Q&A on Menopause

Q&A on Menopause

Earlier this year, we had a live Q & A with Jennifer Thompson from Herstasis.com, which was highly informative and answered many of the questions women have about menopause.

Some women will pass through this stage without skipping a beat, while others may suffer terribly.

If you are suffering from new and uncomfortable symptoms, first rule out the possibility that they are not a sign of something more serious. Once your symptoms are diagnosed as peri-menopausal, you may need to make some lifestyle changes, at least until you get through it.

In this interview and the Herstasis website, we discuss hormone replacement, natural alternatives, and other coping methods. We are not promoting any particular method nor should you feel judged for making the choices you need to live your best life.

Wherever you are, please know that you are not alone.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation and a general lack of research on menopause. If you are looking for a good article to familiarize yourself with the history and where we are at today with the research, please read this article from the New York Times.

Let’s try to be kind to ourselves during this time. Becoming informed is a good place to start.

Please click on the following to view the one hour video with Jennifer Thompson.

Do you know where your core is?

Do you know where your core is?

Strengthening this “red zone” is one of the keys to improving your performance and remaining injury-free for every sport. Your power comes from the core.

These muscles stabilize your torso and provide the base on which you can build power and strength. It doesn’t help to have strong legs if you have a weak core.

Twice a year I offer an AB CHALLENGE series and I hope you will join me. I need to clarify that this challenge focuses purely on ABS; however, it is imperative that you use your core to complete the exercises. 

In my workouts, I talk about the pelvic floor. Contracting the core is not the same as holding your breath or sucking in your belly. Both of these actions are dangerous when strength training as they increase intra-abdominal pressure, which is not good. 

Check with yourself. Do you know how to hold your core? If not, please repeat this glute and core maintenance video once a week until you feel comfortable with this action and can activate the core with awareness, then automatically when required.

Yes, everything highlighted in red makes up your core
Sucking in or holding your breath increases intra-abdominal pressure which is not a good thing.

Laura and Duncan

Laura and Duncan

April 2022

My husband, Duncan, and I have been training with Kristina for over 10 years and goodness knows where we’d be without her! Prior to the pandemic, we worked out in the gym in private sessions and in group classes. We have also participated in her cycling club. No matter what the format, I am consistently impressed at the many ways Kristina can disguise a squat! All kidding aside, the variety of activities, techniques and movements she brings forward and her overall coaching (programming how/when to train certain muscle groups, nutrition, breathing exercises, meditation, mobility, guidance on equipment and apparel, etc.), keep us healthy, engaged and motivated. 

We decided to train with Kristina because of her extensive knowledge of the body, her focus on form and her adaptability around injuries. Duncan has a history of lower back issues and I struggle with carpal tunnel and occasional asthma. Because of these issues, we worried that we might do the wrong exercises or do them in a way that would exacerbate the problems. With Kristina leading the workouts, we know we’re in good hands. No matter what the movement, she’s always able to adapt to our present ability. To our delight, moving to an online format during the pandemic hasn’t affected her ability to correct our form or suggest adjustments. 

We feel tremendously lucky to be working with Kristina. She is a wonderful coach, knowledgeable and always seeking to grow her knowledge base. Her style is supportive and encouraging, never bombastic or over the top. She gets to know you, what you are capable of in the moment, and what you can grow to achieve.  

Hydration and athletic performance

Hydration and athletic performance

Research shows that a loss of sweat equal to ONLY 2% of body weight greatly affects your performance through a decrease in power, an increase in muscle fatigue, and the inability to recover and build muscle. There is an excellent article on the Sports Cardiology BC Website which I highly encourage you to read as it will forever change the importance you place on your hydration plan. If you are short on time, here is my bullet-point summary.

So what happens to performance when you are dehydrated?

  1. A reduction of blood volume =  lower Maximal Aerobic Power (V02 Max)
  2. Increased core temperature  = increased rate of glycogen breakdown in the muscles. This, in turn, leads to a greater amount of lactic acid which = muscle fatigue.
  3. Increased levels of cortisol = lower levels of testosterone aka the muscle-building hormone which is required for recovery and growth.

5 hydration tips that will help improve your performance

1. Create a habit of drinking 300 to 500ml of water every morning when you first wake up. If you had a few alcoholic drinks the night before, add lemon and a pinch of salt and an additional 500ml.

2. Consume at least 300 to 500ml of water 1 to 2 hours before your ride/endurance workout. This is particularly important on hotter days.

3. Replace fluid loss with both water and electrolytes. Evidence shows that hydrating with just water doesn’t replace lost electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride resulting in a dramatic drop in performance. Use a richer mix during the winter (because you are drinking less) and a weaker solution during summer (because you’ll be drinking more). 

4. During the ride, drink before you get thirsty. Take small sips every 10 to 15mins whether you want to or not. Ideally, you should aim to drink 1.25 to 1.5 litres of fluid every hour, depending on your body size and how much you sweat. NOTE: For some, this still might not be enough on really hot days.  

5. Experiment and find what works for you.


1. During short, intense workouts, such as the weekly Kits Energy workouts, limit your water intake immediately before and during the workout to avoid gastric upset. 

2. On cold days avoid consuming large amounts of fluids in the morning as your body will want to reduce the supply of blood going around your body. It will do this by making you want to pee it out as soon as you get your cycling bibs tucked in nicely under all those layers. 

If you feel faint, dizzy, or start to get a headache please stop, seek shade and medical assistance ASAP. Dehydration is a serious issue for athletes and can lead to death.

Jaya Muzumdar

Jaya Muzumdar

The year 2012 was a very special year. My son Neil was getting married so there were lots of parties, invitations for dinners, etc. However at the end of the four months I found myself weighing 162 pounds and not being able to fit into most of my clothing! Ouch, that hurt. I went for my annual physical and there was more bad news!

My doctor warned me that I was up for diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and heart disease over the next ten years if I did not lose the excess weight “NOW”!! He advised me to get a personal trainer and also told me how to find one. At that point I had only heard about personal trainers but had no experience with them nor had I ever entered a gym in my life!

As my doctor had advised me, I came home and googled ‘Personal Trainer Vancouver’. Up came a list of names, the first one was “Get fit with Kris”. I picked up the phone and a week later was at the gym having my first consultation with her. The following week I was training once a week. The week after that, I had lost 3 kgs and decided to stay working with Kristina and increased my sessions to 3 times a week.

Three months later, I had lost 10 kgs. My doctor had given me six months to get rid of the weight and asked me to come back for blood tests. And guess what??  All my readings had come back down to normal. Blood sugar/pressure was now normal. HDL levels had risen because of the cardio exercises and LDL/Triglycerides levels had lowered. My ECG was absolutely normal. My doctor was amazed at what I had achieved in just about 4 months of training with Kristina!!

I know for a fact that I could not have achieved this without Kristina! Thank you so much, Kris for helping me achieve my health goals. Fitting into all my clothes, getting fit and strong, having more energy are some of the other side benefits of this training. Another benefit is that now I not only have a personal trainer who looks after my health/weight goals but also have a friend whom I can talk and share things with. I look forward to a long term relationship of friendship and training with Kris.