Author Archives: bodyagefitness

Staving off decline with a trip to the gym

** “As seen in the Vancouver Province Newspaper on January 8, 2017” 

Personal trainer Svetlana Pelletier works with Lois Keebler, 69, in Vancouver to improve her balance, muscle strength and bone density through resistance training. Keebler says she recently started to slip on an icy sidewalk, but was able to right herself without hitting the ground. She credits that to better balance and overall fitness.









With half of Canadians over 40, simple demographics have put exercise geared to older adults on the last three annual top-10 list of fitness trends compiled by Canfitpro, a national training and certification company for fitness professionals.

“From a business perspective, it’s at that stage where you can’t really ignore that market anymore,” says Colin Milner, CEO of the Vancouver-based International Council on Active Aging, an organization that promotes healthy living after middle age.

It’s also linked to a change in the way we define healthy aging more in terms of keeping as active as possible rather than the absence of disease, Milner says.

“Today we are living longer — many of us thriving — with diseases which once killed us. But if you lose your functional abilities — you’re not able to stand up, you’re not able to get out of bed — you lose your ability to function day-to-day. Life is very different.”

Fitness goals vary widely, from people who have stuck with a vigorous routine for years to others who want to garden, play with grandchildren or get up off the floor if they need to, he says.

Personal trainer Svetlana Pelletier (right) works with client Lois Keebler. ‘Older clients are much more focused,’ says Pelletier. ‘They have a goal to stay independent, so they’re much better clients than younger ones.’








Svetlana Peltier is a Vancouver personal trainer with BodyAge Fitness who has specialized in working with older adults for about half of her 30 years in the industry. She says she’s observed more interest among both clients and trainers, particularly as people retire to the West Coast specifically because they can be outside more to play sports or enjoy nature.

“It’s a perfect environment to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” she says.

“The reality is we’re all getting older and if you don’t use it, you lose it. You become dependant and this is one of the biggest fears,” says Pelletier. “Older clients are much more focused. They have a goal to stay independent, so they are often more motivated than younger ones.”

Train Smarter – Not Harder!

Svetlana & Michel Pelletier


“Age is nothing but a number!”

Since more and more older people have been exercising regularly, the fitness scientists have been able to perform studies on these “ Super Seniors” in an effort to find out what makes them tick…

And since social media has become such an integral part of most people’s lives, we have the opportunity to quickly find out about these Health & Fitness Superstar and be motivated by the fact that the studies are proving that “Consistency of training” is the main explanation for their amazing results!

One of my Hero is this 106 years old French cyclist, Robert Marchand, who is still riding around 3000 miles per year. He has been setting cycling age records since 2012 and he recently set a new “over- 105 age group” one hour track cycling by covering 22.547kms within that time. Here is a link to some of his story:

On the female side, this 80 years old body-builder is also showing that, as she says herself “ Age is nothing but a number!” ;

By reading through the studies which have been done using many of these “Super Seniors”, one quickly realize they do not utilize “ secret training methods or any illegal drugs” to achieve their results. Read how these 4 men are proving that “ Age is just a number” :

It basically comes down to:

  • Regular workouts and the enjoyment of being active.
  • Enough recovery
  • Proper nutrition

It may sounds too simple to be real, right? I must say, I used to also believe these “Super Seniors” must have been born with the right “fitness gene” or some other kind of improved biological make up which allows them to be these special people. However, the more I get to know some of these local “ Super Seniors”, the quicker I realize that they have basically been following the same type of Health & Fitness Plan I and all our clients are on. They have simply been consistently on that training/life plan for a much longer time than I have…

I found it somewhat refreshing to realize this fact. I have just turned 50 and I, DEFINITELY, want to be fit and active for many, many… more years.

To read that Robert Marchand was able to increase his VO2 capacity after the age of 100 by following a systematic training plan had a major impact on how I have started to look at my present training plan. The statement “ I am in this for the long haul” has a whole new meaning to me.

I hope the little post will also make you realize that Consistency of training is definitely the key to long term Health & Fitness. Get out there and have fun working out!

Happy Training.

Train Smarter – Not






Michel Pelletier

Indoor Rowing is good for your body and your mind!

              Bodyage Fitness Rowing Team members just finishing their event in the            “Beat the Beast” Indoor Rowing Championship!

Team Bodyage

The Scene at St-George’s School on Saturday January 30th, 2016!


Personally, I have been competing in this rowing championship since 2004.  The event is open to children from 14 years old to mature athletes of 80 years of age and beyond….

This year, Bodyage Fitness Rowing Team included 5 Rowers and 4 coaches.  The event consisted of rowing 2000 meters as fast as possible using Concept 2 ergometer.

As you can see from the pictures above, athletes from the same category are placed beside each other and the winner is the person who rows the 2000 meters in the shortest amount of time.

In the context of this championship, the indoor rowing machine is used as a tool to challenging oneself, both physically and mentally to row the 2000 meters piece as fast as possible.

But the use of indoor rowing machine may also serve many other health and fitness related purpose.

Here is a short list of some of the reasons why we believe indoor rowing should be part of the workout plan for most people interested in good general health and fitness:

Indoor rowing is a full body workout: When using an indoor rowing ergometer, the question isn’t which muscles are used, but which muscles aren’t used?

  • Lower body muscles: everything from the hamstrings to the quads, the gluteus muscles and even the calves are engaged when rowing.
  • Core muscles: The full torso is engaged during the rowing stroke, including the hip flexors and the erector spinae (back) muscles are used to power through the rowing motion.
  • Upper body muscles: The entire upper body is used while rowing.  From the shoulders to the chest to the back and biceps and triceps, . Indoor rowing is ‘easy to use’ functional fitness at its best!

Everyone can use the rowing machine, at any age:  There are no age limits to become an indoor rower.  I know people in the 80’s and even in their 90’s who are still rowing regularly. Since indoor rowing is a low impact exercise and easy on the joints, bad knees or bad hips are not a problem anymore.  And actually, since it’s easy on the body but yet provides a great workout, many people, recovering from an injury, are prescribed the use of the rowing machine!

Indoor Rowing definitely burns calories. Since rowing is both strength and cardio vascular intensive at the same time, your muscle mass and lungs/heart system are constantly challenged during your rowing workout. Depending on effort level, a 160lbs male will burn between 200 and 300 calories in 30 minutes of rowing.  And doing some High Intensity Intervals ( example: 30 secs rowing/30 secs off…) will greatly increase the amount of calories burned during and after the workout, due to EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption)

You can track your progress. Just like tracking your speed when running or logging how many miles you walked or rode your bicycle, you can track your distance, speed, calories burned and time on the rowing machine, too. And as you get fitter and stronger, you can begin to set yourself some performance based goals: how fast you can row a 5K or how far you can row in a set amount of time…

Rowing is good for the Soul! Many types of exercises have showed to increase positive mindset and decrease anxiety, and rowing is particularly relaxing due to its rhythmic nature. The repeated pull-and-push motion is very good for calming the mind! Listen to your favourite tunes while you row and spending time on the rowing machine will soon become your favourite activity!

Ok, ready to give the rowing machine a try?

To start with, adjust the foot pads so your shoe fits properly. The toe strap should be around the widest part of your foot, which often coincides with the bottom part of the shoe laces. Then grad the handle with an overhand grip and you are ready to row!

For further details on how to effectively perform the rowing stroke on a rowing machine, click this link:

Train Smarter – Row Faster!

Svetlana & Michel

Younger Every Year!

January is the month when many people make New Years Resolutions.  Unfortunately, as we already know, 85% of these resolutions will fail within the first 3 months. Instead of making a resolution, at the beginning of each new year, I perform a Polar Bodyage Fitness Assessment for myself and my clients.  Together, we look back at what was achieved during the previous year and we agree on new goals and objectives for the upcoming year

This year, I decided to compare my very first Polar Bodyage Assessment ( 2004) to my present assessment.

Our Polar Bodyage Assessment uses a combination of assessments (strength, flexibility, cardio-vascular (VO2), body composition, girth measurements and nutrition) to calculate your body’s present biological age compare to your chronological age.

As you are able to see from the results of my assessment, the goal is to maintain as low a Biological Bodyage as possible.
Svetlana 2016













Svetlana 2016


Svetlana results 2016













What I have done to have a biological bodyage 15 years younger than my chronological age is not a secret.

  • I am extremely active person
  • I dislike driving, therefore I prefer to walk or ride my bike as often as possible
  • I lift weights 2 to 3 times per week. I enjoy lifting heavy weights and this has never made my body look bulky. The regular weight lifting has kept my muscles lean and strong.
  • I enjoy hiking, some aerobic classes and swimming when I have time
  • Due to the hormonal changes which happened during the last 10 years, I had to re-examine my food intake and I am much more aware of the type of nutrition which best suits my body type.
  • I have used vitamins and supplements for the majority of my life and this last year, I have discovered and began to use many wonderful nutritional and age defying products from Isagenix.
  • I love my job, my clients and my friends. I adore my family. I LOVE to be a Grand mother. It does take a lot of energy to keep up to a 4 years old girl. However, many times she finds that “grand-ma” has too much energy! J
  • I believe that two of the secrets of a long healthy life is be positive and to wake up every morning with a purpose for the day.


Train Smarter – Not Harder!


How to Stay Bike Fit during the Fall/Winter Season? How to minimize the effects of “Detraining”?

Being an athlete and a coach, the effects of Detraining is something I have to deal with every year. Here is a typical scenario: As a cyclist living in the Vancouver area, riding from early April until the end of September is fun. Sun is out and the weather is warm. The regular and constant stimulus of long, fast and hilly rides increases everyone’s ability to ride strong and the majority of the riders have their best rides in late July, August and September. They feel strong and have good endurance.   Now that the wet weather and shorter days are here, many cyclists will put their bikes away and not think about cycling until next March or April. And then, it will be the same thing that happened in the past years. The first few rides will be rough! Hills will seem steeper; Keeping a certain speed on the flats will seem harder than the previous year; Butt will, once again, hate the bike seat; … You get the picture?

You will also be able to notice the difference which not exercising regularly for six months will make:

  • Increased body weight and body fat level
  • Your muscle mitochondria becomes less efficient at using oxygen to produce energy in your muscles. This decline can be up to 25 to 45 per cent after a 12 weeks period of inactivity.
  • After 2 to 3 months of detraining, you will begin to notice more stress hormones are released during exercise. This means that the exercise intensity you used to manage becomes more stressful for the body, which in turn increases recovery times.

The good news is that you can definitely make a difference of what your 2016 riding season will look like by making changes to the your fall/winter workout plan. And yes, you guessed correctly, I am talking about keeping your bike out for some winter riding.

It is simple really. Researches and studies have proved it: To be a strong cyclist you MUST get on a bike and ride on a regular basis all year long! “Use it or Lose it”!

Yes, I know that when it is wet and dark outside, it is hard to get on the bike and go for a ride. And I do completely agree with you!

How ever, there are many other ways for you to maintain and even increase your cycling fitness and strength without having to get wet.

  • Indoor bike trainers. They vary from the most basic trainer to the virtual indoor trainers which will make you feel like you are part of a group ride on the roads.
  • Spin classes: There are a large numbers of spin class centers in the Lower Mainland area:
  • Indoor Track: We even have our very own Indoor Velodrome:
  • And yes, you can always get on your bike and go for a road ride whenever the weather allows you to.

Regarding how often and how long each rides should be, there’s strong
evidence that even smaller volumes of the right kind and intensity of training can reduce the effects of detraining to a minimum.

Research shows that reducing your training volume by two thirds won’t harm your fitness, provided you include some 
very intense work, such as 
intervals, in the remaining one third.

My advice is to sit down and write yourself a weekly training plan and to try to include 2 to 3 hours of riding per week, minimum.

For example:

  • Tuesday and Thursday: spin classes
  • Saturday or Sunday: plan for a road ride if the weather is good or simply put your bike on your trainer and do a similar workout under the roof of your house.

By varying the type and intensity of these 3 weekly workouts, you will be able to maintain your hard earned riding strength and fitness and will be able to reach a higher level of riding in the summer of 2016!

See you on the roads.

Michel Pelletier/Bodyage Fitness


Keeping your body weight down through the winter time

November is here! The days get shorter, colder and it rains more.   There just seem to be less opportunity to exercise on a regular basis, right? And then soon, there will be all the Christmas parties… Finally, by the end of January 2016, the number on the scale will much higher than they were last summer.

We all know the story. Every year it happens to some of us. Let’s change the script of the story this year and make it a goal to keep your body weight within 1 to 2% of your pre-winter level. Deal??

Here are some simple tips you can use to help:

  • Drink more water: Being well hydrated is always important but drinking extra water will help in curbing your appetite. 2 glasses of water before leaving for a holiday party will be a valuable ally in controlling your caloric intake and also help counteract the dehydrating effect of alcohol.
  • Never arrive at a party hungry: Planning ahead and eating a small amount of food before you leave will help you maintain your discipline and avoid the temptation to over-indulge on the goodies.
  • Take it easy on the starches and instead go for the fruits/veggies and lean meat/seafoods: When looking at the buffet table, pass on the breads, white rice, sauces, cookies, cakes… and pick more tomatoes, peppers, grapes, kiwis, chicken bites, shrimps… They are all very tasty and much lower calories per bites.
  • Pace yourself when eating: Since you will not be hungry when you arrive, there is no need to try to eat as much as you can in the first half hour of the party. Try to sample only 1 item at the time and walk around the room to talk to different people instead of standing by the same table and picking food from it consistently.
  • Please limit the drinking of alcoholic drinks to one serving: In case you did not know, wine, beer and other alcohol all contain between 100 to over 200 calories per serving. And since alcoholic drinks are usually paired with food, these extra calories quickly add up.
  • Get plenty of sleep: Research has proven that not getting 8 hours of quality sleep will affect your body’s insulin and ghrelin (hunger hormone) levels, leading to overeating. Improving the quality and duration of your sleep will enhances growth hormone release and helps your immune system stay strong.
  • And of course, there is the “exercise before/after you go out to the party”: By burning some calories through a cardio-vascular and/or resistance training workout, you will indeed create a small caloric deficit and you may then indulge in one maybe 2 of your favourite treats!

Stay fit and lean this winter! Your body will thank you for it.

Eat Smarter – Train Better!

Svetlana & Michel


We are pretty certain that the majority of your mothers told you (still are…) that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, guess what? She was/is correct! (as always, moms are the BEST!)

In our household, the first thing we NEED to do every morning is eat breakfast. Our bodies & minds are calling/begging for some nutrition. We are still amazed as to the numbers of people we meet and begin to train who tells us they have not eaten breakfast for many years. People, it is time to change this. Here is why!

Many different studies have proven that eating a healthy balanced breakfast will:

  • Held provide daily essentials nutrients:
    • Most people who skip breakfast will be unlikely to make up their daily requirement for some vitamins and minerals that a balanced breakfast would have provided
  • Allow you to have better focus, attention to details and productivity:
    • Studies on those who work in labor intensive type of jobs have shown that the people who do not eat breakfast were unable to work as hard until lunchtime and studies on children reveal that they are unable to complete school work
  • Increase your daily metabolic rate and help maintain healthy body weight:
    • Studies have showed that people who skip breakfast have a metabolic rate four to five percent below normal, which may lead to an expected weight gain of eight pounds per year (one pound every seven weeks).
    • People who do not eat breakfast have showed to choose less nutritious and convenience foods to curb their appetite. Poor eating choices will often lead to eating throughout the evening and calories are stored as fat during the evening hours as your metabolism does naturally slows down each evening.
  • Provide you with more energy to exercise more on a daily basis
    • All research have showed that people who eat breakfast have higher energy levels, during the day, and often engage in more physical activity than people who don’t.

There you go folks. Above are 4 great reasons why you should indeed, eat breakfast every single day.

If you are one of these people who have not eaten breakfast for awhile, starts slowly and small. A blended liquid protein shake with whey protein, your favourite fruit and some healthy fats is a great way to start!

Remember that Healthy Body = Healthy Mind = Longer Healthier Life!

Eat Smarter – Train Better

Svetlana & Michel!