Donna Cotnam, Daily Observer

Stories

A change of seasons

We have been so very fortunate this fall to have such great weather. It kind of makes it hard to think about winter.

Back in the Saddle

A terrific way to get your workout in and enjoy the great outdoors is to hop on your bike and hit the road.

Your mom knew what she was talking about when she told you to sit up and stand up straight. This grahic shows good posture and bad posture for the body as Donna Cotnam explains the benefits of exhibiting good posture.

Fit for Life: The importance of exercising good posture

Sit up straight!" "Don't slouch!" I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard those words from my mother when I was growing up. But as soon as she left the room… ‘resume slouch position,’ you too? Little did we know that mom wasn’t just annoyed with how we were standing or sitting, there is a reason behind it! She knew the importance of good posture.

Getty images When taking part in a fitness class, columnist Donna Cotnam encourages participants to be their own boss by taking it easy if needed or increasing the intensity for a better workout.

Fit for Life: Be your own boss when it comes to your workout

While attending a fitness workshop on the weekend I was reminded what I already knew. Participants in group fitness classes don’t always go to the type of class that suits their fitness level, they go when the time suits. So how does that work out for the participant and the instructor?

Are you ski ready for the upcoming season?

I know we don’t want to admit it but snow is just around the corner. Are you ready to hit the slopes or the trails? Living in this part of the world you have three choices as winter approaches – join the snowbirds and take off to the sunny south; fill your pantry with comfort food and hibernate for the next five months; or embrace the great outdoor

FIT FOR LIFE: Fat vs. muscle

So how long do I have to work out before my fat to turns into muscle? When I stop exercising will all my muscle turn back into fat? I do sit-ups and crunches everyday, but I still can’t get rid of this roll, why not?

Fit for Life: You need to catch yourself a case of Olympic fever

Are you experiencing a higher than normal body temperature? Is your heart racing more than usual? Do you find yourself breathing quickly? Are you looking a bit flush and feel like you may vomit any minute? It's not heat stroke...it's Olympic fever!

Fotolia photo Columnist Donna Cotnam suggests water aerobics as a way of exercising without putting extra pressure on joints, especially for those preparing for surgery.

Fit for Life: Are you ready for surgery?

Over the past couple of years I have begun to notice more and more friends and acquaintances requiring surgery. Hips, knees and shoulders top the list. It has become a topic of conversation far too often. It could be that I’m getting older and so are my friends.

Fotolia photo This young woman flexing muscles on leg press machine in gym. Donna Cotnam encourages everyone to become familiar with the machines they are using and most importantly to check the amount of weight you will be lifting.

Fit for life: Embrace those weight-training machines

At first glance, weight-training machines can look very intimidating. In fact they can look downright scary. They are actually easy to use and will help you move safely and quickly through your workout. Here are a few tips to you may want to consider as you begin your weight-training program.

FITNESS: It's important an exercise is safe for you

When it comes to safety in my exercise classes or when I set up a program for someone, I am very much a stickler. A group fitness setting encourages everyone to do the same exercises, at the same pace, with the same number of repetitions - kind of a cookie cutter workout, I agree.

Standing graphic for Fit For Life column

FITNESS: Getting in gardening shape

Not everybody's workout involves treadmills and hand weights. Some find it invigorating being on the end of a shovel wearing gardening gloves instead of boxing gloves. If you are a gardener, you know exactly what I'm talking about. You have been waiting half a year to get out and get digging.