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Saturday August 18, 2018

Fitness Fortitude

Written by Linda Cusmano

Sometimes it seems like proper diet and training is only something that athletes can follow.  Time seems to be one of the biggest factors affecting our population's lifestyle.  While there's something spilling over to the recreational exerciser, more and more people are using motivational type contests to help get them past their body shaping obstacles.

Linda Cusmano in bathing suit

The rise of various 12 week contests which rewarded individuals for their efforts toward weight loss and muscle gain are enticing the higher numbers of people towards opportunities that challenge themselves past their plateau.  Marathons, hiking races, bodybuilding and fitness are also becoming popular motivations for individuals to get into better shape.        

One of our own local athletes is a perfect example.  She grew up overweight in her teens, suffered anorexia leading into her 20s, finally settling into fitness by age 26.  Linda Cusmano is a lifetime resident of Vancouver, living in the renowned ‘Little Italy’ located on Commercial Drive.  Owner of her own business ‘Body Rush Personal Training & Lifestyle Consultation’, she is also an elite personal trainer and professional Canadian Fitness Champion.  Of course all of this occurred once she got into fitness.  Before fitness Linda had suffered a childhood of frequent emergency visits due to constant boats of pneumonia.  Chronic bronchial asthma had kept Linda from being a normal active child.  Exercise and proper diet is essential for Linda's well-being.  Now Linda is spreading the message that exercise and diet is not as hard as everyone thinks and is essential for everyone’s well-being.   

“2002 was not a great competitive year for me.  I fractured my foot just before the Fitness Canada Pageant, along with a pulled hamstring and a strained shoulder, I pretty much knew my placings would be very low this year.”  Linda competed anyway, placing forth at the ESPN series which is televised on TSN, 17th out of 40 girls for the Fitness Canada Pageant, third in the world for the Pro Miss Exercise and forth out of 22 girls in a women's non drug tested strength contest.  She also competed in several local bikini and physique contests this summer, winning a few and placing second or third at the others.  Bodybuilding, Figure, and kickboxing are other sports Linda also competes in.

2003 off for rest meant Linda came back to win her class in 2004!

Not only a competitor, Linda used to be a BC promoter for a Fitness and Bodybuilding contest which did successfully while in her hands!

Here are some tips that Linda uses with all of her clients to help them keep focused and get them closer to their goals:

  1. Make sure to eat every 2 3 hours, grazing is the healthiest way to consume your foods as it keeps the metabolism fired up which in the end results in some fat burning.
  2. Try to eliminate or decrease refined flour products from your diet, this means bread and pasta.  There are other choices of pastas and breads made from grains which are not refined such as Quinoa, Kamut, Spelt, Oat and Rye.
  3. Have a huge multicolored salad with lunch and dinner, choosing a light vinaigrette for the dressing.
  4. Try having oatmeal in the morning, this is easily digested and does not make you gain fat.  Oatmeal is also perfect for helping you have energy through your day.
  5. Choose lean proteins such as fish, chicken, beans, and soy products but make sure you don’t fry them.   Try other methods which are less saturated.
  6. Try to exercise three times a week for at least an hour.
  7. Incorporate cardiovascular and weight training into your training session.
  8. To eliminate boredom change your program weekly by adjusting some of the exercises, the sets or reps.
  9. Consider investing in a trainer for a session or 2 if you need help getting started or are stuck in a plateau.
  10. You don't have to go to a gym to exercise, with a few cheap pieces of equipment such as a body ball and some dumbbells, you can get great results at home.
  11. Try walking three to five times per week for 20 to 60 minutes and don't forget to drink two to four liters of water per day especially if you're exercising like you're supposed to.
Linda Cusmano

If you have any questions about exercise or diet, you can contact Linda at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  No matter how inactive you are there is always a solution for every individuals needs.

Linda has been personal training for over 8 years, working with individuals toward health risk reduction, fat loss, body shaping, strength conditioning, post rehabilitation, sports specific, meal planning, and overall lifestyle change.  You can visit her web sites at:

Natural Bodybuilding at its Finest - Lift for

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