 weeks of Classroom Stretch due to a family trip, and b) he wouldn’t be able to do the stretches on the plane - you see, his flight out was scheduled for the same time I visited the classroom. And that’s how “airplane mode” was born! We spent many classes learning stretching and strengthening exercises that could be done seated. The boys loved it, and it helped me create new offerings for older adults. This came in handy when I started teaching “Gentle Stretch with Amanda” at a local retirement home. Many of the participants couldn’t stand for long periods, so we regularly stretched using airplane mode.
The fall classes are already filling up. Only a few spots left in each session. If you would like to reserve a space, a $20 deposit is required to guarantee your spot.
These classes are capped - 11 participants at UofO and 12 participants at GF. No need to feel like sardines during your workout!
Contact me for more details: EssentricswithAmanda@gmail.com.
Do you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk and in meetings? You can still get in some feel-good stretches under that meeting table. Not to mention when you're back in your office and you can kick off your shoes. These quick and simple movements will give you a burst of energy during your long work day.
Amazing day of private Essentrics training! One on one with the clients, so we can focus on correcting and tweaking alignment. Making movement better by engaging each and every muscle to do what it was designed to do.
Do you spend most of your waking hours in a spot similar to this? Many of my clients are office workers who lament that meetings require them to spend long periods of time sitting and inactive. And their bodies pay the price for it.
I always teach them how to keep moving while sitting. Intrigued? Videos and tips to follow…