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By Mairead Rodgers, RD PHEc

Someone asked me this question the other day during an early morning WOD, and if I’m being honest, I wasn’t awake enough or having enough oxygen going to my brain during the workout to have good answer besides “it depends”. Which is still my answer, but I’ve got more to say about it. 

How long it takes you to get in good running shape depends on a lot of things. It depends on what that goal of “good running shape” looks like for you. Do you want to run 400m without stopping? Do you want to run the 3.5km Hog Jog with our Degree crew in June? Do you want to run a half marathon? A full marathon? Do you want to keep getting faster at these things? What that goal looks like for you might be entirely different than what it looks like for someone else, and there’s no right or wrong answer. 

It also depends where you’re starting from. Have you run much before? Is running something you try to avoid? Have you had an injury that means you haven’t been able to run for a while? Again, this might be different for everyone.

Everyone’s goals around running might be totally different and that’s ok! The bottom line here is that if you want to get better at running, guess what you’ve gotta do? RUN! And if you do want to start running, or run more often and more efficiently than you might be now, Running Club might be just the program for you!

This awesome program kicks off May 23rd and runs Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30pm at Degree until June 17th, and spots are starting to fill up! Click here for more details or to sign up! Or email maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com with any questions!

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By Mairead Rodgers, RD PHEc

Does this sound like you? Whether you’re someone who doesn’t feel like they run often or fast enough to be a “runner”, someone who wishes they didn’t hate running quite so much when it comes up in a WOD, or someone who’s always wanted to run a 5k or another race but has never trained for it, so many people have running goals, especially at this time of year when the weather is just starting to warm up. 

Being a runner is not based on speed or body size or how long you’ve been running or how far you can run. If you run, you are a runner. Period. That’s it. There’s no membership cards or anyone who can say “no, actually you’re not a runner, you’re just someone who runs”. I love running, and I realize that’s a weird thing to say. Running is something that makes me feel strong and happy and takes my stress away. I want to spread that to anyone else who wants that, and I want to help them get there. 

If you’re nodding along with me and want to become a runner, Running Club might be the perfect option for you! While it’s not just for beginners or people looking to get into running, it’s a perfect option if that’s where you’re at!

Why is it perfect for new runners?

  • We start easy. Nothing’s going to discourage a new runner more than not feeling like they can run far or fast enough, and we’re not into that. This is also a way to help avoid getting hurt!
  • We work through drills to make sure we’re all running with good form so we’re running efficiently (making it suck less) and not in a way that’s going to injure us.
  • We do some strength work to make sure that the muscles we need to run are in good shape. These are muscles we might not use as much if we’re not running much yet or that we don’t know we need for running. 
  • You run with a group! So many people are nervous to start running because they don’t want people to see them out running by themselves. Come run with some friends until you feel up to running on your own. 

Does this sound like the group for you? Click here for details and to get signed up! Or email maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com with questions or for more info!

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By Mairead Rodgers, RD, PHEc

Raise your hand if you’re on any kind of social media of some description (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). Keep that hand raised if you are on multiple social media apps. Keep your hand raised if you feel like you spend too much time of social media sometimes. Pat yourself on the back if you found this post through social media. 

How do the things you see on social media make you feel? Do they make you feel happy? Inspired? Do they teach you something? Do they make you feel frustrated? Bad about yourself? Angry? Annoyed? 

I’m asking lots of questions today, but are you familiar with Marie Kondo? (Bet you never thought that question would come up in an email from a CrossFit gym!) If you don’t, her method to decluttering your house is to get rid of thing that do not spark joy, and keep only the ones that do. So I decided to start following the same kind of principles to my social media feeds. 

At the end of the day, even if what we’re seeing on social media is frustrating us and making us unhappy, we choose most of what we put there. We can choose to unfollow anything that is not “sparking joy” or is dragging your down or making you feel bad.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the things that spark joy for me on social media:

  • friends and family crushing their goals
  • random strangers crushing their goals and encouraging others to do the same
  • pretty food
  • healthy recipes
  • well-organized pantries
  • pretty bookshelves
  • fitness memes
  • dogs and baby goats

Things that don’t spark joy for me on social media that I’ve been making a point not to see:

  • body shaming of ANY KIND
  • fad diets or diet products
  • anyone encouraging others to eat in a disordered way or spreading mis-information about nutrition

Your lists might be completed different than mine (not everyone loves baby goats). But the point is that you get to choose whether what you see on social media makes you feel good or not. We create our own social media feeds. We choose who and what we follow. If something if bothering you on social media, you can unfollow that person. You don’t have to see what they post. (Heck, if it’s someone you know on Facebook, you can unfollow so you don’t see what they post but still be friends and they’ll never know!) If we’re going to waste time on social media, it should inspire us, teach us (maybe) and make us feel good about ourselves.  

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By Mairead Rodgers, RD PHEc

As a dietitian, I spend a lot of my time talking about what people are eating or should be eating. But another piece of the puzzle is why you’re eating and how it makes you feel. This piece is your relationship with food, and for a lot of people, it can be complicated, especially with so much information out there on what to eat and (more commonly) what not to eat. 

I’m not saying all this because I’ve always had an amazing perfect relationship with food. I most definitely have not. But where I’m at with food right now is pretty amazing, in that what I eat is usually enjoyable, doesn’t stress me out, and I can incorporate healthy eating in a sustainable way that doesn’t mean cutting everything out. 

Here’s what a good relationship with food usually looks like:

  • Not thinking about food or when you’ll eat next constantly. 
  • Being adaptable in your food choices; not getting stressed if you’re not eating something specific for a specific meal.
  • Being able to acknowledge and act on your hunger and satiety cues, not just eating (or not) based on a number.
  • Not cutting out foods (except for medical reasons) and not being anxious about eating or not eating certain foods.
  • Being able to take evidence-based nutrition knowledge and incorporate it in a way that promotes health (i.e. adding more vegetables or fibre, decreasing salt intake, etc.)
  • Being able to go out and enjoy food in social situations without anxiety about what or how much to eat. 
  • Maybe sometimes using food as a coping mechanism, but not having it as your only coping mechanism.

Let’s give a nice hypothetical comparison to look at it more. Let’s say you’re working away from home all day and you don’t pack enough snacks (the horror!). You still have more than an hour of work left, your drive home, and you’re planning to do a workout when you get home. 

Option 1: You feel like you’ve had enough to eat today according to your calorie counting app so you ignore your hunger. You get more and more irritable and miserable as you finish up your work. You get home and inhale whatever’s available because you’re just so hungry, feeling out of control and guilty about eating. You’re then super full but still do your workout, feeling gross the entire time. You restrict how much you eat at dinner because you ate when you weren’t supposed to and end the day feeling deprived and like you just need more self-control over your food.

Option 2: You realize you are getting grumpier by the second the hungrier you get. You run to the vending machine, even though there’s limited options and none are necessarily a “healthy” snack. You enjoy a chocolate bar while finishing up your work for the day, and get home feeling neither hungry nor full, and not really thinking about food at all. You do your workout, eat dinner when you do feel hungry, and eat enough to be satisfied, eating dessert if you want, or not if you don’t want to. 

Which sounds less stressful? Which sounds like what you normally do? Which do you want to be what you normally do?

The point isn’t that chocolate bars should be regular afternoon snacks. The point is that having a good relationship with food means being adaptable, meeting your needs, and not being stressed about your food choices. If your food choices feel out of whack, give me a shout and let’s chat. Food doesn’t need to be a stressful terrible thing, and there’s so much more room in your brain and life when you don’t think about it all the time. 

Thoughts or questions? Email maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com!

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Written By:  Mary-Jane Greidanus
Now that I’ve got your attention!

Our bones are living tissues and like muscle they respond to exercise.  Most people start to lose bone density in our 30’s already!

Regular exercise can help to slow this down and build stronger bones. Along with healthier bones, exercise will increase our muscle strength, co-ordination and balance—all things that will help us stay safer as we get older and more prone to injuries and falls.

What type of exercise is best? 
The first type is weight bearing movements like walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs and dancing; these are  all great options! The second is resistance exercise—using things like free weights and resistance bands.

Afraid or unsure of the whole weight lifting part? Weights do not have to be heavy to build up our muscle strength, it is surprising what can be done with very light weights to build our bodies stronger!
 If you would like to read the full article you can find the information by clicking here. 


At Young At Heart Fitness these are the types of movements we focus on.

Every movement can be geared to where you are at in your fitness journey; whether you are just starting out or have been active in other areas of fitness. Our goal is to help you stay active as long as possible to do all the things you love to do!

Still not sure this is for you? I would love to meet you and answer any questions you may have! 

Please email me at maryjane@degreecrossfitseaforth.com

Your Coach,
Mary Jane