BMI vs Body Fat %

So what is the difference between BMI (Body Mass Index) and body fat percentage?

BMI is a measure of someone’s shape based on weight and height. The formula is weight in KG’s/ height in meters2. (kg/m2).

Body Fat percentage is the weight of body fat on your body divided by your total body weight. That gives you what percent of your body is fat. Body fat percentage is a more accurate module for health. Excess body fat leads to many diseases such as: Heart disease, Obesity, Diabetes, Cancers, High Blood pressure and more.

It is possible to have a healthy BMI yet a poor body fat percentage. That would be a thin person with excess body fat. This is not good or healthy. It is also possible to have a high BMI and a low body fat percentage. This would be a very muscular individual. Which would be more ideal.

The best way to know if you are healthy is the body fat test. If you would like to know your body fat percentage contact leading fitness and injury rehab specialist Pat Fleming of Fleming Fitness at 613-882-8434.

New Era for Kinesiologists!

Fleming Fitness is excited to announce as of April 1, 2013 that Kinesiology in Ontario is now a regulated health profession and that kinesiologists must now be licensed by the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario.

The creation of the College sets the stage for the provincial government to significantly increase the role of exercise and movement in the prevention and management of injury and chronic disease.

What does this mean?

The role of Kinesiologists is changing. The field of study has expanded from traditional sport and physical activity to include health-related careers. Preventative health is finally assuming a greater role on the Canadian health agenda.

Lifestyle disease, obesity and inactivity have forced health workers to set new standards. Specifically, the new status sets the scope of practice for professional standards within the Health Professions Act creating an administrative structure for ethical and quality assurance guidelines plus a means to process complaints and discipline procedure.

The Ontario government is taking first steps in recognizing how exercise and physical activity play a significant role in the prevention and treatment of injury, chronic disease and acute illness rehabilitation. It is the hope that other provinces will follow the regulation process guided by the national body, the Canadian Kinesiology Association.

How does this affect you?

If working with a Kinesiologist make sure that they can provide their registration number. At Fleming Fitness, you can be confident that you are receiving high quality care from highly trained professionals!

Exercising When Sick: A good move?


With the cold and flu season approaching, a common question we hear from our clients is “should I exercise when I am sick?”  When it comes to a cold or flu many individuals feel they need to stick to their exercise routine, even if it means crawling to the gym rather than crawling under the covers.  Common myths like we can “sweat out a cold,” don’t help.  The truth is exercising when you’re sick could do you more harm than good.

Yes, moderate exercise boosts your immune system however; high intensity exercise suppresses the immune system.  If your body’s immune system is compromised when fighting a cold, the last thing you should be doing is weakening your immune system even more by intense exercise.  This could worsen the infection or lead to more serious infections.

So when are you too sick to workout?  A simple rule of thumb is if your symptoms are mild and are all above the neck (runny nose, sore throat) then you will probably be ok to exercise.  (Although I would stay home and rest more myself).  Plus your fellow gym members won’t be too happy you are spreading your germs all over the place.   If the symptoms are below the neck (fever, muscle ache, cough or diarrhea) definitely stay home and rest.

Be smart about your health.  The most important thing is to listen to your body and how you feel.  If you are low on energy and tired your body is telling you something like maybe you should be getting extra rest not extra reps.  When in doubt consult your doctor.

What To Look For When Hiring a Personal Trainer

There are many Ottawa based personal trainers.  How do you pick the right one?  It may be hard to know where to start.  There are some key things to look for when choosing an Ottawa personal trainer, especially when you are injured.  Here are some tips from Fleming Fitness – an Ottawa based kinesiology and mobile personal training company.

Often times, injuries lead to a deconditioning of the body.  A person may experience weight gain, a decrease in strength and low self – esteem.  After all this, the thought of going to a gym can be intimidating.  Someone who has gone through physiotherapy may be ready to start working out, but is worried about re-injuring themselves.  This is where Ottawa personal trainers like Fleming Fitness can help.

Not all personal trainers have the skills needed to work with injured clients.  No one person’s needs are exactly the same.  An experienced personal trainer should properly assess a person, look at limitations and create an exercise routine tailored for that individuals specific needs.  The wrong training program can lead to further injuries, which will make it harder for any person to reach their goals.   With the right personal training, individuals should be given the tools to eventually work out safely on their own.

Personal training can work concurrently with chiropractic care, physiotherapy and massage therapy.  The focus of personal training is on many elements of health, including nutrition, strength, endurance, flexibility and balance.  Benefits include weight loss, increased energy, confidence and more.  A personal trainer should train the body as a whole unit rather than isolating parts of the body. Workouts should incorporate exercises that use more than one muscle at the same time (functional movements) to help make your daily activities easier.  A personal trainer should also be able to provide up to date certifications and references from past clients.  All your health practitioners, including your personal trainer should work together to help you get your life back on track.

Tips for a successful New Year’s Health and Fitness Resolution

  •  Be SMART.  Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  Stick to 1 or 2 goals.
  •  Get rid of excess Christmas junk food and other junk food.  If you see it, you will eat it.  So give it away or toss it out.
  • Keep Track.  Download a food application or keep a food journal to stay on track towards your goals.  There are many apps these days that help you track and record your nutrition online or on cell phones.   People that record what they eat see results faster!
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you slip.  You are going to cheat when it comes to your diet.  Its normal and it’s OK.  Just get back on track as quick as you can.
  • Visualize, visualize, visualize. Visualize the end result you are striving for.  Visualize what you are going to do along the way.  Never stop believing in yourself.
  • Try new exercises or activities.  Join a new hockey, soccer or any sports league. It’s a great way to burn calories, socialize and have fun.  New activities challenge the body and mind.
  • Invest in a qualified personal trainer  – Make the most of your workouts.  If you don’t prepare yourself for fitness than prepare yourself for illness. See results 80% faster with a qualified personal trainer.
  • Make a plan.  List out what you plan on doing to reach your goals.  A plan without goals is just a wish.

Do you suffer from neck tension and headaches? This could be why:

Here at Fleming Fitness an Ottawa based mobile personal training company and studio we treat many cases of whiplash disorder, neck pain and constant headaches.  99% of the time the individual that complains of neck pain and headaches has poor posture.  This poor posture includes internally rotated shoulders/arms, head push forward and a slouched look.  The cause of this is tight internal rotation muscles of the arms Subscapularis, Pects and Lats along with a tight anterior (front) neck.  Assisting this poor posture is weak external rotators of the shoulders and arms (Rotator cuff muscles Infraspinatus and Teres Minor), Rhomboids and rear delts (shoulders).

Proper alignment of the head is over the shoulders with your ear hole in line with the center of your shoulder.  100% of clients we treat at Fleming Fitness that complain of neck tension and headaches have their head forward by 1-3 inches.  Meaning their ear hole is 1-3 inches in front of the mid-line of shoulder.    The human head weighs approximately 8-10lbs and when is it is pushed forward it is the posterior (back) of the neck muscles that must keep it up.  Therefore, those muscles are under tension constantly.   You might notice the pain increases when you are texting on your phone, reading in bed, at work or are in front of a computer because that position accentuates the forward head poke putting greater strain on the posterior neck.  Not only does this cause neck pain, but it can cause headaches and pain, weakness and numbness down into your arms and fingers.   This is called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The only way for this pain to disappear is to correct your posture.

The best way to stretch the anterior neck is by lying on a stability ball in a back bridge position and allowing gravity to push your head back. Remember you are not forcing it back, you are letting gravity do the work and always keep the back of your neck supported on the ball.  A stretch for your Lats is on all fours (knees and hands) and place one hand on the stability ball with your thumb pointed up.  You are trying to externally rotate your shoulder/arm while stretching on the ball.  If you feel pain or a “pinchy” feeling in your shoulder place your hand on the inner side of the ball so it is lower on the ball.  If you still have pain in your shoulder turn your arm down instead up having it pointed up.  A great way to stretch your chest (Pects) is on a doorway by bending your arms at 90 degrees and holding them out to the side.  Each arm is on the door frame of a door and slowly walk into the opening of the door until you feel a stretch along the front part of the chest/shoulders.

Now that you have loosened up the tight muscles you need to strength the weak muscles in the upper back.  Doing theraband external rotations exercises is good.  Seated Rows, single arm rows, rear delts activation are all good to strengthen the upper back muscles.

Keep working on this every other day and you will notice a difference in your posture and the tension and pain in your neck will be reduced. If you need help, we can be reached at

This was written by Ottawa Kinesiologist and Corrective Exercise Specialist Patrick Fleming of Fleming Fitness

Why Is Physical Fitness Important?

We all know that being physically fit is good for us, but exactly why is physical fitness important?

Here are the top 10 benefits of physical fitness:

1. You’re more likely to live a long and healthy life.

Regular exercise reduces the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. It also reduces the risk of having a stroke. In one eight year study of more than 20,000 men, those who were lean but unfit had twice the risk of death as those who were lean and fit.


2. You’ll have more energy, strength and stamina.

People who complain that they don’t have enough energy to exercise fail to realize that working out gives you energy. In one study, middle-aged women who lifted weights for a year became 27% more active in daily life than before they started lifting weights. Regular exercise also increases your strength and stamina, allowing you to better handle common activities such as carrying a heavy bag of groceries or climbing a flight of stairs.


3. You’ll keep excess body fat off.

If you try and lose weight simply by dieting, you’ll lose some muscle along with any body fat you lose and you’ll slow down your metabolism. If your weight loss program includes exercise, you’ll lose body fat without losing muscle and without slowing down your metabolism. If you’re currently at a healthy weight, regular exercise will help you avoid putting on excess body fat in the future.


4. You’ll keep your bones strong.

Both men and women start losing bone mass around age 35. Lifting weights can not only stop the loss of bone mass, but in some cases it can even reverse it. This drastically reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Weight bearing exercises like walking and running also help keep bones strong.


5. You’ll prevent or reduce low back pain.

Strengthening your abdominal and lower back muscles can help prevent low back pain, and it can also reduce discomfort if you already suffer from this pain. You might also be able to avoid back surgery by strengthening your abdominal and lower back muscles. In one study, 35 of 38 people who had been recommended for back surgery were able to avoid surgery by following an aggressive strengthening program.


6. You’ll get sick less often.

Both aerobic exercise and weight lifting strengthen the immune system.


7. You’ll sleep better.

People who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night than people who are sedentary.


8. You’ll keep your mind sharp.

Multiple studies have confirmed that regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mind. Regular exercise improves brain function, which helps prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


9. You’ll improve your mood.

A large amount of research shows that you have a better sense of well-being following a workout. Thanks to chemicals released in the brain during exercise, feelings of depression, anxiety, stress and anger are diminished during a workout.


10. You’ll enjoy life more.

Life is much more enjoyable when you’re fit and healthy. You look good and feel good and you’re more productive in everything you do.


Why is physical fitness important? Because many of the problems commonly associated with aging are often the result of a sedentary lifestyle and can be minimized or prevented by improving your physical fitness.

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